Marifanta Highway: The Road to Infanta, Quezon

On a motorcycle, the scorching heat can only be countered by movement. You feel the worst of it when you’re stuck in traffic. Even if you’re wearing a jacket or jeans, you can feel the sun just burn through layers of clothes. You wait for the light to flash from red to green flanked by rows of hulking trucks. Once it’s green, you navigate to avoid jeeps that stop without any warning or taxis that recklessly swerve and cut you off. But in the mountains, there are no traffic lights. The road is a blur and all you feel is the breeze rushing by even at the height of noon.

01. marifanta marikina-infanta highway travelup motorcycles road

I usually like having a clear end destination in mind for rides because it makes writing about the ride easier. One weekend, it’s a waterfall hidden in the mountains. Another time, it’s a restaurant along the highway. But lately, because of the madness that is Metro Manila traffic, I’ve been going on random rides without any real plan. If I find something interesting along the way, that’s just a bonus. Sometimes, the road itself is the destination.

02. marifanta marikina-infanta highway twisties

For those looking for that kind of ride — Marifanta or the Marikina-Infanta Highway — is a driver’s dream. Marifanta is a scenic 110-kilometer mountain highway connecting Metro Manila with Infanta in Quezon province through Marikina and Rizal.04. marifanta marikina-infanta highway travelup motorcycle road

I remember years ago, when I had to go to Infanta for a work assignment. Back then, I rode a non-aircon bus from Legarda station that passed through Lucena. I didn’t get much sleep through the bumpy 6 hour bus ride as it made numerous stops in different towns on Quezon on the way to Infanta.

10. marifanta marikina-infanta highway landscape weeds

Driving there on a motorcycle felt so much better. From Quezon City, you can get to Infanta in less than 3 hours at a very relaxed touring pace with lots of photo op stops.

13. marifanta marikina-infanta highway motorcycle view

The usual photo op stops for riders and cyclists early in the route include Boso-Boso Highlands Resort in Antipolo, Garden Cottages Residences Look-Out Point in Tanay and the view of the mountains from Cafe Katerina or across Pranjetto Hills. But more scenic spots await further on. While there are still a couple of patches of rough road leading to Jariel’s Peak Hotel and Restobar, the rest of the road is smooth, paved and great for driving especially if you like twisties.

09. marifanta marikina-infanta highway royal enfield

The lush hills just towered on the road in front of us which was lined with golden weeds and tall grass swaying in the wind. At times, there would be a clearing along the road, which offered stunning views of the Sierra Madre mountain ranges. One interesting spot was a small store that had a couple of benches and a great view overlooking the lush landscape. Free selfie!

marifanta marikina-infanta highway motorcycles free selfie

Across Jariel’s Peak and Marquez Bulalohan, which are popular pit stops for riders, is a quarrying site that make photos look like you rode in some epic desert landscape.

marifanta marikina-infanta highway motorcycles quarry site

Past Jariel’s Peak, if you drive a bit more and you’ll pass a waterfall and a dipping pool just by the the roadside.03. marifanta marikina-infanta highway travelup motorcycles waterfall

marifanta marikina-infanta highway waterfall poolThen it’s more scenic driving through zigzag roads. “Parang Cordillera!” I thought to myself as we passed through groves of pine-like trees sloped from the mountains. The scenery reminded me of our ride from Sagada to Bontoc in the Mountain Province. Wooden cabins in the middle of nowhere were surrounded by perfectly landscaped pocket gardens and flowers. At one high point on the road, we got an overlooking view of Marifanta which could rival the Halsema Highway.

05. marifanta marikina-infanta highway travelup twisties overlooking 06. marifanta marikina-infanta highway selfie

What amazes me most about this road is the sheer lack of cars and other vehicles. There’s zero traffic. Aside from the occasional jeep with people piled on top or the lone tricycle we encountered, we pretty much had the highway to ourselves.

