Pico de Loro: Conquer your Fear; Travel guide + Itinerary

One of the hottest tourist destination in Cavite/Batangas right now is Pico de Loro and its popularity is growing not only to mountaineers but to common travelers and adventure-seekers who want something a bit challenging.

History

Pico De Loro was first named by Spanish sea-farers which means “Parrot’s Beak” as its pointed summit resembles the shape of a parrot’s beak from afar and it is commonly used as a signal by sea-farers to turn east to get to Manila Bay

Source: wikipedia

Precautions

If this is your first mountain climb and you are planning to go there, here are some things to think about. First, going up there is not easy. It usually takes 3-4 hours or more to climb (ascend) and the distance from the jump off point is 2 kilometers. If you are travelling with a group, you have to wait for others before you move as guides have to keep the group intact. Also, keep in mind that you are not going to walk on pavement. The trail is forested with inclined trail dotted with rocks which gradually gets rockier. Second, as mentioned earlier, it is forested, so, cover your legs, arms, and hands to protect your body from surrounding plants that might scratch your skin or even wound during hiking. Third, wear comfortable hiking shoes and bring extra slippers. You might need to change footwear depending on the trail. You will also pass a few rivers, so prepare to get wet or muddy. Fourth, Pico de Loro is 2246 feet or 685 meters above sea level. The ascent to the summit from the campsite is difficult due to a very steep slope and slippery and it gets more and more difficult as you get closer to the top. If you have acrophobia or fear of heights and the like – prepare and condition yourself before deciding to jump on this adventure .

How to get there

From Manila

We went to Coastal Mall at 4am and departed at 4:30am for Ternate, Cavite. The fare to Ternate is P65. We asked the driver to drop us at the motorcycle terminal going to the DENR office in Ternate. At 6:00am we arrived in Ternate and rode a tricycle to the DENR office. The fare is P75/head.  At DENR office, we paid P25/each as registration fee. Time check, 6:30am.

Pico de Loro DENR registration.

Pico de Loro DENR registration.

Journey starts now…

Right after we bought some supplies like, boiled egg, candies, and water, we started our hike to jump-off point where one of their staffs guided us. The only instruction he gave is, “This path is new, and you won’t get lost because there is no other path to Pico de Loro. Just follow the trail.” In addition, just keep in mind that if there’s an intersection, choose the “right” path. Time check, 6:45am.

Getting ready for a long hike ahead.

Getting ready for a long hike ahead.

Below were the beautiful sites along the way, we were dwarfed by the towering trees.

pico de loro pico de loro pico de loro pico de loro pico de loro pico de loro

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pico De Loro have designated resting camps. From this resting camp, you can have a nice view of the “Parrot’s Beak”, a name that really suits well to the shape of the mountain’s peak.

Parrot's Beak, now I know!

Parrot’s Beak, now I know!

Campsite

After 3 hours of hiking including short breaks and rest, we arrived at the campsite. There are stores here that sell all sorts of snacks, drinks, “lugaw with egg”, and “halu-halo”. This location is also an ideal place to take pictures where you can get the best view of Pico de Loro. We ate our lunch here and rested for a while for the last push to the summit. All of us don’t have any idea how difficult and how steep the slope is, so we were just all excited. At around 11am, we started our journey to the summit.

Campsite near Pico de Loro peaks. This campsite has stores and now has a make-shift CR.

Campsite near Pico de Loro peaks. This campsite has stores and now has a make-shift CR.

The amazingly beautiful Pico de Loro

The amazingly beautiful Pico de Loro

 

The amazingly beautiful Pico de Loro as my Background. Nice!

The amazingly beautiful Pico de Loro as my background.

To the summit

The trail to the summit was the most challenging and very dangerous part of this hike, because of the steep slope. Here are some of the pictures I took to give my readers an idea how hard was the ascent to the peak.

This is the beginning of the ascent to the summit from the campsite. Still not that difficult because there are a lot of bamboos and roots where we can hold to help us with the climb.

This is the beginning of the ascent to the summit from the campsite. This is the easiest part of the climb because there are bamboos and roots we can hold to help us with the climb. Make sure to test if the base is stable or strong enough to support your weight.

