Hike to Mt. Daraitan

We got to the summit of Mt. Daraitan right after sunrise, that magical golden hour when early morning daylight bathes the landscape in a soft glow. The rays cast a hazy orange hue on one side of the jagged limestone rock formations. As I clambered to the top of one rock facing the East, I got a silhouette view of mountain peaks in the distance. The view of the snaking river below was obscured by a sea of clouds blanketing the rest of the Sierra Madre Mountain Range.

I couldn’t help but think of the long travel time I endured just to see a “sea of clouds” view during two previous attempts to climb Mt. Pulag in Benguet. The first time I climbed, I made it to the summit but it was raining the whole time. The second time I attempted, our climb got cancelled at 3 am when a sudden typhoon hit and we all had to go home early. And while mountaineers will agree that the exhaustion and hardships of the journey is the true essence of climbing mountains, it’s always great to be rewarded with a stunning view once you get to the top. In that aspect, Mt. Daraitan does not disappoint.

I’ve been wanting to hike up Mt. Daraitan ever since I first visited the beautiful riverside town located in the foothills of Tanay, Rizal and General Nakar, Quezon. Standing at an elevation of 739+ MASL, this mountain is classified as a minor climb, with a 4/9 difficulty level and the jump-off is only a couple of hours away from Manila by private vehicle. For those who are just starting to get into hiking, the view from the top is worth the effort you’ll need to exert to get there.

Because of its proximity to Manila, it’s become one of the more popular day hikes and camping sites near the metro. I’ve heard accounts of long lines of people snaking up the trail and group hiking tour participants crowding and trying to get photos at the summit at the same time during peak hiking season. So it was a pleasant surprise to have this beautiful mountain peak all to ourselves early on a Saturday morning. Or at least for a few minutes.

It’s always better to schedule hikes during weekdays, but it’s not always possible because of work schedules. Art and I decided to stay overnight in the village on a ride and hike trip on a Friday and start early on a Saturday just to get ahead of other hikers. The motorcycle ride through rough roads to the village was a large part of what made the whole hiking experience so fun.

By private vehicle, it takes about 2-2.5 hours to get to the village center in Tanay. Add an hour or two if you’re taking public transport. Most day trip hikers will start their trek from the barangay hall and traverse a steep and challenging ascent early on. The normal hike can last anywhere from 3-4 hours depending on your group’s pace and the number of hikers that day.

Aside from Mt. Daraitan, one of the main attractions here is Tinipak River, one of the country’s cleanest, free-flowing rivers, surrounded by large marble rocks that are great for bouldering. After descending from the summit, hikers usually continue the trek to Tinipak Rocks and walk to the river on the other side of the village. The river’s sparkling waters and majestic white rocks and cliffs that border it are almost surreal. Visitors can choose to swim in the river or if they have time, visit the cave pool for a swim. Because of the beautiful sights in the area and travel time to and from Manila, it’s really best to allot a whole day for this hiking trip.

Hiker friends were telling me that the start of the trail going up Mt. Daraitan was really steep and challenging. But the trail starting from Kuta Bungliw Eco-Lodge in Brgy. Pagsangahan, General Nakar wasn’t as difficult as I was expecting it to be. As part of our arrangement for our overnight stay, a guide from the General Nakar Cablao Outdoor Guides Association (GENACOGA) was provided, as well as two meals (dinner and breakfast) for a rate of P950/person.

Our alarm failed to go off, so we started our hike a little past 4 am. It was still dark when we started the hike through mostly shaded forests and dirt trails, but it was a relatively leisurely trek on gradually sloping terrain. We passed a few streams and small waterfalls along the route. Despite the cool morning air, the exertion of climbing had me sweating early on.

Two guide dogs from Kuta Bungliw, Pogi and Chichi joined us and our guide Ronald, making our group a small party of five. The dogs would stop and wait during our photo ops and quick break stops and would happily overtake us on the singletrack, nearly tripping us over when we resumed hiking.

We eventually reached a grassy open field with the last tip of the summit seemingly within our reach. From there, we entered the last part of the forested trail, passing a small rock formation as the sun was starting to rise. I thought we were already near the summit, but the trail seemed to wind around a bit more taking us around to a different side of the mountain before the final slightly vertical ascent.

After about two hours of steady walking, we reached the summit covered with beautiful limestone rock formations at around 6 am. Of course, I had to clamber over the rocks for the best view. From the top of the rocks, I could see the mountain ranges in the distance obscured by the sea of clouds all around. It may sound cliche, but rewarding views like these always make hikes worthwhile.

