Planning your next really cheap getaway? Here’s your DIY TInipak river travel guide!
Tanay has got its hidden gems for the wanderers, one of it is the majestic rock formations of Tinipak river and its cave with a natural pool inside. Barangay Daraitan is just a few hours away from the metro, and if you’re looking for a cheap and fairly close getaway, Tanay town has got it for you!
READ MORE: Guide to Hiking Mt. Daraitan
For a DIY the more you are in a group, the cheaper the trip gets. What’s more expensive? The commute. you will have to take from one spot to another. Jeepney’s are not popular in Daraitan, main mode of transportation is tricycles or your own private vehicle.
TINIPAK RIVER: A HIDDEN GEM IN TANAY, RIZAL
You can also hike Mt. Daraitan before trekking Tinipak river or just do one at a time. I’ve already finished hiking the summit before this trip, so our group just explored the river and the cave pool. Tinipak river is just a short trek and can be done as a side trip.
Before you start the trek, having a tour guide is mandatory. Head to Brgy. Daraitan first to pay your tourism fee and they will assign a tour guide for your group. The guide will orient you on the rules and how the trek will be.
Riding a tricycle to the start of the trekking point is also an option, but we chose not to since we want to sort of have a warm up exercise along the way. We also haven’t eaten our breakfasts yet, so we were eating on the road.
WHAT TO EXPECT IN TINIPAK RIVER
THE ROCKY ROAD AND CAMPING GROUND
Lush greeneries and boulders will welcome you in Tinipak river. The landscape is purely breathtaking, there are horses too, so the road has lots of… poops. I even think that this place is worthy to film a dinosaur themed movie, just look at this place.
Reaching the camping ground in a few minute trek, we relaxed for a while. Paying a tourist fee is required for those who are trekking Tinipak river, since the area is on the border of Daraitan Tanay, Rizal and Gen. Nakar Quezon province, it’s their barangay rules.
THE DRAMATIC ROCK FORMATIONS
There lots of rock transformations after the camping ground that's perfect for your Instagram! Huge boulders dominate the area with water streaming through, it was a bit hard trying to climb them since they are also slippery. These pictures can't quite express the beauty of Tinipak, some views were even like the aftershock of two giant robots fighting (*insert gundam series).
THE CAVE POOL
After resting on the camping ground, it is now time to head to the cave! The rock formations before the cave are more apparent. Even when the rocks are dry, it’s still very slippery. Shoes with a powerful grip is recommended when trekking in Tinipak, especially while spelunking inside the cave.
READ MORE: Hike Mt. Pinatubo and its Majestic Crater
Extra caution is needed in the cave, my friend even slid and fell due to the ground being too slippery. Note that there’s running water so the place is pretty much wet.
Glittering rocks that look like crystals, or in another way looks as if it has ice on it can be seen inside the cave, sadly our cameras can't take a high quality picture in dark places. At the end, is where we swam to our heart’s content, we even had the place solo for a few minutes. The natural spring pool inside the cave was so cold! It refreshed us from all the buckets of sweat we had on the rocky climb.
SWIMMING IN THE RIVER
We didn’t stay in the cave pool for long since there are also other tourists who wish to dive in. The less crowded, the more fun, yes? Back outside the cave, I just noticed this boulder, the largest I have seen in my life. Maybe it fell from the sky…
We went back a little further and our guide directed us where we could swim and do a little cliff diving — if only I could swim. Talk about relaxing in the water with an open mountain view. There’s a small hole here gushing out fresh cold water, a kid drank there so I did too, it tasted just like normal cold water.
We ended pretty early unexpectedly, our group had a small talk while swimming in the river and decided to visit Daranak Falls after, such a sweet escape from home. But we still haven’t had our proper meal since morning so we just ate our lunch back at the camping ground.
My friend, too exhausted from the trek hahaha…
THE CAMPING GROUND
You can set up your own tent in the camping ground and stay the night. The store near here with a souvenir shop also serves lunch food and a weird Halo-halo (has melon in it, first time I’ve tasted something like it). Try their Lomi - actually not a fave of mine but I appreciate the taste it’s yummy for a price of Php25 (regular). Bathing is also optional, the place is not that crowded (for now) so the area is clean, quiet, perfect for relaxation.
I don’t eat much meat and it’s such a waste, thankfully this little angel was beside me, so I just gave her the meat from my Lomi. We ended up bonding for a while, such a cute fluffy creature.
BACK TO BARANGAY DARAITAN
It’s another short trek back to Brgy. Daraitan, walking back or riding a tricycle are our options, we just rode back so we can go directly to Daranak Falls. There’s always a few drizzles on the road, lucky that it didn’t actually rain. The cloudy sky is another beautiful sight to see amongst the valleys.
TO DARANAK FALLS...
We went straight to Daranak Falls after this, it was only 12 in the afternoon we’ve got lots of time for a side trip travel. Yay! Curious about our Daranak Falls side trip? Here’s your guide — Our Daranak Falls Sidetrip Adventure.
DIY TINIPAK RIVER ADVENTURE: PLANNING YOUR TRIP
ACTIVITIES TO DO IN TINIPAK RIVER
Spelunking in Tinipak Cave: This natural spring inside the cave invites you to dip and refresh your weary self on your trek.
Overnight camping: For an additional fee, you can do an overnight camping on Tinipak river
Swim in the River + Cliff jumping: Swim freely with a majestic view of the lush green mountains and unique rock formation of the river. If you’re up for cliff jumping in the river, ask your guide where it is okay to jump.
