This was the first time that I went on a hike with friends. I grew up in the provinces, so I thought it was going to be an easy climb for me. Although there were plenty of holds and the trail is well-maintained, the climb was challenging because it was raining which meant the trail was muddy and slippery. The tour guide told us that it usually takes 2.5 hours to get to the summit, but judging from how slow we were going up, it might take us 4 hours. Mt. Daraitan is a straightforward 600-meter ascent that is considered a minor climb with difficulty of 4 out of 9.

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After 2.5 hours, yes 2.5 hours, we reached the summit. We were ecstatic. The view of the Sierra Madre Mountain and Rizal Province was very rewarding. We rested for a few minutes while waiting for other hikers take turns taking pictures.

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Instead of returning to the barangay (village), we took the route to Tinipak River. The trail going there is very similar to the ascending trail. Tinipak River, with its beautiful limestone boulders, is a great highlight and must not be missed! This route gives the option of exploring the springs, natural pools, and caves in the area.

FB_IMG_1473126929546I was kinda hesitant to get inside the Maytuntong Cave because there was a long queue of people who wanted to get inside, but I’m glad that I did. The cave has a massive amount of stalactite and stalagmite that glitters like diamonds. There was water flowing under the rocks where we were walking. We then reached a small pond inside the cave. It was dark and kind of scary to swim in but we couldn’t resist the cold water.

FB_IMG_1473126837289-01Despite the intermittent rain that day, the water in Tinipak River was surprisingly clear. We enjoyed the place so much that we ended up leaving at 6:00 pm to go back to the barangay.


For those of you that would like to experience the beauty of Mt. Daraitan, Tinipak River, and Maytuntong Cave, heres how:

Location: Brgy. Daraitan, Tanay, Rizal

How to get there: there are 2 options for you to get there: public transportation or private vehicle. We chose the latter because it saves time and more convenient.

Via private vehicle

  1. Headed out to Tanay-Infanta Road via Tanay-Sampaloc Road coming from Tanay Public Market/Tanay Town Center  (Marcos Highway was closed).
  2. Drove along Tanay-Infanta Road and took a left turn to a dirt road with a sign that leads to Brgy. Daraitan.
  3. Follow the road until you reach the river crossing; there is a PHP50 fee for the car to cross the bridge.
  4. Head to the Brgy. Hall.

*Alternatively for 1, Head out to Marcos Highway and follow through the Tanay-Infanta Road.

Via public transportation

    1. Jeep or van, EDSA-Shaw Crossing to Tanay (PHP70-90; 1.5 hours)
    2. Jeep, Tanay to Sampaloc (PHP26, 45 minutes)
    3. Tricycle, Tanay to Brgy. Daraitan (PHP100/person; 30 minutes)
    4. Raft, Daraitan river (PHP10; 1 minute)
    5. Tricycle, Daraitan river to Brgy. hall (10 pesos/person; 5 minutes)
      *Alternatively for 1-2, take jeep from Cogeo to Sampaloc
      *Alternatively for 2-3, if going overnight, take jeep from Tanay to Daraitan that leaves at 1300H and 1500H (and returns from Daraitan to at 0900H and ~1200H)
      Approximately 3-4 hours travel time because of various stops and delays.

(Source: sartorialust.net)


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ITINERARY
Leave for Brgy. Daraitan – 4:30AM
Arrived at Brgy. Daraitan – 7:30AM
Registration at the Brgy. Hall – 7:45AM
Start our hike up Mt. Daraitan – 8:15AM
Arrival at Summit – 10:45AM
Start our hike down to Tinipak River – 11:45AM
Arrival at Tinipak River Camp Site/ Eat lunch/ Get Ready to go inside Maytuntong Cave – 2:30PM
Headed to Maytuntong Cave – 3:30PM
Made our way inside/ Swim at the lagoon inside the cave – 4:00PM
Went back to Tinipak River/ Swimming/ Free time – 4:30PM
Pack our things/head back to Brgy. Hall – 6:00PM
Arrived at Brgy. Daraitan/ Shower/ Change clothes – 6:30PM
Eat Dinner at the Eatery near the Brgy. Hall – 7:00PM
Head back to Manila – 7:30PM
Expenses (Food and Gas not included)
River Crossing per Vehicle – PHP50
Registration fee – PHP20
Guide – PHP500/group for dayhike ; PHP1250/group for overnight
Shower – PHP10-20 per person
Bridge to Tinipak Cave – PHP5
Tricycle to Barangay Hall – PHP20/person
Headlight rental for Tinipak Cave – PHP30

received_1218695941473995Tips and Recommendations:

If you can, go on a weekday instead of a weekend. We went on a weekend and it was packed. There were so many hikers and because the trail was usually just for one person at a time, it was difficult to move fast if there’s another group in front of you.

Pack light. My friend asked the tour guide to take her backpack because it was heavy for her to carry to the top. She has to pay extra, of course.

Bring lots of water. The tour guide required us to bring 2 liters of water. The best thing about hiking on a weekend is that there are some vendors selling bottled water up the mountain.

Wear hiking gloves. You’ll find yourself holding on to branches/trunks/muddy rocks for support. If you don’t want to get your hands dirty or cut them, gloves are a must.

Wear good footwear for hiking. This is for your safety. On our way down, a woman tripped while trying to balance herself in the slippery trail. She was wearing rubber slippers/flipflops and you could see that she was in pain while slowly going down.

Prepare to get down and dirty. Especially when it is raining, the trail is very muddy.

Restrooms/bathrooms available. There are restrooms/bathrooms in the Tinipak River Campsite and near Barangay Hall.

Rent a Headlight or bring your own flashlight. It is handy when entering the cave rather than using the lights of your phone where you can risk dropping and damaging it.

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