Looking for a quick retreat and hike near Manila? This review of Mount Purro Nature Reserve offers a glimpse of Dumagat local culture and natural wonders.
Antipolo, Rizal is a popular destination for both swimming and hiking. It’s a haven for retreat places for guests who want to travel near Manila.
One of the more popular places for quiet retreats and even team building activities is Mount Purro Nature Reserve. It combines mountainous scenery, rich and thick forests, and enchanting rivers being at the foot of the Sierra Madre Mountain Range.
Since it was the last week before another grad school term begins, we decided to go on a “last hurrah” — to go on a motorcycle ride to Mount Purro Nature Reserve.
Mount Purro Nature Reserve Map and Activities
A day tour of Mount Purro Nature Reserve has these to offer:
Malvar’s Peak Hike. This guided forest tour is a 4-kilometer walk atop a hill called Malvar’s Peak. Though relatively short, the hike demands some vigor. The guides are usually the Dumagat staff of the eco-park. At the summit of Malvar’s Peak, you are able to see an overlooking view of the borders of Rizal and Bulacan, as well as other mountains. Occasionally, during dawn hikes, guests may find a sea of clouds view.
Bunsuran Falls River Excursion. A shorter hike to take is going to Bunsuran Falls, where guests may take a PHP 50 tricycle ride going to the jump-off point. The trail that ensues is muddy and slippery, especially during the monsoon season. The hike is only around 15 minutes before getting to the beautiful mini-waterfalls and river.
Dumagat Interaction and Cooking Class. During weekends, Mount Purro Nature Reserve hosts a cooking class with the Dumagat people, where they show how to build fire and cook using only wood and bamboo. This presents a great opportunity to learn more about local traditions, share stories, and eat native food.
Loli’s Kitchen lunch buffet. One of the highlights of many guests are the homecooked meals of Loli’s Kitchen. During our Klook Mt. Purro day tour, we enjoyed a buffet lunch served strictly at noon. Other buffet meals outside of the Klook package are also available at other times:
- Breakfast (7-9AM): PHP 400 / pax
- Lunch (12-2PM): Php 500 / pax
- PM Snack (3:30-4:30PM): PHP 150 / pax
- Dinner (6:30-8:30PM): PHP 500 / pax
Traditional Filipino Hilot (optional). At PHP 400, you may avail of a traditional Philippine massage called hilot.
Mt. Purro Nature Reserve Review, Amenities, and Accommodations Rates
Accommodations. For guests planning to stay overnight, there are many available rooms ranging from loft suites to camping areas. Here are the Mount Purro Nature Reserve accommodations rates:
|Loft Cottages||6-12 pax||1BR suite with loft||7500|
|Suite Home||4-6 pax||1BR suite||6500|
|Ground Cottages||6-8 pax||Cottage rooms||6000|
|Bamboo cabins||6-10 pax||Tatami beds||5500|
|Casitas||2-4 pax||Queen-sized bed||4000|
|Dumagat Model Home||3-5 pax||Duplex style||500|
|Bubble Tent||2-3 pax||TBC||2750|
|Pavilion Dorm||40 pax||Shared dorm||900|
|Garden Tent Area||25 tents||For rent: Tent 3-4 pax (PHP 500); sleeping set (PHP 200)||750|
Team Building and Tree Planting. Mount Purro is also a site for company team buildings and group tree planting activities. Simply send them a message on their website to find out their rates and tour packages.
Amenities. Aside from tree planting and team building, Mt. Purro is also a place for conferences and social gatherings. Companies and individuals may rent the following Mount Purro Nature Reserve amenities:
- Loli’s Kitchen. Up to 150 pax.
- Mini-Conference Area. Up to 40 pax.
- Main Conference Area. Up to 200 pax; ideal for Mount Purro Nature Reserve weddings.
- The Pavilion. Up to 150 pax.
Other amenities and activity areas include the Asian Lounge, Activity Field, Martha Stewart Gazebos, Game Room, Bonfire Area, Swimming Pool, Nature Playscape, and Mini-Zipline.
BOOK NOW: Mount Purro Klook package
- Duration: 7AM – 5PM
- Places to see: Malvar’s Peak, Bunsuran Falls, Dumagat Interaction and Cooking Class, Loli’s Kitchen buffet lunch, etc.
- Notes: Senior citizens and PWDs may have a hard time doing the hiking activities; this is a pet-friendly place but calls for responsible pet ownership
- Price: Ranges from PHP 1,200 – 950 per person
Mount Purro and the Dumagats’ Story
Mt. Purro is an eco-park ran by Toto Malvar’s family. His story begins during Typhoon Lucille in 1960, where a flood devastated Metro Manila and killed several individuals. Fearful of the effects of deforestation and illegal logging, Malvar’s mother asked her son to someday plant trees along the Sierra Madre Range to prevent a disaster from happening again.
Indeed, having climbed so many Rizal mountains (like Mt. Lubog), we would often encounter illegal loggers carrying bundles of tree trunks on their backs. Hearing the sound of a roaring chainsaw from a distance isn’t unusual. Even locals themselves would clear the land for charcoal-making, kaingin farming, or maintain livestock.
As such, Malvar oversaw the creation of Mt. Purro Nature Reserve to bring livelihood to the indigenous Dumagat community. This allowed for the reforestation of the Upper Marikina Watershed by plating more than 700,000 trees and making this eco-tourism destination more sustainable.
Mount Purro Nature Reserve Blog: Our Antipolo Day Tour
On a Friday, we rode a motorcycle going to Mount Purro Nature Reserve. For us, going on a weekday would mean fewer crowds and traffic, even if we had to skip the Dumagat Interaction and Cooking Class and mini-zipline activities. We availed of a Klook package for convenience and got along problem-free.
