Prepare for a visually stunning site in the Philippines
Mount Daraitan River, or also commonly called as Tinipak River, is located in Tanay, Rizal, within the heart of Sierra Madre. This mini adventure gave me such a refreshing introduction to the amount of beauty nature could offer if one has enough effort and determination to reach that place. Traveling to Mt Daraitan River, Tinipak River, and Tanay, Rizal as a whole is indeed an exciting experience for all the thrill seekers out there who are easily captivated by nature’s beauty.
The climb was worth it and I would definitely recommend this to those who love going on different kinds of adventures and to those who do not mind walking, hiking and climbing, because reaching Mount Daraitan River is no joke! Don’t be discouraged though, as I personally went here with my friends without any climbing/trekking experience! All you need to enjoy this adventure is to surround yourself with lovely company and I’m here to guide you throughout your trip before you even begin so you know what to expect and to avoid.
Ready? Now let’s get started!
Step 1: Get your proper travel bag ready for adventure
Bring a backpack with lots of pockets! I made the mistake of bringing a side bag to this trip because it was my first time visiting this gem, and I did not know how much of a hassle carrying a side bag was in getting through this trip since it involved lots of walking, hiking, and climbing. So, to maximize and enjoy the whole experience, bring a backpack to save yourself from worrying about keeping your sidebag from falling!
Things to fill your backpack with:
– Swimsuits, hiking/climbing attire (shorts/leggings, dri-fit shirt, pajamas if you’re planning an overnight trip, underwear), and a jacket
– Water. Lots of it! Bring a 1.5L water bottle, you need to keep yourself hydrated throughout this trip
– Packed lunch and chips. Though there’s a small restaurant within the area, it would still be ideal and recommended to have your own packed lunch in case you get hungry in between trips. Make sure to properly dispose of them after, though!
– Toiletries. This includes travel size shampoo, soap, toothpaste, toothbrush
– Trekking shoes/sandals/travel boots. Use shoes that you don’t mind getting wet and dirty, as you will go through muddy areas and low levels of streaming water before finally reaching the area.
– Small towel. You don’t necessarily need to bring a big one, just enough to wipe your whole body with
– Pocket money. You will need around 1-2k for this trip, inclusive of the room accommodation, travel tour guide and transportation fees
– Camera (preferably with a waterproof case)
Now that you’re ready, let’s proceed to the next step!
Step 2: Room Reservation, Accomodation, and Tour Guide
If you’re planning to stay overnight, there are several places you can stay in. Personally, we stayed in a hut with a magnificent overlooking view.
Mind you, though, that reaching this place took lots of climbing, but you’re probably already anticipating for that! Reaching a place with this view isn’t easy, but definitely worth it! You just have to properly prepare yourself for it, and this is what the travel guide is about.
We stayed in a place called Kuta Bangliw Eco Campsite. We stayed in a View Point Hut around 30 minutes away from Mt. Daraitan River/Tinipak River. The reason we chose this place is because of the picturesque overlooking view and the overall ambiance of the vicinity.
Now that you know the details about the room accommodation, let’s proceed to the next step.
Step 3: Get ready to commute
For those of you who do not have a van/car to accommodate you to the river, commuting is the easiest and best option. First, you have to find a ride to Masinag Intersection. We personally took Uber to reach this place. From Masinag Intersection, ride a jeepney going to COGEO, Antipolo (10php), next, ride another jeepney from COGEO, Antipolo to Sampaloc, Tanay Rizal (65php). When you arrive to Sampaloc, ride a tricycle going to Mt. Daraitan River or Tinipak River (300php). The tricycle can accommodate up to 6 people.
Step 4: The Main Experience
After a really long and tiring walk in the midst of the rocky Daraitan, we finally reached Tinipak River.
The place, with its awe-inspiring and majestic view, took around 2 hours for us to reach, and each drop of sweat sure was worth it. If one is looking for a peaceful and quiet environment, this is definitely—without a hint of doubt—the place. The river is long and we travelled much further to reach the area with no fast flowing stream so we can swim safely.
The experience in details:
When we arrived, the place was not very crowded and the locals were very nice and helpful. The place also had nearby stores where people can buy food and drinks. Upon reaching the place, we crossed the river in a small boat that accommodated around 10 people and even a motorcycle! Crossing the river cost 5 pesos each. If you don’t want to cross the river with a boat, you can also cross the bridge.
Once we’ve crossed to the other side, our tour guide accompanied us to the main site: The Tinipak River. It took us around 15 minutes to reach the river from the boat and bridge area. We stayed here for a bit to take photos and absorb the ambiance of the place. After that, we continued to hike in the area where we could swim.
At around 10 minutes after the boat ride, we finally reached the secluded area where we could swim. The water was cold and fresh, and the river was clean and it was really safe to swim there. The river wasn’t deep and we stayed there for a while before going back. The area had a steady stream of water. The place was captivating and peaceful. It is indeed a magnificent exemplification of nature’s beauty.
Our way back:
This is a photo of us crossing the bridge on our way back. However, we used the boat to cross when we arrived. Going back is much, much easier than experiencing climbing for the first time. The experience was overall very new and exciting. It was difficult at first and at one point, the legwork was too much that I had to ask my friends if we could rest for a while. However, after a 5-minute rest, I was more determined to reach our place so I could finally rest.
Was it a hard hike? For a first timer like me, yes! Would I do it again? Absolutely! It was definitely worth it, and the feeling’s really amazing once you finally reach Tinipak River. Hiking for the first time has been fun!