7 Things To Know Before Climbing Mt. Cayabu And Mt. Maynuba

I climbed this circuit last weekend with Gala, my new favorite travel group. We left Manila at 1 am, arrived in Tanay at 2:30, and started ascending at 3 a.m. We returned to the jump-off point at 2 p.m. in time for a late but rewarding lunch of Lucky Me instant pancit canton. There must be something about climbing steep trails for nearly 12 hours that made the entire group collectively crave for unhealthy carbs.

If you’re planning to trek Mt. Cayabu and Maynuba (alt. spelling: Maynoba) for the first time, here are 7 tidbits to help you prepare. As for eating MSG-filled instant noodles after the long haul, it’s all up to you.

After reaching the peak of Mt. Cayabu at 4:30 a.m., we trekked up Mt. Maynuba.

After reaching the peak of Mt. Cayabu (680 MASL) at 4 a.m., we trekked up Mt. Maynuba (720 MASL).

1. It’s a new climbing destination. Located in Tanay, Rizal, the Maynuba Circuit (Mt. Cayabu and Mt. Maynuba) officially opened to the public in March 2016. According to the guides we hired, the Yamaha Trekkers helped pave the trails for visitors. Because it’s a new climbing destination, there’s still room for improvement.

Natatagong Paraiso (Hidden Paradise), the first waterfall stop going down Mt. Maynuba

Natatagong Paraiso (Hidden Paradise), the first waterfall stop going down Mt. Maynuba

2. It’s a 10-in-1 destination. The Maynuba Circuit includes two mountains—Mt. Cayabu and Mt. Maynuba—followed by eight waterfalls on your way down. Mt. Cayabu’s peak is actually a subsidiary peak of Maynuba; they’re right next to each other. You may opt to climb just one part, or visit only the eight waterfalls, which will entail a completely different climbing route. For more info on the suggested itinerary, visit Pinoy Mountaineer.

Kate was here. Location: Camping ground of Mt. Maynuba.

Kate was here. Location: Camping ground of Mt. Maynuba. Thanks to Under Armour for my apparel.

3. There’s no cellphone signal. As soon as you enter the two mountains’ surrounding area in Tanay, your mobile phone signal will go straight to zilch. There’s no LTE, 3G, E, or even a faint bar to let you send a text message. Your Instagram posts will end up as #latergrams, and your Snapchats will be put on hold.

This Bamboo forest is part of the descending trail.

This Bamboo forest is part of the descending trail. Not to scare you or anything, but my group spotted some snakes during our descent.

4. Bring (or find) a walking stick. Unlike other mainstream hiking destinations, nobody sells walking sticks at Mt. Cayabu’s jumping point (yet). You’ll have to pick up a stray bamboo in the wild, or as I did, bring your own. The trails are mostly steep (like going on the Stairmaster for hours), so a walking stick will help alleviate the pressure on your knees and legs.

Halfway up Mt. Maynuba

Halfway up Mt. Maynuba

5. Your feet will get wet. Even if it doesn’t rain, the descent and exploration of the 8 waterfalls entail walking through streams of water and trekking on slippery boulders. The pros suggest you wear hiking sandals instead of closed shoes. In my case, I used hiking shoes going up, and then changed into sandals and a bathing suit when we explored the waterfalls.

Exploring the 8 waterfalls entails crossing streams and trekking boulders.

Exploring the 8 waterfalls entails crossing streams and trekking boulders.

6. There’s no “hole in the ground.” Unlike other climbing destinations where there are makeshift holes and tents where you can go potty, you’ll have to pick a bush or dig your own hole to do your business in Mt. Cayabu and Maynuba. There’s a pay-per-use toilet and bath at the jump-off point, which you can use before and after the hike.

#TeamHugot at the peak of Mt. Maynuba and ready for world domination. Now who left his shorts on the flag pole?!

#TeamHugot at the peak of Mt. Maynuba and ready for world domination. Now who left his shorts on the flag pole?!

7. It’s steep. The pros give the Maynuba Circuit a difficulty rating of 3/10 for the summit hike, and 4/10 for the full loop hike, which is what I did. Although it’s similar to the rating of Mt. Maculot, I found the Maynuba Circuit easier to navigate. For beginners, please expect a lot of steep slopes and some rappelling.

Date of climb: September 3, 2016
Photos by KateWasHere.com and Doj Roxas



  1. xai wrote:

    Hi Ms. Kate, may we use your tips and infos for our project vlog? (school purpose) These may help us a lot. Will give credits when posted. Thanks! God bless <3

  2. Roselle Ebron wrote:

    Good day. Ask ko lang po if ung sea of clouds is anytime pwede mo makita or may specific na oras lang for that. Thank you in advance.

    • Kate wrote:

      Hi, Roselle. I missed the sea of clouds because I’m a slow climber and reached the peak late. If you want to catch the sea of clouds, it’s best to start climbing at 4 a.m. (or earlier, if you’re a slow climber like me) so that you’ll arrive at the peak at around 6 a.m.

  3. Maricar wrote:

    hi im 46 amd never tried any of thisthe. would youd think I can do this as forst timer

    • Kate wrote:

      Hi, Maricar. It depends on your lifestyle. If you don’t exercise regularly and have never tried mountain climbing before, it’s best to do level 1 climbs like Mt. Pinatubo first. For Mt. Cayabu and Mt. Maynuba, it’s best to get your physician’s opinion and clearance first.

  4. RJ Regalado wrote:

    1. Little bit hard for the first time climbers.
    2. The trails are too slippery
    3. Rappels are expected for 3 or 4 times
    4. Make sure you hold only on the “green” bamboos, other bamboos might cause you
    5. There are 4 viewing deck in the mountain, and one of them is the summit itself
    6. Drones are allowed to be flown, just avoid the police camp on the “real” summit (white building)
    7. The “summit” of Mt. Maynoba is not the real summit, as per guide, the real summit is where the police camp is located (i will investigate it when i get some time)
    8. Mountain dogs (aspin) are expected to follow you. They are gentle though.
    9. Bulalo is served on the jump-off area, the isaw is not delicious

    Our humble adventure: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yc5tWABfyqo

  5. Vino wrote:

    Recommended ba overnight?

    • Kate wrote:

      No need to camp overnight, if your goal is to climb the 2 mountains and see all 8 waterfalls. We were able to do all of that in one day. But if you love camping, go ahead. The place is cleaner than other more popular mountains.

  6. Name * wrote:

    hi po i just want to know po how much is the tour guide fee for a 3 to 4am ascend?

  7. totreefor wrote:

    Hi, Ma’am Camille. just wanna ask. how much po ung guide neu? 3am po kc ung start neu ng trek? tnx.

  8. heidi wrote:

    good day po. ask ko lang po kung May po kami maghi-hike, may sea of clouds din po ba? pwede din po ba overnight? thanks po.

  9. JCamille wrote:

    Di nyo po ba nakita yung Sea of Clouds kahit ang aga nyo umakyat?

    • Kate wrote:

      Hi, Camille! Nakita namin yung sea of clouds kase we were very slow climbers and arrived at the peak when the sun was starting to rise, haha!

  10. migs wrote:

    hi, just wanted to ask, how do i get there if private transportation? are there signs?
    and if there’s parking.
    will be heading there next week
    thank you!

  11. I have never tried hiking, and given a chance, I would love to visit this place! Thank you, Miss Kate, for always featuring wonderful places in the Philippines ❤

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