Mt. Kanla-on

Sein wuchtiges Massiv erhebt sich inmitten eines etwa 25 000 ha großen Naturschutzgebiets aus den von den Monokulturen der riesigen Zuckerrohrplantagen geprägten Ebenen südöstlich von Bacolod. Mit 2465 m ist der aktive Vulkan der höchste Berg der Visayas. Die Chronik seiner Eruptionen reicht zurück bis ins Jahr 1866; der jüngste (relativ milde) Ausbruch ereignete sich 1992.

Es gibt verschiedene Aufstiegsmöglichkeiten zum Gipfel des Mt. Kanlaon. Die beiden kürzesten (angeblich in einem Tag machbaren), aber landschaftlich weniger reizvollen Routen beginnen in den Orten Mapot und Masulog an der Südostflanke des Berges (westlich der Stadt Canlaon); einen weiteren Ausgangspunkt stellt Guintubdan im Westen des Kanlaon dar (östlich der Stadt La Carlota). Von der Landschaftskulisse her am beeindruckendsten aber ist die beim Ferienort Mambucal beginnende nördliche Wasay-Route, für die man etwa drei Tage veranschlagen sollte. Der Aufstieg führt zunächst durch Pinienwälder, die jedoch rasch in sekundären Urwald übergehen. Etwa auf halbem Weg kommt man zu Hardin Sang Balo Witwengarten, einem kleinen Tal mit interessanter endemischer Vegetation. In etwa 2200 m Höhe liegt im alten, erloschenen Krater das etwa 3 ha große Margaha Valley, in dem sich während der Regenzeit ein kleiner See bildet. Etwas weiter südwestlich erhebt sich als Gipfel des Mt.Kanlaon der neue, aktive Vulkankegel, dessen Caldera einen Durchmesser von etwa 300 m und eine Tiefe von 265 m besitzt. Der Abstieg könnte über eine der eingangs erwähnten Routen erfolgen.

Hinweise zur Vorbereitung einer Kanlaon-Besteigung: Günstige, weil trockenste Klettermonate sind Februar bis April; Zelt und Schlafsack mitnehmen; geländekundige Führer findet man in Mambucal; beste Informationsquelle bezüglich des Mt.Kanlaon (und auch anderer philippinischer Berge) ist das Information Office in Bacolod.

Links, Source Information



Mount K a n l a - o n  (Negros) 2,465 meters (8,088 feet)
the highest peak in Central Philippines

Special Considerations

  • The best time to hike through Mt. Kanla-on National Park is during the dry season between February and May. However, with proper equipment, the rainy season can give the visitor an entirely different park experience with the proliferation of "wet season" flora and fauna. (Editors note: It rains year-round even during the "dry" season and the constant fog at the upper elevations keeps everything wet so always be prepared for poor weather)
  • The park contains more than 40-km of foot trails. Depending on your physical condition, entry point, and time restraints, hikes lasting from a few hours to several days can be planned.
  • The Ara-al and Mapot trails provide pleasant one-day access to the summit. While the Masulog trail offers the shortest route (8-km), it is a steady uphill climb through the most severely damaged portions of the park. The Wasay trail penetrates the most pristine wilderness of Mt. Kanla-on Park affording the visitor two days of rain- and mossy forest environments.
  • Be cautious near the crater's edge. Steep cliffs and loose volcanic rock make this area particularly hazardous.
  • Information and permits can be obtained at the Mt. Kanla-on National Park Office, Bureau of Forest Development, Bacolod

Mt. Kanla-on Climbing Guide

Adapted from a Philippines Bureau of Forest Development Brochure

The Environment
For many hundreds of years, man has passed through the area we now call Mt. Kanla-on National Park. He has gathered the products of Nature which abound within its forests, has told stories of its creation, and has developed a deep respect for its spirits and the wilderness.
     Today, many of us are drawn to this mountain for many of the same reasons--its legends, its spirits, and its primeval environment. Evolving for over a million years, the wilderness of Mt. Kanla-on National Park contains a delicate ecosystem containing plants and animals living in harmony.
     Left undisturbed, this natural balance will be maintained and the natural cycles of life and evolution will continue forever. When visiting this wilderness, we must be careful not to disturb this delicate ecosystem.

