Mt. Daraitan is certainly one of the most picturesque but most grueling hike we have ever taken. It takes 3 to 4 hours hike to the summit that is mostly very steep and if you think the hike down is easier, think again. It takes another 4 hours but with double difficulty due to the mud. Our guide said it rained hard the night before ergo the muddy trail that gave us both an advantage and a disadvantage. Advantage since there were just a few people hiking the mountain, which is unusual because it’s always a blockbuster up there. However it’s disadvantage caused the trail to be unbelievably slippery. In fact, we passed by two groups of friends who retreated and did not bother to finish the climb.
Alas! The view from the summit has proved to be so worth it. The Sierra Madre ranges with the river snaking around and the limestone rock formation is sure to be a sight to behold. Lucky to have the summit almost to ourselves. Usually though, this summit is jam-packed. I’m not kidding, you can actually search it on the net. So it would be good to hike on weekdays to avoid the crowd.
We took the traverse trail to Tinipak river on our way down. There’s actually a cave pool but unfortunately due to time constraint, we couldn’t go. So that would be a reason to go back here.
How to get there:
Via Private Car
- Head out to Tanay-Infanta Road via Tanay-Sampaloc Road coming from Tanay Public Market/Tanay Town Center if Marcos Highway is closed.
- Drive along Tanay-Infanta Road and take a left turn to a dirt road with a sign that leads to Brgy. Daraitan.
- Follow the road until you reach the river crossing; there is a PHP50 fee for the car to cross the bridge.
- Head to the Brgy. Hall.
Via Public Transpo
- Take a Jeep or van in EDSA-Starmall going to Tanay (PHP70-90; 1.5 hours)
- Transfer Jeep, Tanay to Sampaloc (PHP26, 45 minutes)
- Hire a tricycle, Tanay to Brgy. Daraitan (PHP100/person; 30 minutes)
- Raft, Daraitan river (PHP10)
- Tricycle, Daraitan river to Brgy. hall (10 pesos/person; 5 minutes)
*Alternatively for 1-2, take jeep from Cogeo to Sampaloc
- Bring gloves as you’ll find yourself holding on to branches and muddy rocks as you climb the steep trail.
- Bring water at least 3L to be hydrated all the time.
- Pack light, you’ll find it difficult to bring heavy things ascending the mountain.
- Bring snacks. There are carinderias in the brgy. hall to buy from if you want.
- Hike on a WEEKDAY. We cannot stress this enough.