Minalungao National Park
General Tinio, Nueva Ecija
- 12 Reviews
- 9 Recommend
- 12 Reviewers
- Great Outdoors
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I have nothing but great memories of our fun and beautiful experience at Minalungao. We went there on a weekday, a perfect time to have less people to compete with for rafts. Almost everything was simple and straightforward.
Parking and Entrance:
It was a bit of a walk even though we walked via shortcut on the right side (assuming you're walking downwards to the numerous huts). Some manual vehicle drivers placed big rocks behind one or two of their tires just to make sure their cars were secure on slanted ground. Others parked along the street, also slanted. As a driver, I got free entrance and my companions were charged the low rates we expected (100/adult, 50/senior or child). "Low" is purely subjective so I'll add the words "in my opinion."
Bamboo Raft Rental and Experiences:
We rented a bamboo raft for P800 good for a maximum of 8 people. It's fair enough, in my opinion. :) Thanks to other reviews, we set our minds on being parked on the sides of the river, and it was totally okay especially when we were in the moment. What moments would these be? Clean water, weak current, stepping on smooth rocks of various shapes and colors in knee-to-belly deep water (depending on what part though), beautiful limestone formations, tolerable water temperature, fresh air, innocent and harmless tiny fishes, more bamboo rafts...these are a chunk of the overall experience.
Food and Beverages:
We brought our own food viands, rice because we're soo Filipino, sweets, disposable plates and utensils, and cooler with ice and beverages. You can buy ice there at the sari-sari stores where the huts are or arrive prepared so you can go straight to your planned activities. Apparently they sell alcohol too but you can't bring them to the river. It might be the same for smoking because of the ashes and/or sticks though vaping seemed easy for some people that floated by us. You can bring cloths to hang on the raft, making it look like a sailboat of sorts to block too much afternoon sunlight. Thick garbage bags are provided. If they're not proactive in offering, you can ask for one. It's free anyway and good for trash control.
Tips and Tricks:
Be mindful when rafts or kayaks are nearby to avoid possible injury. Security will be watching everyone from the shaded limestone. Be responsible and wear your life vests. Diving areas are deep and the slopes near those are sudden. I used goggles to verify this myself. Be mindful of the current; it's a one-way stream the whole time so attempting to walk to the big rock (for jumping) won't work. Furthermore, if you're walking towards the hanging bridge, that gets deep somewhere in the middle too and the current can push you towards it. Sorry if it's confusing but always wear the life vest anyway.
The Next Times:
We didn't get to try the zipline, hanging bridge, caves, or 1000-stairs climb to the big cross because one of us was afraid of heights. Your activities would really depend on your group's needs and wants altogether, but not doing everything can leave you excited to return and try the untried with other groups.
Okay these were the least satisfying of our stay. Getting dressed there was challenging because there were many people and I had a windy curtain "covering" me occasionally. For some reason, 3 women went out of the male restroom 3 times! I verified our restroom sign 3 times! I looked back and fourth 3 times! I went in and it was still ours after all. :) The stench of urine was typical and unpleasant. I got dressed quickly and went right out. Taking a bath at home made a whole lot more sense that time, no, probably for all future visits to come. :)
That's pretty much everything. Go prepared, go as early as possible, choose weekdays over weekends, use loose change for tips maybe, and probably bring a camera. I used a smartphone but had no zoom so I was forced to shoot as if with prime portraits lenses.
I hope you enjoy your trip as we have! If you go to Nueva Ecija, this should be at the top of your list, in my opinion. :)
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Behind is the scenic green pristine Peñaranda River bordered on both sides by limestone walls in the foothills of the Sierra Madre mountain range which houses a subterranean cavern to be explored on.
It s recommended for family trips as it has variety of activities to choose from such as Ziplining, Kayaking, Balsa Rafting, Spelunking and more. You can also have lunch along the river while on a Balsa Cottage.
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Another adventure with the Neverland Boys!
Party Boy Elie is the main man of them Neverland Boys and he likes Nature Adventures. I always ask him to include me in their adventures but I have conditions, like no hiking-- coz I'm not a fan. I only love water-- that he knows.
So when they decided to do Minalungao Park, I signed in.
The place was AMAZING! The water was perfectly cold, but the current was too strong. It's really hard to swim. Some said that 2 drowned that day, so we should be careful.
The River was also deep so it was a nice idea to do some cliff diving by the side, but with caution. 🏻 (please see my air time pic! LOL)
It's a little crowded that day, it was weekday actually. So I can't seem to imagine what Weekends here would look like..
