Pico de Loro (664+)

Maragondon, Cavite and Nasugbu, Batangas 
Major jump-off: DENR Station, Magnetic Hill, Ternate, Cavite
Minor jump-off: Sitio Fronda, Brgy. Papaya, Ternate-Nasugbu Highway, Nasugbu, Batangas
LLA: 14° 12.855 N; 120° 38.785 E; 664 MASL
Days required / Hours to summit: 1-2 days / 2-5 hours
Specs: Minor climb, Difficulty 3/9, Trail class 1-3
Features: Distinctive spire at the summit, forests, scenic views of Cavite
Last updated: June 8, 2015

On February 20, 2015 the local DENR announced that the Old Trail is closed effectively immediately. The official ‘New’ Trail originates from the DENR Station itself.

Centuries ago, the Spaniards aboard their galleons to Manila Bay noticed the form of a giant parrot, perched in the forested mountains in Cavite. They named it “Pico de Loro” – “Parrot’s Peak” Today, mountaineers who visit Pico de Loro discover that it is as enchanting as its name. High on Cavite’s highest point, they could behold the rocky tower that the Spanish sailors once saw as the parrot’s beak, and they could gaze towards South China Sea where the galleons once sailed, all the way to the historic island fort of Corregidor. Gusts of sea breeze reach the peak, refreshing hikers after a four-hour climb. The peak’s rocky outcropping is dramatic, and sharply contrasts with the plains of Cavite and the waters of South China Sea.

Such an experience is only the highlight of a trip to Pico de Loro, which is located on a DENR Protected Area. Nestled near the beaches of Cavite such as Puerto Azul and Caylabne, it is actually part of a small mountain range known as Mt. Palay-Palay. Readily accessible by bus from Manila, Pico de Loro has gained fame as a perfect weekend getaway. Even during the dry season, its forests protect hikers from the sun. Sometimes you can even chance upon exotic birds and monkeys along the trail.
The trail can be divided into two parts: the first is a gradual hike to the Basecamp 1 and beyond. The midpoint is a small rest/shaded area called Alibangbang. The second part is a steeper hike on a pleasant forest, leading all the way to the summit (there is a final, five-minute assault up). Prior to the summit, you will encounter the Summit Campsite surrounded by bamboos and some nice trees. There is also a part of the campsite that is part of a ridge that overlooks the summit.
From the summit, there is an opportunity to scale the Parrot’s Beak – more popularly known as the ‘Monolith’ which is the centerpiece of the views at the top. This is a 5-10 minute descent-then-ascent, then a brief scramble that can be quite dangerous (see ‘Practicalities’).
On rainy days, instead of the aforementioned views, you will experience a serene windscape: of clouds surging past you, and tiny rain particles brushing across your face like a massage.

The option to go down via Nasugbu, Batangas, is increasingly used, and is now made easier with the Ternate-Nasugbu Highway, which cuts the trail for 30-60 minutes. From this highway, a jeepney can pick you up or you can hitch a ride to Nasugbu, where one can easily take a bus to Manila.

In all, Pico de Loro is one of the nicest dayhikes from Manila, with friendly trails and beautiful views. Highly recommended!

0400 Board bus at Coastal Mall Terminal to Ternate (P82)
0700 ETA Ternate. Rent jeepney or tricycle to jumpoff
0745 ETA DENR / jump-off point. (P25 registration)
0800 Start trek.
0945 Reach highest point of the New Trail
1000 Arrival at junction with Old Trail
1030 ETA campsite 
1100 ETA summit. Lunch 
From this point, take either Option A (Backtrail) or B (Traverse)
Option A: Backtrail to Ternate
1230 start descent to Magnetic Hill
1430 Back at DENR; take jeep/trike to Ternate then take bus back to Manila
1900 ETA Manila.

Option B: Traverse to Nasugbu
1230 start descent to Nasugbu-Ternate Highway
1530 ETA Nasugbu-Ternate Highway.