The final ascent to the summit. This is the very difficult trail because the only available option to hold it the grass which is near the edge of the mountain. The texture of the soil is prone to erosion.

The final ascent to the summit. This is a difficult trail because the only available option to hold it the grass which is at the edge of the mountain. The soil is dusty and very slippery as it exposed to the heat of the sun. Note that this area get crowded sometimes as this is the only path climbers can climbing up and going down the summit. You can always ask for assistance from the tour guides if you feel your position is compromised. Better safe than sorry.

 

My first summit or our first summit

The sweat, body pains, and fatigue were all worth it after we saw what we came for. 2246 feet above sea level, the view was amazing, even though our legs were still shaking.

The other half of the beak! The feeling of "I want to go there" is growing.

The other half of the beak! The feeling of “I want to go there” is growing.

The first-timers

The first-timers

Pico de Loro

The Monolith

The gigantic monolith.

The gigantic monolith.

Vandals. Vandals everywhere!

Vandals. Vandals everywhere!

If the summit was difficult and challenging, the monolith was easier to climb if you know how to rappel. The descent from the summit to the monolith was not difficult compared to the ascent to the summit because the path is rocky and we can have a firm grip going down.

Mission Accomplished

We waited for more than an hour before we were able to get to the top because there were many people queuing to climb the monolith.  It was an baffling experience to conquer one of my fears – the fear of heights. The icing on the cake was, at some point, I was alone and standing at the monolith and looking down.

Success! With heart-pounding climb to this monolith, the feeling of being here is very overwhelming.

Success! With heart-pounding climb to this monolith, the feeling of being here is very overwhelming.

The view from the monolith is stunning!

Traverse

Pico de Loro to Nasugbu

Due to the difficulty of the trail back to Ternate, we decided to traverse to Nasugbu, Batangas. This will give us an easier trail plus we can explore further. Due to the difficulty of the trail we experienced, we hired a guide to help us on our descent. The fee for the guide P100 per person. The hike was a little difficult near the monolith because it was so steep. It took us two and a half hours to reach the firing range, where we ride a motorcycle to terminal to Nasugbu for P150 per person. Travel time is about an hour. From Nasugbu, we rode DLTB bus to Buendia. Fare is 160 pesos.

 

Itinerary

Below are the full details of the itinerary and budget.

Time Activity Expenses Particulars
 4:00am  Coastal Mall meet up
 4:30am  Departure at Coastal Mall ₱ 60.00 Bus fare
 6:00am Arrival at Ternate, Cavite and ride trike to DENR office ₱ 75.00 Trike fare
 6:30am Registration at DENR office and last minute preparation ₱ 25.00 Registration fee
 6:45am  Jump-off point
9:30am Arrival at Campsite and Photo op
10:30am Lunch ₱ 50.00 Food, brought from home
11:00am Hike to the Summit
11:30am Summit! Photo op
12:00pm Monolith queuing
1:00pm Monolith Photo op
1:30pm Start of the Traverse to Nasugbu ₱ 100.00 Guide
4:00pm Arrival at the firing range and motorcycle terminal ₱ 150.00 Trike fare
5:00pm Nasugbu downtown and Dinner ₱ 100.00 Food
6:00pm DLTBco Terminal to Buendia ₱ 160.00 Bus fare
10:00pm Arrival at Buendia
 Total ₱ 720.00

 

 

 

 

jundy

R&D Supervisor && Traveller && Nature Lover

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12 thoughts on “Pico de Loro: Conquer your Fear; Travel guide + Itinerary

  1. Linnie Robledo

    I’m impressed, I must say. Seldom do I encounter a blog
    that’s both equally educative and entertaining, and without a
    doubt, you’ve hit the nail on the head. The problem
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  2. Jovelene Codera

    Hi jundy, I’m not really into climbing but after reading this, it strives me to at least try Pico de Loro and i guess it would be the perfect site for a beginners to try with…

    Details are visible.. Great job!!

    1. jundy Post author

      Hi Jovs,

      Thanks for dropping by. I really appreciate it. Yes, it’s rated 3/9 difficulty. The only hard part is the summit. Be careful and good luck!

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