We rented a floating cottage and we have food with us.
The only upsetting part here for me is when they forced me to go with them in the cave-- which means hiking. 🙄 I was given no choice so I just went with them. Terrible idea.
But all in all I love this place and if given a chance I would gladly go back soon. ️
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Minalungao National Park is one of the famous attraction in Northern Part of Luzon nowadays. No one can really describe the beauty that the nature brings to us. So I'll just set aside the mainstream review and let me share my thought about this awesome place that I've been to. Not all endings are sad, that is why, happy endings do exists, and for me sunset is one example of it. Whenever I witness the beauty of this God made art, I came up to different realization of life, I'm learning that it is okay if I don’t have all the answers or if I’m not where I want to be. I’m learning to let life take its course instead of trying to steer the wheel in another direction. I’m learning that I won’t always get what I want but life will give me what I need. I’m learning to treat life as a friend; trying to understand it, trying to love it when it’s being difficult, trying to accept it even when it’s frustrating me and trying to appreciate the experiences it has provided me with, the memories it gave me, the laughter it brought me and the sadness it put me through just to grow. Too much drama in a post, but hope it inspires you. Be a wanderlust within yourself!
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My officemates and I decided to have #BeatTheHeat adventure yesterday. And so we decided to go Gabaldon Falls (maybe another review?) and Minalungao.
We arrived here a bit late, around 5pm. Yes, I know, it's super late for such a place where you can do a lot of things. We decided to have Balsa ride which costs Php 500 per balsa. This is good for 10 friends. Actually the balsa experience should just be until 5:30pm, but since we arrived late, the Kuyas extended our ride until 6pm. ️ Hmmm, the balsa ride was okay. We ate our baon (sandwich and chips) there. However don't expect the water to be clear. I actually didn't swim, but some of my friends did.
There are other activities to try like caving, and zip-lining. There's also hanging bridge, if you're adventurous. But we were not able to try all these due to time constraints.
We just took pictures during sunset! I love playing with nature hues. Very beautiful.
Comfort rooms here are not so okay, so don't expect anything. I didn't like the public bathrooms as well so I just changed clothes in the car. Good thing I decided not to swim earlier.
P:S. There's no signal here. So you can't use Waze to navigate. Well, load the app before you go here (if you still have data, or wifi), if you don't want hassle. ️
P.S.S. I really love looloo's multiple photos. Cool stuff!
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Who would have thought that Nueva Ecija has this well-kept secret? let's unveil the "Minalungao National Park"
It is located at Barangay Minalungao at municipality of General Tinio, Nueva Ecija. The nearest town is the Gapan which will be your gateway to this incredible natural attraction.
Local guides are readily available as you reach the place, even kids can be your guide and ours was two local kids aged 11 and 16 years old. You have a choice to see the entire national park either by foot or by boat. The side of the towering limestone formation through a trail. It is best to wear rubber shoes especially when you walk through the trail. It is advisable to hire a tour guide for they know where you should stride your feet. For a much easy and relax trail, you can rent a bamboo raft which costs P500. Both trails will lead you to an enchanting swimming area with refreshing and cool waters of the river. Though it's quite hard to swim due to fast water current.
We also tried caving, and experienced the 1000 steps going to the top to reach the cross.
How to get there:
1. From Cubao, take a Cabanatuan-bound bus and get off at Gapan, Nueva Ecija, tell the bus attendant to drop you in Bucana. Fare is 150 pesos and travel time is 2-3 hours.
2. From there, hire a tricycle directly to Minalungao to make it more convenient, We're a group of 8 so we hired the 2 tricycles roundtrip. So they waited for us the whole day. It costs 700 per tricycle.
4. Going back to Manila, take a tricycle/jeepney going to Gapan and wait for a Cubao bus.
It was tiring yet amazing and fulfilling experience! 🏻 Definitely worth it.
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All the way from Manila, me and my friends decided to travel 4 hours using a van for a hassle free road trip to Nueva Ecija midnight before the Holy Thursday and explore the beauty of its well known Gem, The Minalungao National park.
We arrived in Gapan around 4:20 am and went straight to one of my friends' rest house in Peñaranda to take some rest. Around 8:30 in the morning we decided to have our breakfast and after a while we prepared our food for our Minalungao escapade and left the rest house at exactly 2:30 pm.
