Mt. Tagapo Trip Guide and Itinerary (Day Hike)

Summit of Mt. Tagapo

Mt. Tagapo is a worthwhile yet underrated hiking destination. Though the town where it falls under is a mere two-hour land travel from Manila, one also needs to board a passenger boat to reach its jumping-off point. At 438 MASL, Mt. Tagapo is the highest point in Talim Island, a dagger-shaped land mass (hence, the Filipino word talim) situated at the heart of Laguna Lake as if it cuts across that vast body of water. Locals call the mountain Susong Dalaga (a maiden's breast), because from the towns of Laguna, from the boat ride going there, or even from some points in Metro Manila, one can spot Tagapo's peak that resembles a young woman's breast.

Its bamboo-laden trail, its picturesque cogon grass-covered summit hill, and the 360-degree view at the top where one can behold the vastness of Laguna Lake, the surrounding towns and Manila metropolis, and glimpse of other mountain peaks make Mt. Tagapo a rewarding hike. It's also an easy hike so it's a good starting point for beginners. Here's a quick travel guide.


How to Get To Mt. Tagapo from Metro Manila

Commute (NOTE: expect higher fares due to COVID-19 pandemic):
  • If coming from EDSA Shaw Blvd., take a UV Express (van) or jeep bound for Binangonan town proper. There are transport terminals in SM Megamall, Greenfield District (EDSA Central), Starmall EDSA Shaw, and Robinsons Galleria. Fare: PHP 50 (van) / around PHP 40 (jeep); Travel time: 1.5 to 2 hours
  • If coming from areas near Sta. Ana Manila, take the jeep bound for Binangonan town proper at the terminal near Jose Rizal University (JRU). Fare: around PHP 45; Travel time: around 2 hours
  • If coming from Marcos Highway (areas near Cubao, QC or Marikina), take a jeep bound for Binangonan town proper at Sta. Lucia East Grandmall or Robinsons Metro East terminals. Fare: PHP 38; Travel time: around 1 hour
  • At the town proper, take a tricycle (min. fare PHP 10) to or ask around and walk towards pritil (Binangonan fish port) then take a passenger boat bound for Brgy. Janosa, the jumping-off point to Mt. Tagapo. Boat fare: PHP 30; Travel time: 45 minutes to 1 hour

Private Car (via Manila East Road):
  • If driving along Ortigas Ave., continue to Ortigas Ext., then Manila East Road
  • Or if in Ortigas Ave., turn to East Bank Road (Floodway), then Taytay-Angono Coastal Road, then Baytown, then Manila East Road (this is faster than taking Ortigas Ext.)
  • If driving along C5 Road, turn to Ortigas Ave.
  • If driving along C6 Road, turn to East Bank Road (at Barkadahan Bridge)
  • If driving along Marcos Highway (Marilaque), take Felix Ave. in Cainta, then Ortigas Ext. (Cainta junction) then Manila East Road
  • At Binangonan fish port, ask around where you can park

Going Back:
  • At Brgy. Janosa's port, wait for the passenger boat to arrive; chances are it already contains passengers from farther island barangays.
  • At the fish port, jeepney terminal is just around the corner. These jeepneys ply the routes to Sta. Lucia East Grandmall, JRU, and EDSA Shaw Blvd.
  • Also from the fish port, you can take a tricycle going to the UV Express terminal (van going to EDSA Shaw Blvd.)

Binangonan Fish Port
Binangonan Fish Port

Hiking Fees (as of January 2021)

  • Environmental/Registration fee: PHP 30
  • Trail Guide: PHP 500 per group (required)

Essential Tips and Trip Notes

  • Passenger boats are available at the port as early as 5:00 AM
  • Apart from your usual protective gears against sun's harmful rays, bring an umbrella. Mt. Tagapo's summit is drenched in sunlight; it is covered with nothing but cogon grasses of about 4 feet. Also, the earlier the hike, the better.
  • The entire hike may get sweltering especially during the summer months.
  • Trail can get muddy and the tide can be harsh during the rainy season. Coast guard may also cancel boat trips if it rains hard.
  • There's an open pit at the summit; be careful with your selfies or jump shots.
  • Bring your own drinking water. Not only it will cost you less, it would also help reduce plastic waste as you don't have to buy bottled ones.
  • Since January 2021, wearing face mask and face shield and bringing alcohol is required. No need for a medical certificate or travel pass.
  • For more info, you may coordinate with Brgy. Janosa's SK thru their Facebook page.

View of Mt. Tagapo from the boat ride
View of Mt. Tagapo from the boat ride
Bamboo-laden trail of Mt. Tagapo
View of Laguna Lake from Mt. Tagapo's summit

Itinerary: Mt. Tagapo Day Hike

5:30 AM : Depart from EDSA Shaw Blvd.
7:00 AM : Arrive at Binangonan town center, take breakfast or buy provisions
7:30 AM : Board the passenger boat bound for Brgy. Janosa (depends on boat schedule)
8:30 AM : Arrive at Brgy. Janosa, register and secure tour guide, start the hike
11:00 AM : Arrive at summit
11:30 AM : Start descent
1:00 AM : Arrive at Brgy. Janosa, wait for passenger boat
1:30 PM : Board passenger boat back to Binangonan town center
2:30 PM : Arrive at the town proper, take side trips to the centuries-old Sta. Ursula Parish Church and/or Binangonan Library and Museum
3:30 PM : Depart for Manila
5:30 PM : ETA Manila

Sta. Ursula Parish Church in Binangonan, Rizal
Sta. Ursula Parish Church

For more photos and what to expect on the hike, read Mt. Tagapo: An Underrrated Hiking Destination or watch my sister's vlog about her overnight hike in February 2021:


DJ Rivera is an I.T. professional, entrepreneur, travel blogger, writer and the online publisher of based in Rizal province, Philippines. Click here to know more.

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