As we were taking photos, a group of hikers coming from another trail arrived and seemed surprised to see us since they were the first group that registered that day. We told them we had stayed overnight and come from another trail. We took turns taking photos in the different spots and vantage points.

Times like these, you just want to stay in one spot and enjoy the view. I wouldn’t have minded staying there all morning. But as we heard the chattering of another group approaching, we decided to start our descent to give them the others a chance to enjoy the mountain. Since we had already trekked to Tinipak Rocks during a previous trip, we decided to hike to a lesser-known site: the Atburan Rockies in General Nakar.

NEXT POST: Hike to Atburan Rockies.


Major jumpoff: Brgy. Daraitan (village centre), Tanay. Minor jumpoff: Brgy. Pagsangahan, General Nakar. LLA: 14°36′48.5′′N 121°26′19.5′′ E, 739 MASL (+600)


Via private transportation/car/motorcycle:

  • Make your way to the Tanay-Infanta Road via the Tanay-Sampaloc Road or Marcos Highway/Marilaque
  • Drive along the Tanay-Infanta Road and take a left turn on the Makaira-Daraitan dirt road with a sign that leads to Mt. Daraitan.
  • Follow the road until you reach the river crossing and wooden bridge.
  • You need to pay P20 for motorcycle or P50 per car to cross the bridge.
  • Follow the road and turn left to get to the Brgy. Hall.
  • The last stretch going to Kuta Bungliw is not accessible to motorcycles or cars. You can park your vehicles in one of the houses in the poblacion (secure parking is available for P20/motorcycles per day or P100 for cars if overnight)
  • From Brgy. Hall to Kuta Bungliw jump off/Irid, ride trike (P25/person) or walk for 25-30 mins. You can also bring mountain bikes but you will have to push your bikes up in some sections.
  • Travel time is roughly 2 to 3 hours depending on the traffic and your pace.

Via public transportation:

From EDSA-Shaw

  • Take a jeep from EDSA-Shaw to Tanay, Rizal (1.5 – 2 hrs; P50)
  • Get off at Tanay Public market and go to jeepney terminal; Take a jeep to Sampaloc, Tanay (30 mins)
  • Take a tricycle or hire a habal-habal to Brgy. Daraitan (P100/person; 30-45 mins)
  • When you arrive at Daraitan River, cross the bridge to the other side and take a trike (P10/person – 5 mins) to the Daraitan Barangay hall
  • Allot 3-4 hours travel time because of stops and delays

From Cubao:

  • From Cubao Aurora Blvd, ride a jeep to Cogeo Gate 2 (P24) First trip is 5:30 am.
  • At the end of the ride, walk to the intersection, turn right to the road up to reach Sampaloc Tanay jeep terminal (that’s after the Wet Market). First trip is 5:30am.
  • Ride a jeep (P65) to Sampaloc. From Sampaloc, walk past the intersection towards Shell gas station.
  • Across Shell is the Daraitan TODA trike & habal terminal (ride only w/ Daraitan TODA). Trike to Brgy hall is P300/trike/max 5 passengers. Habal habal is P100/habal/max 2 passengers.


Mt. Daraitan is considered a minor hike and is day hikeable, so any type of outdoor clothes/dri-fit shirts, leggings or shorts will do. Wear or bring swimwear underneath if you plan to swim in Tinipak River. For footwear, wear closed shoes with good traction or outdoor sandals. Slippers not recommended. Bring a fresh change of clothes for after the hike. You can take a shower for a small fee in houses near the Brgy. Hall.


  • Camera and smartphone
  • Drinking water (you can buy water in sari-sari stores when you register)
  • Light trail snacks (you can eat in the village before or after your hike)
  • Shades
  • A cap/headware
  • Money

FEES as of June 2017: (as listed in the Tanay Brgy. Hall)