45 minutes away from Peñaranda, we reached General Tinio around 3:10 pm and as expected, there were a lot of people in the area. There's a P40/each entrance fee inclusive of DIY parking. We also decided to take the P700 worth of floating cottage for bamboo rafting and 4 life vests, P25/each for my girl friends then we sailed on the river and witnessed the breathtaking beauty of Minalungao rock formations.
We really had the grandest time taking photos of Minalungao picturesque scenery and swam into the fresh water of its river. Also, we really enjoyed our time trekking and crossing through the hanging bridge where we were able to see the Minalungao as a whole beaut plus the perfect view of orangey sunset. As we roamed around the area, we found out that there are rooms for rent for accommodation and a zip line worth P50 for fun and activities.
We had so much fun that we didn't notice the time. We left the place almost dark with pure bliss and fulfillment in our hearts. Indeed, Minalungao National Park is a Gem that the city government should take good care of.
I am now on to my next adventure! Ciao! #50ksummergiveaway
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In the foothills of the Sierra Madre range lies the scenic Peñaranda River which is bordered on both sides by a 16-meter high limestone walls. Bamboo rafts can be rented where families had their picnic, while others were enjoying the fresh water of the park.
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This is a nice place to unwind and enjoy. You have to go through rough roads before you see what's in it.
First time to try trekking and it was F-U-N!
You won't believe, tour guides are children and they really are very helpful. You can trust them to look after your bags and stuff.
There are also cottages and balsa where you can stay to have your lunch. I suggest to bring your own food as the items there are too pricey.
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After two months of hiatus on hopping in and out of town, I got back on track last Wednesday as we embark on a journey to find the gem that is in Nueva Ecija: the Minalungao National Park.
A friend whisked me out of the concrete jungle to accompany her home. Since I have the long weekend to spare, which is very rare for my line of work, I let her take me away.
It was also her first time to go to the place, and we had high hopes for the scenery. We needed a getaway that badly.
En route to the park we had a slight problem, in which the tricycle we are riding got stuck near a stream since it drizzled and the soil became an instant mud spa.
Amidst the slight mayhem (but adventures are supposed to be that way right?) we arrived at the park, welcomed with a nice stream and a kid who we will eventually know as Christopher and who will be our guide and photographer. Also, he knows his way around phones and cameras. He is pretty much a reliable photographer.
We freshen up a bit, which meant rinsing our feet in the pond and scrubbing them out of soil. Then we followed Christopher for our trek to the Minalungao cave.
As we trek, we are slowly approaching the limestoned riverside and got mesmerized by the beauty of the place. The water is pristine, with the color of jade, and is very much inviting us to jump and feel the cold, yet we can't since the flow of the river is too quick.
Trekking the riverside should be with caution. There are parts of cemented stairs and parts that are only made of jagged limestones, which is exactly what we are looking for in an adventure. As we arrived at the cave, we opted not to go inside since, well, it's dark and scary for us. We don't even had a flashlight. Maybe we could go back and brought a whole squad for spelunking.
We went back to the tricycle to eat lunch, and after decided to ride a raft. 500php for a raft with a roof, 250php for a simple raft. We took a 500php-worth raft since the simple one is not available. We spent half of the day in that raft, just staring into the Coron-like rock formations (as compared with the pictures since I haven't been there. But soon maybe.) and just enjoyed the sound of flowing water, chirping birds and the breeze. The park also caters ziplining and also has a place called One Thousand Steps, but we opted no to check. We paid Christopher (you can pay the guides in any amount) and bound for home, while still hung up with the paradise we've been. #loolooexplorerpackgiveaway
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If you're up for nature tripping, hiking, and swimming, I recommend you Minalungao National Park in General Tinio, Nueva Ecija! Yay, the travel time is a bit longer than expected but it's all worth it. The place is just a WOW. I've met kuya Darine who is a local resident there and I asked if he can be my tour guide, and of course he did not think twice. Lol. He is very funny, jolly and take note - he is a good photographer!
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A four hour drive from Manila to General Tinio in Nueva Ecija will lead you to a protected National Park called Minalungao (Mina - mine + Lungao - Cave). The entrance fee to the park is 30 pesos per head. You can enjoy caving and see stalactites and stalagmites with crystals. You can also try the zipline for Php 50 for one way. There are cottages you can rent beside the river for 300-500 pesos. There are also floating bamboo raft you could use to traverse the Minalungao river and be amazed with the amazing rock formations. The water is very clean and relaxing as it is coming straight from the mountain.
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