A Beautiful Traverse: Tinipak River, Tanay, Rizal

5:00AM. Running late on a very special trip, I immediately jumped off my bed and took a quick shower. I grabbed an empty bag and filled it with clothes and other things I needed to bring. Starting off my day a mess just because I had too much sleep. dang it

6AM. I was 30 minutes late from our 5:30 call time at Starmall. Shame on this rare moments that I get late and it had to happen on a day that I am travelling with people I just met (Guys, If you’re reading this I’m sorry). It took me a while to get myself back together. Good thing, I was able to shrugg off the fuss I had earlier that morning before we boarded the van bound to Rizal.

We arrived at Tanay, Rizal at around 8AM and allowed ourselves to buy snacks and water before finally heading to Baranggay Daraitan. The trip going there wasn’t the easiest. The road was rough and bumpy and the only option available that time was to take a tricycle. We had to squeeze the four of us in to fit inside the limited space of its sidecar. Bumpy road, limited place, just imagine the scenario. And oh, it was a pretty long 2-hour ride to endure.

That bridge is removed when it’s raining and tourist and locals would use boats to cross the river instead. Awesome!

10AM. The 2-hr uneasy ride didn’t felt as long. Thanks to our trike driver, Kuya Dingdong, for giving us good laughs while on our way. Safely, we arrived at Barangay Daraitan’s hall where we had to write our names and pay for the environmental fee. Also, to avail the service of a tourist guide.

A “not so long” trek ahead

The original plan was to hike to the summit of Mt. Daraitan. However, our tour guide Kuya Jeffrey (also talkative and funny), gave us a choice to either hike for 4 hours and traverse down for another 4 hours to the river or just take a 1-hour trek directly to the river. And since, it was already 10am, the shorter trek was our way to go because we wanted to spend more time relaxing at Tinipak River.

That trek…”rocks”! LOL haha

“Tinipak”, according to kuya Jeffrey, came from the term “tipak ng mga bato” (chunks of rocks), thus expect A LOT of rocks on your way. From rocks as small as a peanut to as big as a house, the trek was full of fascination. The vibe? It was “pre-historic”! So I kept on looking around hoping to find a dinosaur egg somewhere between the boulders. Who knows? Haha!

I failed to take a decent picture inside the cave because it was too dark. A group pic outside shall suffice! haha © Paulo

We all decided to go “spelunking” inside the cave before heading straight to Tinipak River. The cave’s mouth was narrow and inside were rocks that were slippery and sharp. Plus, it was pitch-black so we had to be extra careful. After around 30 minutes, we reached a small natural pool inside the cave. We spent another half an hour dipping into its ice cold water before getting out into the light again.

Tinipak River. The water calmly flowing between the magnific boulders, the trees circling the river, and the mountains serving as an additional view all put together was surprisingly stunning. It was far from the “beach feels” I am used to but Tinipak was just a sight to behold. Its clean water was tempting. So, after finding a good spot to place our bags, I ran into the river and plunged my already tired body into its warm water. Heaven! The rocky trek was absolutely all worth it!

My favorite thing to do, obviously! haha!© Paulo

Other than its clean water and the beautiful scenery, Tinipak can also be a paradise for adventure-junkies. Our river experience would not be as fun if we didn’t all take a shot of trying out Tinipak’s 10-ft cliff jump. First timer Paulo liked it! And I have to agree, it was awesome! We just had to keep in mind that we had to jump into the deeper water to ensure our safety.

PS: I was about to drown. Haha

Our remaining hours were spent mainly on swimming and a couple more cliff jumps. Until we noticed other tourists getting ready to leave. That was around 2:30 when Kuya Jeffrey warned us about the possibility of a strong rain to fall over. So we all packed our bags and decided to leave the place because he said that the water rises up really quickly whenever it rains. Gotta get out before it’s too late! Whew!


Our trek back was pretty much the same. Except, we didn’t pass through the steep wooden ladders we overcame earlier. Thunders were clearly heard and lightning freaked me a little. True enough after a while, it started to rain halfway back to the barangay hall. *Survivor music plays*. Haha! On the positive side, the scorching sun was out of the scenario.

The still scenic way out of the river was very picturesque. Rocks, too much rocks and it’s mind-boggling to think of where and how all these rocks got there. Astounding!

3:30PM. We reached Barangay Daraitan where we washed up and changed our clothes. We said our thank you’s and goodbye to our kind and funny guide Kuya Jeffrey and left Daraitan few minutes before 4pm. Haay, another trip had to end.

An amazing place to spend a short break from work or study as it only takes a short ride from the Metro. Tinipak River left me with many good things to ponder. Thanks to Paulo for making this venture fun and possible! We’ll be back! And next time we’ll make sure to set foot on Mt. Daraitan’s summit.

Budget Summary:

  • Van bound to Tanay – 70php
  • Tricycle to Brgy. Daraitan – 125/head
  • Snack + water – 75php
  • Entrance fee/bridge fee- 30/4 – 8php
  • Environmental fee – 20
  • Guide fee – 500/4 -125php
  • Rizal-Quezon Boundary fee- 20php
  • Tricycle to Tanay terminal- 125/head
  • Van back to Starmall – 70php

Total: 638 php


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