Arriving at 8AM, we were whisked to the briefing room which told Toto Malvar’s story and prepared for the Malvar’s Peak hike. Our Dumagat guide, Kuya Sonny, was very eager to tell the story of their tribe, as well as their culture and how the forest sustains their community. He told us folklore and touched on issues about land grabbing, illegal logging, and their reforestation efforts. Along the way, he also showed us the trees they planted, such as hagonoy, kalumpit, sili, as well as medicinal plants for the Dumagat tribe.
The hike to Malvar’s Peak was relatively easy since it’s only a hill. But since September is part of the rainy season, the trails were extra muddy and there were a lot of insects following us. Within 30 minutes, we reached the summit, which had a view of dense forests and other Rizal mountains. Malvar’s Peak stands at 400+ MASL so it wasn’t very high, but it was a good “baby hike”.
Kuya Sonny himself lived at the foot of the distant Mt. Irid, which is a 5-hour hike to Mount Purro. At one point, he climbed a 10-feet rambutan tree for us! It was a generous gesture to come home with a bag of freshly-picked fruits. The descent was much easier.
We waited at Loli’s Kitchen for the buffet lunch. There was no mobile data signal and we ran out of the 15-minute free WiFi at Loli’s Kitchen, prompting us to eat our packed snacks because we were hungry. Lunch was served at exactly noon. We feasted on unlimited fried bangus (milkfish), ensalada (comprised of eggplant, salted duck egg, okra, and tomatoes, served bagoong [shrimp paste]), misua soup with upo (gourd), liempo (grilled pork belly), ginataang santol (cotton fruit with coconut milk) and lettuce. For dessert, they had sweet potato fries and turon (caramelized bananas), as well as sago’t gulaman (brown sugar drink with tapioca pearls) for drinks. It wasn’t exactly a healthy meal, but it was homecooked and delicious.
Since it was slightly drizzling and lull without the gadgets, we can’t help taking a nap at one of the gazebos during the bed weather. Personally, I found some of the public amenities a bit unmaintained. The upholstery and even the Game Room were a bit dark and dusty. The rain also prevented us from further roaming around.
We woke up at past 2PM for the Bunsuran Falls river excursion also with Kuya Sonny. Since we brought a motorcycle, we skipped paying PHP 50 for the tricycle ride. We parked at the jump-off point and commenced with the muddy 15-minute hike. The waterfalls and river, however, were worth the messy descent. Plus, we were the only ones there!
After the peaceful river trip, we washed off and readied to leave. The staff was very nice and hospitable as they saw us off. Personally, I don’t think the place is for millennials, but it’s no wonder a lot of guests return to Mount Purro Nature Reserve to go on quick retreats — it felt like a tight-knit community of friends.
Things to know about your Mount Purro trip
- How to commute to Mount Purro Nature Reserve. If you’re coming from Manila, ride a jeepney along Marcos Highway going to Cogeo. Walk to the jeepney and van terminal across Shangri-La Plaza going to Antipolo-Simbahan, Antipolo-Shopwise, or Tanay and get down at Antipolo Church. Fare is around PHP 30 for jeepneys and PHP 50 for vans. Take a tricycle going to Loreland Farm Resort.
- Best time to go to Mt. Purro and book a Klook package. I suggest going on sunnier months from January to May since the eco-park is best enjoyed under the sun. Monsoon seasons from June until December may hinder you from exploring the place. If you want a more exclusive feel of Mt. Purro, try visiting on a weekday. However, note that some activities such as the Dumagat Interaction and Cooking Class and the Mini-Zipline are not available on weekdays. To find out about your options, read more here.
- Where to eat. The Mount Purro daytour Klook package comes with a buffet lunch at Loli’s Kitchen. Here, you can enjoy homecooked and some healthy meals unlimited. Still, I recommend packing snacks for your hikes so fuel you up. Since the lunch is served at 12 noon strictly, you might go hungry during the activities.
- What to wear. You can bring several sets of clothing to Mount Purro Nature Reserve due to the available activities. For the hike to Malvar’s Peak, I recommend wearing leggings and long-sleeved clothes, as well as closed hiking shoes. The trail has a lot of mosquitoes, thorny plants, and mud so better take cover. For the river excursion, bring clothes you can swim in. And after the activities, or while strolling along the nature reserve, bring your OOTD-worthy clothes.
- Things to bring and tips. Bring mosquito repellents and sun protection because the hike can be sunny and full of insects. Bring a water bottle too that you can refill at Loli’s Kitchen and bring to the hikes. Other things to bring are toiletries and towels since they do not provide them. Lastly, cellular signal can be weak in the area. You only get a 15 minute free WiFi access at Loli’s Kitchen unless you’re staying overnight. Be sure to screenshot your Klook vouchers before coming in.
- Mount Purro Nature Reserve contact number. Please comment below or LIKE and message me via my Facebook page to get updated private contacts from Mt. Purro.
- Things to do in Mount Purro Antipolo. Hike Malvar’s Peak, sit under Bunsuran Falls, and get to know more about the indigenous Dumagat tribe culture.
More Rizal attractions
- Rizal Resorts
- Treasure Mountain
- Mt. Ayngat
- Luljetta’s Hanging Gardens & Spa
- Mount Purro Nature Reserve
- Mt. Mapalad
- Masungi Georeserve
- Mt. Daraitan
Mount Purro Nature Reserve
Brgy. Calawis, Antipolo City, Rizal