Considered as one of the few remaining natural environments in this region of Luzon, the local government promotes Minalungao National Park as an eco-tourism destination. It offers turquoise pristine water and rock formations by the side. Beneath the cool waters are small stones and pebbles of different sizes, shapes, and colors much to the likelihood of those once seen in the brooks and streams in Manila in a time long-lost and forgotten.
|What's beneath Peñaranda River|
By the riverside where the river widens are cottages built for tourists whose number is steadily growing by time as Minalungao National Park gets the attention it deserves through featured documentaries, travel groups, facebook, and other forms of social media.
You might want to bring your packed meals because presently, the meals offered here are limited though at a very affordable price. Public restrooms are not yet established, too but the locals do provide improvised dressing rooms and one comfort room for those who want to wash up (Php25/head). Me and my husband and some members of our group decided to just change clothes after swimming for we thought it was freshwater anyway so there's no point of getting another bath.
The Philippines indeed have so much to offer and so many secrets waiting to be discovered. We've watched how the Philippines climbed its way to the top slots of tourist destinations worldwide. This just proves that our country is a home that every Filipino around the world should be proud of.
A. Hire a tricycle along the National Highway and ask the driver to take you to Minalungao. Special rate is about Php700 for three passengers, two-way. Travel time from Gapan to Minalungao is about 1 hour 30 minutes. Don't forget to give a tip to the driver for waiting time, or you may want to share lunch with him if you plan to stay the entire day.
B. Take a jeepney or tricycle to Gen. Tinio (formerly known as Papaya). Fares are Php25.00 (jeepney), Php150 (trike). Travel time is about 45 minutes. There are no public vehicles going to or passing by Minalungao so you're only option is a special trip on a tricycle. Fare to Minalungao from Papaya starts at Php250/tricycle, round trip. Travel time to the park is 45 minutes. Please give a tip to the driver if you plan to stay long in Minalungao. He will stay with you the entire time, anyway.
Note: The road going to Sitio Minalungao from Papaya is about 4 kms of bumpy road.
To go back to Manila from Papaya, take a jeepney bound to Cabanatuan Terminal (Php50/head) and in Cabanatuan, hail any bus bound to Manila. Fare is about Php185/head, travel time is 2 hours 30 minutes.
Our Minalungao National Park Travel Itinerary
March 8, Saturday
9:30 AM ~ hit Papaya Public Market (we got lost along the way so we should've arrived there before 9:00 AM)
10:40 AM ~ arrived at Minalungao National Park
6:00 PM ~ headed back to Manila
10:30 PM ~ arrived in Manila
Budget breakdown updated as of March 2014
Php 420.00 transpo, 2-way (private van; sharing per head)
Php 200.00 meals
Php 100.00 balsa/bamboo raft (rate was Php800/raft; we divided the amount by our group of 8)
If you like this, you might also like other destinations in North Luzon:
Ilocos Sur - Ilocos Norte Adventure Series
Part 1: Vigan, Ilocos Sur
Part 2: Ilocos Norte
- The White Pride of Ilocos Norte: Kapurpurawan Rock Formation
- The Famous Coastal Resort Town of Ilocos Norte: Pagudpud
- Snaking Its Way: Patapat Viaduct
- Giants of Ilocos Norte: Bangui Windmills
- A Lonely Sentinel of Burgos: Cape Bojeador Lighthouse
- The Centuries-Old Church of Paoay: St. Augustine Church
Pangasinan - Zambales Adventure Series
Part 1: Our Lady of Manaoag Shrine
Part 2: Island Hopping and Snorkeling in Alaminos: Hundred Islands National Park
Part 3: Escape to Palauig, Zambales: Magalawa Island
Zambales One-Day Adventure
Part 1: Tree Top Adventure
Part 2: Zoobic Safari Tour
One-Day Road Trip
Backpacking Pinoy Couple 2014
Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/BackpackingPinoyCouple