One of my rules when I travel is to try not to come back to a place that I’ve been to as I am saving my money and time to explore other parts of the country, but there’s always that place where you say, you’ll surely come back to it, right? This week, I just had a Mt. Maculot-repeat but this time it’s a traverse. I remember the first time I conquered this mountain back in 2014 where stories of a mountaineer who was speculated to have been murdered in Rockies were circulating, it was later found out that he died due to accident. I must admit, I wasn’t aware of the incident until we went home and my friends started to share the stories. Back then, the local officials do not require Local Tour Guides but that was 2 years ago. Today, it is required to have a Local guide and registration before climbing the mountain, the incident might have been a factor in this implementation which is good for everybody’s safety. There’s also a certain number of people in a group 1 local guide can accommodate, this is to make sure that they can keep an eye on each and every hiker and to give chance to other Local guides. Our guide mentioned that right now there are hundreds of registered Local guides in Cuenca, Batangas for Mt. Maculot alone.
The traverse part of the mountain is definitely harder than I thought it would be, when I first climbed this mountain, we weren’t able to do traverse, all we did was go to Rockies, eat, chilled, took photos and went back to jump off using the same trail. If that is the case, it would be a beginner-friendly, but I wouldn’t recommend traverse for first timers as I usually suggest 2-3/9 trail difficulty for them. Mt. Maculot traverse’s difficulty is 4/9 but if you are new to hiking but wanted to try traverse, please make sure to come ready and prepared for rope assist and assaults, a good companion who knows the place well would be very helpful too.
To get to the jump off point you need to hire a tricycle, the tricycle can accommodate 3-4 passengers. I’ll discuss how to get there by commute and the summary of expenses below, but before that, here’s the suggested itinerary.
0300 Meet up at Mcdo Gil Puyat LRT Station Taft
0400 ETD Buendia, Ride bus bound to Cuenca, Batangas
0630 ETA Cuenca, Batangas; Ride Tricycle to Brgy
0700 ETA Brgy Hall; Registration; Secure Guide; Last Preparation
0715 Start Trek
0915 ETA Campsite, head to rockies
1000 Rockies, photo-op
1030 Leave Rockies to Summit
1200 ETA summit. Lunch
1230 Start descent to Grotto
1400 ETA Grotto. Rest.
1430 Resume Descent
1630 ETA Jump off point (Clean up/Shower)
1700 ETD Bus terminal, ride bus to Buendia
1830 ETA Buendia
How to get there?
To Mt. Maculot…
Take a bus going to Lemery, Batangas in Buendia or Cubao
Get off at Bayan ng Cuenca
Take a tricycle going to Brgy. Hall and Mountaineer’s Store in Brgy. 7 “Siete”
Take a tricycle from Brgy. 5 (Grotto) going back to Mountaineer’s Store in Brgy. 7 “Siete”
Take another tricycle going back to Jump off point (Bayan ng Cuenca) or Lugawan
Take a jeepney going to Bus terminal
Finally, take a bus going back to Buendia/Cubao
What to bring? We’ve listed the top 10 “must” here. I also always suggest to bring your medicines with you if you have any medications, first aid kit and waterproof bags/pouches to cover up your money, gadgets and other important things in case the rain pours.
Breakdown of Expenses
Bus (DLTB) Buendia to Cuenca – P148.00
Tricycle to Mountaineer’s store – P20.00
Registration – P20.00
1 Local guide costs P800.00 for 5 people; any excess is P100.00 / person; maximum of 12 people per guide (cost / person may vary depending on the number of people in a group)
*You can purchase a packed lunch right at Cuenca or Mountaineer’s store (budget – P100.00)
Buko juice – P10.00 (optional)
Halo-halo – P40.00 (optional)
Buko juice at the summit – P20.00 (optional)
Ice candy (camp site) – P20.00 (optional)
Tricycle from Brgy. 5 (Grotto) to Mountaineer’s store – P35.00
Shower fee – P15.00 or P25.00
Jeepney to Bus Terminal – P25.00
Bus (Jam Liner) to Buendia – P124.00
Here are some of the photos taken at Rockies.
After taking photos, we had our lunch at the campsite and head to the Summit. It took us more than an hour to reach the Summit due to simultaneous assault. Here are some of the photos taken at the Summit.
I hope this post made you want to try Mt. Maculot. Till our next climb, see you all 🙂 Take care!
Mt. Maculot (Cuenca, Batangas City)
Major Jumpoff: Mountaineer’s Store, Brgy. 7 “Siete”, Cuenca
Exit point (traverse): Brgy 5 (to Grotto), Cuenca
LLA: 706 MASL (Rockies) and 930 MASL (summit)
Days required / Hours to Rockies / summit : 1 day / 1-2 hr / 2-4 hr
Specs: Minor, Difficulty 3/9 (Rockies); 4/9 (Traverse) Trail class 1-3.
Features: Scenic views of Taal Lake, rock formations, forests and grassland slopes