Skip to main content

Mt. Maculot – Updated Itinerary and Expenses as of October 2016

Mt. Maculot in Cuenca, Batangas is one hiking destination that I will tirelessly visit. The easy commute, friendly locals and the tranquil views of Taal Lake from its minor peak called Rockies are the main reasons why I keep on coming back. 

Yesterday, I was here again with my cousin Len, who just survived her first mountain adventure (Wohoo!), Ivan of Batang Laktwatsero and one of my bestfriends - Jules of TheTrail Running Mistress. What made the trip special was our side trip to Taal Lake. Its entry point is in a nearby community, isolated by 1,009 stone steps (as counted by Ivan) from the main road.  

As Mt. Maculot is a haven for a lot of mountaineers, I recommend doing a day tour during the weekend as it tends to get too crowded or if you insist on staying for the night, do it on a Sunday or on a week day. 

There are two main jump-offs – Rockies and Grotto. The latter will lead you directly to the summit but since the views aren’t as spectacular as what can be seen from rockies, it is less visited. The summit trail is through a forest where temperature is much cooler, slippery and a bit foggy. You will also be in for some intimidating rock scrambling about 45 minutes from the grotto where extreme caution is necessary but is worth checking out.  For a full adventure – ascend from the grotto to the summit, rest at the campsite and check out rockies or vice versa. :)



Photo Courtesy of Ivan Cultura - www.ivanlakwatsero.com
ITINERARY 
0530 - Meet up at LRT-Buendia (Possible Meet-up points : Wendy's, Jollibee, KFC, 7 Eleven or at Jam Terminal) 
0600 Board a bus to Lemery from Jam Liner Terminal (P150)
0900 ETA Cuenca Town proper. Hail a tricycle from the terminal near the market. It’s on the same side where the bus will drop you off. Walk or take a tricycle to Rockies jump-off. Tricycle costs (20 pesos/head, can fit 4 people with day packs). The driver will bring you to the registration area where you need to sign on a log book and pay 20 Pesos/head. You can also get their number in case of emergencies. 
0930 Start trek. 
1130 ETA Campsite, head to Rockies. 
1200 ETA Rockies 
1230 Head back to campsite 
1300 Campsite, start descent
1430 ETA - Jump-off; Clean-up and board a Manila-bound bus from the highway or ride a jeep to Lipa City (24 Pesos/head) and eat in one of the food chains there. There’s a bus terminal bound for Cubao, LRT/Buendia and Alabang near Chowking, across Robinson’s Place.  Be at the terminal by 8:00 PM as the trips back to Manila does not run 24 hours. 

Notes:
Guides are now required. You will be assigned one at the registration area. For rates, click here.

- Trail is mostly uphill and covered by trees except the area 20 minutes to the campsite. On a humid day, air would be quite stuffy all throughout. 

- Ideal preparation would be to regularly climb stairs

- Waterproof your belongings (put extra clothes, cellphones in a plastic or waterproof bag)
Prepare for both sun and the rain - bring cap or head scarf

- Don’t leave your trash behind. Bring your own garbage bag.  

- At the jump-off, there are places where you can take a bath. Our favorite is the eatery closest to the rockies jump-off. They only have one toilet and several stalls where you can take a bath. It’s not much but we love ate Thelma who cooks the food. 

WHAT TO BRING :
Water – for a day hike, 1.5ML-2L  
Trail Food - recommended : nuts, chocolate, jelly sticks. 
Insect Repellant (Off Lotion)

If you want to read more about Mt. Maculot, please visit Pinoy Mountaineer's Mt. Maculot

Read about our day hike traverse to Mt. Maculot here.

POSSIBLE SIDE TRIP :
Just 30-45 minutes away by jeep is the heritage town of Taal. Here, you can explore well-preserved old houses, museums and the largest Catholic church in Asia, Basilica de San Martin de Tours. For additional information, click on this guide.




Popular posts from this blog

Hiking in La Trinidad : Mt. Yangbew

To kickoff 2017, I  returned to the Cordillera region with one of my closest friends, Jules. We wanted to take it easy  so we decided to try a couple of short but very scenic trails in Benguet I found online (References posted below). 

Barangay Tawang in La Trinidad,the capital of the province of Benguet  is less than an hour from Baguio city and features several accessible, scenic mountain trails - Mt. Yangbew (also known as Mt. Jambo), Tayawan view deck and Mt. Kalugong. These are all beginner-friendly or as the younger Pinoy millenials would say, pabebe-friendly. :P
Since we were taking a super early bus ride,  (1:30 AM early! :P), we made sure  we got nice, comfy seats. Fortunately, with 3 days prior to the trip, we were able to book online via iWantSeats.

In five hours, we arrived in the City of Pines and walked towards Session Road to hunt for a hotel. Fortunately, a vacant room was immediately available at Benguet Prime Hotel so we were able to leave our bags.  We took our sweet t…

Part 2 : Bataan Adventures | Where to Eat in Bataan (Updated 2017)

Being an avid hiker and foodie, I've grown very fond of visiting  Bataan.  This province offers several hiking trails (check my post here) passing verdant forests and nicely decorated cafes and restaurants where you can enjoy a proper cup of coffee and affordable comfort food. It is also highly accessible from Manila via land travel, making it a good option for a short but rewarding out of town adventure. 

Here's a list of restaurants in Bataan where you can enjoy satisfying meals. 

ANGELITOS (Orani)
The restaurant's name which means little angels (male) was inspired by the owner's 3 young boys, Miguel (after St. Michael), Rafael and Gabriel.This 2 year old family owned restaurant has a homey ambiance and serves any type of food that the family enjoys.

Dishes are flavorful and priced affordably -100 Pesos above for the main dishes and 20 Pesos above for the desserts.Specialty includes, pork binagoongan and creamy tofu (my fave!). The restroom which has a mini garden is als…

12 Useful things to Bring on your First Mountain Hike

Hiking has become very popular in the Philippines that it's now easier to find a mountain and come up with your own itinerary  or join an organized group. (Read 10 Tips on How to be a Good Climb Participant
If you're heading out to your first mountain hike and thinking of what to bring, here are a couple of tips. Note that this list was created as a guide and not a mandatory checklist. The items featured are based on what I observed to be  useful when hiking in tropical weather.

7 Hiking Tips for Beginners | 8 Essentials for Rainy Day Hikes by Basekamp PH

1.  Footwear
Footwear should enhance your experience outdoors and protect you from injury. There are shoes designed specifically for hiking but I encourage you to research the mountain  first before purchasing hiking shoes. Will there be sections where you need to cross rivers? How long will you be hiking?If the mountain has a clear and established trail that normally won't take more than 4 hours to complete, you can very w…