The town of Tanay in Rizal province is one of my favorite destinations near the metro for motorcycling road trips. Its proximity to Manila, refreshing mountain scenery, cooler climate and generally uncrowded destinations makes it a good alternative to Tagaytay on any given weekend. Parts of Tanay pass through portions of the Sierra Madre mountain range, making it a great motorcycling and biking destination.
For weekend warriors and families, Tanay has lots to offer in terms of natural attractions. The resorts and leisure camps in the area also make it a popular destination for team-building activities as well.
WHERE EXACTLY IS TANAY:
Tanay is located 57 kilometers east of Manila in the Philippines. Tanay is bordered by Antipolo City in the northwest and the towns of Baras, Morong and Teresa in in the west, General Nakar (Quezon Province) in the east, and Pililla, Santa Maria (in the Laguna province) as well as the lake Laguna de Bay in the south.
HOW TO GET THERE & GETTING AROUND:
Traveling by public transportation between Manila and Tanay can take between one to three hours depending on traffic conditions. There are vans and jeepneys plying from Shaw Boulevard in Mandaluyong, or in Sta. Lucia in Cainta and Antipolo that go through Tanay. Here’s a Commuting Guide to Tanay, Rizal.
Since a lot of the destinations are spread apart, the easiest way to get around is if you have your own private transportation. It’s especially great for motorcycle riders, who can avoid the traffic and choke point areas in the busier towns. By private car or motorcycle, you can reach Tanay via the scenic Marilaque highway that starts in Cogeo and passes through the Sierra madre mountains, or the shorter but less scenic route through Antipolo, Teresa and then the Manila East Road. Travel time by motorcycle is an hour or so. It’s also a great place to explore by mountain bike.
WHERE TO GO / WHAT TO DO IN TANAY:
Masungi Georeserve (in Baras)
A conservation area and hiking trail set amidst a karst rock formation. The discovery trail contains various obstacles including hanging bridges, caves, viewing decks and a giant hammock. Technically the Georeserve is part of Baras and not Tanay, but it’s near enough Tanay by proximity.
RATES: The conservation fee for a full trail visit is at Php 1,500.00 per person on weekdays and 1,800 per person during weekends, for a group of 7-13 persons. For inquiries, contact: email@example.com or visit: http://www.masungigeoreserve.com/
Tanay’s most famous tourist spot is Daranak Falls, a 14-meter high refreshing cascade with a deep basin for swimming. The place is quite popular with locals and tourists, so expect a lot of people sightseeing, swimming and having picnics during the weekend. To maximize your visit, go on a weekday (except for summer, when the place really gets crowded).
RATES: Daranak is open from 8am to 5pm every day. Entrance fee is P50 per person. Kids below 3ft are free of charge. Picnic shed is P300 (can accommodate 8 persons). Overnight camping & bringing alcoholic drinks are not allowed.
Just a short hike from Daranak is Batlag Falls, a more secluded spot with flowing strams and a large tree picturesque tree. Since it’s located in private property, there’s a separate (more expensive) entrance fee to go in, which means there are less people swimming.
RATES: Entrance fee: P100 per head (day trip), P50 for kids, P200 for overnight stay (camping; bring your own tents)
Just a 20-minute drive from Daranak Falls, Calinawan (or Kalinawan) Cave is a cave said to have been the strongholds of Filipino Resistance fighters against the colonizers.
RATES: Locals charge visitors to Calinawan Cave P20 entrance fee per head. There’s a guide fee of P200 pesos per group.
Daraitan River is a river hidden in the Sierra Madre mountain ranges. It’s been named the cleanest inland body of water in Region IV and is an ideal site for mountaineers, backpackers and trekkers.
Tinipak River & Rocks
Beautiful naturally carved marble rock formations can be found along Tinipak River. There’s also a cave with a subterranean pool that you can trek to and swim in.
RATES: P20 for environmental fee, P500 for tour guide for day hike, P1,250 for tour guide for overnight stays. All visitors need to register at the Barangay Hall to get a permit to visit Tinipak Springs and Cave or climb Mt. Daraitan. For inquiries, please contact the Municipality of Tanay, Province of Rizal Tourism Information Center. Contact info: 0906-2436298/ 0908-4579509 / 0998-9881590 / 0923-6810969
A relatively easy dayhike, mountaineers can climb Mt. Daraitan on the borders of Tanay, Rizal and Gen. Nakar, Quezon. This is one of the mountains near Manila where you have a chance to see a sea of clouds.
