Mt Maculot Hike – Complete DIY Climb Guide
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Mt. Maculot in Cuenca, Batangas inarguably offers the best view of Taal Lake. Standing 930 meters above sea level, offering a difficulty level of 4/9, this mountain is one of the famous destinations for hikers of all levels. Being just 2-3 hours away from Metro Manila, Mt. Maculot hike is a perfect weekend getaway for a quick adrenaline boost.
MT. MACULOT HIKE – TRAIL & FEATURES
Mt. Maculot has three prominent features (1) The Rockies (706 MASL), (2) The Summit (930 MASL), and (3) The Grotto (510 MASL).
The Rockies is the most prominent feature of the mountain. It offers magnificent views of the vast Taal Lake, the neighboring seas and mountains, the community below, and the greeneries surrounds.
The Summit, obviously, is the highest peak of Mt. Maculot. It requires an hour (or more depending on your pacing) of trek to reach the summit from the Rockies. It is at the summit where you can find the mountain signage where photos of climbers are taken as evidence that they have summitted the mountain.
The Grotto is accessible on the way down during traverse. Here, you will find the Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes. The descend from the Grotto to the jump-off site will let you pass the 14 stations of the cross. During Holy Week, locals and tourists alike climb Mt. Maculot to do the station of the cross. Such an exciting way to do penance, don’t you think? Because of the large numbers of climbers during this time, The Rockies is being closed to the public.
If you want to do a complete Mt. Maculot hike and see/pass through all the three features of the mountain, the traverse is the option you should take.
Mt. Maculot offers different kinds of trails – plain terrains, rocky pathways, beaten tracks, rope-assisted segments, boulders, and unlimited assaults. Well, compared to other Batangas mountains like Mt. Batulao, Mt. Manabu, and Pico de Loro, Mt. Maculot is more tiring because of the assaults. But at least, resting stations made of bamboo benches and stores are available throughout the climb. Personally, I would recommend Mt. Maculot hike as a training climb if you are planning to go up Mt. Pulag via the Akiki trail.
Read: Major Climbs
HOW TO GET TO MT MACULOT
BY PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION
(See the budget table for fare rates)
- Take a bus bound for Lemery, Batangas from Buendia or Cubao.
- Get off at Cuenca town proper or when you see the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) Church in Cuenca.
- From the drop-off area, ride a tricycle going to the jump-off point. Tell the driver you are climbing Mt. Maculot and request to do a quick stop at the barangay outpost for the registration before you head to the jump-off point.
BY PRIVATE TRANSPORTATION
- From Manila, take SLEX then Star Tollway going to Batangas. Take Tambo Exit, Lipa City.
- From the exit, turn left to JP Laurel Highway.
- Turn right before Phoenix Gas Station and follow the National Highway leading to Cuenca town proper.
On our end, we simply drove to the area using our own vehicle do to Mt. Maculot hike. We used Waze (you can also use Google Maps) and simply searched for “Mt. Maculot Cuenca Batangas”.
WHERE TO STAY IN MT. MACULOT
In a tent. Camping is the only option available in Mt Maculot. If you do not own one, you can rent a tent from locals for ₱100 per head.
SAMPLE MT. MACULOT ITINERARY
MT. MACULOT DAYHIKE ITINERARY – TRAVERSE
If you want to traverse Mt. Maculot in one day, set aside at least 5-7 hours (pegged on a chill pace) of your time, excluding the travel. Below is a traverse day-hike sample itinerary:
|ETA: Estimated Time of Arrival|
ETD: Estimated Time of Departure
0400 – ETD from Metro Manila
0700 – ETA at the Registration Site
0715 – ETD to the Jump-Off Point (start of ascend)
0840 – ETA at the Rockies
1000 – ETD from the Rockies to Summit
1130 – ETA Summit / Lunch
12NN – ETD from the Summit to Grotto (start of descend)
1330 – ETA at the Grotto
1400 – ETD from the Grotto to Jump-Off Point
1600 – ETA at the Jump-Off Point / Prepare to Go Home
1700 – ETD from the Bus Terminal to Buendia/Cubao
2000 – ETA at Buendia
If you plan to only climb up until the Rockies, you can leave Metro Manila as late at 9AM.
MT. MACULOT EXPENSES
|Bus Fare from Metro Manila||₱145 – ₱150 per person||This is a one-way fare|
|Trysicle to jump-off point||₱20 – ₱30 per person||With a quick stop on registration site|
|Registration||₱20 per person|
|DESTINATION – DAY HIKE|
|Campsite & Rockies Only||₱400 (1-5 persons)||₱50 for every excess person|
|Campsite, Rockies, & Summit||Additional ₱50/person||Backtrail (not traverse)|
|Traverse: Rockies, Summit, & Grotto||₱800 (1-5 persons)||₱100 for every excess person|
|DESTINATION – OVERNIGHT|
|Campsite||₱800 (1-5 persons)||₱100 for every excess person|
|Campsite to Summit||Additional ₱100/person||Backtrail (not traverse)|
THINGS TO BRING
If you are doing Mt. Maculot hike in just one day, leave behind unnecessary baggage that can weigh you down. A small waterproofed backpack with at least 2 liters of water, a packed lunch, basic emergency kit, and changing clothes will do. If you are someone who cannot trek without munching onto something, then bring some light snacks, too.
Others: Sun protection (sunblock, cap, umbrella, etc.), phone & camera
MT MACULOT CLIMB TIPS
- Wear lightweight hiking attire. It is also important to invest in closed shoes with a good grip suitable for hiking.
- If you are bringing your own car, you can park at the jump-off point to cut down trekking time. It’s free of charge, too!
- Expect an influx of climbers during weekends and holidays, especially during Holy Week. To avoid crowds, climb Mt. Maculot on weekdays or during the low-peak season.
- If you going to traverse Mt. Maculot, take the Rockies-Grotto route not the other way around. Registration is at Brgy. Siete.
- If you want to enjoy the Rockies, start early. The place gets very hot when the sun is up as there are no trees providing shade.
- The only bathroom available during the climb is the one near the Grotto. We suggest you to pee/dump before your trek.
No reservation is required if you want to climb Mt. Maculot. Local guides will be assigned to you upon registration. To give equal opportunity to all of them, we are not providing details of just one guide/person here.
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IMPORTANT NOTE: Some information in this post (rates, contact information, etc.) are accurate from the time of writing but may change anytime without notice. Should you know the updated information, or if you want to add something in this travel guide, please leave a message below for the reference of other travelers. Thank you for helping us in keeping this article updated.