Pandan Hills: Eastern Aklan’s Hidden Paradise
Pandan Hills are verdant rolling hills located in Barangay Bay-ang, Batan, Aklan. It offers a beautiful 360-degree view of green sloping grounds covered with cogon grasses, nearby forests, mountain ranges, and the Tinago Lake or ‘Tinagong Dagat.’ The vast grassland serves as a food sanctuary for cows and carabaos (water buffalos) while the surrounding lake is known as one of the province's rich fishing grounds. The refreshing panoramic view of it’s rolling hills can rival the Panaktakan of Malay. If the western side of Aklan has Boracay Island as a world’s premier destination, the eastern side has Pandan Hills which is considered as a top attraction for adventure-goers, newbie hikers, and landscape photographers. Besides being hidden, it is also far from the maddening crowd and bustle of the semi-urban side of the province.
Pandan Hills is normally an hour away from the town of Kalibo and few minutes from the town of Altavas. It is accessible by car and motorcycle or scooter. If you’re commuting from Kalibo, ride a bus to Iloilo or jeepney to Altavas and get dropped at Sitio Himbis, Barangay Lalab, Batan, Aklan. From there, take a habal-habal to Pandan Hills. From the road end you can reach it by foot for only 10-15 minutes of walk or you can opt to drive up with your motorcycle, scooter, or bike following the narrow path winding around and atop the hills.
The place is not really a hiking spot rather a picnic site or a weekend getaway. Bring your tents and/or hammocks if you want to leisurely stay and capture the amazing views of sunrise and sunset. Don’t forget to bring down your trash with you.