Located in Brgy. Sta. Ines, Kinabuan Falls is an ideal destination for mountaineers & mountain bikers looking for an off-the-beaten path adventure. There are several shallow rivers and streams you have to cross to get to the falls.
RATES: There’s no entrance fee, but you will need to register at the Sta. Ines Barangay Hall. It’s customary to donate something in kind to the chieftain of the Dumagat village.
Another cave in Tanay is Sangab Cave near Sta. Ines road, whose entrance is under water.
Tanay Lakeshore & Parola
The Tanay Lakeshore and its lighthouse known as parola provides a grand view of the lake and mountains. Locals usually visit the area in the early morning for the cool breeze and warm morning sun. The lighthouse isn’t that high, but it’s a major landmark in the town, with lots of fishing boats parked near the pier. There’s a restaurant here called Kainan sa Tabing-Lawa.
Kalingang Pilipino at Paseo Rizal
At the ground floor of the restaurant Paseo Rizal Mayagay in Sampaloc is a small art gallery and gift shop called “Kalingang Pilipino” which showcases a good collection of folkloric artwork, paintings, sculptures and mixed media pieces by local artists.
RATES: There’s no entrance fee to visit Kalingang Pilipino, but it would be good if you eat in the main restaurant.
Regina Rica (Regina Rosarii Institute for Contemplation in Asia) is a 14-hectare sanctuary for Dominican Sisters of Regina Rosarii and popular pilgrimage site that contains a 71-foot high statue of Queen of the Holy Rosary. The sanctuary also has a church situated amidst the hills, three waterfalls, a creek and over 10,000 trees.
RATES: There is no entrance fee to visit Regina RICA, though donations are accepted. Website: www.reginarica.org
One of the 26 churches nationwide chosen by the National Commission for the Culture and the Arts as national heritage sites. It is one of the oldest churches in Rizal and holds many centuries old religious artifacts.
Other religious points of interest in Tanay include the Holy Cross Chapel in Bukal and the Grotto, where visitors climb 300 steps up to visit the shrine of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
WHERE TO EAT & STAY:
Check out this list of Road Trip Restaurants along Marilaque, which includes several restaurants in Tanay.
Paseo Rizal Mayagay is a large restaurant and events venue catering to road trippers, serving Filipino food and native specialties like bulalo, suman and tablea. They have a couple of rooms for overnight stays.
Ten Cents to Heave in a leisure camp with a large rustic restaurant, wooden cabanas, obstacle courses, wall-climbing facility, long zipline & hanging bridge, and swimming pools. Good for families team-building and weekend getaways.
A popular getaway resort for families, Sierra Madre Hotel & Resort offers basic room accommodations. They also have a swimming pool, hanging bridge and zipline and their own waterfall in the premises.
Pranjetto Hills Resort & Conference Center
One of the older establishments in area, located in the scenic foothills of the Sierra Madre Mountains. Pranjetto Hills is a resort and events venue ideal for weekend stays, corporate planning, and even garden weddings. They have a large swimming pool, wall-climbing facility, zipline and camping grounds for groups.
They have cozy and affordable log cabins. You can book an room (with aircon, sala, balcony, TV and private CR with water heater), for just P1,400 for a 12 hour stay.
A secluded resort with a newly built hotel and casita suites, villas, and dorm or barracks type rooms. The resort is ideal for family out-of-town trips, school excursions, company team buildings and youth camps. Momarco has a huge swimming pool, man-made lagoon, sports center, mini-zoo and also contains the Bathala Bike Park within its premises.
For inquiries, get in touch with the TANAY TOURISM. Ground Floor, New Tanay Municipal Hall, M. H. del Pilar St., Tanay, Rizal 1980
- Contact numbers: (02) 7361059 / (02) 6552195 loc 212-213 / 09989881590
- Facebook: Tanay Tourism
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/TanayTourism