Pico de Loro Climb Guide – Tarnate, Cavite

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THE MOUNTAIN

Mt. Palay-Palay (wrongly called as Mt. Pico de Loro) is, without a doubt, one of the most popular hiking destinations near Metro Manila. It is one of the best places to see scenic views of vast waters and rugged mountains. Mt. Palay-Palay is a favorite hiking place among seasoned mountaineers and also a must-climb for beginners hoping to have a brag-worthy photo taken from the monolith, the Pico de Loro itself.

This 664-MASL mountain is situated in Tarnate, Cavite. It is a beautiful terrain with easy trails. Compared to the old trail (which was closed February 2015); the new trail now allows you to enjoy established pathways amidst forested areas for the first few hours. It also has lesser assaults and benches can be found along the way for quick halts. The real challenges that await Mt. Palay-Palay and Pico de Loro climbers are (a.) the exhilarating climb to the summit with cliff on both sides, (b.) the heart-pumping, nerve-wrecking descend from the summit to the monolith base, and (c.) the perfidious assault to the photo-perfect monolith – these three challenges actually sets this mountain apart from the neighboring highlands. Many of those who do Pico de Loro climb aim to have their photos taken at the majestic monolith.

HOW TO GET TO PICO DE LORO JUMP-OFF

DENR Ternate, Cavite is the jump-off of this well-known mountain. To get there, you can try the following:

By Public Transportation (Php250 – Php300 for one way)

  1. From Metro Manila take a bus bound for Cavite and alight in Coastal Mall.
  2. From Costal Mall, you can take another bus going to Maragondon, Cavite. You can leave as early as 4AM. (Fare is Php80)
  3. Get off the Tarnate bus station and rent (because there’s no regular trip available) a tricycle to go to the DENR Registration site. (Tricycle rental is Php150 – Php200) (Registration Fee is Php25)

If you are coming the South, just go to South Station and take a bus bound for Naic or Maragondon Cavite. Alight at McDonalds Naic and ride another bus bound for Ternate/Maragondon Cavite. Upon reaching the terminal, rent a tricycle that will take you to the DENR Registration site.

Guide is optional. If you prefer to commission someone to be your guide, the prevailing rate is Php1, 000 for 5 climbers. They charge additional Php200 per person in excess of 5.

By Private Transportation

The best way to go to Pico de Loro jump-off point from Metro Manila if using a private car is via CAVITEX. Travel through Kawit – Gen. Trias – Tanza – Naic – Maragondon – until you reach Naic Cavite. Take the road to Ternate, Cavite, after Naic and go past Puerto Azul resort towards the Magnetic Hill until you reach DENR registration site.

** Travel agencies such as Sole Adventours offers package climb to Pico de Loro for only Php880 per pax for a group of 10. You may contact them here.

SAMPLE ITINERARY FOR PICO DE LORO CLIMB (DAYHIKE)

0500 Board bus at Coastal Mall Terminal to Ternate or Maragondon Cavite (Php80)
0730 ETA Ternate, Cavite. Rent jeepney or tricycle to jumpoff
0800 ETA DENR registration site / jump-off point (Php25 registration)
0830 Start trek.
1130 ETA Camping Ground / Lunch
12NN Strat Trek to the summit

From the summit climbers can either a.) Continue climbing to Monolith (if allowed) and backtrail b.) Traverse to Nasugbu Btangas (if allowed)

For backtrail:

1330 Start descent.
1530 Back at DENR; take jeep/trike to Ternate then take bus back to Manila
2000 ETA Manila. (End of Pico de Loro climb)

For traverse to Nasugbu, Batangas

1330 start descent to Nasugbu-Ternate Highway
1700 ETA Nasugbu-Ternate Highway.
1800 Arrival in Nasugbu. Dinner. Take a bus bound for Manila.
2130 ETA Manila. (End of Pico de Loro climb)

