Hiking Adventure @ Mt. Daraitan Tanay Rizal, Philippines (MKG TRAVEL 2022)

By: Mark Kevin Galang MKG Travel 2022

Mt. Daraitan
Difficulty: 4/9

Mt. Daraitan is one of the most stunning mountains located in the first-class municipality of Tanay Rizal Province boasting all of nature’s goodness from pristine rivers and waterfalls, attractive caves which is approximately a hundred years old structure of pillar and pebble rocks to the delightful view of the Sierra Madre mountain range and the beautiful Tinipak River. It is the top hiking destinations bringing hundreds of thrill-seeking spirits to its trails every single day.

I am adventurous nature lover and also a firm believer in the line, “Hiking is where I feel most alive.” I love exploring off-beaten locations in the Philippines and having a nice and relaxing travel. I started to explore when I was 21. I create my own travel blog site to tell stories of my adventure in hiking mountains and exploring beautiful places in the Philippines.

Station 1 Campsite of Mt. Daraitan
The first part of the trek got me thinking I was up for an easy task. Little did I know I was headed to something I never knew before. Mt. Daraitan was merciless with trekking made twice a task grueling along the muddy trail with pointed and slippery rocks! We rested for 30 minutes in the middle of the mountain. I’m doing my best to keep up the pace. I experienced muscle cramps in my left knee and its painful. My team noticed that there’s no water source in the mountain, so we need to manage our water inside our bag. It was a very challenging uphill climb since we were under time pressure to reach the summit just before nightfall.

As we went up along the trail, we saw many hikers who were going down the mountain and we greeted each other good morning! Some of them told us that we are near the summit, so it gives us hope and motivation to continue hiking. The 2nd Phase of the trail is very steep.

We finally reach the summit at 2 o’clock in the afternoon. The thrill of reaching the peak was rewarding. The view from the summit is absolutely amazing. The sunset is stunning. The weather is perfect. Moreover, the scenery is all worth it. All the pain that we’ve been through going to the summit was vanished because the air at the top is so refreshing. We stayed at the summit for an hour. I was so grateful to reach the top of the mountain and it gives me new perspective in life.

It was getting late and it seemed as if we won’t make it to Tinipak River before the the sunset. So we went off  to the summit to embark on another challenge. We didn’t trace the trail back to station camp 2 instead we passed through a different route to avoid collision with the other hikers going up. The traverse to Tinipak River was unthinkable. It was nothing short of hellish. If hiking up the summit was arduous, there was no word to describe going down to Tinipak River. It was hard enough to avoid slipping while climbing harder even when going down that made me wish I had better balance or I was in anyway good at skiing. We had encountered a couple more obstacles such as uprooted trees blocking the trail and 90-degree rock climb going down (if there wasn’t an improvised ladder) before we finally reached Tinipak River.

Exactly 5 o’clock in the afternoon we reached the Tinipak River.  It was such a spectacular sight with its turquoise water floored with beautiful limestone rocks. The gushing water pounding against the rocks was music to my ear as I watched the sun bid the day goodbye with its orange hue painting the sky over the luscious trees of Mt. Mamara. Mt. Daraitan may have been a relentless ordeal, but I would really love to give it another try, another day with the same great company of fun loving people.

Registration/Environmental Fee – P50
Tinipak River fee – P50
Tour Guide Fee – P500/5 pax
Food and other expenses – P500

Flashlight or headlamp
Sun and Rain Protection (raincoat, arm sleeves, shades, cap, umbrella, etc.)
2 to 3 liters of bottled water
Trail food
Garbage Bag
Extra Clothes
Waterproof bag for gadgets in case of rain
First aid kit including both OTC medicine

Reminders and Tips:

• If you go to Mt. Daraitan, don’t visit on weekends or holidays because it’s overcrowded there, I suggest you go on weekdays. Do not go also during the rainy season because the trail becomes difficult and it becomes a major climb that will require you more hours to finish the hike.

• Wear appropriate hiking shoes or trekking sandals.

• I highly suggest hiking Mt. Daraitan during the summer season only or on a sunny day because the trail can become so muddy, slippery and hard to navigate during the wet season.

• Follow the Leave No Trace (LNT) principle at all times. Take nothing but photographs, leave nothing but footprints, keep nothing but memories. 

• Always be a responsible hiker, and bring your own trash when u go down. Keep the mountain clean. 

How to Get to Mt. Daraitan

By commute 

Ride a van or jeep in front of EDSA-Shaw Boulevard or in front of Starmall going to Tanay, Rizal. Alight at Jollibee Tanay and ride a tricycle going to the Barangay Daraitan registration site. Travel time for the tricycle ride is 30-40 minutes. Fare is 100 pesos per peron or 500 pesos per tricycle. 

Another option is to ride a jeep in Aurora Boulevard, Cubao going to Antipolo Cogeo, alight at Cogeo public market, then ride a jeep going to Sampaloc, Tanay, then ride a tricycle going the Barangay Daraitan registration site. 

By Private vehicle

Drive to Marcos Highway and follow the Tanay-Infanta Road. Make a left turn in the rough road that leads to Barangay Daraitan, then follow the road until you see the river crossing and registration hall which is located several meters past the river then park your vehicle. The approximate travel time is 2 to 2.5 hours

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