Pico de Loro is one of the visited mountain among mountaineers with an elevation of 664 meters. It is famous for its “Parrot’s Beak” where the name Pico de Loro comes from. The Spaniards named it as Pico de Loro due to its appearance from the Manila Bay.
The mountain is located in a DENR Protected Area nestled near Puerto Azul. It is part of the mountain range of Mt. Palay-Palay. It is actually a boundary of Cavite and Batangas Province and can be either accessible from Ternate, Cavite of Nasugbu, Batangas. It is the highest point of Cavite.
How to go to Pico De Loro
If you will be coming from Manila, you can ride a bus to Ternate Cavite. One of the bus travelling to Ternate is the Saulog Bus and the fare should be around Php 100+. The trip is around two hours. Upon arrival in Ternate Cavite, you can rent a jeepney to the Magnetic Hill and drop you off at DENR for around Php 500. You can also rent a tricycle for around Php 200+.
Via Private Vehicle
If you have your own vehicle and coming from Manila, you can take the CAVITEX and travel through Kawit – Gen. Trias – Tanza – Naic – Maragondon – Ternate in Cavite. From Ternate, you need to travel more towards the Magnetic Hill until the DENR office.
This is my first time to climb a mountain. Me and my officemate decided to push through this idea since that weekend had a better weather that past weekends. We had no experience in climbing, good thing my officemate invited his cousin who is a mountaineer.
We parked our car in DENR and had our registration there for Php 20. In here, there is a little store where you can buy some supplies you will be needing in the climb. Also, they let you use also their bathroom for free. After registration, you need to walk around 5 minutes towards the jump-off point.
Our trek was divided into four stages. First stage is the trek to Basecamp 1. The camp is the first resting point. This stage is just a starter and warm up of the harder trek ahead. It will take around 30-40 minutes and this will let you think if you still want to continue to climb or not. At the Basecamp 1, you need to register again for Php 20. They also sell canned softdrinks for Php 40.
The second stage of Pico de Loro trail is from Basecamp 1 to the waterfalls. This trek is a combination of ups and downs which will probably take around 45-60 minutes. You will be seeing a sign/direction towards the falls. From the sign, you need to walk still for around 4 minutes towards the falls. This is one the main feature of Pico de Loro. The water is very cold and will provide refreshment with your body. Never miss this especially on descent since you can also clean some of your muddy things here.
Third stage is the uphill. This is the most tiring stage in our climb. In here, you start from the falls up to the campsite. There’s a lot of climbing in this stage which you should be extra careful of especially for beginners. This stage takes at least 60 minutes. In our climb, we rested very little since it is already dark when we reached here. If you see several bamboos already, it means that you are already near the campsite. The campsite is surrounded with bamboos.
The last stage is the summit. From campsite, it will take around 10 minutes to reach the summit. In here, you need to have a good shoes with good grip to save you from sliding since you can only hold on to grasses while climbing to summit. Once you reached the summit, the view is spectacular. If you are brave and adventurous enough, you can climb the parrot’s beak after reaching the summit.
There are two option in going down. The first is a backtrail to Ternate. I find the descent more tiring. The trail is muddy during our climb which hampers our descent. Don’t forget to pass by the waterfalls to re-energize your body.
Another option would be a traverse to Nasugbu, Batangas. We did not try this but according to other mountaineer, this is an easier descent which cuts the trail by 30-45 minutes. I think the start of the downward trail is on the right before the rocks at the base of the Beak. From the highway, you can ride a jeepney to Nasugbu, where you can ride a bus to Manila.
Tips from a Beginner
- Get the right shoes/sandals. Since this is our first climb, we don’t know what shoes to wear. My officemate used a rubber shoes in our climb. He end up having a lot of slides. Wear something that is spiky and has a good grip.
- Bring enough water. This is always important in every climb. If ever you ran out of water, they sell at the summit for around Php 60 for 6 liters of water.
- If you are on dayhikes, start early.
- Be wary. No guides are needed because the trail is easy to follow. Nonetheless, extra careful is needed especially on descent. One of the confusing part in descent is after the Basecamp 1. If in doubt on descent, use the left path. If in doubt in going up, turn right. There are marks on the trees which will help you. Be careful as there are missing mountaineers during our descent.
- Cellphone signal is weak throughout the trail.
- Climbing is addicting. This is our first climb and planning on our next climb already, probably Batulao!