Elevation: 645 m above sea level
Another hiking destination near Manila is Mount Batolusong. Located in Tanay, Rizal, this mountain is great for both beginners and experienced hikers alike. With a variety of trail, it will surely satisfy the itch for an adventure. From grasslands and forests to rivers and rock formations, this hike features different types of terrains. It also has great views of the mountain range and nearby peaks. Kay-ibon Falls is a great side trip to complete your journey.
Check out the different adventures you can try for Mount Batolusong. Be reminded to check the weather before you go! You wouldn’t want to hike through muddy slopes when you get there. But aside from that, Mount Batolusong is a great place for an adventure!
This day hike takes only a few short hours to finish. From the jump-off point, the trek starts through some rice farms of the locals living in the area. Soon enough, hikers will enter a forested area. The hike will remain relatively simple the entire time. Expect to cross a small river where you may find beautiful rock formations. There are a few steep parts along the way. But don’t fret, because, with just a small push, you’ll reach the summit in no time! If you ever find yourself needing a quick breather, there are several places to rest in the middle of the trail. You will pass through a few kubo selling refreshments and snacks. As you continue on through the woodlands, you will eventually reach Duhatan Ridge. Do a quick photo-op on this area and proceed with the hike, because the summit is just a few minutes away!
Continue on your journey until you reach the wide grassland of Mapatag Plateau. The summit offers a nice view of the Sierra Madre mountain range plus a few other nearby peaks such as Mount Makiling and Mount Cristobal. Take some photos before beginning your descent on the same trail.
Days needed to complete hike: 1 day
Average hike duration to reach summit (From jump-off point): 1 to 2 hours
Major jump-off point: Barangay San Andres, Tanay, Rizal
Some hikers prefer to get the ultimate hiking experience by spending the night with nature. Mapatag Plateau is a good camping area. You may choose to start the journey a bit later in the day. Set up camp once you reach the summit and relish in the quiet ambiance of the mountain. The cool mountain air is a nice bonus. Be reminded that there is little to no cellphone signal up at Mount Batolusong. This might be the perfect moment to detach yourselves from civilization for a few hours. In the morning, have a quick breakfast picnic as you watch the sunrise. Once you’ve had your fill of nature, start your descent down the same path.
Another alternative for the Mount Batolusong hike is to take the Kay-ibon Falls side trip when you descend from Mapatag Plateau. This option recommends hikers to take an overnight trip in order to maximize the experience. Set up camp on the summit of Mount Batolusong.
In the morning, start your descent using the path headed for Kay-ibon Falls. The view is quite nice and different from the one you used to go up. There are a few places to stop for a quick rest along the way. But when you reach the falls, you’re exhaustion will melt away as you witness the beautiful waters. The water is cool and refreshing, so make sure you pack extra clothes for when you make a quick dip. Once you’ve had your fun, continue your descent down the established road, which will take you back to Barangay San Andres.
Susong Dalaga is a little further up from Mapatag Plateau. Once you reach the summit, you have the option to continue your journey to a higher peak at 780 meters above sea level. Susong Dalaga is about two hours or less away from Mapatag Plateau. It is another great viewpoint of the mountain range and nearby peaks. Refresh yourselves for a few moments before beginning your descent.
Another peak to visit from Mapatag Plateau is Rangyas Peak. The trail going to this summit is slightly challenging, especially for beginners. Make sure to have a local guide to help you navigate to the area. This is recommended as an overnight hike. Spend the night in Mapatag Plateau and set out for Rangyas Peak early in the morning.
The view is definitely worth it as you climb to a higher viewpoint. It gives you a clearer view of the mountain range and grassland below you. You can even see Susong Dalaga peak from up there. Do note that Rangyas Peak requires a separate fee from the Mapatag Plateau hike.
It’s important to plan your trip in advance to make sure you know exactly what to do and where to go on the day itself. Here are some ways to get to your destination:
From Manila, proceed to Antipolo City by riding a jeepney. In less than an hour, you will reach your destination. Get off at the jeepney terminal and take a Cogeo Gate 2 jeepney. Tell the driver to drop you off at the Batangasan junction where you will see the archway marking the entrance of Barangay San Andres in Tanay. Hire a motorcycle, or a habal-habal, to take you to the registration area. Register and pay necessary fees before proceeding to your hike. You may also hire local guides in the registration area.
Another alternative is to take your own private transportation to barangay San Andres. You may park your vehicles at the registration area.