Mt. Kapayas – A Remarkable Hiking Destination in Catmon, Cebu


Cebu may not have very tall mountains in comparison to its neighboring islands, but it has challenging trails that will totally answer the sense of adrenaline one could ask for.  Take for example the tough trails that lead to the summit of Mt. Kapayas.

Mt. Kapayas (locally known as Lantawan) is one of the notorious hiking destinations located in Cebu, particularly in the Municipality of Catmon. It stands at around 783+ masl and provides a breathtaking view of the municipality’s neighboring mountain ranges.

Photo by: Chasing Potatoes

Our Day Hike to Mt. Kapayas

Back when we had the luxury of weekends, Mt. Kapayas has become one of our target destinations after hiking some of the highlands and peaks within Cebu City. Just like you who’s reading this, we found this mountain through social media and Google’s search engine.

As I have proven myself to be a poor organizer, Idas took the task of organizing such a weekend hike. And much to our surprise, there were a number of hikers and friends totally got interested in such event. Aside from our regular hiking buddies, some colleagues and blogger friends joined the hike.

How to Get to Mt. Kapayas

For our Mt. Kapayas hike, we met-up at the North Bus Terminal at four in the morning. When we’ve gathered everyone, who promised to join the hike, we then boarded a bus bound for Carmen. There we met our guide, Kyno, who settled our permits and registration before the climb.

From there, we then rode a habal-habal bound for Sitio Kampanya – the jumpoff site for Mt. Kapayas. We hiked for around an hour from the jump-off going to the foothill of Mt. Kapayas which is in Sitio Lumanoy. The trail was quite relaxed, but we were sternly warned by our guide that from the foothill, we need to prepare ourselves because that is where the tricky part begins.

The first segment of the trail is directly exposed to the sun. Despite the arm sleeves and hat that we were wearing, we were still toasted by the raging heat of the sun. Good thing after almost an hour, we entered a canopied trail that protected us from the full blast heat – it’s already midday at that time!

We didn’t complain though because such great company kept our spirits alive. There was Issa who soothes our souls with her DJ-like voice. There was Laarni who brought along with her the fun that is of the southern part of Cebu. And then there was us… the much-needed support to keep the company going.  

Just when got comfortable with our pace and laughs, we suddenly noticed how the trails became complicated. As we got into the deeper part of the tropical jungle, we were forced to keep our mouths shut to focus on every step that we make – the trails were actually littered with sharp and slippery rocks. Not only that… we actually… got lost along the way.

Although we can still hear the voices of the lead pack, we couldn’t actually see them! What mystery was that? Kidding aside. We actually made a wrong turn so Lawin had to go back and fetch us or else… who knows where our feet will lead us.

Rockclimbing to the Peak of Mt. Kapayas

Now, this is where the real challenge of Mt. Kapayas comes in – the rock climbing part. Probably the most challenging part of the trail to the summit of Mt. Kapayas is the trail from the base of Torre’s cliff (or Lantawan Peak). To get to the top, we had to vertically climb those loose and slippery rocks. We had to scramble our way to the peak and pass through the cliff – others even label this as the “kiss the wall” trail.

Photo by: Chasing Potatoes

All sweats and efforts exerted were graciously rewarded with an astounding sight of the mountain ranges and coastlines viewed from the peak of Mt. Kapayas. There we took the time to rest and took numerous photos to compensate for the hardships that we had to face just to arrive at such a place.

Memories of Mt. Kapayas

It’s funny how vivid these memories of Mt. Kapayas remain inside my head. Truth is, we had this climb four years ago. In fact, five of the people whom we have hiked with are now happily enjoying their married lives. I’m not certain if we would be able to hike together once again. But if there’s one thing I’m certain of, it’s the fact that memories like these will truly remind us of the good old days – days of youth, energy, dreams, and friendship. Memories that will keep us going, especially on rough days.

I pray that they’re all doing well. And happy with the trails that they have chosen towards the summits of their lives. Hopefully, our paths will cross once again.

Interested in climbing Mt. Kapayas once this pandemic is over? Check out tips and itinerary here.