And its Features
For a more enlightening park experience, an unhurried quiet walk with a small group (ten to twelve at the most) lets the visitor sense the unique environment. Travelling slowly through the dense forest, one will discover each area somewhat different from the other; various kinds of unique plantlife, from the enigmatic strangler fig (a tree-killing vine that grows into a gigantic tree while strangling its host) to delicate orchids and the ferns and epiphytes of the mossy forest.
     Wildlife sounds abound beneath the triple-canopy forest and if your group is quiet and observant, a number of these animals can be seen. Mt. Kanla-on National Park is the home of many species of birds including the endemic hornbill, colorful parakeets, and even migratory birds from northern Asia. The huge but harmless monitor lizards scramble over fallen logs and Draco the "flying" lizard might glide overhead. Although there are several harmless species of snakes which are rarely encountered, avoid handling any because the poisonous cobras make their home here too.
     At the ridge top, panoramic scenes of sheer rock walls and cliffs with the lush cover of the dwarf forest, clash with the Margaha Valley's cogon grass and shrub-covered floor. Mornings come late and the evenings early in the Valley. Pastel patches of greens, yellows, olives, ochres and tans from agricultural lands below are suddenly cut by the deep blue sea with cloud formations hugging the curve of the horizon.
     The phenomenal clouds over Makawiwili Peak are illustrative of the complex balance of Nature's forces Man has started to respect.

Canlaon (Philippines) Sudden phreatic explosion kills three people

Negros Islands, Philippines
10.410N, 123.130E; summit elev. 2,345 m
All times are local ( = GMT + 8 hours)

On 10 August 1996 at 1431 an ash ejection at Canlaon (also known as Kanlaon) killed three hikers and emitted a dirty-white steam-and-ash plume. The plume rose 1,500 m above the central crater at the volcano's summit. The ash ejection lasted about 24 minutes, based on seismic records. Accompanying the ash ejection was a small explosion-type earthquake (22.8 mm of amplitude at the PHIVOLCS Kabagnaan seismic station, 5.5 km SW of the volcano). The ejected ash drifted to NE and was observed at an altitude of 7.6 and 11.3 km by aviators. The Bureau of Meteorology - Darwin, issued a volcanic ash advisory, describing the plume as extending SW for 110 km. PHIVOLCS established a Level 1 alert (low level of hydrothermal disturbance, without any indication of magmatic activity) but no evacuation was advised. PHIVOLCS promptly warned the public to stay outside the 4-km-radius permanent danger buffer zone. Based on the previous character of ash ejections of Canlaon, which were clustered in time, it was judged that the volcano could have more explosions without showing any additional forewarning signs. After the ash ejection, there were moderate emissions of white to dirty-white steam that rose 100 - 150 m before drifting NE. On 11 August more emissions of white steam were noted between the hours 0353 and 0500. A volcanic ash advisory issued by the Bureau of Meteorology on that day again reported the plume drifting SW. 


The seismograph at Kabagnaan recorded a total of 23 low-frequency volcanic earthquakes and 4 tectonic earthquakes. A quick response team from PHIVOLCS was sent to set up additional seismic instrumentation and to closely monitor ground deformation and the eruptive activity.

According to 11 August Reuters Limited and Agence France Presse news reports, two mountaineering groups were present on the summit at the moment of the explosion. A group of students from a Belgian University and their Filipino guides, and two British visitors accompanied by a local guide. Three people, one British and two Filipino were killed. Some Belgians and Filipinos managed to make it off the mountain before darkness halted rescue efforts, but other survivors were forced to spend the night there and were retrieved the day after.
Some of the 18 survivors were hospitalized because of injuries caused mainly by falling ejecta. Belgian Caroline Verlinde told the reporters that she was descending from the crater rim when the eruption began, without warning. She said she had seen a plume of smoke but her Filipino guide had reassured her that it was just ordinary.


"Suddenly it spewed ash and stones. I hid behind a tree but my friends had nothing to protect them. I saw stones falling on them," she told the reporters. Mountain guide Rey Estelloso, who escorted the group of Belgian students, blamed the young people's boisterous behavior, "When you are up there you are not supposed to make any noise or throw stones into the crater because you might disturb the spirits," he said, "I told them to keep quiet but they did not."

Canlaon stratovolcano, the highest point on the central island of Negros, is 510 km ESE of Manila. Since 1866, 14 historical eruptions are known; they typically consisted of small to moderate phreatic explosions. The last reported activity was a mild phreatic explosion on 25 August 1993. It produced a large volume of steam-and-ash, followed by minor steam emissions; fall was detected as far as 65 km W. Another phreatic explosion occurred on 3 September 1993 produced a grayish steam-and-ash column that rose 1,000 m above the summit. Both episodes were accompanied by an increase in seismicity (Bulletin, vol. 18, no. 8).

Information Contacts: Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS), Department of Science and Technology, 5th & 6th Floors, Hizon building, 29 Quezon Avenue, Quezon City, Philippines; Bureau of Meteorology, Darwin station; Agence France Presse (AFP); Reuters Limited. Rick Wunderman; Smithsonian's Global Volcanism Network (

Batan Islands
Balintang Ch.
Hibok Hibok

Malapascua Island 

Vulcano Mount Canlaon, Negros, Philippines

Visayan Sea, Cebu, Philippines,