08. marifanta marikina-infanta highway jeep topload

The weather in the mountains can be really unpredictable. It could be scorching hot in Manila, but in some spots here the temperatures dips down to 15-20 degrees. If it rains, parts of the road get blanketed in thick fog that makes the place look like a scene out of Silent HIll. Parts of the road are also prone to landslides. Thankfully, the weather was really good throughout our ride.

11. marifanta marikina-infanta highway travelup motorcycles tricyle road 12. marifanta marikina-infanta highway travelup river

We got a clear view of rivers and streams below as the refreshing mountain climate gave way to warmer temperatures and groves of coconut trees that Quezon province is known for. A couple of bridges later, we arrived at the town center of Infanta. Woohoo! From here, you can loop back to Manila through Real and Famy at the road intersecting the marker, but we decided to take the same route going back since it was just so scenic.

14. marifanta marikina-infanta highway bridge

I’ve been going back and forth from Quezon City to Marilaque for years now on solo rides, with the furthest point being Jariel’s Peak. I can’t believe it took me so long to ride all the way to Infanta on this road. I guess part of me was afraid of riding alone in case something happened. But now that I have a riding buddy again, it definitely won’t be the last. Riding through Marifanta actually restored my faith in our roads and highways. I think that this is really one of the most scenic routes you can drive through near Manila.15. marifanta marikina-infanta highway marker


Here’s the route we took. Open the map on Googlemaps to adjust the route where you’re coming from quezon city to infanta quezon marikifanta highway


  • From the intersection of Aurora Boulevard and Katipunan to the town proper of Infanta, it’s 120 km (total 240 km back and forth).
  • It’s possible to do this on a half-day to whole-day riding trip in good weather.
  • Gas up before your ride in Marikina. Refuel whenever you can.
  • There are gas stations in the Sampaloc town proper and in Infanta, Quezon. Gas is also sold in bottles in some houses and stores along the way.
  • There are a few vulcanizing shops along the way, but it’s better if you have tools with you just in case of emergencies.
  • Be careful while driving through the twisties and tricky corners.
  • Bring plastic bags for your gadgets in case it rains. Rain gear would also be helpful.
  • For safety purposes, it’s better to have a companion when doing this ride.
  • There is no phone signal in some areas.
  • The beach resorts in Infanta can be a good destination for group club rides and weekend picnics/outings. Watch out for my next post on this!

NEXT: Beaches in Infanta, Quezon

UPDATE (October 2016): According to a video by Pinoy Adventure Rider posted on September 26, 2016, the broken bridge at Sierra Madre Marilaque which was damaged by the landslide last December 2015 is now passable to motorcycles for P25/bike. The bridge is still not passable for cars and other vehicles.

NOTE: All photos taken with the Samsung Galaxy S6 powered by Sun Cellular. For Sun promos and postpaid plans, visit #ChooseBetter

4 thoughts on “Marifanta Highway: The Road to Infanta, Quezon

  1. Gustong gusto ko din tong Marifanta Road, last last weekend dapat mag ride kame to infanta kaso sira daw yung tulay? hanggang jariel’s peak lang tuloy kame.

    • Hi Ryan, oo nga sobrang sayang ng Marifanta Highway. Rinig ko matagal pa daw bago maayos kasi maraming tulay nasira. Heard there’s a temporary wooden bridge for locals, but not sure if it’s passable for motorcycles yet. Last time we went, hanggang yung waterfalls past Jariel’s Peak nga lang kaya dumaan.

      • Guys… plan q puh kc bumyahe bukas ng umaga pauwi ng infanta passable n kya puh cya from infanta peru matagl nq d nkauwi d parin aq nkadaan sa marifanta..sana mbasa nyo to…tnx

        • Hi Ren. Narinig ko from rider friends na may makeshift bridge dun sa area na nagkalandslide so as of October 2016, passable siya sa mga motor pero hindi pwede sa mga kotse. May nagpost ng video nito last September 2016 on Jariel’s Peak page. Kita yung road conditions dun sa end. Ingat na lang po pauwi.

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