Last May, we conquered Mt. Daraitan and got to reward ourselves with a quick stop at the peaceful and picturesque Tinipak River. Surrounded by mountains and trees and littered with beautiful massive white rocks, it was a sight to behold! I decided right then and there that it is one of my favorite places (“my happy place”) and I would definitely come back.
Eight weeks later, I was back! This time with friends from work and this time, we skipped the mountain. The plan was just to take loads of pictures at the river 😀
The trip had some hurdles so I thought I would give a list of tips to help prevent similar mishaps:
1. Going to Brgy. Daraitan in Tanay, Rizal via public transpo entails an hour long tricycle ride from Tanay town proper. I highly recommend calling the Tanay Tourism Office or the barangay itself to hire your tricycle. We did this for our first Daraitan trip and it proved to be a good idea!
The second time I visited the far-flung area, our group just got a random tricycle at Tanay town proper and the driver made us transfer to another tricycle halfway through the trip. It turns out he’s not allowed to drive tourists all the way to Brgy. Daraitan because there are designated trikes for this special trip. Or perhaps, he just wanted to avoid the bumpy road leading to the barangay. To avoid this inconvenience, get a contact person from Brgy. Daraitan (see next bullet for our recommendation!). The people of Daraitan or the tourism office of Tanay will be happy to assign you a driver slash rough-roads expert!
2. Even if you’re not climbing the mountain and you just plan to go to the river, you are required to hire a guide. We were quite stubborn at first. We tried to assure the people at the registration that we didn’t need a guide. My friends and I thought it was unfair that they’re charging those scaling the mountain and those going straight to the river the same amount of P500 when the trek to the latter is a lot shorter!
They insisted on their rule and threatened they’d send us back to town if we didn’t get a guide. IT WAS STRESSFUL and we had to give in. We were lucky one of the guys agreed to accompany us for only P200. John is the nicest! He knows his stuff and is extremely helpful. Contact him at 0917-2523735 and give him a generous tip! We gave him P500 in the end.
3. Bring slippers but don’t use them for the hike! Since we were not planning on climbing Mt. Daraitan, we thought slippers would suffice. Boy were we wrong. It is still advisable to wear proper hiking footwear because the Tinipak trail takes about 1 hour of trekking over big slippery rocks. I wore my almost-always reliable Havaianas slippers with straps. Although it didn’t break and I didn’t slip, it was very uncomfortable.
4. Bring an umbrella/raincoat/waterproof jacket and WATERPROOF YOUR STUFF. If your backpack is not waterproof, at least have a huge plastic bag where you can shove your things when it starts raining. We were unprepared for the heavy rain that greeted us on our hike back to the community. Hiking in the rain didn’t bother me so much. I liked the thrill. I felt pretty badass (HAHA) but I was also worried about my stuff getting soaked.
5. On the way home from Tanay Town Proper, I would recommend riding a UV Express bound for Shaw/Megamall instead of a jeep. This is a lesson I’m carrying over from my first Daraitan experience. Shuttles are more expensive but also more comfortable and have less stops, therefore faster than a jeepney ride.
6. Last but not the least… bring barya and small bills when you travel to Daraitan (or anywhere for that matter). As someone OC with money, my P1000 bill brought so much unnecessary overthinking 😐
That’s it. Some helpful advice. Or don’t follow these tips for a more unforgettable adventure! Ours was definitely one for the books (or should I say, one for the blogs? Hehe).
PS. As we were passing by Antipolo on our way home, I was struck with a realization. I think my love for nature has something to do with my being an AA girl. I studied in Assumption Antipolo for 13 years! We had a beautiful campus in the mountains. We were surrounded by trees and fresh air. There was no traffic to and from school. I’m now 20-something and working in the city and I constantly want to escape to the mountains or anywhere near nature. I’m glad I found this gem in my home province of Rizal. I will definitely be back for a third time, Tinipak!
Thank you, Nors, for the photos ❤