Travel Guide: El Nido, Palawan – Taraw Cliff Day Hike
A combo of sharp limestones, cliffs, slippery rocks, and 80-90° assault ascents awaits those who are adventurous enough to hike this mountain in El Nido, popular among Pinoy hikers. It would take a normal hiker around 45 minutes to an hour to reach its peak, and about 1 hour and 30 minutes for first-time hikers. Just recently, hiking at this mountain was barred due to a major accident. Check out the exact location down below (google maps don’t have this mountain in its database so I will provide the approximate location):
We coordinated with the lady caretaker of the Inn we are staying at (Just Inn) for information on how to climb the mountain, and the rates. We were told that since the accident, guide rates went up from ₱500 that’s good for 3-4 people to ₱500 ($10.68) per person. We tried to haggle since there were three of us wanting to hike that day, and fortunate,ly we were given ₱100 less per person. So that’s ₱400 x 3 = ₱1200 ($ 25.63) Still expensive, but the caretaker told us that its the new rate and even if we search the town, we would get the exact, if not more.
After deciding to go for it, we then prepared our things and headed off to the foot of Mt. Taraw. IMPORTANT: Never forget to bring 1-2 liters of drinking water per person, its a difficult climb and you will be exhausted. Al,so apply sunblock and wear comfortable clothes. Check out the photos me and my friends took from this amazing adventure:
Around 2-5 minutes from the starting point, you will immediately face climbing up the sharp limestones, so always be careful since there aren’t any ropes or other safety pieces of equipment provided. Bringing of hiking gloves is highly encouraged, though we made it without any.
Smile, though your thighs are aching, Smile even though you’re sweating.
Our friend Vini looking at how I climb the limestones (he was really hesitant at first to pursue with the hike because this was going to be his first time hiking a mountain/ he’s a diver.)
I gave my camera to one of our hiking guides to take a photo of the group. That’s the result, haha.
Vini is from São Paulo, Brazil and he is also a backpacker like me and Ace.
Above you see rocks, meh right? Not till you know that one wrong step to your left or right could send you straight to the dark pits of the mountain.
Always be careful, wear sturdy hiking shoes or sandals and make sure you have good balance.
When your friend has longer arms and legs, they wouldn’t have a problem. Like Vini for example. hahaha
Throughout the trail, you will have to go up and down many times, it will definitely challenge your endurance. We met a few hikers along the way, all of them were already going back to the town and were all sweaty. Almost half of them were women wearing flip flops. FLIP FLOPS! When asked how the hike went, they said it was hard because they weren’t wearing hiking shoes and it was really hot that day. The sun was literally burning our skin.
I was using a Hēlios bag throughout the hike and it proved itself sturdy! It carried my 1.5Liter water bottle, spare clothes, and sunblock with ease. Currently my favorite drawstring bag 🙂
Just a few more brave steps up the limestones and..
.. and this! All the hiking has finally paid off, and the reward are majestic views of the El Nido town, its beach, and nearby islands.
We reached the peak at around 10AM, hence the sun burning our skin. It was somehow difficult to make movements at the peak, because a small mistake could send you to the ground.
Still can’t get enough of the view, its one for the books.
An obligatory GoPro selfie 😀
The boats you see are fishing boats and tour boats. Should you plan an El Nido island hopping tour, this is the place where you will find your assigned boat.
One of my favorite shots.
Okay so I was already ready to go down (because of the burning hot temperature) but the two of them still wanted to stay at the peak. Good thing I was able to find a spot that has shade.
Time to go down! I am actually afraid of heights, but lucky for me, I love adventure! So my internals were all mixed up seeing the steep fall I could have if I F#@% up. So yeah, I basically conquered my fear!
Our guide was telling us to climb down facing the limestones because it will be easier.
Going down was more difficult because our legs were already tired of all the steep ascents.
Again, always be careful. Plan your every step.
Are we there yet?
Just a few more. Our thighs and legs were very sore at this point.
We would like to commend our guides for helping us throughout the trail and for being so polite.
Finally! Just a few more steps going down and we’re done. Whew! Ice cold water please! 😀
- There are TWO options for hiking the Taraw Cliff. One is the hike we just did where we went to the peak with no ropes or any safety equipment, and Two is a much more safer way of hiking with all the safety equipment provided, metal and wooden stairs, child & non-hiker friendly but still get a view of the landscapes. (Do note that the second option will only get you to a view deck much closer to the ground, so the view will be very different from the peak.) Click HERE to get more information about the second option.
Wear a rash guard, or whatever clothes you are comfortable in, as long as it would protect you from the sun. The trail to the peak is not always shaded and the peak itself will expose you to harmful sun exposure. Also don’t forget to apply sunblock to exposed skin for better protection from the sun.
DO NOT wear flip flops. All throughout the trail you will encounter stepping on sharp limestones. If your flip flops fail, you will have to continue barefoot – which is not possible. So wear sturdy sandals, like what Ace used, or good hiking/running shoes to protect your whole feet from all the sharp rocks.
Bring at least 1.5 (₱40-45) – 2 Liters of water PER person. Its a really exhausting hike and you will need to re-hydrate yourself every now and then. There are a lot of stores you will pass by to get drinking water from before you start the ascent.
And last, ENJOY! I know this blog post may have scared you from pursuing this hike, but trust me, its better you know everything that know nothing and be surprised. Always find time to take short breaks from the hike, take souvenir photos, chat with your the local guides, and eat/share snacks (just make sure you don’t throw any trash anywhere).
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