Rizal is a mountainous province to the east of Manila, the capital of the Philippines. It is only about 19 kilometers from Manila and is perched on the foothills of the Sierra Madre Mountain. It is named after Jose Rizal, the country’s national hero.
Because of its proximity to the country’s capital, it has become a popular day-trip destination from Manila for families and large groups looking for a weekend getaway. Its cooler weather also makes it appealing to those seeking a refreshing respite from the Philippines’ generally hot climate.
The Calinawan Cave is a series of caves in Tanay, Rizal’s Barangay Tandang Kutyo. It has various levels and chambers that tourists can explore. It is also a historical site because Filipinos used it as a hideout during World War II. It is now a popular filming location for movies and television shows. Daranak Falls is about 3.5 kilometers from the cave.
The 14-meter-tall falls are located at the foot of the Tanay mountains. It’s also surrounded by lush greenery, which adds to the cool and refreshing atmosphere. In addition to swimming, visitors can climb the side of the falls and jump into the water below.
Groups can also rent picnic shelters and tables to enjoy a meal next to the cascading waterfalls. The falls, like Calinawan Cave, has become a popular location for filming various types of videos.
Avilon Zoo is a 7.5-hectare facility that houses the Philippines’ largest animal collection. This family-friendly center is located in the town of Rodriguez and houses over 3,000 exotic wildlife specimens. They have over 500 different species of mammals, birds, reptiles, freshwater fish, amphibians, and invertebrates in their collection.
The center also houses a large number of animals that are only found in our country. The zoo’s off-site conservation program resulted in the birth of the majority of these local fauns in captivity. Visitors are free to explore the facility on their own, but guided tours of the zoo are available. The Northern Luzon Cloud Rat, Philippine Falconet, Bornean Orangutan, and Young Philippine Carabao are among the animals they care for.
While getting a closer look at these magnificent creatures, the center invites visitors to feed some of them for a more friendly encounter.
The Angono-Binangonan Petroglyphs are significant historical sites because they are thought to be the country’s oldest known artworks. These ancient images were carved into a solid rock wall in the Angono and Binangonan mountainside.
They span 25 meters of wall and rise to 3.7 meters above the ground. The images depict 127 human and animal figures associated with magic and healing.
While archaeologists believe they were created during the Neolithic period, the petroglyphs were discovered in 1965 by Carlos V. Francisco, the late National Artist of the Philippines. He was a native of Angono and a muralist.
Following his discovery, the National Museum of the Philippines constructed a viewing platform from which visitors could safely admire the ancient work of art. It is now recognized as a National Cultural Treasure of the Philippines.
Hinulugang Taktak is a 70-foot-high waterfall located in Antipolo City. It is one of the closest waterfalls to Manila, measuring approximately 84 feet in width. The breathtaking waterscape got its name after a large bell (talk) was dropped (hinulog) into it in the 15th or 16th century.
The bell was thrown there because the locals didn’t like how loud it was when rung. The area surrounding the falls was designated as a protected area and a national park in the years that followed.
Despite the fact that pollution in the 1990s rendered the water unsafe for recreational purposes such as swimming, visitors can still swim in the pool near the falls. A concrete viewing deck has also been constructed so that tourists can get a better view of the falling water.
The entire park covers 3.2 hectares and includes attractions such as hanging bridges among the park’s canopy of trees.
Wawa Dam is another popular spot among locals due to the cool water that cascades from it. The dam is located along the Marikina River in the Montalban Gorge. It was originally built in 1909 during the American colonial period to provide water to Manila.
However, it was eventually abandoned after the Angat Dam was completed in 1968. It has since become a popular swimming and hiking destination.
The water rushing from the dam’s top creates the illusion of a large waterfall and is a popular photo location. Travelers can also enjoy the cool waters of the Marikina River near the dam by taking a dip.
After swimming, you can rent one of the bamboo cottages at the dam’s base and eat your meal while soaking your feet in the running water. The dam is also surrounded by lush greenery because it is part of the Pamitinan Protected Landscape.
Look no further than the Cloud 9 Hotel and Resort for a panoramic view of Antipolo City, the province’s capital. This resort consists of three buildings with a total of 78 rooms and a swimming pool, but its most notable feature is its 360(degree symbol) View Deck.
It is located on the roof of a towering structure that can only be reached by crossing a hanging bridge that connects to a smaller structure. Once on the deck, you will be rewarded with a breathtaking view of the cityscape. One of the best times to go is late in the afternoon to watch the sunset.
Visitors can also cross the resort’s metal walkway in addition to the viewing deck. The path resembles a tunnel made of leaves due to the lush plants that grow along its railings and has become a popular photo location. After admiring the stunning views of the cityscape, dine at the resort’s restaurant, which serves a variety of Filipino dishes.
Rizal is also well-known as a top hiking destination in the Philippines. Because of the abundance of mountains in the area, it is ideal for hikers of all skill levels. The two limestone mountains known as Mt. Pamitinan and Mt. Binicayan are two of the best peaks in this province
Mt. Pamitinan is part of the Pamitinan Protected Landscape, which also includes Wawa Dam. Mt. Binicayan, meanwhile, towers across the Marikina River.
