Have you been feeling the signs of cabin fever? It may be time to get a nature adventure fix from the land, air, or sea— just hours away from Metro Manila.
If you’ve been feeling cooped up inside the confines of your home, you’re not alone. Lockdown restrictions during the pandemic have made many feel irritable, impatient, and restless— which are the general symptoms of cabin fever. An easy remedy to this is to get some sunshine and be immersed in nature.
Studies show that being outdoors plays a significant role in your wellbeing; it can lessen stress, improve your mood, and help make you more physically active. Fortunately, we live in a country that houses alluring beaches, mountains, and waterfalls just hours away from urbanized Metro Manila.
If you’re part of the 4.7 percent of the Philippine population that’s been vaccinated against COVID, you can consider going on the adrenaline-fueled nature trip you may have been seeking in the past year. But, of course, still abide by protocols. None of us are fully safe unless all of us are.
Here are five exciting outdoor activities you can book that are just a few hours away from the Metro, from a hike that offers lush mountain views, to an ATV trail where you can swim in a hidden lagoon, to a camping location where you can rest under the stars.
Mountain ATV Tour
Off-Road Tours offers the chance to explore the mountainsides of Antipolo on all-terrain vehicles (ATV). You have the option to select from six routes that each provide different nature sceneries. For instance, if you choose the “Exhilarating” package, you’ll ride your ATV up to the mountain’s area with a river and waterfalls. Although if you want to experience the mountain’s hot springs, go with the “Extreme” package.
Every tour will include a guide that will lead the group to their chosen destination. If you’ve never driven an ATV before, it’s not a problem as instructors will be present to teach you. Before every tour, each group is given an orientation, a safety briefing, and a guided run in a practice course.
Surfing is not the easiest sport to learn, but if you want to improve your cardiovascular health, strengthen your muscles, and test your balancing skills, it’s a fun way to do so. San Juan Surf School is where you can practice the new skill when you’re up to the challenge.
You can expect to learn a thing or two with International Surfing Association (ISA) accredited surf coach Luke Landrigan running it. With that, depending on your skill level, you can book a beginner’s lesson with an instructor or merely be guided when you book an advanced session.
For other water activities, the surf school also offers paddleboarding, kayaking, bodyboarding, and skimboarding.
The Rizal mountain is dubbed Sipit Ulang, which means “crab claw” because of its rock formation’s shape. Hiking this mountain trail is considered relatively easy and takes about two to four hours to reach the top. When you reach the summit at 252 meters above sea level (MASL), you’ll find stunning views of three other rocky mountains, namely Hapunang Banoi, Pamitinan, and Binacayan.
You can also reach St. Sipit Ulng’s peak by the Banayad Trail for a less physically demanding hike. This shorter route steers clear from rocky obstructions and leads you straight to the summit.
There’s a good chance of viewing the clouds below you when you reach either mountain’s summit. (Your chances are higher if you get to the peak by 5 to 9 A.M.) Other than the glorious view of clouds, you’ll catch sight of Sierra Madre’s mountains from 728 MASL.
Immersing yourself in nature through camping is also possible on the Mt. Mayonoba campsite. It’s a far cry from glamping, though, so it’s advised to pack your own canned food, water canisters, and camping gear.
Paragliding is a sport of lightweight free-flying, where you’ll be buckled in a foot-launched glider aircraft. If you’ve ever had dreams of flying, paragliding is a sport that will let you feel like you’re soaring in the sky.
If you’re a first-timer, booking a tandem flight is mandatory so Cloudbase can pair you with an experienced and certified instructor. However, if you decide you’d want to fly on your own and become a qualified paragliding pilot, that’s a possibility with Cloudbase’s five to 10-day courses.
Banner photo from @sanjuansurfresort and @dandanmatsunaga on Instagram.