TIPS FOR PICO DE LORO CLIMB

  • Unlike Mt. Pulag, there’s no briefing when climbing Pico de Loro so equip yourself with enough and proper knowledge about the mountain, and climbing in general. If it is your first time and know nothing about the place, it won’t hurt to commission someone to be your guide (get an older one, they are more responsible). Better safe than get lost, and sorry.
  • Some parts of the trails are covered with thick foliage of bamboo; wear protective clothing for arms and legs.
  • The summit is bare and steep, covered with small rocks. Bring sun protection on a sunny day and make sure your shoes have a good grip.
  • Do not attempt to scale the monolith when it’s raining as the rock wall and the rope (on where you will depend your dear life) become slippery. In the first advent of fear, abort the mission of reaching the top; well, unless the left and right 90-degree cliffs give you more confidence then go ahead. Just remember, one wrong move and you will be gone forever. Rest in peace.
  • Bring water; at least 2 liters. The said water source at the camping site can barely form a drop.
  • For affordable Pico de Loro climb packages, contact Sole Adventours.
  • Be part of Love Eat Wander Facebook community and be connected with thousands of like-minded individuals. Share your climb and travel stories with through Tweets  and Instagram photos. Please follow @loveeatwander.

INTERESTING FACT/S

Mt. Pico de Loro is considered to be the highest peak in the Province of Cavite. It is part of the Palay-Palay Mountain Range. The summit we are referring to is actually Mt. Palay-Palay and the rock monolith aka parrot’s beak is the REAL Pico de Loro.

OUR PLATE OF UNSOLICITED ADVICE

DENR must set a standard rate for guide fee. The Php1, 000 fees for 5 people is a rip-off.  They must also be more vigilant about the Leave No Trace, No Camping, and No Cooking policies. Those who are caught violating these rules must render a community service such as (but not limited to): tree planting or cleaning the campsite and bringing down the garbage.

Should you be lucky enough to reach the top of the monolith, spare the rocks from vandalizing your name. Those who’ll reach the top do not really care if you’ve already been there.

UPDATES

April 18, 2019 – The website for online registration is still not up. No update from Pico De Loro mountain officials as to when will the site be available. 

March 2, 2019THE IMPOSED INDEFINITE MORATORIUM IS NOW LIFTED!

words from @PicoPAMB: 

The imposed indefinite moratorium is now LIFTED. Mts. Palay-Palay/Mataas na Gulod Protected Landscape will be opening its doors to the public starting March 30, 2019, with stricter Rules and Regulations and an efficient Visitor Management and Orientation Program.

Visits to Mt. Pico de Loro inside the park can only be booked ONLINE, and NO WALK-IN visits will be allowed. The website will be available this month, stay tuned for the announcement.

——-

February 15, 2019 – Pico de Loro mountain or Mt. Palay Palay is still CLOSED to the public. Please be advised. 

October 13, 2018 – Pico de Loro mountain or Mt. Palay Palay is still CLOSED to the public. Please be advised. 

June 30, 2018 – Pico de Loro mountain or Mt. Palay Palay is still CLOSED to the public. Please be advised. 

January 19, 2018 – Pico de Loro mountain or Mt. Palay Palay is still closed to the public. Please be advised. 

September 01, 2017 – republishing this post as there’s news going around that Mt. Palay-Palay will be opened anytime this month or early next month. Please be advised that the mountain is still CLOSED for now until a formal announcement from Cavite DENR / PENRO (Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer).  (Check here for other places you can visit in Cavite while waiting for Mt. Palay-Palay’s reopening.)

October 01, 2016 – Mt. Palay-Palay or Pico De Loro is currently CLOSED/OFF-LIMITS to any tourist right now until further notice.

August 16, 2016, As of this writing, the Parrot’s Beak or Rock Monolith is off-limits to hikers but risk takers are able to climb it. When I say risk takers they are a.) Those who love adventures and challenges b.) Stubborn people who want to get what they what regardless of c.) Those who defy rules and guidelines just because of d.) All of the above. The monolith is off-limits to hikers, period.

Overnight camping is also NOT allowed this time. Visiting/climbing time is now only from 4:00AM to 3:00PM. The park will not allow you to climb Pico de Loro after 3PM.

Cooking in the mountain is also not allowed; you can opt to bring prepared food and packed lunch instead.

Traverse to Nasugbu, Batangas is still possible but poses as a challenge now – both in trail and authorities involved. The summit is within the scope of Cavite while the beak is in Batangas so people in both areas are having a feud about who really deserves the monetary registration that the mountain gets from climbers.

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Should you want to add/dispute something in this article, please leave a comment below. We would love to hear from you!




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