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Must-visit tourist attractions within the Sierra Madre

Ellen Rose Oris

October 19, 2022

  • Sierra Madre

    Photo: Modern Parenting

    The Philippines is a haven of many natural features. Because of its exceptional diversity, it has become one of the world’s most diverse countries where many wonders of nature can be found including mountains and volcanoes, and seas. One of these is the longest mountain range in the country which is the Sierra Madre. This mountain range stretched along the Luzon island and comprised several provinces and regions, including Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, and CALABARZON. It serves as a key biodiversity corridor to nature. It encompasses a large number of protected areas including some of the important protected areas in the country.

    It is known to be the home of many endemic species of animals including rare species of plants. The Sierra Madre provides space for unique habitats to grow and develop. It is also where the Indigenous communities such as the Agta, Itawes, Ibanags, Ilocano, and Tagalog Pampangueños inhabit. Among those things is that the Sierra Madre offers places that are perfect for tourists and that are yet to be discovered. If you are looking for unspoiled and breathtaking scenery within a few hours away from Manila, these recommendations can help you decide.

    Marikina-Infanta Highway

    This place is ideal for mountain bikers, runners, tourists, and motorbikers as they will surely love it. The 117.5-kilometer (73.0-mile) scenic mountain highway connects Metro Manila to Infanta, Quezon. Also known as Marilaque Highway because of the places it traverses which are Marikina, Rizal, Laguna, and Quezon Province. The road is well-known for the frequent motorbike racing drivers who enjoy joy rides on the curvy mountain roads. This scenic route is also great for everyone who wants to appreciate the breathtaking views of the mountain ranges as well as the cold weather of Sierra Madre. The weather is similar to Baguio City in Benguet which is a good opportunity to grab because you don’t have to spend a lot of time and money. The experience can also give you a quick breather away from the hustle and bustle of the metro. Some of the areas are not yet fully commercialized, with no residential subdivisions or advertisements despite being only a two-hour drive from Metro Manila.

    Palo-Alto Falls

    Located in Baras Rizal, the place is perfect for weekend swimming and enjoying nature for motorcycle riders and road trippers. It lies at the foot of Sierra Madre so the cold water cascades and gives a refreshing vibe because of the water trickling down through the rocks. Without the heavy traffic, the drive from Quezon City only takes about an hour or less by car or motorcycle. The bikers will find the uphill ascents more difficult, yet they will be able to relax as well as cool down after a long ride. This place is superb for nature lovers and now it is becoming a hotspot for many tourists.

    Mt. Daraitan

    Need some mountain time? Mt. Daraitan is perfect for you. Discover this paradise that is just near Manila. It is located in and borders Rizal and General Nakar of Quezon Province. A jewel in the heart of the magnificent Sierra Madre mountains. It has springs, waterfalls, limestone formations, natural pools, and abundant wildlife. The place is perfect for those who want to try a day hike. It is also one of the most popular hiking destinations in the Philippines, attracting thousands of hikers, tourists, and adventurers. Everything is better in the mountains, as it provides a tranquil and beautiful scenery of clouds, sunrise, the Daraitan River, and the Sierra Madre Mountain range.

    Surfing Zone in Real Quezon

    If you look for a quick getaway without going too far, you can visit one of the top surfing spots in the Philippines. Real, Quezon is conveniently located only 2-3 hours from Central Luzon, passing by the spectacular Laguna Lake and through the stunning scenery of Sierra Madre Mountain Ranges. Aside from the surfing and swimming experience that you can get in the place, it offers more. The traveling experience is already enough to satisfy you and reconnect you with nature. This attracts beginning surfers from all over the country, particularly those based in Metro Manila because of its proximity. On top of that, the place also has a smaller crowd than other surf spots in the country. You can have a peaceful and wonderful water adventure and nature trip in this place.

    It is indeed that the Sierra Madre is one of the greatest blessings that our country received from the bounty of nature. Aside from the natural and scenic view that it provides, it bestows us with comfort. The Sierra Madre proved itself to be the country’s strongest defense against typhoons for many years already. Apart from enjoying this prodigy of nature, we need to appreciate and give more value to this safe haven as we all benefit from it. Let us help to protect, conserve and preserve the Sierra Madre so the future generation can also witness its wonders.


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