1700 Arrival in Nasugbu. Dinner. Bus terminal is near Jolibee.
2100 ETA Manila.


Public (1) Bus, Coastal Mall to Ternate terminal [P82, 1.5 hours]
(2) Tricycle or jeep, Ternate terminal to DENR trailhead [P250/way for trike]

Private:  Take CAVITEX or Aguinaldo Highway all the way to Naic, Cavite, then follow the way to Naic, then follow the signs to Puerto Azul, go past the resort, and park at the DENR Outpost you can see on the left. Parking space is available at the outpost. 

Logbook at trailhead; P25 fee

Available but NOT required in the New Trail.
Jeep Rental – 09175956140
At the base of the summit (>15 tents)
Water sources
(1) At the brook during the initial part of New Trail
(2) At view deck near campsite (weak) 
Cellphone signal
Present in most parts of the trail but can be weak at the summit 
River crossings
Roped segments
Hiking notes 
Going back on the Ternate trail from the summit, there is one very confusing fork after you’ve passed Basecamp 1. After 10 minutes, the main path leads to Maragondon. The proper way to the Magnetic Hill is an elevated trail to the left; it is marked with a trail sign but it is concealed so watch out for it on your way back. The rough road, if you follow it through, ends in a landfill in Maragondon.

Climbing Parrot’s Beak or the”Monolith”: The tower at Pico de Loro, known as the “Parrot’s Beak”, may be scaled but do so only if you have enough skill – or with assistance. There has been at least one case of an injury, in the mid-2000s, of a female climber who got injured while descending from the rock face. As of May 2011, the ropes in place are of doubtful strength; climbers are advised not to rely on the ropes. Bringing your own rope, applying rock climbing principles, and avoiding the Parrot’s Beak when it’s wet, are recommended.

Visiting the Waterfalls. The Pico de Loro Waterfalls can be a disappointing sight during dry season, but it can be a nice attraction. Warning though, there have been two injuries attributed to a visit to this waterfalls; be careful (the steps are slippery, and the water is shallower than you may think). With the implementation of the New Trail-only policy, the Waterfalls is no longer accessible. 

Nasugbu beach for those traversing; those going in the regular trail can explore Maragondon for Mt. Buntis and Nagpatong.
Alternate trails
Traversing to Nasugbu: To find the trail to Nasugubu, go to the Parrot’s Beak, and take the downward trail on the right before the rocks at the base of the Beak. Take right turns on the forks encountered. There is a small grotto near a small (dead) stream more than halfway through. The trail ends in a firing range in Sitio Fronda, Brgy. Papaya, Nasugbu. As of June 2015 there are tricycles that offer transport out of this exit point. 
Yes (3-4 hours to summit; 2 hours down for both regular and traverse routes)


At the Parrot’s Beak (May 2011).

At the Parrot’s Beak (Feb 2009).

After an ascent up the forests, bamboo groves are a sign that the summit is near.
Group picture in the Waterfalls. Take note that there can be a dearth of water during the dry season.
Emilio Aguinaldo, in May 1897 originally recommended that Andres Bonifacio be banished to Pico de Loro. He was overruled by his generals, who instead recommended Bonifacio to be executed in Mt. Tala. This goes to prove that the name Pico de Loro was around before Spanish times, and places a historical significance to the mountain.


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700 Comments on "Pico de Loro (664+)"

kapam :)
1 month 20 days ago

Good day! I and my friend decided to climb pico on oct.24. Marami kmi ininvite. Pero dalwa lang talaga kmi n sigurado. Hehe. Beginners lng po kmi. So im looking for anyone na aakayt din dat day. Hehe.

1 month 20 days ago

Hi mga sir… aakyat po sana kami this coming nov…. sarado na po ba sa old trail? at kung nakakalito po ba sa new trail? thanks po…

3 months 17 days ago

Sir ask ko lang po if pwede pang mgcamp dto sa Pico kasi sa mga feedback and blog po d na daw pwede. we are planning to climb po next weekend… Thanks po

3 months 29 days ago

Good day Ma'am/Sir!

I'm Clyde from Lucena City. Balak ko sana mag Pico de Loro this coming August 20-21, 2015. Tanong ko lang kung meron kayo schedule ng ganun date? Makikisabay sana ako. Solo lang po kasi ako :)

4 months 29 days ago

Bukas pa po ba ung traverse trail(new trail to old trail)? Or new trail nlng po talaga?