City living is great, but it can be quite stressful sometimes. When you’re the “nine-to-five” type of person, theres almost no time to take a breather. Pretty sure, you’ve been craving for time away from your busy life and maybe have seen photos of people camping, hiking, swimming, caving, cliff diving, or just being in touch with nature, and wish that one day, you could do all of that too. If you wanna get away, we found this hidden paradise that’s perfect for you! Here, you dont just get to do one of these things, but all of them! Let us tell you about a place, not too far away from the city, where you can finally take that long overdue break.
Tinipak River & Cave
From Quezon City, our travel time was a total of two hours. We started in Katipunan Avenue, then made a left to Aurora Boulevard and continued straight. When we reached the Marikina-Infanta Highway, we made a right to Tanay-Sampaloc Road, then a quick left and right along Marikina-Infanta Road. After almost six kilometers, we made another left to Makaira-Daraitan Road, and another quick right which lead us to the Daraitan Barangay Hall.
Once we arrived at Brgy. Daraitan, we were immediately in awe of the beautiful view. The way the mountains reflected on the body of water was just so breathtaking. What was amazing to us was that the view wasnt even of the Tinipak River yet. It was just the entrance to the starting point of our adventure, which served as a clear reminder that we were definitely headed to a paradise away from the busy Manila.
The first thing we had to do when we got there, was to cross a wooden bridge for 50 Php (Note that rates for cars, motorcycles, and trucks vary). Don’t worry! If you’re taking a private vehicle, the bridge was built wide and strong enough to get your car, van or even truck to the other side.
We drove some more and took a few turns until we arrived at the Barangay Hall. This is the starting point for adventure seekers in Daraitan. We requested for a tour guide, as people are not allowed to hike there without one for safety reasons. We paid a total of 500 Php for the guide and 100 Php each for the environmental fee.
Tip: Going in large groups is more advisable as it lessens the individual expense for the 500 Php tour guide fee.
The person assigned to us was very kind. He provided us with a mandatory briefing of what to expect, as well as the rules that came with hiking to Tinipak River. He stressed the importance of taking care of the environment, and even shared his fun facts about the upcoming attractions in the place like the balsa area and the bamboo rafts.
Around the Barangay Hall are also residents who offer their front yards as parking spaces for a flat rate of 50 Php and an overnight stay rate of 100 Php. Parking fees may vary depending on the household.
When we were done with all the pre-hiking requirements, we then began our one hour hike to the beautiful Tinipak River.
The hike isn’t as challenging as most, as certain parts of the trail were already cemented. Aside from this, the path we had to hike on was clear, and the guides themselves even built stairs and safety railings made of bamboo to ensure that the hike would be as friendly to visitors as possible.
Our guide made sure that the trip would be well documented too. Aside from helping us out with the hike, he also offered to be our photographer. He knew exactly where we had to pose to have the most amazing pictures, and even climbed up different rocks and structures, to ensure that we’d be happy with the shots. According to him, before they become certified Daraitan tour guides, they had to take photography classes. We were so impressed.
The entire journey was calm and quiet, because we went there on a weekday. It was so peaceful that we could hear the water flowing, even if we weren’t at the most beautiful part of the river yet. We were even able to see a well known bukal or flowing water from rocks, which was said to have the second cleanest water in the Philippines. This is where the community of Daraitan gets their daily water supply. It was so clean that we were even permitted to drink from it. The water was so fresh! On our way, we also had to pay 20 Php each to cross another bridge in one of the sari-sari stores in the area.
Finally, we arrived at the Tinipak River. The first thing we did was go caving in the Tinipak Cave. Rule number one is to bring a headlight or lamp, as it is pitch dark inside. Small groups get to go deeper into the cave, while big groups can only stay near the entrance. Inside, you can wonder at the shining stalactites and stalagmites inside the cave. Also present were large groups of flying animals which resembled bats, but were smaller in size. After taking photos and walking deep into the cave, we got to see a small pool-like hole. There, we swam and dived for a little while. The water was freezing cold and refreshing!
Tinipak River Cliff Diving
The next thing we decided to do was try cliff diving! Like a movie scene, we had to climb a seemingly uncharted rock formation to get to the top of the cliff. It was pretty scary, to be honest, because it was raining. This resulted in very slippery rocks, but thanks to the help of our guide, we were able to climb up successfully. Despite the challenging climb, the adrenaline rush after the high jump made all of it so worth it.
Tinipak River Swimming
When we finished doing this, we decided to take a step back to enjoy the beauty of the river and spend a few hours swimming around and relaxing.
If you want, you can also stay overnight in Tinipak River because they have a camping site in the area where people can rent cottages or put up tents.
It’s not everyday you get to do crazy fun activities like the ones listed above! So we suggest that you give yourself a break from all your hard work, take the challenge and try them all out for yourself!
Things to bring:
- Head lamp (preferably since it is hands free), or flashlight
- Extra Clothes
- Packed lunch or snacks (if you don’t want to buy there)
- Ziplock to keep your valuables in (if ever it rains or you drop your bag)
- Camera with waterproof case (if any) or Go Pro
- Cash (We spent 400 Php each for the entire hike – 2 people)
- Departure from Ortigas: 6:00AM – 8:00AM
- Arrival at Brgy Daraitan and Pre Departure Orientation: 8:00AM – 8:15AM
- Start of hike: 8:15AM – 9:30AM
- Arrival at Tinipak River: 9:30AM
- Caving: 9:45AM – 10:20AM
- Cliff Diving: 10:40AM – 11:00AM
- Swimming: 11:00AM – 1:00PM
- Hike and tricycle back to Barangay Hall 1:00PM – 1:30PM
- Lunch: 1:40PM – 2:10PM
- Freshen up: 2:15PM – 2:30PM
- Departure: 2:45PM – 4:50PM
- Arrival at Manila: 4:50PM
You also have an option to hike up to Mt. Daraitan or to try going up both Daraitan and Tinipak while you are there. Here is the Itinerary of our previous trip to both the mountain and the river.
Mt. Daraitan is a 4/9 in level of difficulty, but is worth the climb as the summit is beautiful.
We are so excited for you to try all of these out and for you to finally have the break you have always deserved. We had a blast and we’re sure you will too.