Rizal Province is the best escape you could get from Manila in these tough times for travel, especially when you’re a nature and outdoor lover. It’s only 30 minutes away from the metro and yet, you can easily attain the probinsya life with its vast and teeming natural wonders.
Craving an outdoor adventure or a physical activity like hiking? Missing the sea of clouds of Mt. Pulag? Or just want some fresh air and a change of scenery? Look no further because the high and mountainous province of Rizal has it all! Its hiking spots are not only scenic and easy but also feature extra amenities that can make your photos Insta-perfect!
Here are the most scenic and Insta-worthy hiking spots you should check out in Rizal!
Before You Go (Guidelines)
As of writing, Rizal Province is under Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ), which prohibits the operation of outdoor tourist attractions. Outdoor activities such as hiking are only allowed at a certain capacity under General Community Quarantine (GCQ) and Modified GCQ (MGCQ). Use the list below as a reference for your future hiking trips once the quarantine restrictions are eased. Follow the provincial government page Lalawigan ng Rizal (Official) on Facebook for the latest updates on the quarantine status.
Each of the hiking spots may have its own requirements for visitors depending on the place of origin. But as a basic, always have your face mask, face shield, and sanitizer. The usual requirements are a COVID-19 test or medical clearance, an LGU-issued travel pass, and a valid ID. Make sure to contact the local unit or provider to know the exact requirements for your destination.
When talking about scenic hiking and ecotourism, Masungi Georeserve is always top of mind. It is famous for “sapot,” a spiderweb-like viewing platform that lets visitors marvel at Rizal’s limestone formations and Laguna de Bay from a high vantage point, right above the limestone rocks. The sapot is part of Masungi’s Discovery Trail, which comprises other rope courses and scenic trails traversing rainforests and karst terrain.
It only takes 3-4 hours to hike the Discovery Trail and back.
Location: Km 47, Marcos Highway, Baras, Rizal
Mt. Kulis gives you incredible scenery and a sea of clouds without much difficulty. This hiking spot is ideal for beginners and even popular among celebrities and couples. You may have seen the popular photo spot called Noah’s Ark, a wooden boat perched atop a limestone pillar. With the right angle, it looks as if you’re sailing above the mountains and the sea of clouds completes this illusion.
It only takes about an hour to reach the peak of Mt. Kulis. If staying overnight, you can pitch your own tent or rent a tent or a nipa cottage at the campsite.
Location: Sitio Maysawa, Brgy. Laiban, Tanay, Rizal
Facebook: Fresno Agro Forestry and Eco Tourist Campsite
If Mt. Kulis takes you sailing in the sky, Mt. Mapalad takes you literally in the palm of her hands with two Insta-perfect wooden palm structures at the summit. These structures are perfectly positioned so you get the Sierra Madre in the background. If you go early and you’re lucky, you may also find a sea of clouds.
There are two routes to choose from, depending on whether you prefer ease or speed. Overall, Mt. Mapalad is a good hike for beginners. It only takes 4-6 hours for a roundtrip hike.
Location: Brgy. San Andres, Tanay, Rizal
Facebook: Mt Mapalad
If you’re going for the thrill rather than just chill, Mt. Daraitan should be at the top of your list. It’s the most recommended by hikers in Rizal even for beginners. It harbors one of, if not the, best views of nature—that means the Sierra Madre with Tinipak River curling through the otherwise very green landscape. Limestone cliffs, natural springs, and caves along the way make the hike more gratifying.
A roundtrip hike at Mt. Daraitan takes 5-8 hours. Overnight hikers usually camp at Tinipak River.
Location: Brgy. Daraitan, Tanay, Rizal
Facebook: Brgy. Daraitan Tanay Rizal
Mt. Batolusong gives you a glimpse of what Batanes looks like. This mountain is often compared with the northern province with its rolling grasslands and panoramic scenery. It’s also extremely easy as it only takes 1.5 hours through rice fields and woodlands with a steep but quick ascent to reach the endpoint, Mapatag Plateau. The plateau is vast and windy. And since it’s located in the southern end of Sierra Madre, there’s a chance you can find Mt. Banahaw on a clear day.
Location: Brgy. San Andres, Tanay, Rizal
Facebook: Mt. Batolusong Tanay Rizal
Find more quick getaways from Manila or near your town on KKday!
*Featured image via Masungi Georeserve / Mt. Mapalad