PLANNING ON AN OVERNIGHT STAY?
If you want to rest for the night near Brgy. Daraitan before the trek to TInipak or a hike to Mt. Daraitan, you can book a room in Sampaloc Inn, the inn is just right in the middle of Tanay Market and Daraitan area. You can also easily ride a tricycle early in the morning and head to the barangay.
Or stay the night in the camping grounds of Tinipak river, just bring your own tent.
HOW TO GET TO TINIPAK RIVER?
Getting to Tinipak river is fairly easy, the only rough part is the ride going there. The roads being too curvy will really sway your body inside the van, bring your own medicine if you easily get car sick. Riding a van is fast, comfortable and does not have too many stops unlike jeeps.
Via Public Transportation:
From EDSA Starmall: Ride a UV Express van or a jeepney and ask the driver to drop you off at Tanay public market. UV fare is Php70.
- From Tanay public market: Ride a tricycle to Brgy. Daraitan, you can be dropped off exactly at the Barangay since there’s a bridge now where the tricycles can ride across. Tricycle fare from Tanay market to Brgy. Daraitan is Php500.
BREAKDOWN OF EXPENSES
These costs are for a day tour only, back and forth Daraitan to Metro Manila. Additional fees apply for an overnight camping in Tinipak river. And before I start off, there are three mandatory fees you will be paying in your travel to Tinipak River.
REGISTRATION FEES: (mandatory)
- Tourism Fee Php300
- Tour Guide (mandatory) Php500 (day tour) and Php1,250 (overnight)
- Border Fee Php20 / per person
Php70........UV Express Van from EDSA Starmall to Tanay
Php500......Tricycle from Tanay market to Barangay Daraitan
Php500......Tour guide fee
Php10........Headlights for spelunking in the cave
Php20........Barangay fee for Rizal-Quezon border
Php500......Tricycle back from Brgy. Daraitan to Tanay public market
Php70........UV van back from Tanay market to Starmall/Megamall
TOTAL: Php1,970 (then divide this cost per person on your group)
*Food and others are not included here
This is just a sample based on our schedule, Daranak Falls suddenly became part of our itinerary since we have lots of spare time for another adventure. There are other interesting spots to travel near Tinipak which is worth the visit too, maybe you can also add them to your list on your next DIY trip.
05:00 Ride UV Express Van from EDSA Starmall to Tanay
06:30 Tricycle ride from Tanay public market to Barangay Daraitan
07:00 Start of trek to Tinipak River (with little stop overs for picture taking)
09:00 Spelunking in the cave
09:30 Start of trek to the river area
10:00 Swim and play in the river + a few picture taking
11:00 Back to the camping ground
12:00 Back to Brgy. Daraitan
01:00 Side trip to Daranak Falls
BEFORE THE TRIP
WHAT TO BRING ON THE ROAD
Protect yourself during your trip, bring small items that won't hinder your trek while in Tinipak river.
- Sun block, shades, caps etc. (bring items to protect you from the sun)
- Packed lunch (fast food/take out/homemade)
- Trail food like jelly ace, fruits, nuts
- Water - there are drinks sold in the crater (but it’s expensive)
- Medicine (you might get a headache because of the heat)
- Change of clothes for your shower after the trek
- Slippers - if need be, to change into after the trek
WHAT TO WEAR FOR THE TREK
TOP: Comfortable clothing you can also wear for your swimming activities
BOTTOM: Leggings, shorts are your best friends. Wet jeans will hinder your movements, you need to be comfortable for your legwork.
FOOT WEAR: Shoes, sandals. if you have water-resistant shoes, better bring it. Make sure your feet won’t hurt when the shoes you wear get wet. Always wear sturdy foot wears with a strong grip so you won’t slide!
SOME TIPS TO CONSIDER
Tinipak river’s terrain is rocky and slippery, imagine trekking through huge marble boulders, be extra safe even if this is an easy trek.
- If you’re a tough climber, you can do both hiking to Mt. Daraitan then trekking in Tinipak river for a little refresher
- As always, pack lightly when trekking or hiking
- Be careful with the current of the river, some have some very strong ones
- Always ask your tour guide where it is safe to swim
- Visit on a dry season so it’s easier to trek through the rocky trail
- Leave no trace! Littering is a big no-no, respect nature
- You need no permits or advanced notice that you’ll be hiking in Daraitan or Tinipak river
- If you’re bringing your private vehicle, there’s a parking space in Brgy. Daraitan
After trekking Tinipak river you can do a little side trip to Daranak Falls, it’s an hour away. Fare from Brgy. Daraitan to Daranak Falls is Php500, rates are given by Tanay’s tourism office.
Didn’t expect that Tinipak river is just a short trek away. I appreciate the place in its early morning light, there were only a few visitors coming in. The scenic view of the abundant mountains and its river foot has been just majestic and the clean water running through the river will cleanse away your exhausted body. It was easy to just take in the view on Tinipak river, I just hope they preserve this beautiful place. The cave pool was a very unique first time experience for me, dipping in its cold water washed my tiredness. This is a place you’ll easily fall in love with.
HAVE YOU BEEN HERE BEFORE TOO?
would this be on your next bucket list?
One thing I like best in traveling is exploring new places like this. A place where it is not crowded, where one can enjoy some leisure time with nature. Tinipak river is a short trek, where one can even just chill along the river or even camp!
- Have been here before? What did you like about the place?
- Do try spelunking, it's worth the bruises