Mt. Maculot – Cuenca, Batangas (Climb Guide)

Mt. Maculot - Cuenca, Batangas (Climb Guide)

Mt. Maculot is located in Cuenca, Batangas. It is known for its “Rockies”, a place that boasts a breath-taking view of Taal Lake, Taal Volcano and the rest of Batangas. Mt Maculot is day-hike-able. You can choose to just go to the Rockies or a full traverse going to the Grotto. Either way, it can be done in one day. The climb can be challenging since there are rappelling and rock climbing involved.

Batulao or Maculot?

For the year 2016, I’m pushing myself to climb 4 mountains within the year.  For the first climb,  I’ve invited my College Barkada and my girlfriend for a hike/outing. We haven’t been together for a long time and haven’t done it before. We always go to beaches and resorts when we go out of town. So, this time, a challenging one. 😛

We’re planning to climb Mt. Batulao, but days before the climb, my contact told me that there are problems with the authorities at that time. So, I’ve searched another mountain also located in Batangas. One of the famous hiking sites there is Mt. Maculot. 

GOING THERE

Mt. Maculot - Cuenca, Batangas
The gang before going to Batangas
We rode a DLTB Co.Bus in Buendia, going to Lemery, Batangas. Bus fare is 130 pesos. We got down in the town of Cuenca. The trip took 2 hours. Then, we rode a tricycle at the terminal in B. Laqui Street going to the Registration office. After the registration, the tricycle dropped us at the jump-off. Tricycle Fare is 20 pesos per head.

 

The authorities require guides for all who will climb.  Guide fee depends on your destination. We took the Rockies-Summit-Grotto traverse for 800 pesos for 5 persons, plus 100 for an excess individual. The fee reached 1000 pesos because we are 7 in the group.

THE ASCENT

We started our trek following the road going to the base of the mountain. The climb composes of series of assaults and the sun was starting to smile on us.
Mt. Maculot - Cuenca, Batangas
As we go higher, we can now see a part of Taal Lake. We happened to have climbed with a 70-year-old woman and her 2 Labradors. We were so amazed that she can still hike at that age. She told us that before retiring, she was just working and working. No time for vacations and that kind of activity. It was inspiring. It’s a smack on our faces— “Don’t let age hinder you from doing things you want to do” or “Do what you love before it’s too late”.
Mt. Maculot - Cuenca, BatangasMt. Maculot - Cuenca, BatangasMt. Maculot - Cuenca, Batangas
Mt. Maculot - Cuenca, Batangas
We ate our lunch at the campsite before proceeding to the Rockies.
Mt. Maculot - Cuenca, Batangas
On our way to the Rockies.
Mt. Maculot - Cuenca, Batangas
Rockies

 ROCKIES AND SUMMIT

Going to the “Rockies” is like climbing another mountain. We got down to its base, then climbed again. The trail going up was steep and we need to use our wall climbing skills.
Mt. Maculot - Cuenca, Batangas
Mt. Maculot - Cuenca, Batangas
The Rockies somewhat covers the whole view of the Taal lake. When we reached the top, we were astonished by the view in front of us.
Mt. Maculot - Cuenca, Batangas
Mt. Maculot - Cuenca, Batangas
Mt. Maculot - Cuenca, BatangasMt. Maculot - Cuenca, BatangasMt. Maculot - Cuenca, BatangasMt. Maculot - Cuenca, Batangas
After the Rockies, we proceeded to the summit. The trek was much easier and the sun was behind the clouds.
We’ve reached the summit around 2:30 PM. The view was amazing! We saw Taal Lake, Taal Volcano, Tagaytay, Mt. Batulao and probably half of Batangas! 😛
We did it! 😀
Mt. Maculot - Cuenca, Batangas
Mt. Maculot Summit

