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Pico De Loro
Town/City:  Maragondon
Province:  Cavite
14° 12.855N   120° 38.785E
Listed in Gallery:   Mountain Peak

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Pico de Loro offers a magnificent 360 view from the summit.
 Located approximately 85 kilometers southwest of Manila by road,
located within Cavite and Batangas rolling mountains,
it is situated where the Caraballo Mountains are in the north, Nasugbu, Batangas
in the south, Maragondon on the east and the South China Sea on the west.
 Considered the highest mountain in the Cavite province, Pico de Loro
is the highest point within the boundary of Cavite and Batangas.
 The view from the summit is awesome, facing the sea on
the north-eastern side of the Manila Bay area.
 You can actually see ships passing by the Batangas and
Bataan shore lines while the entire Batangas and Cavite on the
south-eastern side will offer you a magnificent view of the south-eastern
mountains like Batulao and Talamitam.

How to get there

Take the bus bound (Saulog) for Maragondon or Ternate Cavite at the Lawton
or Liwasang Bonifacio area.
 When you've reached Maragondon Cavite, take or hire a jeep to the jump-off area.
 There are two jump-off points for Pico de Loro.
 The first jump-off point is a point along Ternate Hi-way going to Caylabne Bay
Resort.
 Passing by Puerto Azul entrance, the trail is marked by a DENR sign within the
"magnet" area (hill was claimed to be magnetic, try putting your engine's vehicle
in the neutral or it is turned off, the vehicle will climb up, similar to the magnetic
hill of Laguna.  
This is an incredible experience, as it feels so unnatural. Whether you're used to the steep hills of the Himalayas when you go roughing it out mountain climbing or the flat, seemingly endless cruising roads in Europe that lead to hotels in Birmingham
that pamper you, you're going to find that this is a unique sensation.

For the second jump-off site, you have to take a bus ride to Nasugbu from
Manila (BLTB) and from there arrange transportation for Barangay Papaya

From the first jump-off or trailhead, there is a 30 minute walk and you will
pass by a NIPA hut, you can replenish or refresh yourself, just ask the resident.
 A 2-hour hike will take you to a base camp passing by open fields, farms
and grazing lands.
 The base camps are either open fields or the area at foot of Pico
itself and, typically covered by trees.  A 45-minute hike to the summit is
usually done without the packs.
 Another alternative is to camp on the summit though it can accommodate
only few tents and winds at the summit are usually strong which will continually
pound your tents.  From base camp to the summit, the climb
is very steep.  Usually, the trail going to Nasugbu is the one used in going down.
 Follow the same trail straight to Barangay Papaya, Nasugbu Batangas.
 It is accessible from Nasugbu town proper by pump boat or a
long jeepney ride along the rough road to Nasugbu (this is basically the route of
the second Jump-off point).

GOING UP TO PICO via Puerto Azul (Ternate Cavite):

Bus from Lawton to Maragondon = P 60.00 (or if the fare increased)
Maragondon to Jump-off point (magnetic sign) = P 300.00 - 500.00 (Hired Jeepney)
Pay an "entrance" fee to the Nipa Hut described (not much but it will also be as
payment for the use of urinal and replenish water).


GOING BACK TO MANILA via Brg. Papaya Trail (Nasugbo, Batangas):

Brgy. papaya to Nasugbu town banca ride = P600.00, P100.00/head (or if the fare increased)
Tricycle ride = P6.00 per head (or if the fare increased).



Waypoint narrative by: paulperez 2002     follow paulperez on Facebook


Additional narratives or blogs:
Take the Southsuper highway and exit at Carmona. Go toward the road of Puerto Azul. This is a bit over 50 kms from Alabang-Filinvest entry way to Puerto Azul.
Drive toward the Magnetic Hill sign where the jumpoff point is situated. This is between the Puerto Azul entrance gate the the military barracks. At the start of the trek, there is an immediate climb which leads to the Base Camp 1. In the camp one should pay the entrance fee (PHP10.00 per head), sign up on the logbook and fill up the water bottles. This is also the last place where one can enjoy a comfort room.

Our trek took very long. The climb was relatively uneventful and at some point about 1.5 hours on the trek, we has a first glimpse of the rocky mountain tops of Pico de Loro. But we experienced a bit of difficulty on the climb mainly due to the fact that it was steep and the pathways were wet from rain which made it slippery and difficult to traverse. Furthermore, the bamboo thicket at the top parts of the mountain leaned toward the pathway which restricted movement. There were also fallen trees along the path which we had to climb over or under. It was unfortunate
that during our climb, we continuously heard chain saws operating closeby. At the top, we noted a large swath of land denuded of any forest cover as a result of tree cutting. This area is suppose to be a forest preserve!

On the way up, one of our guides saw a glimpse of a hornbill with a large yellow beak. Apparently endemic to the mountain. I am also aware that there are monkeys in the area although we did not see any during our
climb.

We were rewarded though about two and a half hours into the climb with an awesome sight. The rock outcropping of Pico de Loro is dramatic as it is beautiful. On south we could see the Hamilo Cove with its white sand
beaches now being developed by the Shoe Mart group into one of the largest beach property developments today. On the southern side side, one can see Tagaytay, Mount Batulao and Mount Talamitam and Mindoro Island. You also have a clear view of Balayan Bay and Calaca, Batangas where the Calaca
powerplant is located. On the west one can see Corregidor, the mountains of Bataan and the island of Fort Drum, once constructed into a battleship-like structure by the Americans around the turn of the 20th century to protect Manila from invaders. Also to the west, you can see Manila bay, Makati and practically the whole Metro Manila. Further northward, you can see Rizal province, Antipolo and Laguna de Bay. It is an awesome sight and one of the best mountains we have climbed so far.

We took our time up at the peak and were joined by another group of climbers who scaled the Pico de Loro side. In total, it took us 10 hours for the full trek! We ended up back at the magnetic hill sign around 7:15pm! This was a bit extreme and we really
took our time trekking. What was nice though was that at a certain point up the mountain, we caught a glimpse of the Makati lights and it was very nice. It almost looked like we were in Antipolo but without the beer and the noise.

By: Fernando_Delos-Reyes 2007