Header Notice

Winter is here! Check out the winter wonderlands at these 5 amazing winter destinations in Montana

Taraw Peak Hike: Epic Cliff Climb In El Nido, Philippines


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Deborah Jacob



El Nido, nestled in the province of Palawan in the Philippines, is a tropical paradise renowned for its stunning white sand beaches, crystal-clear waters, and breathtaking limestone cliffs. While many visitors come to El Nido for its pristine beaches and island hopping tours, there is another adventure that awaits those seeking a thrill – the Taraw Peak hike.


Taraw Peak, also known as “The Tower” in the local dialect, offers an exhilarating hiking experience that takes you to the top of a towering limestone cliff, providing panoramic views of El Nido town, Bacuit Bay, and the surrounding islands. This epic cliff climb is not for the faint of heart, but for those who are up for the challenge, it promises an experience like no other.


As you embark on the Taraw Peak hike, you’ll find yourself surrounded by lush vegetation, steep cliffs, and a sense of adventure that keeps your adrenaline pumping. The hike is not only a physical challenge but also a mental one, testing your endurance and resilience every step of the way.


With its unique geological formations and stunning vistas, Taraw Peak presents a unique opportunity to connect with nature and appreciate the beauty that El Nido has to offer. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a beginner looking for a thrilling adventure, the Taraw Peak hike is an experience that will leave a lasting impression.


In this guide, we will explore the details of the Taraw Peak hike, including how to get to El Nido, what to expect during the hike, safety tips, and more. So, strap on your hiking boots, prepare yourself for an unforgettable journey, and get ready to conquer Taraw Peak.


Getting to El Nido

El Nido is located in the province of Palawan in the western part of the Philippines. While it may seem remote, getting to El Nido has become much more accessible in recent years.


The first step in reaching El Nido is to fly into Puerto Princesa, the capital city of Palawan. Puerto Princesa has an international airport and is well connected to major cities in the Philippines such as Manila and Cebu. Several airlines operate regular flights to Puerto Princesa, making it convenient to reach.


Once you land in Puerto Princesa, you have a few options to travel to El Nido. The most popular and convenient choice is to take a van or a bus. Van transfers are the fastest way to reach El Nido, with a travel time of approximately 5-6 hours. Buses, on the other hand, are a more economical option but can take around 7-8 hours.


Another transportation option is to book a domestic flight from Puerto Princesa to El Nido. This option is more time-saving, with a flight duration of about 1 hour. However, flights can be limited and subject to availability, so it’s advisable to book in advance.


Whether you choose to travel by land or air, the journey to El Nido promises scenic views of lush countryside and picturesque towns. This allows you to immerse yourself in the beauty of Palawan even before reaching your final destination.


Once you arrive in El Nido town, you’ll be greeted by a charming coastal village with a vibrant island vibe. The main town area is relatively small and can easily be explored on foot. There are plenty of accommodations, ranging from budget-friendly guesthouses to luxury resorts, to suit various preferences and budgets.


Now that you know how to get to El Nido, it’s time to focus on the main highlight – the Taraw Peak hike. But before you embark on this thrilling adventure, make sure you are well-prepared and equipped for the challenge ahead.


Overview of Taraw Peak

Taraw Peak, also known as “The Tower,” is a prominent limestone cliff located in El Nido, Palawan. Standing at an impressive height of approximately 230 meters, it offers a challenging yet rewarding hiking experience for adventure enthusiasts.


The name “Taraw” means “to climb” in the local dialect, and it perfectly describes the nature of this hike. The Taraw Peak trail is not your typical leisurely hike; instead, it involves scrambling and climbing steep sections, making it more of a rock climbing experience. It’s important to note that this hike requires a reasonable level of physical fitness and agility.


As you ascend Taraw Peak, you’ll be surrounded by a diverse ecosystem, including lush vegetation, towering limestone cliffs, and panoramic views of the surrounding islands and Bacuit Bay. The trail is relatively well-marked, but it can be challenging at times, especially for beginners. It’s recommended to hire a local guide who is familiar with the trail to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.


