Travel Guide: Minalungao National Park in Nueva Ecija

Minalungao Water Park

Summer never ends. Supposedly, summer isn’t done yet until May of 2019 but it started raining since the first of May. We decided to get somewhere before it’s too late. We planned to travel right after our shift and since we kinda sleep as to why we chose the nearest place. At first, you wouldn’t think Nueva Ecija has nothing to offer but rice paddies, if you thought that the province is all about the rice fields, Minalungao National Park will change your perception about it.

Minalungao National Park

is a protected area and one of the few remaining natural environments in the north region of Metro Manila. Spanning over 2,000 hectares, it lures travelers with the picturesque sight of the emerald-colored Penaranda River that runs across most of the park and the towering limestone formations that border it.

Direction Here.

How to get there

Option 1:

Minalungao National Park is located in the town of General Tinio. From Cubao, catch a bus bound to Gapan City. Five Star, ES Transport, Baliwag Transit, and Golden Bee bus lines serve this route. The fare costs ₱160.00 and the travel time is about four to five hours. Once you’re in Savemore Gapan City, hire a tricycle to take you to Minalungao National Park. The going rate for a tricycle ride to and from Minalungao is about ₱600.00 to ₱800.00 (Back and Fort) depends on how you negotiate with the drivers. But that’s because the ride takes about 45 minutes to an hour or so.

Note: Travel time from Manila depends on the traffic. I thought about the traffic ends after EDSA but I was wrong. Along the way, you’ll be encountering some traffic ahead.

Option 2:

The second option is something that I haven’t tried yet. From Cubao, catch a bus bound to Gapan City. Five Star, ES Transport, Baliwag Transit, and Golden Bee bus lines serve this route. The fare costs ₱160.00 and the travel time is about four to five hours. Once you’re in Savemore Gapan City, catch a jeep bound to General Tinio. Please take note that this isn’t available all the time. Locals said jeepney operates mostly in the morning. Once you’re in General Tinio, ride a tricycle going to Minalungao Park. Not sure how much the rates are but pretty sure this is a bit cheap than hiring a tricycle.

Minalungao National Park

Breakdown of Expenses

Bus RT (Cubao to Gapan City)₱320.004 – 5 Hours
Tricycle RT (Gapan city to Minalungao)₱300.001 hour or so
Minalungao Entrance Fee₱100.00Per Person
TOTAL per person₱720.00Back and Fort
Minalungao National Park

Fees at Minalungao

Entrance fee₱100.00 per head
Raft rental₱800.00/4 hours (for 8 people)
Cottage rental₱300.00 – Table /  ₱400.00 Kub
Kayak rental₱200.00/hour (for 2 people)
Two-way zipline₱200.00
Life Vest₱35 per head
Minalungao National Park

Just a reminder, they wouldn’t let you swim without a life vest. For some reason, this has been implemented and it’s a must follow-rule because you’ll be penalized unless you’ll rent a Ralf that includes life vest and you can take it off if you’ll just swim around the raft.

Minalungao National Park

Minalungao Highlights

Minalungao National Park

 Thousand steps to Cross

It’s getting dark already and that what makes us stop from not reaching the top. They’re tricking us, they said it’s a thousand steps to reach the cross on top but it’s not. Stairs are thousands but the steps you’ll be making is more than that. Why? because there are stairs that are long and you’ll have to make more than one step to the next stair.

Minalungao National Park
Minalungao National Park

River and Rock Formation

This was taken at the bridge where you could see how long the river is. I read some blogs about it prior to going there and pictures were posted to give an idea to readers how it looks like. Don’t be blinded by pictures. I can tell this place offers a relaxing vibe, but expect that the river isn’t long and there are many rock formations around it. I was disappointed because I thought the river is huge and long.

Minalungao National Park
Minalungao National Park

Cliff Diving

This spot is where you can jump off. Again, they wouldn’t allow you to be on the water without lifevest. I haven’t tried it because there are too many people jumping off. I’m not afraid it’s just that I don’t like doing it with many people. This cliff is not that high, I think it’s around 10ft.

Minalungao National Park
Minalungao National Park

Hanging Bridge

I have a fear of heights and I couldn’t stand that long. The bridge was shaky but I think it was built to last because it was made of steel. When you get there, you would be able to see the end-to-end of the river and its beautiful rock formations. Please take note that you’re not allowed to jump off the bridge.

Minalungao National Park

Where to stay?

There are Inns that you can rent in Minalungao National Park but of course, if you’re not comfortable, you can search around the city. You can use the search box below and make sure to update the dates.

I’m speechless when I went to the bridge, because you can see the entire river of Minalungao national park and its rock formation that really makes it unique. This place is adavisable for those people who would prefer a refreshing enviromement.

Must Read: Travel guide to Palaui Island, Philippines

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