Hiking Mt. Daraitan can be a challenge for beginners, but if you’ve got guts, you can conquer the summit!
DARAITAN MOUNTAIN HIKE
Climbers are grouped into 4-5 persons so the tour guides can properly accommodate us effectively along the way.
Sadly, I slowed down our group because I was wearing strap-on sandals, it was very muddy, the straps kept opening, I can’t even walk properly. We were not even 1/3 of the trail and I wanted to go back. The tour guide that waited for us was such a hero, he fixed my sandals using a vine plant! Such a mountain guy!
Near this site is where we can rest and eat brunch before heading to the summit. I have no picture of the place since my hands are too muddy here now.
The main viewing area from the summit.
After the muddy area is the rocky road, yep, pure rocks, then it’s finally concrete after a few more walking. Our hike ended at 4 pm, there was supposed to be a side trip to Tinipak river, but we were in a joiner’s group and we needed to head back to the van. Next time I’ll definitely be back for the river!
BEFORE THE TRIP
• Round-trip van transfers Cubao-Daraitan-Cubao (driver, gas, driver’s meal, parking fee)
• All entrance fees (Barangay, campsite/ cave/ environmental)
• Tour guide
• Swimming, caving, hiking in 1 day (sadly, we did not have time for a side trip to Tinipak river)
12:30-01:00 am ETD to CUBAO, Assembly
04:00 am ETA to DARAITAN Registration/ Short Briefing/Secure Guide
04:30 am Start Hiking to Mt. Daraitan
06:30 am ETA @ SUMMIT/ Picture taking
07:30 am Descend to TINIPAK RIVER
11:30am ETA@ TINIPAK RIVER (rest)
12:00nn LUNCH @ Tinipak campsite (own account)
01:00pm Swimming time at Tinipak River
03:00pm Pack up/shower
04:00pm End of tour back to Cubao
- Packed lunch (or fast food take out)
- Trail foods like jelly ace, nuts, chocolates, banana etc.
- Change of clothes (for Tinipak river swimming)
- Headlamp (available for rent also P30/each)
- Slippers (for after the hike)
- Poncho or rain coat (for when it rains)
- Plastic or zip lock ( for the gadgets just in case it will rain)
- Shower stuffs (shampoo, towel, soap etc.)
SOME USEFUL TIPS & REMINDERS:
- As usual pack lightly!
- Choose a dry season to hike, hiking when it rained is dangerous, slippery, muddy etc.
- Be prepared for your clothes, shoes, sandals or bag to be dirty, don’t wear white
- Shower rooms and CRs’ have fees, bring extra cash
- You’ll really have to take a shower after the hike, I said before that I’ll just take a bath when I get home, but with my appearance uhmm…..just take this shower advice
- Better remove your accessories before the hike if you don’t want them damaged after the day
- There’s a locker at the registration area where you can rent, I forgot the price I think P100
- Never wear a strap on sandals on a mountain that just got showered with rain. Just. DON’T.
- And slippers too, the guides will check and will not let you through if you’re wearing slippers, why wear slippers anyway when hiking a mountain?
Sitting at the summit feels QUEENLY, lol!
Having a private tour is recommendable, well, for me, it’s still affordable and you get to manage your time per area. The tour guide who handled us has got lots of stories to tell of his adventures, it’s very inspiring to hear them. I know not all guides are like this, but you can still start to ask a question since they know the area well.
TRY THESE OUT TOO!
THINGS TO KNOW
I always use SkyScanner in searching for cheap flights and I do recommend downloading their app to get the best deals out there.
Depending on your nationality, you may or may not need to apply for a Philippine Visa. I recommend checking out the website of your country's Philippine embassy to check if a visa is required before entering the Philippines.
Fluent English is widely spoken here in the Philippines so foreigners visiting will not have much problem with the language barrier and et cetera. Filipinos living in Metro Manila mainly speak Tagalog but in the provinces, different dialects are spoken like Bisaya.
In the Philippines, our currency is called Philippine Peso (PHP, ₱)
Trains are usually taken when going long distances within Metro Manila but when going to provinces, buses are usually ridden. When traveling in short distances, jeepneys or tricycles are usually taken. When going to Daraitan in Rizal province, riding an FX from Cubao or Ortigas (in StarMall) is the best option.
HAVE YOU VISITED DARAITAN?
• When someone invites you in Daraitan, be specific and ask if they are referring to Mt. Daraitan or Tinipak River.
• This is a very challenging hike! And I mean really! Especially when it rained.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
The name’s Fiorucci (pronounced as Fee-yoh-ru-chi), I’m not Italian but I can eat pasta for a whole week…or a month…or more. Hop on my story as I travel the world ‘one destination at a time’ while juggling with my full-time work, freelancing and building my own business to gain freedom from this monotonous corporate society.