The hike to Taraw Peak typically takes around 1-2 hours, depending on your fitness level and pace. The trail starts from El Nido town, and as you make your way up, you’ll encounter various obstacles such as narrow crevices, steep rock formations, and exposed sections. Proper footwear with good grip and sturdy clothing are essential for this hike to ensure your safety.


Reaching the summit of Taraw Peak offers a breathtaking reward. From the top, you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of El Nido town, the surrounding islands, and the turquoise waters of Bacuit Bay. The sight of the rugged limestone cliffs jutting out of the sea is truly awe-inspiring and provides a unique perspective of the natural beauty of El Nido.


While the hike itself is relatively short, the adventure and beauty you’ll encounter along the way make it a memorable experience. Taraw Peak offers an opportunity to challenge yourself physically and mentally while immersing yourself in the stunning natural landscapes that Palawan is famous for.


Now that you have an overview of Taraw Peak, it’s time to prepare for the hike and get ready for an adrenaline-pumping adventure that awaits you. Make sure to bring your sense of adventure, determination, and a camera to capture the incredible views from the summit of Taraw Peak. Safety should always be a top priority, so let’s delve into the preparations needed for this thrilling hike.


Preparing for the Hike

Before embarking on the Taraw Peak hike, it’s crucial to make proper preparations to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. Here are some important considerations to keep in mind:


1. Physical Fitness: Taraw Peak is a challenging hike that requires a reasonable level of physical fitness. Engaging in regular exercise and cardiovascular activities prior to the hike will help build stamina and endurance. It’s also advisable to consult with a healthcare professional if you have any pre-existing medical conditions.


2. Wear Appropriate Clothing: Dress in comfortable and breathable clothing suited for hiking. Opt for lightweight, moisture-wicking materials that allow for ease of movement. Long pants are recommended to protect your legs from scratches and insect bites. Don’t forget to wear a hat and apply sunscreen for sun protection.


3. Footwear: Choose sturdy, closed-toe shoes with good grip and ankle support. The trail can be slippery and uneven at times, so it’s crucial to have proper footwear to prevent accidents and injuries. Avoid wearing flip-flops or sandals, as they are not suitable for this type of terrain.


4. Hydration and Snacks: Bring a sufficient amount of water to stay hydrated throughout the hike. It’s recommended to carry a reusable water bottle or hydration pack. Pack some lightweight snacks or energy bars to keep your energy levels up during the climb.


5. Protect Yourself from Insects: Apply insect repellent to protect yourself from mosquitoes and other insects that may be present along the trail.


6. Hire a Local Guide: To ensure your safety and navigate the trail effectively, it’s highly recommended to hire a local guide who is familiar with the Taraw Peak hike. They can provide valuable insights, assist you in challenging sections, and ensure you have a memorable and safe experience.


7. Leave No Trace: As with any outdoor adventure, it’s important to practice Leave No Trace principles. Respect the environment by disposing of waste properly, avoiding littering, and minimizing your impact on the natural surroundings.


8. Check Weather Conditions: Before starting the hike, check the weather forecast to ensure favorable conditions. Heavy rain or storms can make the trail more dangerous and slippery, so it’s best to plan your hike on a clear day.


By taking these preparations seriously, you’ll be better equipped to tackle the Taraw Peak hike. Remember, safety should always be prioritized, and it’s important to know your limits and assess the trail conditions before proceeding. Now that you’re ready to begin, let’s dive into the details of starting the climb and navigating the trail to reach the summit of Taraw Peak.


Starting the Climb

As you embark on the Taraw Peak hike, the excitement builds as you prepare to conquer the challenging trail. Here’s what you need to know about starting the climb:


1. Meeting Point: Before starting the hike, you’ll usually meet your guide at a designated point in El Nido town. They will provide you with a brief orientation, go through safety guidelines, and ensure that you have the necessary equipment for the hike.


2. Warm-Up and Stretching: Prior to setting off, it’s important to warm up your muscles and perform some stretching exercises to reduce the risk of injury. This can include simple movements like leg swings, arm circles, and gentle stretches for the legs, back, and shoulders.


