This year, I promised myself that I will travel more and climb more mountains. It’s a year for exploration. I want to explore the world. So when a friend invited me to join their climb to Mt. Daraitan, I didn’t hesitate to say yes. But there’s always a catch to traveling: budget. I am still a student and while I do get some writing and blogging gigs on the side, they are not enough for me to buy everything that I need and want. Perhaps that’s the reason why I love reading travel blogs about backpacking and such. It opens you to another world of experience: traveling on a shoestring. For this climb, my budget is just Php 500. And guess what? At the end of our trip, I still have some money to spend! I was able to climb another mountain, swim at the river and do some caving at a very affordable price (That’s just like a price of a shirt at a mall!). So definitely, there’s no excuse not to travel. If you can afford to buy expensive items, I’m pretty sure that you can visit these places. After all, the experience, the view and just being at one with nature is so worth it. So here’s my complete itinerary and budget guide to Mt. Daraitan and Tinipak River.
Location: Tanay, Rizal and General Nakar, Quezon
Major jumpoff: Brgy. Daraitan (village centre), Tanay Minor jumpoff: Sitio Cablao Brgy. Pagsangahan, General Nakar
LLA: 14°36′48.5′′N 121°26′19.5′′ E, 739 MASL (+600)
Days required / Hours to summit: 1 day / 2.5-4 hours
Specs: Minor climb, Difficulty 4/9, Trail class 1-3
Features: Tropical forest, limestone formations, river trek
A gem at the heart of the great Sierra Madre mountain range, close enough to Manila to do as a dayhike, is Mt. Daraitan, which sits near the border of Tanay, Rizal and General Nakar, Quezon. A former logging area, the village that bears the mountain’s name is now an ecotourism site that offers outdoor attractions such as caves, springs, natural pools, and limestone formations. A model for ecotourism, the barangay has an organised system for handling visitors, including trained local guides.