Are you looking for an outdoor adventure near the metro that won’t break the bank? Mt. Daraitan is the best mountain for you!
In this blog post, I’ll discuss the reasons why this gem at the heart of Sierra Madre’s Mountain Range is a must-visit place and why it’s a budget-friendly destination for a day-hike or an overnight trip.
Whether you are a beginner or a professional hiker, you shouldn’t miss Mt. Daraitan. Let’s go!
Mt. Daraitan is located near the border of Tanay, Rizal and General Nakar, Quezon. The major jumpoff is at Brgy. Daraitan (village center), Tanay while the minor jumpoff is at Sitio Cablao, Brgy. Pagsangahan, General Nakar.
The place is a former logging area but it is now an eco-tourism destination which offers outdoor attractions like limestone formations, caves, natural pools and springs. As of now, the locals are looking for ways to preserve the Tinipak cave that’s why they decided to close it until further notice. Trained local guides are provided by the barangay to guide you reach the summit. Mt. Daraitan has a 600m ascent but there are also plenty of holds and a well-maintained trail which makes the hike less difficult.
When you reach the summit, you can see the Sierra Madre mountains, you can also pitch your tents there if you wish to stay overnight. To maximize your experience, I recommend you to take the route to Tinipak River, to which will be the highlight of this trip.
LLA: 14°36′48.5′′N 121°26′19.5′′ E
Days required or hours to reach the summit: 1 day / 2.5-4 hours
This is a minor climb with difficulty of 4/9 and a trail class of 1-3.
(Info from Pinoy Mountaineer)
How To Get There
1. Via Public Transportation
From Cubao via Tikling (Available 24 Hours)
From Starmall Shaw to Tanay
2. Via Private Car
Registration at Mt. Daraitan
You need to go to the Barangay Hall first and enter your name in their logbook. Registration fee is 20 pesos per hiker. As I’ve mentioned above, guides are assigned at the Barangay Hall (500 pesos for day hike; 1,250 for overnight) and they strictly follow a 1:5 ratio.
Expect that the trail is not that easy but it is still considered as a minor climb and is still advisable for beginners. Before the hike, be sure to condition yourself, jog for at least a week before your climb to avoid muscle cramps.
The trail is slippery when raining, be ready for a muddy adventure. When the rain is hard, your tour guide might not advise the Tinipak River trail. There’s no water source at the summit but if you are lucky and the weather is good, you have a chance to take the Tinipak River trail, you’ll enjoy its cold water resource.
You can buy your trail food at the jump-off as there are sari-sari stores within the area. Shower rooms are also available at the jump-off if you need to refresh.
Don’t forget to bring lots of water (at least 2 litres per person), hand gloves, cap, trek pole (optional), towel, sunglass, a headlamp or flashlight, packed lunch (optional), garbage bag (always practice Leave No Trace principle), extra clothes and of course, camera.
Mt. Daraitan & Tinipak River DIY Itinerary
Please keep in mind that this is only a suggested itinerary and might change due to uncontrollable factors such as traffic. Feel free to use this sample itinerary as a guide in visiting Mt. Daraitan.
0300 Meet up, Jollibee Farmers Cubao
0330 Travel to Tikling
0400 ETA Tikling
0500 ETA Jollibee Tanay (Hike Trike)
0600 ETA Brgy. Daraitan Registration Site
0630 Start of Trek
0930 ETA Camp 3
1000 Summit/Photo Ops
1100 Descent to camp 3 for lunch (they’re not allowing guests to eat at the summit)
1200 Start Traverse to Tinipak River
1500 Swimming at Tinipak River/Cave
1600 Wash Up
1700 Hike back to the registration
1800 Ride jeep or van going back to Tanay Terminal
1900 Tanay Jollibee /Terminal
2000 ETA Manila
Estimated Expenses & Contact Numbers
Prices and contact numbers might change without further notice. Please feel free to comment in this post to let us know of any changes in the price so we can update the article.
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Tanay Tourism Office – 639989881590
Willy (Head Guide) – 639069533470
November 2019 Update: There’s a P100 fee per tent if you will spend the night at the campsite.
Why Visit Mt. Daraitan?
Mt. Daraitan offers a wide range of experiences such as caves, natural pools, springs with river side trips which makes it a unique destination since not a lot of mountains have these. Here, you can swim in the river, wallow through the streams, go spelunking in the cave, swim in the underground stream and many more. If you are early and lucky, you might also witness the sea of clouds greeting you. Although the area can be pretty crowded sometimes, there is still the possibility to be alone in a sea of strangers.
It is an adventure of a lifetime which won’t cost you a lot, you don’t need to join “joiner tours” as you can Do-It-Yourself which is way cheaper, and you can hike this mountain in a day or two which can be easier to schedule. Perfect for busy millennials like us.
If you’re up for something adventurous for the weekend, holiday or your day off, this is the perfect place for you. An amazing experience with you, your family or your friends awaits you. Always say yes to new experiences!
Looking for other itineraries and travel guide? Visit ChamTravels to learn more.