3. Trailhead: The trailhead for Taraw Peak is located a short distance from El Nido town. From there, the adventure begins as you make your way towards the first section of the trail.


4. Climbing Technique: As you ascend, there will be sections of the trail that require climbing and scrambling. Your guide will show you the best techniques to navigate these challenging parts safely. Stay focused, maintain three points of contact with the rocks for stability, and follow the guidance of your guide.


5. Resting Points: Along the way, there are designated resting points where you can take a breather, hydrate, and enjoy the scenery. Take advantage of these breaks to recharge and appreciate the stunning views surrounding you.


6. Pace Yourself: The trail can be physically demanding, so it’s important to pace yourself according to your fitness level. Listen to your body and take breaks as needed. It’s not a race; the goal is to reach the summit safely and enjoy the journey.


7. Guided Assistance: Throughout the hike, your guide will assist you and provide support, especially during challenging sections. They will ensure that you are comfortable and safe throughout the ascent. Don’t hesitate to ask questions or seek their guidance if needed.


8. Enjoy the Surroundings: As you climb higher, take moments to pause and absorb the natural beauty surrounding you. The unique limestone cliffs, lush vegetation, and stunning views of El Nido town and the islands create a captivating backdrop for your adventure.


By starting the climb with the right mindset and guidance, you’ll begin to appreciate the true challenge and adventure that lies ahead on Taraw Peak. As you navigate the trail, keep your focus, maintain a steady pace, and trust in your abilities. Reaching the summit is within your grasp, and the reward awaiting you is worth every step.


Navigating the Trail

Navigating the Taraw Peak trail requires both physical agility and mental focus. As you continue your ascent, here are some key points to keep in mind:


1. Follow Your Guide: Your local guide is your key source of navigation and information. They are familiar with the trail and will lead you through the most optimal paths. Pay attention to their guidance and stay close to them at all times.


2. Stay on the Marked Trail: The trail to Taraw Peak is relatively well-marked with ribbons and arrows. It’s important to stay on the designated path to avoid getting lost or straying into unsafe areas. Deviating from the trail can lead to steep drops or challenging obstacles.


3. Mind Your Footing: The trail can be steep and uneven, with loose rocks and slippery sections. Be mindful of your footing and take slow, deliberate steps. Use caution when stepping on wet or mossy surfaces, as they can be slippery. Having the right footwear with good grip is crucial for stability.


4. Use Three Points of Contact: In more challenging sections that require climbing or scrambling, it’s essential to use all four limbs for stability. Maintain three points of contact with the rocks at all times, ensuring both hands and at least one foot are securely placed.


5. Be Aware of Your Surroundings: As you navigate the trail, be aware of your surroundings, including overhanging branches, loose rocks, or potential hazards. Keep an eye out for wildlife, such as birds or small reptiles, that may cross your path. Respect the environment and minimize your impact.


6. Communicate with Your Group: If you’re hiking with a group, maintain open communication. Notify others of potential hazards or obstacles along the trail. This helps create a safe and supportive environment for everyone involved.


7. Take Breaks and Stay Hydrated: Pace yourself along the trail and take breaks when needed. Use these moments to hydrate, rest, and enjoy the beautiful scenery around you. Additionally, ensure you have enough water to stay properly hydrated throughout the hike.


8. Enjoy the Views: While focusing on the trail is essential, don’t forget to pause and appreciate the stunning views. As you ascend, the vantage points along the trail offer glimpses of El Nido town, the turquoise waters, and the limestone cliffs that make this hike so remarkable.


By navigating the Taraw Peak trail with caution, focus, and respect for the environment, you’ll be able to fully immerse yourself in the awe-inspiring beauty of the surrounding landscape. The summit is getting closer, and the breathtaking views that await you will make all your efforts worthwhile.


Reaching the Summit

After navigating the challenging sections and persevering through the ascent, the moment you’ve been waiting for is here – reaching the summit of Taraw Peak. As you approach the final stretch, keep these points in mind:


1. Final Push: The last part of the hike to the summit may involve slightly steeper sections or narrower paths. Stay focused and maintain your momentum. Your determination and perseverance will carry you to the top.


