Mt. Daraitan and Tinipak River, Tanay, Rizal
This year, I promised myself that I will travel more and climb more mountains. It's a year for exploration. I want to explore the world. So when a friend invited me to join their climb to Mt. Daraitan, I didn't hesitate to say yes. But there's always a catch to traveling: budget. I am still a student and while I do get some writing and blogging gigs on the side, they are not enough for me to buy everything that I need and want. Perhaps that's the reason why I love reading travel blogs about backpacking and such. It opens you to another world of experience: traveling on a shoestring. For this climb, my budget is just Php 500. And guess what? At the end of our trip, I still have some money to spend! I was able to climb another mountain, swim at the river and do some caving at a very affordable price (That's just like a price of a shirt at a mall!). So definitely, there's no excuse not to travel. If you can afford to buy expensive items, I'm pretty sure that you can visit these places. After all, the experience, the view and just being at one with nature is so worth it. So here's my complete itinerary and budget guide to Mt. Daraitan and Tinipak River.
Here's a short background of Mt. Daraitan:
Location: Tanay, Rizal and General Nakar, Quezon
Major jumpoff: Brgy. Daraitan (village centre), Tanay Minor jumpoff: Sitio Cablao Brgy. Pagsangahan, General Nakar
LLA: 14°36′48.5′′N 121°26′19.5′′ E, 739 MASL (+600)
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
A gem at the heart of the great Sierra Madre mountain range, close enough to Manila to do as a dayhike, is Mt. Daraitan, which sits near the border of Tanay, Rizal and General Nakar, Quezon. A former logging area, the village that bears the mountain's name is now an ecotourism site that offers outdoor attractions such as caves, springs, natural pools, and limestone formations. A model for ecotourism, the barangay has an organised system for handling visitors, including trained local guides.
Source: Pinoy Mountaineer
According to itineraries online, the easiest way to go to Tanay, Rizal is either via jeep or fx from Shaw. But since most of us will be coming from the north, we decided to just meetup at Robinsons Cainta (Junction). Our group was split in half, the other will be going directly to the meeting place while the rest of us decided to meet at Sta. Lucia Mall in Marikina. From Cubao, I rode a jeep and dropped off directly at Sta. Lucia. Fare was Php 15. From there, we rode a jeep going to Junction (Php 10). And finally, another jeep going to Tanay Public Market (Php 45).
Once you drop off at Tanay Public Market, you have two options going to Brgy. Daraitan: either ride a jeep or a tricyle. We chose the latter. Tricyle costs Php 100 per head and requires at least 4 persons so it would be best to travel in group.
Upon arriving, you have to pay Php 20/vehicle to cross the bridge.
Note: After crossing the bridge, the drivers might drop you off. Tell them to drop you at the barangay hall instead.
It was a long travel time by the way. We left Robinsons Cainta around 7:00 am and arrived at Tanay Public Market at exactly 7:40 then barangay hall by 9:00.
Once you arrived at the barangay hall, you have to pay Php 20/head for the registration and Php 500 for the guide. (It's Php 1,250 for overnight. One guide is good for 10pax). Time to hike!
Bayuo. According to our guide, the flesh from this shell can be eaten.
We reached the summit at around 12 noon. Since we're running late ahead of our schedule, we decided to not take our lunch at the summit and head down immediately to Tinipak River.
Next stop: Tinipak River!
Php 5 for entrance. There's a nearby source of natural drinking water as well as a cottage/cafeteria where you can eat and take a rest.
Lunch!! Finally!!! What's the best way to eat lunch on a climb? Boodle Fight!
Tinipak River is very near. It's a couple of minutes away from the cottage. You can set your camp already by the river and swim. But we decided to postpone the river and head to the cave which is just beside it.
The cave is just a small one. It has fresh water at the end part of it where you can swim. Went out for a quick dip.
After swimming in the cave, time to explore the river. I was really surprised by it. It was just so beautiful. The limestone rock formations were amazing. I was honestly not expecting it to be that beautiful.
Our trip to Mt. Daraitan and Tinipak River was super worth it. It was just a piece of heaven for me. I'm really grateful I was able to visit it. And of course, I'd like to thank new found friends I've met during this climb. That's probably one of the best things I love about climbing: meeting new people who shares the same passion as yours. To everyone and also to Kuya Elmer, our tour guide, thanks for being part of this awesome experience! :)
Yes! I'll definitely be back. Anyways, here's a complete breakdown of our expenses:
Cubao-Sta Lucia jeep = Php 15
Sta Lucia-Junction jeep = Php 10
Junction-Tanay Public Market jeep = Php 45
Tricyle to Barangay Hall = Php 100
Bridge = Php 5 (Php 20 per vehicle)
Registration = Php 20
Tour guide = Php 56 (Php 500/10 pax)
Barangay Hall-Tanay Public Market jeep = Php 115 (we shared with 2 other climbers to rent the whole jeep)
Tanay Public Market-Junction jeep = Php 45
Junction-Cubao jeep = Php 20
Total expense: Php 431
Note: As written on other blogs, it would be recommended to ride a jeep/fx from Shaw Boulevard going directly to Tanay Public Market. We just used this because we did a meetup at Sta. Lucia and Junction.
Thanks for reading guys! There's some plans for another climb this May as well as a trip to Baguio. Hopefully it will push through as per our budget permits. *cross fingers*
Till the next travel journey!
Life is too short to live without adventure
Special thanks to Jack Serraon for the photos
- Justin -