Mayana Peak is one of the best viewpoints on the eastern coast of Negros. To reach this peak it’s just a short 15-minute hike but you’ll have to drive up into the mountains. I camped solo at the peak after riding my bicycle all the way up the steep hills from San Carlos City. In this blog post, I’ll share with you all of the details you’ll need to know to plan your visit to Mayana Peak.
WHERE IS MAYANA PEAK
Mayana Peak is just 22km from the coastal town of San Carlos City on the island of Negros. It’s accessible by car almost the whole way until the last 2.6km where you will need to jump on a motorbike with a local to reach the trailhead. I’ve added Mayana Peak as the pin on the map below so you can see where it is situated on Negros Island.
HOW TO GET TO THERE
The 22km journey from San Carlos City takes just 30-minutes by car along the winding, mountain roads. I went a bit extreme and rode my bike, which is no easy feat to ascend the 850m of incline. Renting a motorbike in San Carlos City may be tough as it isn’t a big tourist town but I’m sure it is possible. Otherwise, there is a local bus that passes by so you could use public transport. Once you reach the road labeled ‘Road to Mayana Peak’ you will need to either walk 2.6km or take a ride with a local on a motorbike. They will drop you at the permit office where the hike begins.
MAYANA PEAK HIKE DETAILS
- Duration: The hike itself is very short and takes 10-15 minutes.
- Incline: 80 meters for the hike itself.
- Distance: Only 800 meters!
- Difficulty: The path has one steep section but there are ropes in place to help you stay stable. Other than that, it’s very simple and well-defined. It might be a little tricky when it is very slippery or raining.
ENTRANCE FEE AND COSTS
There are three fees to consider plus transport when taking into account how much it might cost to visit Mayana Peak.
- The first is the 150 PHP entrance fee
- Second is the ‘mandatory’ guide fee of 150 PHP
- The third is 300 PHP for overnight camping
- Fourth is the price of the motorbike ride to and from the trailhead. I’m not sure how much this is as I had my bicycle but I imagine not too much as it is just a 2.6km ride. You could walk this with no problem considering it is such a short hike for the actual trail.
- Finally, you can purchase snacks, noodle soups, and coffee at the top so keep some spare change for a little reward at the top.
CAMPING AT MAYANA PEAK
It’s possible to camp at Mayana Peak but there is only room for a couple of tents maximum so you should enquire in advance. The fee for overnight camping is 300 PHP. The parents of the family live up near the summit and are there to cook noodles and sell you snacks. They were really nice and were worried about me camping in the rain and left the door to their little shack unlocked in case I had an emergency. In the morning the grandmother came up again and made me a coffee, which was a sweet way to start the day. You get a great sunrise and sunset opportunity when you camp so I would definitely suggest camping. It’s not the most remote spot as you can literally hear people back down in the village but fun nonetheless.
MY EXPERIENCE AT MAYANA PEAK
I arrived in Negros as part of my Visayas bike-packing trip. Therefore, I was a bit more ambitious than the regular visitor to Mayana Peak. I decided to ride my bike up to the trailhead. The journey up the steep hills was tough. I had to ascend more than 800 meters in incline along the winding, cliffside roads.
Once near the trailhead, I stopped off at a cafe called, Jilla’s at the Peak. This place had a beautiful view, cheap lunch, and drinks, and would be the last solid meal I had until the morning. I then located the trailhead turn-off, which has a brown and white sign near the main road. The sign says that the actual trailhead is 2.6km further down the dirt road.
This road often gets very muddy and is comprised of clay and rocks. I wouldn’t advise driving down here in a car and even for my bicycle, it was a challenge that left my bike covered in mud. Nevertheless, I managed to make it through the mud to the entrance.
The permit office is attached to a family home and here you will pay the entrance fee and guide fee. The guide is apparently mandatory, although it’s a very basic hike. That’s their rule. I left my bike at their house and set off with the guide to the summit. The 15-minute walk up the hill passes a few small farming plots and some beautiful palm trees before emerging to the summit ridge of Mayana Peak.
Atop the peak, you will have beautiful views all the way down to San Carlos City, Sipaway Island, and even to Canlaon Volcano. The rolling hills and sharp ridges make for an incredible view. There are a few rocks and perches set up for photos. You’ll also find a shelter with tables and chairs where you can buy some snacks and enjoy the view.
I set up my tent in the only large clearing and hung out by myself atop the ridge. Sunset was a bust but in the morning, the sky lit up and Canloan Volcano was perfectly clear for the first time. It rained overnight and was pretty windy on the ridge but overall it was a good night of camping.
The grandmother of the family at the entrance office came up in the morning and made me a hot coffee to welcome a new day. I’d definitely recommend camping up here with a group of friends as it would be a fantastic time or you can go solo like me.
After sunrise, I packed up and rode back down to San Carlos City. The ride back was much quicker as it was almost all downhill. I actually made it back to the city just after 8 am. I looked back up to the mountains as I arrived back in San Carlos almost in disbelief I had just spent the night up there.
I hope you enjoy your adventure to Mayana Peak and get some good weather conditions up there.