Mt. Daraitan: A Comprehensive Travel Guide for First-Timers
Get ready for an exciting trip with your best travel buddies! It’s never a waste of time to be one with nature from time to time, so head over Mt. Daraitan. Trekking will always be a good idea, especially when you’re in search of a thrilling outdoor activity. You’ll have an unforgettable day climbing this mountain, for sure.
In fact, Mt. Daraitan is one of the astounding mountains you can easily hike in the Philippines. If you’re up for something new and exciting to do during the weekend, holiday, or your time off, then try this activity out. An amazing experience like no other with your family or friends awaits you!
All you need to know about Mt. Daraitan
Situated in Tanay, Rizal, Mt. Daraitan is a piece of heaven at the heart of Sierra Madre mountain range. It’s just a few hours away from Manila, that’s why a lot of travellers can easily access it. You can simply do a day hike here and enjoy trekking. The main jump off is located in Barangay Daraitan, which was a former logging area. With its striking outdoor attractions, such as century-old limestone formations, dark hallowed caves, natural pools, and relaxing springs, this place has now been an ecotourism site.
Standing 738+ MASL, this mountain takes pride in its spectacular scenery. It has been one of the most popular hiking destinations these days, so it’s really worth it to get up close with such beauty. In case you’re in search of a mountain to trek, then this could be your ideal choice. Always remember to watch your actions while on the mountain and never try anything that can harm the nature. Be a responsible hiker at all times.
How to get to Mt. Daraitan
Getting to Mt. Daraitan is quite easy. There are two options you can try when heading here—via public transportation or private car. Whatever your choice might be, you can easily and conveniently reach this lovely spot. Here’s the step-by-step guide on how to get to Mt. Daraitan:
1. Via public transportation
- Ride a van or jeep from EDSA-Shaw Crossing to Tanay. (Cost: 70-90 PHP | 1.5 hours)
- Take a jeep from Tanay going to Sampaloc. (Cost: 26 PHP | 45 minutes)
- Head to Barangay Daraitan via tricycle. (Cost: 100 PHP per person | 30 minutes)
- Go rafting the Daraitan river. (Cost 10 PHP | 1 minute)
- After crossing the river, ride a tricycle going to the barangay hall. (Cost: 10 PHP per person | 5 minutes)
Alternatively, you can do the following:
- Do the same as the first step above.
- Take a jeep from Cogeo going to Sampaloc.
- If you’re staying overnight in Mt. Daraitan, ride a jeep from Tanay to Daraitan that leaves at 1:00 PM and 3:00 PM and returns at 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM.
- Then do the rest of the steps above.
The entire trip will most likely take you about three to four hours due to various delays and stops.
2. Via private car
- Drive to Marcos Highway and head over Tanay-Infanta Road.
- Turn left to the rough roads leading to Barangay Daraitan.
- Follow the road until you see the river crossing.
- Cross the bridge and pay the 50 PHP fee.
- Go to the barangay hall.
This route may take you an approximate of two to two and a half hours travel time.
How to get ready for your trip and costs
Your adventure starts when you’ve arrived at the barangay hall and registered for 20 PHP. Request for a local tour guide upon your arrival since hikers won’t be allowed to trek without one. Take note that the guide’s fee is 500 PHP for a day hike and 1,250 PHP for overnight and the environmental fee costs 100 PHP. With this, it’s highly recommended that you go in larger groups to lessen the expense you need to pay.
More so, if you happen to go here with a private car, you can leave your vehicle at any of the residents’ front yards that serve as parking spaces. The flat rate is 50 PHP for a day hike and in case you’re staying overnight, it costs 100 PHP. There’s nothing to worry about because it’s safe here.
All the pre-hiking requirements are done at the barangay hall. Once everything’s settled, you can begin your climb then. Just be sure to bring all the essentials you need as well as be fully prepared.
Mt Daraitan Itinerary: The Hike
Truth be told, Mt. Daraitan is not one of the toughest mountains to hike. If you’re looking for an adrenaline-pumping, extremely challenging hike, then this might not be for the adventurous type of people. It’s just a minor climb with a difficulty level of four out of nine and a trail class of one to three. And you’ll only spare three to four hours to reach the summit. Nonetheless, it’s still worth the trek, especially for all first-timers out there. You’ll surely enjoy it and have a memorable getaway.
The climb is straightforward 600-meter ascent that might feel steep for some, but there are a lot of holds available and the trail is certainly well-maintained. Most parts were already cemented and there are local guides who will ensure your safety along the way and at the same time act as photographers to capture your best moments in the mountain. Absolutely, your hiking experience will totally be one for the books!
Explore Tinipak River
Trekking Mt. Daraitan won’t be complete without a side trip to the breathtaking Tinipak River. Whether you’re staying in the mountain overnight or just having a day hike, you still need to see this piece of paradise. After all, your itinerary will surely include this astounding river.
Tinipak River is also a precious gem of Tanay, Rizal. It boasts of its pristine water and white marbled rocks. Seeing this up close will definitely make you in awe. The beauty of this river is truly impressive and there are a lot of things you can do while here, such as the following:
1. Cliff diving
Get to the top of the cliff and try cliff diving! All thrill seekers out there will love this exhilarating activity. Simply climb an uncharted rock formation and go for it. It might be scary at first, but you can make it. Have the courage to do so and you’ll feel so good afterwards. However, you need to guarantee your safety all the time. Your guide will be there to help you out, anyway.
Image Credit: Ram Ng | flickr.com
Of course, swimming is part of this list. The water is very tempting, so you’ll really be encouraged to swim. Spend some time enjoying the refreshing, cold, and clean water. But be reminded that there are hazardous areas in the river, which you can’t really swim on. Some parts of the river have a strong current, so listen attentively to your guide. This is one of the main reasons why a guide is essential for this trip.
Check out Tinipak Cave while here, too. It’s just a small cave, nevertheless, everything is worth a sight. You can wonder at the large groups of flying animals and shining stalagmites and stalactites inside. Also, there’s a tiny pool-like hole in the cave where you can swim. Make it a point to bring your cameras with flash to take some amazing photos.
Overnight camping in Tinipak River is allowed. There is a campsite available in the area, where you can pitch your tent for free or rent cottages for 200 PHP. You’ll have an amazing night and more time to take in the beauty of nature!
Tips to remember
- To avoid a jam-packed trek, go to Mt. Daraitan during weekdays.
- Bring your own food and share it with your guide. Hydrate well and bring lots of water.
- Restrooms are charged from 5 PHP to 20 PHP. Pay 20 PHP when using a table in Tinipak River. Carry sufficient cash for these expenses.
- Pack extra clothes, especially when you’re planning to swim.
- Essentials: Carry a headlamp or flashlight, so you’re ready when darkness comes and carry your camera as well. Wear hiking shoes or sandals as much as possible. Keep and secure your valuables well.
- Listen to your guide always.
- Put sunblock as there is not enough shade in the area.
- Leave footprints only. Respect and protect the nature and throw your trash properly.
- Simply have fun!
Trekking the magnificent Mt. Daraitan
Everyone deserves to take a breather at times. It never hurts to unwind and get closer to nature when you’re feeling stressed or exhausted with life. Hiking Mt. Daraitan is a perfect way to de-stress and enjoy even for a short while. It’s also a great activity to bond with your loved ones and spend some quality time together. So, get the best travel deals at Shopback today for a more budget-friendly journey with your family or friends.
Are there any things you can add when climbing Mt. Daraitan? Share them below!
*Featured Image Credit: reynan gaylican | flickr.com
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