DIY Adventure for a day below P1,000 at Minalungao, Nueva Ecija

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Minalungao National Park

This could have been one of my cheapest adventure expense to date! And this was made possible at Minalungao National Park in Nueva Ecija, Philippines.

I was never a traveller who saves too much just for the sake of saving, but rather I make sure that I maximize each trip that I plan and do. In Minalungao I was amazed how it manages to remain affordable, fruitful and enjoyable all at the same time without sacrificing my comfort and saving too much on food and activities. A day trip would be enough for this however, you may opt to spend a night or two near the area as well if you wanted to feel chill and relaxed after a busy activity.

Minalungao National Park  a protected area of the Philippines located in the municipality of General Tinio, Nueva Ecija in Central Luzon. A trip that could easily be visited via bus and tricycle from Manila of almost 3 hours.

In this blog, I’ll be sharing with you my day full of activities, and expenses, guide and notes and to even influence you to try and come visit this wonderful place. Take note that this trip is plain DIY (Do-it-yourself) and no travel agency was involved, expenses was also based on my visit.

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Minalungao National Park, Nueva Ecija

HOW TO GO TO MINALUNGAO NATIONAL PARK FROM MANILA? 

  • Ride a bus bound to Gapan / Cabanatuan thru ES Terminal at Cubao
    •  Travel time is 2 hours (depending on traffic) for P200 pesos per way
  • Alight at Gapan (*landmark – Puregold)
  • From Gapan, ride a tricycle going straight to Minalungao National Park
    • Travel time is 1 hour and 15 minutes
    • There are so many tricycles in Gapan that could lead you straight to Gapan (there is no standard rate, but the cheapest we got was P600 for 4 pax for 2 way already)
    • The booked tricycle will take you straight to Minalungao and fetch you at a certain time you prefer. (*decide right away until what time you’ll be staying as there is no cellular signal at the park, tricycles who pass thru Minalungao were also reserved already ahead of time

Here’s our tricycle contact – 09757033575 *other services will rate you from P500 – P800 pesos.

HOW TO GO BACK FROM MINALUNGAO NATIONAL PARK TO MANILA?

  • Same tricycle ride back to Gapan
  • In front of 7-11 there were buses bound to Cubao and Monumento (*buses were everywhere, you won’t feel scared not being able to back home even late night)
    • Bus Fare : P200

WHAT TO DO IN MINALUNGAO NATIONAL PARK?

A day full of activities is enough to enjoy this park.

Entrance Fee of P100 pesos per pax to enter the park. There is also charges for comfort room usage for P10 pesos per pax per usage.

  • Rafting – P500 pesos for entire day (*max of 8 pax to share)
    • The first thing you need to do is secure a place to stay, a raft is available for renting.
    • This includes the Life Vest rental already (*since there are very strict with no life vest no swimming policy)
      • *water current in Minalungao is pretty fast, you might drown yourself even you knew how to swim
    • In the raft, you’ll be place at the center to enjoy the entirety of the view, you get to spend your lunch over the raft as well
    • Sun Bathing and prefer to relax the entire afternoon? It is also possible
    • This serves as your cottage (*there were also nipa hut available inside Minalungao that you could rent — but rafting sounds pretty more exciting!!!)
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For rent for P500 / day, max of 8 pax to stay

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  • Swimming / Cliff Diving
    • Swim all you can while you stay. Cliff Diving was also widely known in Minalungao but be sure to do it safely and always ask the guide the perfect spot for it.

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  • Spelunking – *payment depends on your own tip as a group. As you enter Minalungao there are people who could assist you and give you a guide for the entire day stay.
    • We gave P200 pesos to our guide at that time

Spelunking in Minalungao went beyond my expectation, it was closely similar with my Sagada experience (*hahah!) but in a different way.

Also Read : Sagada Trip – 2D | 1N – with Spelunking Activity 

It was not as easy as 1,2,3 and it was risky (*like the rest of the caves) but it was beautiful and such an experience not to try too!

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Cave in Minalungao
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Entering to this spaces
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All the way down there
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Beautiful Stone Structure (*hard to capture thru the camera)
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Spelunking
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Coming Out all the way the small hole
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This was the last part!!!

We had our caving for almost 2 hours but it depends with your company on how adventurous you are and how quick the entire trail could be.

