I wonder what to expect in the province of Nueva Ecija. I haven’t heard much from this province until one of my friends told me that there was a hidden paradise located in the municipality of General Tinio, Nueva Ecija in Central Luzon Region. So I searched for it and decided to schedule the trip as my next summer destination. The so called “Minalungao National Park” a protected area with 2,018 hectares centered along the scenic Peñaranda River, bordered on both sides by up to 16-meter high limestone walls in the foothills of the Sierra Madre mountain range. The park is promoted by the local government as an ecotourism destination offering breath-taking scenery of green pristine river and unique rock formations.
HIT THE ROAD: How?
- We hit the road from Cubao terminal via Five Star Bus bound to Gapan or Cabanatuan with approximately 2 and half hours travel time. The fare is only 150 pesos for one way trip. For reservation of seats please call +63 927 712 4349.
- From Gapan Municipal Hall, ride a jeep or tricycle going to Papaya or General Tinio. The fare costs 24 pesos per person one way trip.
- Then, rent a tricycle from Papaya or General Tinio Municipal Hall to Minalungao National Park for 250 – 300 pesos back and forth with approximately 1 hour bumpy road to reach the park.
THE MINALUNGAO NATIONAL PARK:
The park is considered as one of the few remaining natural environments in this region north of Manila. This is a popular spots among tourists and adventurers like us. The place is surrounded with scenic view, majestic mountains and beautiful rock formations with clean and clear water of the Peñaranda River.
Rates and Fees:
- Entrance Fee = P30
- Parking Fee = P50
- Bamboo Raft = P250 (small) P500 (big)
- Cottage = P200
- Minalungao Cave Fee = P10
- Comfort Room = P10
For online bookings and reservations, just click Travelbook.ph for affordable and discounted rates. Choose any of the payment method listed on the site for hassle-free bookings. No need to use credit cards to book your selected hotels.
RECREATION: What to do?
- Bamboo Rafting
Peñaranda River rafting provides some of the most beautiful views you will ever see and for about two to three hours you will be swallowed up by Minalungao National Park natural beauty. You will choose from small to big bamboo rafts with picnic tables and huts.
We were enticed to swim in a clean and clear water of Peñaranda River surrounded by fascinating rock formations and green tall trees. Dip in a cool and pristine water of the park will surely put your stress away.
The park is another gift from nature. The site is blessed with clear water and natural rock formations and caves worthy of explorations. The challenging part of the activities is that you have to rappel and crawl inside the cave. Just be careful and a reminder “Safety First”.
Though we haven’t tried this activity since it was not yet operated when we got there, it is a must-to-do activity in Minalungao National Park with a fee.
- Climbing the 1,000 Steps to Grotto
If you want more activities to do, try to climb the 1,000 Steps in exchange for a breathtaking view.
- It is really good for a day trip.
- Good backpack for your food, water, flashlight when visiting the cave or doing the stair climb.
- When hiring local guides, please be generous in giving tips because some of them are kids.
- Remember the “Leave No Trace Policy”
- Be responsible for your own action
” The human spirit needs places where nature has not been rearranged by the hands of man “