After seven months indoors, many of us just can’t wait but to be reunited with nature. Luckily, as tourism restrictions are easing up, some outdoor tour organizers have begun reoffering hikes to a few mountains in Rizal.
Flex those muscles and start warming up for these four hiking destinations.
- Height: 629 masl
- Guideship fee: P500 for Noah’s ark
- Hours to summit: Around 45 minutes to Noah’s Ark
Popularized by primetime soap “Ang Probinsiyano”, Mt. Kulis rests within the property of Fresno Agno Forestry, a farm and campsite that offers day tours and overnight hikes. The property houses what came to be known in the soap as “Bahay ni Kardo”. From the campsite, it takes only 5 minutes to reach the 629-meter high Sambong Peak.
Celebrity notwithstanding, Mt. Kulis also offers scenic photo ops in a boat-shaped staging platform called “Noah’s Ark”. The ark sits on top of steep and jagged rock formations, overlooking the surrounding landscape as it’s swathed by a sea of clouds. End your day at the Lion House Falls.
- Height: 750 masl
- Guideship fee: P500
- Hours to summit: 2 to 3 hours
One of several beginner-friendly mountains in Tanay,Mt. Mapalad passes through beautiful rice paddies, streams, and grasslands and some sections toward the end that require ropes.The highlight of the hike are the two life-size palm-shaped platforms at the summit, where you can enjoy panoramic views of the Sierra Madre Mountain Range and if you start early – a sea of clouds.
Laiban Circuit: Mt. Tangwa, Mt. Lobo, and Ngusong Kabayo
- Height: 625 masl (Ngusong Kabayo); 602 masl (Tangwa Peak)
- Guideship fee: Depends on organizer. Ranges from P1,000 to P2,100
- Hours to summit: 5 to 8 hours
The late Dag Hammarskjöld once said, “Never measure the height of a mountain until you have reached the top.” This holds true in this small but terrible trio in Laiban, Rizal. Though only 625 meters high at its highest point (Ngusong Kabayo), the 16-kilometer circuit is made a bit more challenging with open grasslands, slippery and muddy terrain, sharp bamboos, and a roped segment down a vertical face of a waterfall.
The journey passes by Mt. Lobo first, then Ngusong Kabayo – a horse-shaped rock formation that you may or may not climb up, then Mt. Tangwa or Tangwa Peak – a rocky peak with incredible 36-degree views of Mt. Binutasan and the Sierra Madre Mountain Range.
From here, you can complete the circuit by going down to Laiban Falls. If not, you may choose to do a backtrail instead from Mt. Tangwa.
- Height: 1,467 masl
- Guideship fee:Ranges from P1,200 to P1,500, depending on organizer
- Hours to summit: 8 to 12 hours
Compared to other mountains in Tanay, Mt. Irid is characterized by lush forests instead of grasslands, and is the only major hike in this list. There are hikers who successfully complete Mt. Irid as a day hike, however, due to the strenuous hike and the amount of time it takes to reach the summit, an overnight hike may make your hike more enjoyable too.
Part of the Sierra Madre Mountain Range, Mt. Irid promises you a beautiful immersion into a tropical rainforest filled with endemic species not seen in usual Rizl hikes, including Rafflesias, pitcher plants, and even endangered bird species like the Rufous hornbill and threatened ones like the Luzon bleeding heart. After tackling boulders; a continuous, slippery, and steep ascent; and countless limatik, you will be rewarded with a grand view of the Sierra Madre MOuntain Range, as well as farther peaks in the South, including Mt. Banahaw and Mt. Makiling.
Hikers must present this to be able to join hikes:
- Valid ID
- Latest medical/ health certificate (must be released 5 days before travel date)
- Facemask and faceshield (both mandatory)
- Only 21-59 years old are allowed
For hikes, you may get in touch with Kagawad Toto Muñoz via his Facebook account to inquire on schedules and requirements. His group operates hikes in Laiban and other parts of Rizal.