Mt. Makiling is home to two campuses of the University of the Philippines, UP Open University (UPOU) and UP Los Banos (UPLB). It is one of the mega diverse tropical rainforests in the country.
Based on altitude, it has four types of vegetation namely: 1) upper montane rainforest (above 1000m), lower montane rainforest (above 750 m), lowland evergreen rainforest (100-500m) and Parang vegetation comprising mixture of grassland and second growth forests. It is rich in flora and fauna.
Makiling is also home to more than 2,000 species of flowering plants, 291 species of ferns, 211 species of mosses, 45 species of mammals, 181 species of birds, 65 species of reptiles, 22 species of amphibians and thousand insects and other arthropods.
Considered a dormant volcano in Laguna, Makiling rises to an elevation of 1,090 m above mean sea level, and is the highest in the Laguna Volcanic Field, otherwise known as the San Pablo Volcanic Field. It does not have any recorded volcanic eruptions, but is considered dormant because of its geothermal features such as mud springs and hot springs.
Mt. Makiling is a state-owned forest reserve managed by UPLB. Prior to becoming a forest reserve, it was the first national park of the Philippines established in February 23, 1933. Republic Act No. 3523 transferred it to UPLB for use in forestry education and information. Presently known as Mount Makiling Forest Reserve, it was declared as ASEAN Heritage Park in 2013.