  • Environmental Fee – P50/pax
  • Cultural Fee – P20/pax
  • Tourism Fee – P30/pax
  • Tour Guide Fee – P500 per group. 1 tour guide = 1-5 pax for mountain climbing; 1 tour guide = 1-10 pax for river trekking and caving
  • Tour Guide Fee Overnight – P1,250/group
  • Photo shoot (non-commercial deput, prenup, hobbyists with model and equipment) – P1,500
  • Headlamp/helmet rent for caving – P30/piece
  • Parking Fee – P20-50/vehicle
  • Camping site Fee – P200/tent
  • Tent Rent – P200/tent
  • Picnic Shed – P300/shed
  • Floating Shed – P500/shed
  • Horseback Riding with Horseman – P500/hour
  • Porter Fee – P500/day
  • Butterfly Garden Fee – P20/pax
  • Location Shoot – P5,000-P10,000
  • Event Fee – P10,000-P20,000
  • Banchetto / Kiosk rent – P3000
  • Tourism Sticker – P1,400
  • Research Fee – P200


  • For those with their own private transport, it’s possible to climb this DIY. No need to join package tours unless you want the convenience of having a tour group take care of all the logistical arrangements for you.
  • Guides are mandatory. You need to register at the Brgy. Hall before your climb.
  • For those with private vehicles, parking is available for P20/motorbikes, P50 for 4-wheelers and P100 for overnight parking.
  • Comfort rooms are available around the village. They charge P15 for taking a bath and P5-10 for other business.
  • It’s much better to schedule your hike on a weekday because weekends can get crowded.
  • Bring enough water and light trail food.
  • Hikes may be cancelled if weather is bad.
  • Read my previous posts on Daraitan and Tinipak River for more information.

44 thoughts on “Hike to Mt. Daraitan

  1. helo mam planning to hike @mt.daraitan daytour only sa kuta bungliw sana. ok po bA dun? kc we have nO idEa snce its our firSt time to hike 4 lang kme. froM shaw wat time po kaya 1st trip? sunday kc kme pupunta doubtful kc ko bAka mdisappoint kme bka pgpnta daming tao .

    • Hi Jhel, for inquiries on Kuta Bungliw Eco Lodge, please contact them directly on Facebook or 0915.595.9988. Nag-motor lang kami, so hindi ko alam yung exact schedules ng mga jeep coming from Shaw. Ok yung trail passing Kuta kasi for first-timers kasi mas madali siya kesa yung usual na matarik agad. Based on experience, hindi mo talaga maiiwasan na maraming umaakyat pag weekends (Saturday & Sunday talaga marami daw tao according to locals). It’s better to sked your hike on a weekday, though if may trabaho, syempre mas mahirap yun.

  2. Hi mam kara. pano yung way pg nka private car kme dun sa kuta bungliw ? Tska target namin is yung sunrise? Ano suggested time to start hike ? And active po b yung contact na pinrovide nyo ? Thank you

    • Hello Anddre, pwede mag park ng private cars dun malapit sa Brgy. Hall tapos trike + hike na kayo the rest of the way. Di rin kakayanin ng auto yung paakyat na daan papuntang Kuta Bungliw at walang parking area dun. P100 yung bayad for parking overnight sa mga bahay na may garahe. Suggested time to start hiking is 3 or 4 am to catch the sunrise. Yes, active yung number and responsive yung FB page ng Kuta Bungliw. Just contact them directly.

  3. Pingback: Hike to Atburan Rockies in Gen. Nakar, Quezon | Travel Up

  4. Hi, is it true that you need a Mountain climbing permit and Medical certificate for you to climb here? I contacted Tanay Tourism Orgs number and they mentioned that we need to present it during the hike. Shookt lang kami kasi it our first time to hear na need pala siya. Quite nervous as well baka pag pumunta kami di kami paakyatin and masayang ang pag punta.

    What’s your insight about this, is it true po ba? Thanks in advance!

    • Hi Lems, we weren’t required to give any medical certificate when we climbed, but we left from Kuta Bungliw Eco-Lodge (which is already in Gen. Nakar, Quezon) and the guide took care of securing the permit. I think there are more requirements if you’re passing through the Tanay Brgy. Hall so not 100% sure if they’ll require med certificate. Maybe you can inquire in the CLIMBER FB group para sure sa mga naka-experience.

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  6. Good eve maam,

    May friend recommended this place as good for camping site . Is it safe for the youth to camp in the area?? We have plan to ocular the place tomorrow how may I contact you?

    • Hi Cassy, tour guides are now mandatory to hike Mt. Daraitan. If you’re not staying in Kuta Bungliw, you have to pass by the Tanay tourism office to register and get a guide.

