A Post-Birthday Climb to Pico de Loro

Have you heard of the mountain whose name means a parrot's beak? Its called Mt. Pico de Loro (a Spanish term) mainly because of its shape. This mountain is recorded as the highest in the boundary of Cavite and Batangas. It has a rock formation found at the summit that appears like a beak of a parrot and offers a 360-degree view of both provinces and the 13 coves of Hamilo Coast. It has become popular for day hikes because it is a relatively easy climb.

It was Halloween and I have just arrived from a week-long birthday trip from Biliran and Leyte. I got an invite from a good friend to climb Pico de Loro the moment I arrived home. It has been quite awhile since the last time I climbed, so I decided to join him and a few friends.

Jump-off
Jump-off

I met my friend, Richie at around 11:00AM. We then took the bus going to Ternate after taking our lunch at Marlu's Diner. We reached the town in an hour and haggled with tricycle drivers to take us to the DENR outpost. Most of the drivers we asked was charging us Php 250, which to us was too much. We walked away until one driver followed us and offered to take us for Php 150. So much for opportunist locals! After paying the Php 25 registration fee at the DENR, we prepared ourselves for the hike. We started slow since we were expecting three more friends for this climb.

Pico de Loro Signages
Pico de Loro Signages

Pico de Loro is much easier than Mt Marami, one of the other mountains in this side of Cavite. The latter has a labyrinth trail and guides are highly recommended while the former can be done even for the those with no experience at all, simply follow the trail signs.

Korean Hikers
Korean Hikers

Some hikers are on their way back already since it was already afternoon when we started.. Most are young professionals and young once who want to escape the hustle of the urban life. There were also some teenagers who are still on their vacation. Surprisingly, there was a Korean couple, who had their kids aged around 6 and 4 respectively with them.

Snack at the Subi-neer Store
Snack at the Subi-neer Store

We rested when we reached the Subi-neer Store, which sells snacks and Mt Marami Shirts. There is another Php 20 registration fee once you pass here. The lady owner had many stories while we finish our cup noodles. We decided to stay longer to wait for our friends.

Base Camp 1
Base Camp 1

Base Camp 1 is just a stone's throw away from the Subi-neer Store. Most campers stay and rest here. We decided to proceed to Base Camp 2 after waiting for more than an hour or so. Rain started barely after we have taken few steps and we were forced to go back to the Subi-neer store. Hikers drenched in the rain passed by us as we wait for the rain to subside. They stayed to seek for shelter while waiting for their friends.

I gasped as the rain finally stopped after more than an hour. We were about to resume and face the now-muddy trail when our friends Joseph, Ron and Mario arrived. It was already past 5:00PM and the darkness is slowly creeping in. It came to me that I forgot to bring a headlight. Clumsy of me to have overlooked this.

Direction to Waterfalls
Direction to Waterfalls

We started to make our way to the saddle camp. One hour in the darkness and we saw this sign that direct hikers to the waterfalls. We continued to walk towards the second camp but after around 15 minutes, we decided to go back and camp near the falls.

Dinner
Dinner

In a little while, everybody was busy preparing dinner and pitching tents. Mario was the designated chef for the night. Ron brought out his Bluetooth speakers for entertainment. We can hear a group of around 20 people who also camped near the falls. Socials ensued after dinner and the guys started their drinking spree. I still have not recovered from my previous trip and felt very tired, so I excused myself and slept early.

Pico de Loro Campsite
Pico de Loro Campsite

Pico de Loro Close-up
Close-up of Summit

The sun has risen already when I woke up. I decided to assault the summit by myself since my friends still had a hangover. In an hour or so, I reached the saddle camp, with the peak already visible from there. I can see the resemblance of a parrot's beak perched on a mountain from where I was standing and and the lowlands of Nasugbu. Such a lovely view! In a little while, people were already on their way to the peak.

Monolith Rock
Monolith Rock

The wind is crazy on the summit and the chill was biting on my bare skin. The thirteen coves of Hamilo Coast, of different sizes, shapes and characteristics are visible from there. A monolith stands proudly on the other side as hikers scale the 90-degree rock. Will I be doing the same? No I would not for now! I did not have the legs to climb nor was I able to muster enough courage to do so! I promised my self to come back here, when I am more able.

Japanese Hikers
Japanese Hikers

Waterfalls
Waterfalls

Breakfast was almost ready when I got back. Just in time! After a little rest, we made our way to the waterfalls. The water was shallow but it was enough to freshen us. By noontime we started to break camp and prepared to go back to reality.

DAYHIKE

0400H Board bus at Coastal Mall Terminal to Ternate (Php82)
0700H ETA Ternate, take tricycle to jump-off (Php150)
0745H ETA DENR / jump-off point, pay Php25 registration
0800H Start of trek, jump-off point is 4 minutes away from DENR.
0930H ETA Base Camp 1
1130H ETA summit, lunch

From here, take either Option A (Backtrail) or B (Traverse)

Option A: Backtrail to Ternate
1300H Start descent to Magnetic Hill
1530H ETA jump-off point, proceed to DENR and wash up
1630H Take tricycle to Ternate then take bus back to Manila
2000H ETA Manila.

Option B: Traverse to Nasugbu
1300H Start descent to Nasugbu-Ternate Highway
1600H ETA Nasugbu-Ternate Highway.
1700H Arrival in Nasugbu, early dinner.
1800H Take bus back to Manila, terminal is near Jolibee.
2200H ETA Manila.






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3 comments:

  1. boss tanong ko lang, and trail papuntang waterfalls ay nasa main trail at wala sa traverse? tama ba? salamat

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  2. I really loved this mountain. It was my first climb that convinced me to climb more mountains. To date, I have climbed it four times. Haha.

    Sharing my blog too :) -- https://followyouroad.wordpress.com/2014/03/21/mt-pico-de-loro/

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  3. Good day Sir!

    Hi! My name is Adreana Remo from DENR. I saw your photos Mt Palay palay. I would like to ask if you would be interested to contribute photos for the Coffeetable book that we are making. The book will feature the 17 protected areas in calabarzon region and one of the highlights of the book will be the ecotourism sites that are found in the area.

    We understand the difficulty of getting photos like this so rest assured that due credits will be given to you and that we will give you a complementary copy.

    Hope to hear a positive response from you Sir. And we hope that you could help us in showcasing the beauty of CALABARZON thru this book. Thank thank you very much po!

    Sincerely yours,

    Adreana (reannesantos@gmail.com)

    ReplyDelete