One of the magnificent protected areas in Luzon, Minalungao National Park offers a lot of activities for the thrill seekers. This national park in General Tinio, Nueva Ecija covers 2,018 hectares of land area. Located north of Metro Manila, the local government promotes Minalungao as an ecotourism destination.
Minalungao National Park has facilities for having picnics, rafting, swimming, and more. It features the clean waters of Peñaranda River, the caves, and the rock formations.
We had our private ride to take us to Minalungao. From Baguio, it took us around 5 hours to reach the park. Along the way, I got a snap of Papaya Municipal Mall through my window.
But what does Papaya have to do with this? After some reading, I learned that the Municipality of General Tinio was formerly known as the Municipality of Papaya until 1957. It makes sense to me now.
A complete set of activities is what you’ll get from the park. And here are those:
The long trip was quite exhausting. I don’t have a photo of our crew having lunch by the river but this is a shot from where we had our meal:
You may have your meal cooked by arranging it with your tour coordinator.
This mini-hike is also called One Thousand Steps to the Cross. But yes, it was more than a thousand for me.
Along the way, we stopped by to pay our respects on the memorial marker of Missionary Innyoung (Ester) Choi.
The magnificent Sierra Madre mountain ranges can be seen from the top of the hill.
Alas, we reached the cross.
At this moment, we rode a bamboo raft on our way to the cave’s jump off site.
Your visit to the park won’t be complete without trying this!
The weather is slightly overcast but luckily it didn’t rain. Hence, we explored the Minalungao Caves.
We noticed that there are dry segments in the cave. And when the stalactites are no longer moist, they would no longer grow. These changes though might be due to natural causes. However, there are still parts of the cave that are alive.
Of course, nobody wants to miss experiencing the cold and clean waters of the park. Remember though that for tourists, wearing a life vest is a must. We can’t help but admire these kids who went to dive and swim with us. There are parts of the river that can be as deep as 30 feet.
For just a minimal fee, you can experience ziplining here in the park.
For your safety, listen and cooperate with your tour guide at all times, most especially in the cave and in the water. When rafting and swimming, your life vest must be worn even if you know how to swim.
From Manila: Ride a bus headed for Cabanatuan. Disembark in Gapan. From Gapan, take a jeep going to Papaya/General Tinio. Lastly, hire a tricycle to take you to Minalungao. Travel time is around 4-5 hours, depending on the traffic and your pace.
Traveling around Minalungao National Park is lot safer and more fun with a local who knows the place by heart. Get in touch with Mr. Darine De Guzman at (0920) 225-9562 or (0935) 538-7330. He can assist you from planning to the actual touring as well as provide relevant info to your inquiries and coordinate your tour necessities.
All in a day’s tour.
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