*Update: Access to Tinipak cave is already open as of January 2017.
We found our way back to Rizal once again, this time in Tanay to climb Mt. Daraitan. What made us add this mountain to our list was it’s stunning features. From grueling assaults, marvelous limestone formations, scenic viewpoints, treacherous river currents, to exploring the caves.
The Mt. Daraitan Traverse
Located at the heart of the Sierra Madre mountain range, it’s proximity to Manila makes Mt. Daraitan one of the best ecotourism spots in Luzon.
With Flashlights on, we crossed a hanging bridge at 5:30am to the other side of the river and rode a tricycle to the jumpoff.
It was raining the night before which made the trail slippery and muddy. What surprised us was the steep, rocky ascent. I never expected this mountain to be 90% assault to the summit! Good thing there were branches and thick tree roots to hold on to while climbing.
limestone formations just popped out in front of us after crossing the campsite. This made it more difficult as we climbed these rocks to get through.
We reached the summit at around 9am. I couldn’t help but to stay longer on the rocky cliffs. The view of the mountain range and the winding river was just spectacular!
We had some snacks on the summit and then proceeded to go down a different trail. This path was longer, equally as steep as the way up, and also shared the same feature, with more rocks that got in the way and some that had to be passed through.
Mt. Daraitan has a lot of interesting features from its muddy trails, rock formations almost similar to Mt. Pamitinan, and a steep trail for a 739 meter above sea level mountain. The views are so beautiful that you want to just be there and stop time. Good thing we were blessed with a sunny weather that day, giving us a clear view on top.
We have managed to go down the foot of the mountain by noon time. The sound of the strong current made me feel refreshed! We took a quick rest inside a shelter before proceeding to the river.
- Location: Tanay, Rizal and General Nakar, Quezon
- Days required / Hours to summit: 1 day / 2.5-4 hours
- Specs: Minor climb, Difficulty 4/9, Trail class 1-3
- Features: Tropical forest, limestone formations, river trek
- Height: 739 MASL (+600)
Tinipak River Trek
It was so disappointing when the guide told us that we were not able to explore the caves because the bridge collapsed and the river’s current was too strong to cross. Oh well, better be safe than sorry. Maybe next time…
It was still an enjoyable trek even if we were not able to explore the cave. The weather was indeed in our favor. There were excellent cloud formations and the sun was up all day, providing excellent saturation to the whole place.
We took a dip in the river. The current was indeed getting stronger as we got further. We moved along as we went passed the gorges and the trails to be welcomed by powdery white limestone and rocks.
These whole trip was a sleepless outdoor adventure for me. I literally headed straight from the office desk to the mountains, this is the point where I felt very sleepy so I dozed off, hearing nothing but the gushing waters. No distractions, no city noise, no adulthood commitments for the moment.
And then I snapped back to consciousness, slipping away from Mother Nature’s cradle as I heard my friends call me, saying that it was time to go. (and like I always say whenever I travel: “I wish we could have stayed longer.”)
It was around 4:30pm when we got back to the trailhead. Waiting for our tricycle ride, I took another glimpse of the mountain that we just conquered moments ago, feeling thankful and accomplished as another one was ticked off our list.
Itinerary #2 (Personal)
02:00: Meet up at KFC Shopwise Cubao
04:30: ETA Tanay, Rizal
05:00: Tricycle to Jumpoff.
05:30: Registration/Secure guides
06:00: Start trek
08:00: Assault to Summit/photo ops
09:30: Traverse to Tinipak river (Long trail)
11:30: Lunch by the river
14:30: Trek/Swim at Tinipak river
16:30: wash up
18:00: ETD to Manila
21:00: ETA Manila