2. Safety First: As you near the summit, exercise caution and be mindful of your surroundings. Stay away from the cliff edges, which can be sheer drops. Follow your guide’s instructions and prioritize safety above all else.


3. Celebrate the Achievement: Reaching the summit of Taraw Peak is a significant accomplishment. Take a moment to soak in the triumph and appreciate the remarkable views that unfold before you. Congratulations on conquering the challenging hike!


4. Panoramic Views: From the summit, prepare to be awe-struck by the panoramic views that stretch across El Nido town, Bacuit Bay, and the surrounding islands. The panoramic vista showcases the natural beauty and stunning landscapes that make El Nido a popular destination.


5. Photo Opportunities: Bring out your camera or smartphone to capture the breathtaking scenery from the summit. Snap away and create lasting memories of your incredible accomplishment and the magnificent view that unfolds before you.


6. Take It All In: Take a moment to pause, breathe, and reflect on the journey you’ve just completed. Enjoy the peacefulness and serenity of being at the top. Absorb the beauty of the natural surroundings, and let the sense of accomplishment fill you with a profound appreciation for this remarkable experience.


7. Time at the Summit: While the duration of your stay at the summit may be limited, cherish every moment spent there. Savor the views, exchange stories with your fellow hikers, and relish the sense of pride that comes with reaching the top. Remember to leave the summit exactly as you found it, maintaining its pristine condition.


Reaching the summit of Taraw Peak is an accomplishment that showcases your determination and resilience. As the unparalleled views unfold before you, revel in the sense of achievement and immerse yourself in the grandeur of the natural beauty that surrounds you.


Enjoying the View

Standing at the summit of Taraw Peak, you are rewarded with unparalleled views that showcase the natural beauty of El Nido and its surrounding areas. Here’s how you can fully enjoy and appreciate the breathtaking scenery:


1. Panoramic Perspective: Take a moment to soak in the panoramic vista that stretches before you. The sweeping views encompass El Nido town, the crystalline waters of Bacuit Bay, and the dramatic limestone karsts that dot the landscape. Let the sheer grandeur of the scene leave you in awe.


2. Breath of Fresh Air: Inhale deeply and relish the refreshing air at the summit. Feel the gentle breeze against your skin as you take in the sights. The pristine surroundings and picturesque landscapes offer a tranquil ambiance, providing a much-needed respite from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.


3. Photographic Memories: Capture the stunning views with your camera or smartphone to preserve the memory of this unforgettable experience. The varying hues of blue, the rugged cliffs, and the lush greenery create a magical scene that is worth capturing. Remember to experiment with different angles and perspectives to truly capture the essence of the view.


4. Mindful Moments: Sit or find a comfortable spot at the summit and embrace the serene beauty around you. Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and let the stillness of the moment wash over you. Practice mindfulness and appreciate the present, immersing yourself fully in the magnificent vista that surrounds you.


5. Marvel at Nature’s Majesty: Allow yourself to appreciate the intricate details of the natural landscape. Observe the patterns etched into the limestone cliffs, the vibrant colors of the ocean, and the lush green foliage that thrives in this magnificent setting. Take the time to marvel at the wonders of nature.


6. Reflect and Reconnect: The breathtaking view from Taraw Peak offers a perfect opportunity for self-reflection and introspection. Use this moment to ponder the beauty of the world and your place within it. Reconnect with your inner self and find solace in the embrace of nature.


7. Gratitude and Appreciation: Express gratitude for the privilege of witnessing such pristine beauty. Cherish the experience and the journey that brought you to this remarkable point. As you take in the view, give thanks for the opportunity to connect with the natural world and be a part of something greater.


At the summit of Taraw Peak, you are treated to an awe-inspiring spectacle that will forever remain etched in your memory. Embrace the moment, fully absorbing the tranquility, beauty, and grandeur of the view before you. Take the time to appreciate, reflect, and cherish this extraordinary experience.


Safety Tips

While the Taraw Peak hike offers an exhilarating adventure, it’s essential to prioritize safety throughout your journey. Here are some important safety tips to keep in mind:


1. Hire a Local Guide: Engage the services of a local guide who is experienced and knowledgeable about the Taraw Peak trail. They can provide valuable insights, ensure your safety, and navigate challenging sections with expertise.


