Mt. Daraitan and Tinipak River: A Scenic Trip for Under PHP 1,000
Adventure seekers, nature lovers, and adrenaline junkies on a tight budget, here is the perfect destination for you. For less than a thousand pesos, you get to have an amazing experience and see a scenic view of the mountains and river just a few hours away from Manila. Mt. Daraitan and Tinipak River in Tanay, Rizal are now gaining popularity, so this place should be on your must-visit list now before it gets too crowded.
How to Get There
The ideal meeting place is Shaw near Starmall, where Tanay Terminal is. But there are also buses in Cubao going to Shaw.
PHILIHAPPY PRO TIP: Start early. We left Shaw at 5:00 a.m. then arrived in Tanay Market at around 6:00 a.m. We went on a weekday so there can be a slight (or huge) difference in the travel time when making the trip on a weekend.
From Tanay Market, there are already tricycles going to Daraitan.
PHP 500 – a ride for four to five people, PHP 100 per person. Prepare for a rough hour and a half ride to the river. When you get there, you will still need to ride a boat and have another short tricycle ride to the tourism office. The tourism office is where you register for your climb.
There are several packages a group tour may avail:
- Option 1: Overnight camp at Mt. Daraitan, swim at Tinipak River, explore the cave nearby
- Option 2: Day trip to the summit of Mt. Daraitan, swim at Tinipak River, then explore the cave (optional)
- Option 3: Day trip straight to Tinipak River, where tourists may also choose to camp out
Note that there are no extra charges for the cave, only a 30-peso rental fee for the headlamps. I suggest you bring your own headlamps for less cost.
We chose option 2 and took a day trip to the summit of Mt. Daraitan and swam in Tinipak River. This cost us PHP 500 per person for the tour guide, and PHP 20 for the environmental fee.
Reach for That Summit
Our adventure began at 8:00 a.m. The climb according to Pinoy Mountaineers is a 5/9, or moderate, because of the assaults all throughout the hike. There were two major pit stops, which also serve as the campsites for overnight travelers. The assaults get higher as you progress. So enjoy your breaks because the hike can get pretty tiring! Our group had more stops as we got closer to the top.
After three hours of hiking, we finally reached the summit at 11:00 a.m. in time for lunch (yay!). The time you’ll reach the summit really depends on the pace of the group. Some take a longer time, especially if it is drizzling or raining, thus making the trail slippery.
Bring out your cameras. Take lots of photos at the summit because trust me, you will be in awe of the beautiful rock formations and the glorious view of the Sierra Madre mountain ranges.
Sundown Scenery at Tinipak River
When we were all done taking Instagram-worthy photos at the top, we were on to our next journey to Tinipak River. It took us another three hours to get the river. The path was mostly downward sloping, so it was easier than the way to the summit. Kuya Daniel, our tour guide, told us that it typically takes three hours to get to the river. We badly wanted to swim and get rid of all our sweat and dirt, so more determined as ever, we did not take too many breaks and reached the river just after two hours of hiking.
The river and the scenery were truly a sight to behold. We did not expect to find this beauty just a few hours away from Manila. My photos do not do justice to the beauty of this place.
We only stayed at the river for about an hour and a half because we did not want to hike back to the tourism office in the dark. We reached city proper at around 6:00 p.m., and it took us about three to four hours going back to Manila.
Philihappy Pro Tips:
Tip #1: Do your cardio, and do this days before your climb to the summit.
Tip #2: Bring a jacket or a raincoat to keep you weatherproof.
Tip #3: Ziplock everything especially your gadgets.
Tip #4: Wear proper footwear. I prefer rubber shoes (with grips, not the canvas ones), and then just bring slippers for the river.
Tip #5: Pack light because it will be a burden if you bring unnecessary things.
Tip #6: Bring packed lunch and water for less cost.
Tip #7: Start early and follow the itinerary because it’s dangerous to trek when the sun’s out, plus you won’t get good lighting for your photos!
PHP 10 – Bus from Cubao to Shaw
PHP 140 – Van to Tanay Market
PHP 200 – Tricycle rides to and from Daraitan
PHP 10 – Two boat transfers
PHP 20 – Tricycle rides to and from the tourism office
PHP 500 – Tour guide
PHP 20 – Environmental fee
Total of PHP 900
Personally, I think my PHP 900 was money well-spent. The beautiful scenery, the experience, and the adventure make everything worthwhile. Mt. Daraitan and Tinipak River are close enough to Manila, so if you want to know exactly what I’m talking about, you have to try out the adventure yourself. The ideal location could easily make this the next cheap thrill travel destination for wanderers out there.
If you’ve been to Mt. Daraitan and Tinipak River, then please share your experiences and other tips through the comments box below.