Both peaks have their own hiking trails that lead to their respective summits. Because the two paths require climbing over rough limestone rocks, it is recommended that you bring gloves to help you get a better grip on them.
When you reach the top of either mountain, you’ll be rewarded with a stunning panoramic view of the lush forestry that lines the Marikina River and the neighboring mountains. The best time to go on hiking tours to these peaks is early in the morning, so you can sit back and enjoy the sunrise from 423 meters above sea level.
Mount Purro Nature Reserve is an eco-park located in the Sierra Madre Mountain Range’s foothills. It is one of the most beautiful resorts in Antipolo, Rizal. Visitors frequently come here to reconnect with nature and enjoy the overall tranquil atmosphere that this nature reserve fosters.
Its accommodations are heavily influenced by the Bahay Kubo, a traditional Filipino home made of bamboo and other similar materials. Travelers can stay in a variety of cottages that can accommodate between 4 and 15 people, depending on the type booked.
This top Rizal resort does not have air conditioning, but it stays cool thanks to the fresh air that breezes through the complex, which helps you appreciate nature. It also has a limited cellphone signal and does not provide free WiFi to help you avoid distractions during your stay.
Visitors can also swim in the resort’s pool or participate in activities in the game room and nature playscape. For those interested in exploring the natural surroundings of the eco-park, the staff also offers forest hikes and river walks.
Tinipak River is another of Rizal’s hidden gems that have gained popularity over time. This beautiful river runs through white marble rocks in Barangay Daraitan and is one of the stops on the way to Mt. Daraitan.
Visitors frequently stop here to take a dip in the mountain’s pristine, clear waters before continuing their hike up to the peak or to relax after the descent.
You can also enjoy a simple picnic by the river’s edge. You can spend the night here if you want to extend your visit and fully appreciate the river and its surroundings.
Tourists are welcome to bring their own tents or rent one from the team in charge of the camping grounds. Visitors can swim in the river and also explore the nearby cave, which has natural streams and pools of water.
You can then continue your adventure by ascending Mt. Daraitan from Tinipak River. This mountain is part of the Sierra Madre mountain range, and with a difficulty level of 4 out of 9, it is an excellent choice for first-time climbers.
The designated hiking trail is 600 meters long and will take you through the abundant forest of the mountain. On the way up, travelers will encounter some jagged limestones, but there are bamboo railings to hold onto. Your guide will also show you how to navigate the areas.
The summit is 739 meters above sea level and provides a spectacular view of the Tinipak River and other Sierra Madre mountains. Visitors can also camp here to watch the sunset and sunrise from the mountaintop.
The best time to go on a day hike up Mt. Daraitan is during the weekdays to avoid the crowds on weekends.
On the rolling hills of Pililla, 27 massive wind turbines generate clean energy for Manila. These massive structures, which are as tall as 33-story buildings or 125 meters, provide clean wind energy to approximately 66,000 households in our country’s capital. Tourists come to enjoy the cool, strong gusts of wind that the turbines convert into electricity, as well as to admire the towering fans.
During Holy Week, which occurs between March and April each year, an estimated 130,000 tourists visit to see the turbines up close. Aside from supplying renewable energy, the Pililla Wind Farm benefits local businesses by bringing in new customers.
After admiring the turbines, visit the visitor’s center to learn more about the site and the benefits of wind energy. Tourists can view 18 information panels explaining and celebrating the benefits of renewable energy.
The Antipolo Cathedral is located on a hill in Antipolo City, offering visitors a panoramic view of the cityscape below. Since it houses the image of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage, this church, which was completed in 1632, has been a popular destination for travelers.
Among the many people who came to pay their respects to the wooden sculpture was our country’s national hero, the late Jose Rizal, who came with his father in 1868. Locals also go there to have their new cars blessed or before embarking on a long journey in the hopes of arriving safely.
The cathedral, on the other hand, had its share of problems and was destroyed during World War II. Following the war, Jose L. de Ocampo designed a new shrine, which was finished in 1954.
The commemorative thanksgiving mass, held on the first Tuesday of May, is one of the most important events held here. This holy ceremony, which began in 1947, marks the beginning of the pilgrimage season.
Pinto Art Museum is an open-air exhibition space in Antipolo City’s two-hectare botanical garden. Dr. Joven Cuanang, a Filipino neurologist, founded this gallery in 2010 to share his extensive art collection with the public. It’s also a popular tourist destination in Antipolo.
Dr. Cuanang’s collection includes paintings and sculptures by Filipino artists such as Elmer Borlongan, Geraldine Javier, and Marina Cruz, among others. The museum also houses artworks from the Spanish colonial period in the Philippines.
The entire collection is also housed in a number of white buildings that resemble Mediterranean architecture. While you are free to explore the museum on your own, the staff also offers guided tours for those interested in learning more about the pieces.
While touring the various exhibits, you can also stop by the in-house coffee shop, Cafe Rizal, for a delicious meal and a rich cup of coffee. Inside the museum grounds, visitors can also visit a minimalist chapel with one-of-a-kind statues