2. Stay Hydrated: Carry an ample supply of water to stay hydrated throughout the hike. The tropical climate of El Nido can be dehydrating, particularly during the physical exertion of the climb. Remember to drink water regularly, even if you don’t feel thirsty.


3. Wear Proper Gear: Dress appropriately for the hike, wearing sturdy closed-toe shoes with good grip and ankle support. Opt for lightweight and breathable clothing that allows for ease of movement. Protect your head and skin from the sun by wearing a hat and applying sunscreen.


4. Follow Safety Guidelines: Listen to the instructions and safety guidelines provided by your guide. Be mindful of any specific precautions or warnings they share. Remember that your guide’s primary concern is your safety, so it’s important to heed their advice.


5. Pace Yourself: The hike to Taraw Peak can be physically demanding, so pace yourself and take breaks when needed. Listen to your body’s signals and avoid pushing yourself beyond your limits. Resting at designated points can help you regain your energy and prevent exhaustion.


6. Be Mindful of Your Footing: Pay close attention to your footing, especially in sections that involve scrambling or climbing. Take slow and deliberate steps, using all four limbs for stability when necessary. Be cautious of loose rocks or slippery surfaces, particularly during wet conditions.


7. Respect the Environment: Leave no trace behind by disposing of your trash properly. Respect the natural environment and refrain from picking or damaging plants or wildlife. Preserve the beauty of Taraw Peak for future hikers to enjoy by leaving the trail as you found it.


8. Weather Awareness: Check the weather conditions before starting the climb. It’s best to plan your hike on a clear day as rain or storms can make the trail slippery and dangerous. If the weather conditions deteriorate during the hike, prioritize your safety and consider turning back.


9. Stay Together: If you’re hiking with a group, ensure everyone stays together and no one gets left behind. Maintain open communication and keep an eye on the well-being of your fellow hikers. Look out for each other and offer assistance when needed.


10. Trust Your Guide: Your guide is there to ensure your safety, so trust their expertise and follow their instructions. If you have any concerns or questions, don’t hesitate to communicate with them. They are there to provide guidance and support throughout the hike.


By following these safety tips, you’ll minimize the risks and maximize the enjoyment of your Taraw Peak hike. Remember that safety should always be a priority, so take the necessary precautions and be vigilant throughout your journey to ensure a safe and memorable experience.



The Taraw Peak hike in El Nido, Philippines, is an unforgettable adventure that showcases the breathtaking natural beauty of Palawan. Scaling the towering limestone cliffs to reach the summit provides a sense of accomplishment and offers panoramic views that will leave you in awe.


From the moment you start your journey in El Nido to the final push towards the peak, every step of the Taraw Peak hike is filled with excitement and challenges. The physical demands of the trail, the need for mental focus, and the guidance of experienced local guides create an experience that pushes your limits and rewards you with stunning vistas.


Preparing for the hike by ensuring physical fitness, wearing appropriate gear, and hiring a guide are crucial steps to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. Navigating the trail requires caution, using all your limbs for stability, and heeding the guidance of your guide. Reaching the summit is a triumphant moment, offering panoramic views of El Nido town, Bacuit Bay, and the surrounding islands.


Throughout the journey, it is vital to prioritize safety, stay hydrated, and respect the environment. Leave no trace, follow safety guidelines, and trust in your guide’s expertise. By doing so, you can fully immerse yourself in the beauty of Taraw Peak and have a memorable adventure.


The Taraw Peak hike in El Nido is not just a physical challenge – it is an opportunity to connect with nature, push your boundaries, and appreciate the wonders of the world around us. Stand at the summit, take in the breathtaking views, and relish the sense of achievement that comes with conquering this exhilarating trail.


So, lace up your hiking boots, pack your backpack, and embark on the epic Taraw Peak hike in El Nido. Let the beauty of the natural landscape captivate you, and the sense of accomplishment inspire you. Discover the true meaning of adventure as you conquer the heights of Taraw Peak in El Nido, Palawan.