Well known for being a hiking spot in Batangas, Mt Maculot is one of the best places to view Taal Lake.  Just 2 hours away from Manila, the mountain can be the perfect weekend getaway when you just want to explore, go on an adventure, connect with Mother Nature or unwind.

Having a peak of 930 meters above sea level, the mountain has a 5/10 difficulty in hiking, but any fit individual can finish the trek. Maximum time to complete the traverse trail is 5 to 6 hours.

Planning a trip to Mt Maculot? Here’s everything you need to know!

Mt Maculot Travel Guide

How To Get There

From Manila

To get to Mt Maculot, ride a bus going to Lemery from Buendia or Cubao. The fare is 147 pesos. Travel time is 2 to 3 hours. Ask the driver to drop you off at Cuenca by the Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC) Church.

From Lipa

Ride a jeep going to Lemery. The fare is 25 pesos. Drop by the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) in Cuenca.

*Once you reach Cuenca, ride a tricycle for 20 pesos to go to the registration where you will hire your guide. You can also opt to walk to the registration.

Starting Line

From the INC church, our tricycle driver brought us to register at Brgy Syete. This is where you will hire a tour guide, and pay the registration fee. We chose the traverse trail to get a full experience of the mountain.

After registering, together with your guide, the tricycle will bring you to the jump-off point. Before starting, our guide advised us to buy whatever we may need from a nearby store since the store at the mountain sells food and water for an expensive price. Travel tip! There’s also a CR near the store for those who want to take a break before starting the trek.

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Trail

The start of the trail isn’t that steep. You’ll mostly see the usual trees, weeds, vines, and ferns. Our guide told us that we would first go up to the camping site, the Rockies, the Summit, the Grotto then down to the finish line.

The hike up to the campsite consists of 13 stations. Each station features wood or bamboo benches for resting purposes and some buko juice for sale. As we ascended from the first station to the thirteenth, the buko juice cup gets bigger, and the price goes higher which my friends found to be funny.

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My friends even joked “habang tumataas, tumataas din ang presyo” (As we go up, the prices goes up too). From 10 pesos to 15 pesos to 20 pesos to 30 pesos. Haha. Anyways, the juice is pretty cold so if you’re craving for some cold stuff, try the buko.

Going to the Rockies, you’ll pass by mango, avocado, santol, and many other kinds of trees. The trail will then get steeper as you near the campsite.

Mt. Maculot Trail
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On the way, we met Kuya Amado who hikes the mountain almost every day to sell ice candy. He had avocado and buko flavored ice candies which cost 15 pesos each. We bought some, and it was delicious. You can really taste the natural flavor of the fruits. If you meet him on the way, buy some. It’s worth it.

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Kuya Amado and his ice candy
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Campsite

Here you will find what our guide call “the 711 store” because of its expensive prices. A 1 liter bottle of water costs 80 pesos so make sure to bring your own water and save some money.

READ: Seven Reasons Why You Should Try Camping

Rockies

Climbing the Rockies is a bit hard because you’re climbing rocks. One wrong step and you might fall.

We found the Rockies to be one of the most beautiful places we’ve been to. With a breathtaking view of Taal Lake and some parts of Batangas, we felt so lucky that the sky was clear that day.

We spent an hour and a half taking pictures. Since there were other hikers, we had to fall in line to take a photo. What made the day more interesting was that we met other hikers who are from Northern Luzon. We even conversed in Ilocano and exchanged stories.

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maculot
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Summit

After the Rockies, we went back to the campsite to have lunch then went on to conquer the summit. Going up, expect the way to be muddy and steep. To help you climb up, there are ropes, vines, and branches to hold onto. It took us about 30 minutes to reach the summit from the campsite.

By the time we reached the summit, it was covered with fog. We couldn’t see the view. Despite the letdown, we enjoyed the foggy surroundings. It reminded us of our homes in Benguet and Mt. Province.

Mt Maculot
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Grotto

Going down from Mt Maculot’s Summit to the Grotto was an unforgettable experience. This is where you’ll wish you had sturdy shoes. Expect muddy trails and rocky paths. It’s also very slippery. We had to hold on to vines, branches, and thankfully, ropes.

For an hour, we went down the trail ungracefully. After some slips and almost’s, we finally reached the Grotto and had a good laugh of each other’s muddy shoes.

A bit of rest and with shaky legs, we descended the 14 stations of the cross to the end of the trail.

The Grotto
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End of The Trail

At the end of the trail, you’ll find tricycles waiting for passengers. If you have muddy shoes, there’s a bathroom nearby where you can wash your shoes.

And then, lunchtime! Our guide suggested the G2B Lomi House, where we were headed for a victory feast. I highly recommend the place for a fulfilling Lomi experience. One regular serving worth 35 pesos is very satisfying.

Here’s a photo of our shoes before and after the trek to Mt Maculot’s summit. See the difference.

Before the Summit
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After the Summit
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Tips and Reminders

  • Register at Brgy. 7 “Siete” since the trail to the peak of Mt Maculot will start at the Rockies. This is easier. Sometimes, when you register at the other barangays, the trail will start at Grotto. This trail is pretty hard.
  • Wear proper footwear. You will be hiking on muddy trails and climbing rocks.
  • Bring enough water and food. Prices at the store by the campsite is expensive.
  • Use gloves when climbing the Rockies to avoid any hand injuries. Safety first.
  • Start early. There are only a few trees by Mt Maculot’s Rockies and the Summit. It is very hot during the daytime.
  • There is a bathroom near the Grotto where you can pee for 5 pesos, take a dump for 10 pesos or shower for 20 pesos. There are also available bathrooms at the start and end of the trail.

Budget Breakdown

Here are some of the financial damages the Mt Maculot trip may incur:

  • Bus fare to Cuenca (One-way): P147
  • Tricycle to the Registration Area: P25
  • Registration: P20
  • Tour Guide Fee: depends on your destination (see below for options)
Rates
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Sample Itinerary

  • 4:00 ETD Manila
  • 6:00 ETA Cuenca, Batangas
  • 6:30 Start of Hike
  • 8:30 ETA Campsite, Rest
  • 9:00 Take photos and enjoy the view of the Rockies
  • 10:00 Back to the Campsite and off to the Summit
  • 10:30 ETA Mt Maculot Summit, rest, enjoy the view, eat some snacks and take photos
  • 11:30 Start descent
  • 12:00 ETA Grotto
  • 12:30 ETA End of the Trail, Eat Lunch
  • 1:30 Back to Manila

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