This was worth the try especially if you wanted to experience it!!

  • Zipline – P100 pesos / person 1 way *150 for 2-way
    • The zipline would take you to the other side of the park, it was less than a minute ride but just for P100 pesos? why not right? you get to see the full view of the park.

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Zipline
  • Hanging Bridge
    • Before going to the Zipline area, you need to walk all the way to the Hanging Bridge (*if you are afraid of heights, this might hurt a bit) but you’ll get to see the entire park from this view.
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      Hanging Bridge

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      You get to see the entire park view from here
  • 1,000 Steps Hike to Giant Cross
    • this was part of our tour from our tour guide. You get to hike for 1000 steps all the way up for the giant cross. A serene sight could also be seen in the area. Best time to do it is as soon as you get your feet in Minalungao. So you’ll still have enough energy.
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OTHER NOTES IN MINALUNGAO :

  • For the food, there are restaurants and food stalls around the area. Cost was not too expensive and is pretty much affordable for a tourist destination. IMG20170313105932IMG20170313112901

and the best part of it?  You get to eat your lunch in a raft.

Bring mineral water with you, or you may opt to bring your own food as well if you wish to save more.

  • Comfort Rooms in Minalungao is paid area, for P10 per usage. It was clean enough to take a shower after the activity
  • The last time we get here was on a Weekday, as of the guides — influx of tourist visit this on a weekends (*expect more on holidays)
  • No signal at all in the area!
  • Staying in the area might be available until 5 – 6pm only. It gets scarier due to the water current.
  • As a whole, this trip was one of my favorite!! As I get to spend less without compromising anything! It was such a fun filled trip and I was so happy with everything!!!

Here’s my actual itinerary and budget expense during my trip :

minalungaoExpense wise, I get to spend less than a thousand given all of the activities mentioned. There was souvenir shop inside the park as well.

Hope you get to enjoy it as much as I do! Share me your thoughts by commenting below.

Let your travel buddies know about it too! Like and Share for everyone to see.

 

-All the love

 

17 thoughts on “DIY Adventure for a day below P1,000 at Minalungao, Nueva Ecija

  1. What a cool way to spend the day! I love the raft/cottage.. Definitely a unique place to have lunch and a great alternative for the usual cottages.. 🙂 The spelunking activity sounds really exciting.. Was it not claustrophobic inside?? I’ve only tried Ugong Rock (though I’m not sure it’s the same as this. haha) and it was not too tight like those spaces you’ve entered…

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    1. the caving in Minalungao was too tight as well, so many holes to fit in and it was a long trek after all. But it was such a great experience 😀 Had mine first at Sagada and it offers a different type of experience.

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  2. Wow – those rafts look stunning. I feel claustrophobic in caves like these – would you recommend them for me?
    The horizontal zip-line looks fun. Just did some zip-line in Canada & can’t wait to do in other places – you introduced me to one more.

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    1. for claustrophobic, I don’t think caving and spelunking would be something you’ll enjoy to do 😦 it might be too scary and dangerous for you, anyhow, there are other cave places that might be perfect for you.

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  3. I’ve never heard of Minalungao before, and because we love to explore national park, it immediately perked my interest. Thank you very much for being so detailed, especially on how to get there using public transport! I can’t believe a tricycle ride is shorter than a train trip!

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  4. I love it when you can do a DIY adventure as it is so much more satisfying! I would 100% love to explore those caves, I visit caves in the UK all the time, but these look pretty scary. No ziplining for me though even if it looks fun!

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  5. Swimming and cliff diving sounds good! Well, it seems like it’s easy to enjoy various activities when you’re surrounded by such beautiful landscape. 🙂
    Still, don’t think I would go into that cave though. The entrance seems soooo tight and small. 😛 Do you think it’s worth it?
    And then the zipline! Oh sure, that would be a thrill. And it’s really cheap, you’re right.

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  6. Philippines never fails to surprise. Just when you thought that you had read and knew about all the lovely places in the country, comes another pristine gem. Minalungao National Park in Nueva Ecija, Philippines.is one of these. I would love to get there and onto a bamboo raft. The entire trip looks like a great adventure, worth much more in terms of the thrills than the cost.

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  7. Minalungao seems to have everything which one needs for a full day adventure. Caving, rafting, spelunking will be on the top of my list. That huts look so cool. Your pictures are great too.

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