Had enough of staycations? Craving for some bit of adventure and fresh air? Here’s a 1-day itinerary when you want to explore Rizal area!
If you haven’t read my previous post pandemic articles. I’ll emphasize it here again: I’m sharing with you some travel tips that might be helpful especially now with all the changing travel restrictions and requirements.
- Know the travel requirements of your destination. Do your research. Websites and social media pages of local government units, department of tourism, and of your hotel usually post announcements on travel requirements and restrictions. As of July 2021, Pamitinan Area is open. See more information here: https://www.facebook.com/DENRPamitinanProtectedLandscape
- Find out if there are checkpoints if you are going by land and make sure you have the necessary documents.
- Know the COVID situation of the area you are going to. Are there active cases? If there’s a high number of COVID cases and local transmissions, I would suggest you postpone your trip.
- Know the safety protocols and extra precautions that your accommodation is implementing. The more the better, the safer you can be. And make sure you follow them.
- Wash your hands. Wear your mask.
- Research on what’s open and what can be done in the area. Your accommodation might be open but the places you want to visit around you may not be. This way, you can manage your expectations and fix your itinerary beforehand.
- Get yourself tested before and after your trip. It’s additional cost but it will keep you and your family / loved ones safe too.
Here are the highlights of our trip:
The Pamitinan Protected Landscape is a Philippine protected park that is part of the Sierra Madre Mountain Range located northeast of Manila. It contains three mountains that guests can climb namely: Mt. Pamitinan, Mt. Binacayan, and Mt. Hapunang Banoy. The area protects the watershed of the Marikina River that supplies the water in Manila through the Wawa Dam which you can also visit after the hike! As of now, due to safety restrictions 1 person or group can only climb up to two mountains per trip.
If you are an avid climber, you can try hiking the seven peaks (once it’s allowed). For this trip, we only chose Mt. Binacayan (423 meters above sea level) which is fairly beginner friendly but not without a bit of a challenge. There will be parts where you will need to navigate through limestone rocks so don’t forget to buy gloves at the foot of the mountain (or ask your guide). Mt. Binacayan has three summits. First one, if you are lucky, will be the sea of clouds covering the river. The second one will be a good view of the river and Wawa dam. The third will be the 360 view of Rizal, the Sierra Madre Mountain Range and the Wawa River.
If you want the perfect tour guide who can give you the perfect photos book Roberto Salvador – Tourist Guide 09287498399. He’s funny too! Every time he takes a photo you will hear me say, “Pak, Pak, Pak!” As if encouraging you to post for the camera!
How to Book and Get There:
- Book via the Facebook page of Pamitinan DENR. Click Book Now. Follow the instructions in this link: https://www.facebook.com/DENRPamitinanProtectedLandscape/photos/pcb.308525767650077/308519064317414/
- Make sure you get your confirmation. It took them less than a day to reply.
- If you want to see the sea of clouds go early. We booked the 4:45am.
- On the day of your hike, if you are going by car you can pin you waze at DENR Pamitinan. From Manila it took us 1.5hours to get there using the C6.
- Park your car and go to the DENR Office. Show your confirmation. Pay the entrance fee of Php20.00 per pax and the Hiking and Trekking Fee of Php50.00 per pax.
- Then ask them where the tourism office is. It’s a few blocks away. The tourism office will ask you to sign a waiver and assign you a tour guide (if you still don’t have one). Tour Guide fee is Php500.00 (for 1 group of 5 pax maximum)
Depending on your fitness level and pace, from the foot of the mountain up to the first summit will take around 1.5 hours. You can take a break here and get awesome photos of the sea of clouds! The next two summits will be around 1 hour or so. Going down will take less, around 1.5 hours.
If you want to see the the summit 360 view, check out the video at the start!
After the Hike:
You can ask your guide to direct you to the river where you can cool down. If you plan to take a boat ride, you will be able to see the Montalban Gorge. The boat ride reminded me of the views in Vietnam! You can change clothes in the paid toilets in the area.
If you still have the energy and is quite hungry, from Pamitinan you can drive for about 1.5hrs going to the Pinto Art Museum to eat and spend the rest of the day checking out the artworks!
Pinto Art Museum
Pinto Art Museum was established in 2010. It aims to present different types of art forms—from sculptures to paintings and mixed media showcasing a variety of themes and cultures. It also houses a restaurant that offers really good food! For a fee of Php 250.00 per pax, you can enter the place dine in and explore the museum.
It’s not only known for its art pieces but also for the architectural design of the whole place, making it perfect for photoshoots and events. They say it’s one of the most instagrammable museums in the world!
That’s it! Follow me on Instagram @travelanyway for more random trips, and occasional poetry!