THE DESCENT

The rain started to pour at the summit of Maculot. We decided to descend to avoid going down in the dark. The descent was challenging because of the wet trail. Mud has formed and the footing became slippery. Fortunately, ropes tied on trees for us to hold on to while going down. Going down took most of our time because we were very careful. As we were nearing the Grotto, we stopped for an hour or so. The only way down is to rappel a few meters down. It can only accommodate 1 person and before us, there are other groups of hikers. We got stuck. We’ve waited until our turn came. The reason for the long wait was because of hikers taking a lot of selfies. :l Please think of others. Always remember that the trek is not safe when it’s dark.
Mt. Maculot - Cuenca, Batangas
Rappel going down
 At last, we reached the Grotto. It was a good place to watch the sunset, but we didn’t stay long. We continued going down as the darkness came near. We only have one or two flashlights. We’ve continued our descent on stairs and we felt our legs shaking. It was dark, the way down felt like forever. Luckily, we have our phone, we used its flash for light. After a lot of steps going down, we reached the base. Tricycles were waiting there for hikers to be picked-up. After a rigorous hike, we’ve returned to the wash area.

Mt. Maculot - Cuenca, Batangas

The hike was the first time for most of my friends and my girlfriend. I’m proud of ourselves for finishing that challenging trail. We took 9 hours. Despite exhaustion, we felt accomplished. We’ve reached the summit and got down safely, after all that we’ve been through. We don’t conquer exams and homework anymore, we now conquer mountains!

 

Check out also our climb guide to Mt. Batulao, Mt. Gulugod Baboy, and Mt. Talamitam.

 

ITINERARY

If there’s no delay, like what we’ve experienced, you can finish earlier.
TIME
ACTIVITY
5:30 AM – 6:30 AM
Meet-up/Breakfast
6:30 AM
Departure from Buendia
8:30 AM
Arrival at Cuenca, Batangas
8:35 AM
Tricycle to Registration Area
8:45 AM
Register at Barangay Hall
8:55 AM
Jump-off
9:00 AM
Start Trek
10:45 AM
Early Lunch
11:40 AM
Rockies
2:00 PM
Summit
2:30 PM
Descent
5:30 PM
Grotto
6:30 PM
Arrival at Base Point
6:40 PM
Wash-up
7:15 PM
Back to Manila

 

EXPENSES

Bus to Cuenca
130 Pesos
Tricycle to Jump-off
20 Pesos
Guide Fee: 1000 pesos (800 pesos plus 100 per excess) / 7 persons
142.86 Pesos
Registration Fee
20 Pesos
Food
200 Pesos
Tricycle from Base Point to Wash Area
20 Pesos
Shower
15 Pesos
Tricycle to Major Highway
20 Pesos
Jeep to SM Lipa
25 Pesos
Bus from SM Lipa to Manila
100 Pesos

TOTAL EXPENSES = 692.86 Pesos per person

 

 

REMINDERS/GUIDES/TIPS

How to get there:

  • Take a bus (DLTB or JAM Liner) from Buendia Bus Terminal bound to Lemery. Drop at Cuenca. (Fare = P130, Travel time = 2 Hours)
  • Ride trike from tricycle terminal going to Jump-off. (Fare = P20/person, Travel time = 15-30 Minutes) 

 

Fees:

  • Registration Fee = P20
  • Guide Rates:
    DESTINATION
    PRICE
    Campsite and Rockies
    P400 (1-5 Persons ) plus P50 for every additional person
    From campsite to summit back trail
    Additional P50/person
    Traverse: Rockies, Campsite, Summit and Grotto
    P800 (1-5 Persons ) plus P100 for every additional person
    Overnight: Campsite
    P800 (1-5 Persons ) plus P100 for every additional person
    From overnight to summit back trail
    Additional P100/head
    From overnight to traverse
    Additional P100/head
  • Wash up fee = P15

 

Reminders:

  • Wear footwear that holds your feet tight and has good tracks as the trail can be slippery at times
  • Put on sunblock and wear proper clothing, there are no trees on the Rockies.
  • There is no water source in the area, bring 2-3 liters of water.

 

CLIMB DATE: JANUARY 2016

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