  7. ask ko lang if mahal naba ung 400/per head sa daraitan.. 8 kc kami lahat..
    included na dw ung bangka fee, tricycle fee ilog to registration area,registration fee, tourguide fee, tinapak fee, tulay to tricycle cave, tricycle halfway tinipak to jump off

    • We had our own transpo so I’m not sure of the exact costs kung DIY, pero mas mura sa P400 if kayo mag-aarrange lahat. The downside is mahirap din in case magkaubusan ng guides, tricycles, etc. If gusto niyo ng convenience ok na siguro yan. At least sigurado kayo na may guide and it will save time doing all the arrangements.

    • Hi Aya. Yes, kayang motorin pero hanggang Daraitan village lang. Pwede niyo ipark motor malapit sa barangay tapos hike na. Please read my other post: Ride & Hike to Daraitan. From Pasig, pass Manila East Road tapos Tanay-Sampaloc Road, kanan sa junction papuntang Marifanta then left going to Daraitan. May rough road section sa last 11 kms.

  8. Hi! Ask ko po kung mag hike diretso na sa barangay pa register pag dating or may advance booking? May directions po ba kayo if with private vehicle? Yung trail via Nakar po is diff sa orginal trail? Ilang hours ang trail?


    • – Pwede walk-in if registering at Tanay Brgy. Hall
      – Iba at mas madali yung trail na dinadaanan namin coming from Gen. Nakar. Advanced booking kami through Kuta Bungliw kasi nag-overnight kami.
      – Updated the post with directions to get there by private vehicle
      – Normal hike can last anywhere from 2-4 hours one way depending on your group’s pace and number of hikers that day

  9. Hi po uli! If yung trail sa Nakar po ang follow namin, amg registration po ba eh same Barangay? Eh kung dpo kami mag oovernight pwde rin po ba? Yung direction ba na naka state dito is kung sa Nakar kami pupunta?

    Thanks again!

  10. Hi Ma’am. Ask ko lang if accessible naman ang road if Vios ang gagamitin namin papunta? Baka kasi rough roads and hindi kayanin ng car. Thanks so much!!

  11. Hi, Good Afternoon. Just want to ask we have private vehicle, if mag walk-in kami. Diretso brgy. hall na lang po ba pag for registration? May tour guide na po ba kagad? Mag kaiba pa po ba tour guide sa mountain climbing and tinipak river & cave? Need ba may medical certificate?

    Thank you for your immediate response.

    • Hi Kimmy. You could try that, though I can’t guarantee may makuha kayo pag peak season. Diretso na lang kayo ng Brgy. Hall to inquire. I hiked up Mt. Daraitan (through General Nakar) and went to Tinipak Rocks on a different trip, so I’m not sure if the cost of the guide is the same kung same day. Guide fee depends on the number of people in the group. We weren’t required to give a medical certificate.

  12. d na pala pwdng magovernyt camp sa taas, pero pagdating nyo bilang na ang araw ng overnyt fee ng s guide sa tinipak river, 1,250/5 persons parin ang babayaran nyo.. enebeyern.. dko kaagad nalaman

  13. Hi! Ask q lang po kc first time nmin mag hike at pupunta ng Mt. Daraitan.. yung isa sa mga kasama nmen my contact dun and she told us na siya narin ang mag-g-guide samen paakyat ng bundok.. ok kaya yung ganun? baka kase pagdating nmen dun e bawal pala yun and need kumuha ng guide from there talaga? Pls I need to know.. many thanks! Expected date nmen is first week of dec. this year.

    • Hi Bee, ang alam ko lang required yung guide but I don’t know how strict they are of saan niyo kukunin at kung may system/accreditation sila for assigning them. It’s better if you pass by the barangay to register pa rin tapos tanong na lang kayo pagdating dun. Minsan kasi pag nagkakaproblema during hikes, tapos hindi dumaan sa barangay para mag-register, mahirap na.

  14. Hi good morning. Just wanna ask lng kung pwede na magadvance register kase baka maubusan kame ng mag guguide samen sa feb 16. And one more thing madaminkaya tao maghike that time kas alam ko holiday ang feb 16 chunese new year. Thanks please reply

    • Ang alam ko first come, first served ang registration for guides unless dumaan kayo sa tour operator na mag-aayos ng guide for you. At saka marami po talaga tao nag-hihike kahit saan basta weekend at holidays. Friday kami pumunta tapos nag-hike Saturday morning, di naman ganun karaming tao pero since Chinese New Year yan at peak hiking season, chances are marami talaga tao niyan. Good luck.

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