I woke up to the sound of my phone, screaming at the highest volume an iPhone is capable of. It was 3am, I got myself ready, grabbed a bite, kissed my dad good bye, and left for the meet up place. We hired a van to bring us to our destination. We left Manila at 6am and arrived at Barangay Daraitan at around 8am. It felt like a 10 minute trip due to the fact that I was asleep the whole time.
Tinipak River is situated at Barangay Daraitan, Rizal. It lies at the boundary of Rizal Province and Quezon Province. It was one heck of a bumpy ride, I couldn’t even imagine how my butt would feel if we had chosen option # 2, which is to get dropped off at Tanay Market, then ride a tricycle to the “port”. When we got there, lush mountains welcomed us. I knew that it was going to be a good day.
We had to cross a river in order to get to the registration site. A raft made of bamboo was the mandatory solution to bring tourists to the other side, and you’ll have to pay 5 pesos (one way) for the maintenance fee. The boat ride was so short that I wasn’t even able to finish my snap. (I heard they’re building a bridge though.)
Upon reaching the site, we all had to register and go through a quick briefing about the dos and don’ts. Our tour guide was also introduced to us, then we started on with the hike. (Tour guides are required upon visiting the river. The charge for the tour guide is 500php. One tour guide can accompany up to 10 people.)
After 3 kilometres of walking, I finally heard the relaxing flow of the river. It was indeed breathtaking.
In all honesty, I underestimated the hike. The trail was quite challenging, and you may encounter some steep areas. We weren’t even halfway towards the main destination, which is the cave, and I was already exhausted.
They don’t allow tourists to swim in the river due to the strong current, so you’ll have to go down the cave if you want to have a dip. Going down the entrance of the cave was the most challenging part of the hike. The cave was full of minerals that are somewhat similar to those found in the Puerto Princessa Underground River. It was pitch dark, good thing we were all advised to bring a flashlight beforehand. (Rental of flashlights are available in the area for 30 pesos each)
To sum it all up, it was an amazing trip. Do expect body pains the day after the hike. (hehe) I won’t get much into details and you’ll have to conquer it for yourself.
Breakdown of expenses:
Van rental (3,000 Round-trip, split into 10) – 300php
Tour guide (500, split into 10) – 50php
Boat ride (Round-trip) – 10php
Extra food and drinks – 200php
Total: 560php (Not bad at all)