Kicked off February by climbing Mt. Daraitan, exploring Tinipak Cave and then plunging in the crystal clear waters of Tinipak River. I couldn’t have started the month any other way. It felt incredibly surreal to be surrounded by such beauty and what makes it even better is that it’s in my own country. I made a vow to myself that I would explore the Philippines more and revel in its beauty.I often talked about how I wanted to travel to other countries and go to certain places that I forgot that my country has got some beautiful gems too and this trip just fueled my excitement about it even more.
Thanks to the social media posts that have been making its rounds on my timeline/feed about this place, I took it as a sign to plan a trip there. All the pictures I saw of it left me in awe and it felt like a crime not to see it for myself. But what convinced me even more was the cost of the whole trip.
Spoiler alert: it’s cheap.
And just like that, I was sold.
So on the early morning of February 1st, we set out for Daraitan. It was a 4-hour drive but man, was it worth it.
The trek to Mt. Daraitan’s summit was quite challenging as it was steep but we were able to power through and reached it in 2 hours.
In the summit, we were greeted with a beautiful view of a river and mountains that seemed to go on forever. We all sat on this rock formation just taking in the scenic view. It felt unreal. Afterwards, we made our descent to Tinipak River and I couldn’t be more excited.
We headed to Tinipak Cave first before plunging in the river but we couldn’t help ourselves to stop and take pictures of our surroundings. It was a sight for sore eyes but the cave was no less beautiful. It was pitch black and cold with only our headlights as the light source but the stalagtites and stalagmites glittered beautifully. Once we got to the end, there was a small lagoon that we could swim in and we hurriedly went in.
We enjoyed the place too much that we ended up leaving Tinipak River at 6pm to head back to the Barangay Hall. We were the last ones in the area and it was getting dark pretty quick. By the end of the day, we were all exhausted but filled with euphoria.
I’ll be back soon, Daraitan.
So for those who want to witness the beauty of Mt. Daraitan and Tinipak River, here’s the lowdown:
Brgy. Daraitan in Tanay, Rizal
How to get there
There are 2 options for you to get to the destination: private vehicle or public transpo.
We chose the former because it saves time and felt like it was more convenient since we can go on our own pace. This is how we did it.
*Alternatively for 1, Head out to Marcos Highway and follow through the Tanay-Infanta Road. (source: pinoymountaineer.com)
*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.
*Alternatively for 1, Head out to Marcos Highway and follow through the Tanay-Infanta Road.
Expenses River crossing – PHP50 Registration fee – PHP20 Guide – PHP500/group for dayhike ; PHP1250/group for overnight Lavatories – PHP5 – 15 Bridge to Tinipak Cave – PHP5 Tricycle to Barangay Hall – PHP15-20/person Headlights rental for Tinipak Cave – PHP30
River crossing – PHP50
Registration fee – PHP20
Guide – PHP500/group for dayhike ; PHP1250/group for overnight
Lavatories – PHP5 – 15
Bridge to Tinipak Cave – PHP5
Tricycle to Barangay Hall – PHP15-20/person
Headlights rental for Tinipak Cave – PHP30