Mt. Tagapo

Talim Island, Cardona, Rizal

Mt. Tagapo
4.0 Stars

5 Reviewers

  • 5 stars 2
  • 4 stars 2
  • 3 stars 1
  • 2 stars 0
  • 1 star 0
  • 5 Reviews
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  • 5 Reviewers
Great Outdoors

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Ivy R.
5.0 Stars

The community around Mt. Tagapo is interesting. Talim Island is in the town of Cardona, Rizal and it can only be reached by boat from the port at Binangonan. It is not that far from Manila, but it does feel like a different world. It is located along Laguna de Bay, and Mt. Tagapo is hidden from view. Once you see it though, it will take your breath away. It is a relatively easy climb, and ideal for beginners. Reaching base camp takes about 30 minutes, and the summit about 15 minutes.

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Marco G.
5.0 Stars



Binangonan is just three towns away from where we live. So when I woke up late, it really didn’t bother me. The only problem was that this would be my first time going there. It would sure suck if I got lost somehow. From what I read, the first trip to Talim Island leaves at 8:00 AM. It was already 8:30 when I arrived. Good thing the boats run on island time – where 8:00 AM actually means 9:30.

The port at Pritil offers good, cheap breakfast. I munched down on a roasted hotdog sandwich and a scrambled egg sandwich. While waiting, I’ve also bought a bag of steamed peanuts to help kill time. I wanted to buy quail eggs and street donuts and more but I was scared that having all that would give me an upset stomach in the middle of Laguna de Bay. Mt. Tagapo: Talim Island's Splendor


It took a good hour before we reached Barangay Janosa. It was the third and last stop of the boat ride. I was walking down the street looking at my phone to look up on what to do next. It says, look for the base camp at your right. I stopped waking, looked to my right, and there it is. Amazing. This is what I love about solo travel: I have no idea where I’m going or what to do but everything just turns up and comes together like magic.

A young boy greeted me as I entered the base camp. There, I registered and paid the P20 fee.

Next on the list is to look for a guide. Normal guide rates range from P300 – P500. My plan was to look for either a group or a guide willing to take me under their wing since I all alone and it would be practical for everybody if they let me split the rate with them. That’s where I met Arnel. He’s a local, escorting a group of nine or ten visitors. He and the group agreed for me to join them. We just had to pass by their house to get the lunch his parents prepared for the group he’s guiding.Mt. Tagapo: Talim Island's Splendor


The trail was beautiful. It’s shrouded by a bamboo forest. There’s always a nice breeze blowing at every turn. The only problem was that we started walking at 11:30 AM. It was terribly hot. I only brought a liter of water with me. I should have brought at least 2 liters. By the time we got to the camp site, we were almost out of water.

It took us about an hour to get to the camp site. This is where we decided to have lunch. Nothing makes food taste better than after a hearty climb. My packed Arroz Valenciana rejuvenated my strength to take on the summit.Mt. Tagapo: Talim Island's Splendor


Remember that scene in Game of Thrones where the camera pans on a hill grassland then suddenly a dragon flys by? That’s what I was imagining while looking at Tagapo’s summit. Gentle winds kept on blowing over the high cogon grass. It was peaceful and beautiful.

The peak is just another ten minutes from the camp site. It gave a 360 degree view. The buildings of Ortigas and Makati look so different from here. We saw the windmills of Pililla. Mounts Cristobal, Banahaw, and Makiling could also be seen. Everything is just spectacular. Mt. Tagapo is indeed one of the best mountains in the country.

Text taken from my blog:

  • No. of Comments: 1
Amyxal V.
4.0 Stars

1. One of my highlights this year is climbing Mt. Tagapo, Talim Island in Cardona & my hometown Binangonan, Rizal. Rising only 1,437 feet above sea level, this could be chicken feed for most experienced climbers, but for me this is a crowning achievement considering I've become fat and am not too outdoorsy. It was a first time for me to scale a mountain.

2. For one to go to Talim Island, go to Pritil, Binangonan where the port (off the shores of Laguna de Bay) is located. The fare for the boat ride was P30, and we had to wait before the boat would be filled. As we approached Talim Island, we jumped off at the port of Brgy. Janosa in Binangonan. That's the most accessible route to the mountain.

3. I almost gave up climbing. As in I made a lot of stops to catch my breath and rest my trembling legs. My sister and tour guide left me behind the trail. That's ok. The day became dark and it started to shower, so that added the difficulty. Apart from the muddy path, there were also big rocks and boulders -- started to really hate them haha.

4. Day climb is highly possible. It only takes less than two hours to reach Mt. Tagapo's peak depending on your endurance.

5. Unless you want to camp out in the evening at the peak, be sure to get down from the mountain and sail back to Pritil before ports will close down at 6 pm.

6. Spectacular, scenic views of Laguna de Bay and its coastal towns. But due to the fog we could not see the Ortigas skyline as it is depicted on many travel blogs. But we could sight the mountains on the Laguna side; we guessed they might be Mt. Banahaw or Mt. Makiling. The otherworldly views were definitely worth the arduous climb (for me ha)

The sight of tall cogon grasses look alluring but they can cut your skin so wear long sleeve clothing or cover for the arms.

7. For beginners, Mt. Tagapo is a good place to train if you want to become a full-fledged mountaineer. Look out for Mang Zaldy, a Barangay tanod who also doubles as a mountaineer/tour guide. He didn't take advantage of my relative feebleness and made us canes from the bamboos. He's the best and we recommend him to other climbers.

8. The mountain adventure is less than two hours from Metro Manila (if you come Pasig or Mandaluyong). The months of December to February may be the most ideal time to climb there.

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Jon B.
3.0 Stars

Arrived in Rizal at 2:00 PM and rode a ferry going to Tagapo.Started trekking at 2:30 PM and reached summit at 5:30 PM. It was raining so the trail was muddy and slippery. Going to the summit was the most challenging part because of the sharp cogoon grass taller than me.

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Jeanne Stephanie E.
4.0 Stars

Sunday trekking with my friends. Mt. Tagapo is located in Talim Island in Binangonan Riza. We rented a UV Express van for 15 persons and we went straight to Binangonan, Rizal, took the ferry to the island then started trekking. This is just a minot climb with a difficulty of 2/9 and 438 MASL.
The place is nice, a lot of greens going up. Out total expense per person is only P400 including the can back and forth from quezon city, ferry and guide fee.

  • No. of Comments: 4