For thrill-seekers and mountaineering junkies, the Monolith / Parrot’s Beak is one known destination. Situated at the boundary of the provinces of Cavite and Batangas, stands Mt. Palay Palay or commonly known as Mt. Pico De Loro, where the famous Monolith is perched.
The said mountain has a minor climb specification with a 3/9 difficulty making it one of those beginner-friendly mountains.
How to get there:
Take a bus bound to Ternate, Cavite at the South Bus Station at Coastal Mall. Upon arrival at the Ternate Terminal in Sapang, Ternate take a trike to the DENR Station.
For the way back during the traverse, upon arrival at the Nasugbu Highway, one can take a trike back to Nasugbu Terminal. From there, you can take a bus bound to Edsa MRT/LRT in Pasay Taft.
Take note that the jump-off point is the block before the DENR Station and from there you will be welcomed by an orchestra of cicadas and other insects. It is an easy trek and the trail is shaded making it as one of the frequented day hike destination near Manila.
Update: The new jump-off point is located just beside the DENR station. Pico De Loro is closed as of the moment.
Just be advised that the way up to the summit could get so hot especially during the afternoon as there are no shade on that part of the mountain, and depending on the number of hikers, waiting time at the Monolith could get so long.
0500 ETD from Coastal Mall
0730 ETA Ternate, Cavite then take a trike to DENR
0800 ETA DENR Station
0830 Start Trek
1100 Arrival at the Summit
1300 Start descent to Nasugbu
1530 ETA at Nasugbu Highway, take a trike to Nasugbu
1620 ETA at Nasugbu Terminal
2000 ETA Manila
The more than two hours of trek was worth it when we reached the summit. The view is very scenic and one will find it hard to resist taking selfies and groupies. If you plan to stay overnight, better be early to secure a spot close to trees to avoid that much heat during the height of the afternoon.
There is a store readily available at the summit though it only sell limited stuff like biscuits, chips, candies and cold drinks. It would be more convenient if you’ll have your lunch ready with you as prices at that store are not friendly to your pocket.
Fees (per person) :
Bus from Coastal toe s Ternate: 82php
Trike from Sapang Terminal to DENR Station: 75php
Registration at the DENR: 25php
Registration at Campsite 1: 25 php
Trike from Nasugbu Highway to Nasugbu Terminal: 120php
Bus from Nasugbu to Pasay: 155php
The descent is easy but you will see yourself going down on slopes for the first few minutes. Your group will pass by a river, but in our case, it was all dry due to the season. Also it could get confusing at times as to which way you should go every time you reach a fork. Lucky us, we had someone who climbed Mt. Pico De Loro countless of times already.
We were able to reach the jump-off point in Nasugbu after more than 2 hours, and from there we took a trike going to the town. Others went to conquer Mt. Talamitam (and Mt. Batulao the following day) while four of us chose to go back to Manila already.
Take the Nasugbu Trilogy challenge and conquer Mt. Pico De Loro, Mt. Talamitam and Mt. Batulao in two days.
Or if you take the way down back to Ternate, you can plan a beach getaway after at neighboring resorts like Puerto Azul.
Mt. Pico De Loro blew me away with its picturesque landscape at the summit as well as its death-defying Monolith. It has been on my list – to climb Mt. Pico De Loro and reach the top of the Parrot’s beak, and I made it. For less than 500 php, I was able to cross something out on my bucket list and not only that for I was able to gain new friends, inspire a friend to try mountaineering (Hi Brian!), and I got to meet Tatay Oca whose story inspired not only me.
Current Update: Mt. Pico De Loro is closed. No information yet as to when it will be open to public again.