7 Hiking Spots to Add to Your RIZAL ITINERARY

Rizal is a popular destination because of the many things the province has to offer. It is also an accessible destination whether you go by private or public transportation. One of the reasons Rizal is famous is the mountains one can climb. Some of these are beginner-friendly, which make them possible day trips from Metro Manila or nearby provinces and cities.

These are just some of the mountain hikes you can do whenever you visit Rizal. The trails are accessible even for beginners and some only take a few hours to complete. At the summit of the mountains, you’ll get the stunning bird’s eye views of the surroundings.


Mount Maynoba and Mount Cayabu

Located in Tanay, Rizal both mountains are easily accessible from Metro Manila by private transportation. Maynoba provides views of the sea of clouds if you’re lucky, but the success rate of seeing them is high. Many hikers who make their way here do a loop that takes you through Maynoba and Cayabu. The trail is scenic and forested, but once you reach the higher levels it becomes open and airy with overlooking views of the surrounding mountains.

If you have time, follow the descending trails that lead to some waterfalls to cool off and wash the dirt and sweat off. For hikers who are determined to see the sea of clouds, it is better to rent or drive your own car to the trail.


Mount Tagapo

Rising to just around 430+ meters above sea level, Mount Tagapo is a fun hike with scenic trails. Located in Binangonan, you’ll have to ride a boat bound for Talim Island before you reach Tagapo. Enjoy the views of Laguna de Bay and experience the bucolic atmosphere of the fishing villages you will pass en route to the trail. The hike is easy and takes just around three to four hours to complete, depending on your pace and fitness level. Once you reach the peak, you’ll get stunning views of the nearby mountains such as Mount Sembrano and Mount Maculot. You’ll also get bird’s eye views of the lake and the towns below.


Mount Daraitan

Daraitan is part of the beautiful Sierra Madre mountain range that straddles Tanay in Rizal and General Nakar in Quezon. The mountain’s highest peak measures 739 meters above sea level. The mountain is a possible day hike from the bustling urban jungle of Metro Manila. Its popularity isn’t a drawback because the trails are easy to navigate and well-maintained. The ascending trail may prove to be challenging for beginners. However, once you reach the highest point, you’ll be rewarded with fetching views of the surroundings and limestone formations.

You have the option to descend the way you came from or make your way to Tinipak River. The river is a noteworthy stop and is a must for those visiting for the first time. You can spend the night in Daraitan’s summit, pitch your tent, lay out your camping gear, and enjoy being away from the frenetic lifestyle of the city.


Mount Hapunang-Banoi

Located in Rodriguez, Rizal, Mount Hapunang Banoi rises to approximately 517 meters. Banoi means “eagle” in Tagalog; the mountain got its name because folktales mentioned that eagles flew to these parts to look for food. There are many mountains that are higher than this one, but don’t be fooled, some parts of the trail can be challenging. You’ll have to scramble up rocky terrain towards the final assault to the summit. The reward for all your troubles is stunning views of the rock formations and mountains in the distance during a clear day.


Mount Pamitinan

With a height just above 400 meters, Mount Pamitinan is a popular day hike for those living in Metro Manila. This mountain in Rodriguez, Rizal has an established trail that many have taken. The hike takes approximately up to 2.5 hours one way; passing through a forest and rocky paths. You’ll need to climb rocks to get from one section to another. The views at the summit are worth the time and effort. Soak in the fresh air, rest for a while and relish in the accomplishment of climbing a mountain.


Mount Sipit Ulang

Rodriguez, Rizal is home to some mountains that are already on this list, but you can add another one — Mt. Siping Ulang. This mountain measures only 252m; the hike is short and sweet, and the views are beautiful. Its most distinguishing feature is the crab claw-like rock formation. Other than the claw-like formation, you’ll also get views of Mount Binacayan, Mount Hapunang Banoi, and Mount Pamitinan. There are two trails; the easy one is simply that easy taking you up to the summit in no time, while the other is called Paniki (means bat) Trail. This trail takes you through cave-like trails that require more effort to finish.


Treasure Mountain

Located in Tanay, Rizal, Treasure Mountain became a famous destination because of the effortless sea of clouds you’ll see (weather permitting). There is a campsite that provides viewpoints for those who came to see the clouds from dawn to early morning. Hiking isn’t required; you can take your car and drive all the way to the privately-owned campsite. Visitors also get to see the Sierra Madre Mountain Range after seeing the sea of clouds. There are swimming pools, cottages, lounge chairs and an obstacle course for visitors who want to stay longer.


Where to Stay in Rizal

Rizal is an accessible province, especially if you’re coming from Metro Manila. Many just do day trips because of its proximity, but for those that plan to stay, there are many accommodations to choose from.

Aside from Antipolo, Tanay is another option for those looking for a place to stay in Rizal. Here you will find plenty of hotels and guesthouses. You can also find many buses, jeeps and vans passing by, which makes getting to this destination easy. There are also campsites in the mountains and parks for visitors who want to not just save money, but rough it out. Anyway, here are some of Rizal’s top-rated hotels as reviewed by Agoda users (as of March 2020).

Thunderbird Resorts. Photo was provided by the resort via Agoda.

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