Mt. Daraitan promises a great adventure for people without being inconveniently far. Mt. Daraitan is located in Tanay, Rizal and it’s a 3 hour travel from Shaw Blvd., Mandaluyong.
Level of difficulty 4/9.
Honestly speaking, I was kind of hesitant at first on going for a climb at Mt. Daraitan. mainly because of its location which is too far from my usual comfort zone (city) and also because of some rumors I heard that there are NPAs in the area and that we should proceed with caution if we choose to go. Well yes the travel is lenghty and no the rumors are not true anymore as the place has already been organized by the locals maybe due to a volume of hikers coming in and out to see its marvels.
How to get there
From Starmall in Shaw, there are UV Express vans going straight to Tanay (P70.00) with a 2 hour trip to Tanay Public Market where you’ll be needing to take a tricycle (P400.00 good for groups of 4) or a jeepney ride (P100.00) going to Mt. Daraitan. I suggest the latter as most part of the road is bumpy and dusty. Once you get there, there is a raft ride crossing the river (P5.00 roundtrip), but a bridge is under construction and soon to finish so a raft won’t be needed any time soon. Last is the tricycle ride (P10.00) to the Barangay Hall where you’ll have to register, pay 20 pesos for the environmental fee and hire a mandatory guide (P1250.00 overnight good for groups of 10 or less) as they do not allow people to hike up without a guide.
Start Trek (pun intended)
And now, we start trekking. We have chosen the old trail and decided on traverse. Meaning we will head on a different path on our way down, specifically the trail down to Tinipak River for a quick dip after a tiring climb.
I’m not a hardcore climber and it’s been a year since I last went up a mountain so I was taken unprepared for the Mt. Daraian trail. The path is steep like climbing up two to three steps of the stairs in one step. The path is rocky with rare instances of having plain ground. Maybe that’s why we found a lot of resting benches from time to time because it is heart-racingly the good kind of exhausting. Make sure to pack up at least 3 liters of water, 2 liters on your way up, 1 is for the way down.
There are two camp sites in Mt. Daraitan. If you plan on staying the night to go see the sunrise, you might want to check with the locals if the camp sites are full as they don’t set limits on people who go there. The camps were full when we went there but the locals are really nice and they would do so much to help you find a place to set up your tent. Don’t forget to bring your sleeping bag or jacket as it gets really cold there at night. We usually do night treks as we prefer camping and seeing the sunrise and also to avoid the heat that really slows us down.
The place is overpopulated as of the moment as it was featured in a popular hiker’s blog post. And as I have mentioned earlier, the locals don’t set limits on the visits.
The peak is amazingly beautiful in its cold hard rocky way with other different mini-peaks to choose from depending on your viewing preference. The hike up takes at least 2 hours on average, 3 hours for slow hikers like us.
Reaching the summit doesn’t end your adventure at Mt. Daraitan. There still have Tinipak River, the river with big great white rocks wonder. The current gets pretty strong at times and that is why most part of the river is restricted to the public. The guides also act as lifeguards as some part of the river are of depths unfathomable in plain sight. The place is full of white big stones, and those on running water can be extremely dangerously slippery so take caution. The water is conveniently cold for the hot weather and You also have the option of going spelunking in one of the caves. There is a camp where there are places to rest, set up tent, eat, or take a shower.
Mt. Daraitan and Tinipak River is a place of adventure for those in search of a nearby budget friendly getaway. A perfect site to reconnect with nature and its wonders. A literal breath of fresh air from all the smog in the city. The budget is at least P700.00 but you can save more if you are in a big group to share with the fee for the guide.
18:00 Shaw StarMall ride FX going to Tanay Market – 70 pesos
20:50 Tanay Market walking distance from jeepney station going to Barangay Daraitan – 100 pesos
21:35 Barangay Daraitan take a raft to cross the river – 5 pesos though they are already building a bridge
21:40 Take a tricycle ride going to Daraitan Barangay Hall – 10 pesos
21:45 Daraitan Barangay Hall
Register and pay 20 pesos for the environmental fee and get a guide as it is required. 1250 pesos for overnight for the guide.
22:00 Start trek