The Taraw Cliff is the most impressive mountain in El Nido in the Philippines and the hike up the Taraw Cliff is one of the coolest highlights and the most awesome hike you can do in El Nido. Whereas hiking is a bit of an understatement, because you’re actually climbing the mountain. What you will experience during the hike on the Taraw Cliff and if it is dangerous or not we will tell you in our travel report
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The Taraw Cliff in El Nido – What to expect
The hike up Taraw Cliff is really the most spectacular hike you can do in El Nido. You will climb the 270 meter high Taraw Mountain in the dark before sunrise and have a spectacular view of El Nido and the whole bay and sea in front of you.
The Taraw Cliff hike is officially no longer allowed, because a few years ago some tourists fell from the cliff and died. This is of course bad for the image and therefore the official hiking trail was closed without further ado. But we would not be in Southeast Asia if you could not do the hike “unofficially”.
You just have to know the right people or ask the guide who has already taken you on the canopy walk. We can highly recommend our guide Ernie. He guided us on the Canopy Walk and the Taraw Cliff, always made sure that we didn’t fall down and took great pictures of us. You can reach him via Whatsapp at: +639708113285
We start before Sunrise
To get to the top before sunrise you have to start hiking at 5am. Doesn’t only sound early, but it is. When we wanted to drive from our hotel at Corong Corong Beach to the meeting point at the Via Ferrata office shortly before 5am we didn’t even find a tricycle, so we had to walk a big part of the way.
When we could finally start walking we first walked through an opaque network of backyards and dark corridors before we came to the start of the hike on the Taraw Cliff. First you have to walk up a dilapidated staircase and then more or less steeply up the mountain. Mostly it goes over very sharp stones and rocks and often you really have to climb.
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During the Ascent it is completely Dark
Since the sun has not yet risen, it is still pitch dark when the hike begins. Each of us has received a headlamp from the guide, but this illuminates the path to be climbed only a bit and so we have a heath respect to miss or grab. It’s really not easy to climb up such a steep path in complete darkness.
Some climbs are almost vertical, so you really have to pull yourself up the rock step by step while the guide explains to you where exactly your foot and hand should go next. Not completely safe, but very fun. Due to the high humidity, I started sweating right at the beginning and it didn’t get better the steeper and more strenuous the trail became.
After about 45 minutes we could see the sky and there was some wind, so I had justified hope that we had finally reached the top. At the top, of course, we were not the first, but we were still able to find a place on the pointed rocks to slowly watch the sunrise and El Nido appearing in the increasingly bright light. It was really unbelievably beautiful.
Up there at over 230 meters you have an amazing panoramic view, which is again a lot better than the canopy walk hike, which leads you to the same mountain, but ends almost 150 meters lower. We can’t get enough of the view and take lots of photos. Our guide does the same and takes pictures of us from different angles.
The descent begins
After about 1 hour we have seen our fill and are the last to begin the descent. It now goes a little easier than the ascent. We can finally see the path thanks to daylight and also a light wind has arisen, which allows the sweat to dry a bit. Whereby, of course, some sections that run almost vertically, down is not really easier to go than up.
But we make it unscathed and are back down after about 30 minutes. The hike and especially the view from the top is really awesome and we can justifiably claim that the Taraw Cliff hike is the most spectacular and also the most strenuous hike in El Nido and probably in all of Palawan.
Taraw Cliff Hike | Is it Dangerous?
The answer to this question must be yes. The trail has been officially closed and can only be hiked unofficially. You have here various possibilities to hurt yourself and that even seriously. The stones and rocks are partly razor sharp and you really have to watch where you step. You should already have good climbing experience and be very sure-footed.
There is also no secured viewing platform or anything like that at the top. You walk around on the pointed rocks and a few meters further it goes hundreds of meters steeply down. This is definitely very dangerous, but if you follow the instructions of your guide then you should have no problems.
Tips for the Taraw Cliff Hike
Here are some tips for the hike up Taraw Cliff in El Nido so you can enjoy the experience to the fullest.
Do I need a guide for the Taraw Cliff?
Yes, definitely. You absolutely should not do this alone. You would not find the way and the safe route on your own. Only an experienced guide knows where to climb and where not to climb. The path is not marked or delimited. As a guide we can recommend Ernie (+639708113285).
When can I climb Taraw Cliff?
This is only possible before sunrise. On the one hand this is because you want to see the sunrise on top of the mountain and on the other hand because the guide who takes you up there leads other tourists on the canopy walk from 8 o’clock on. You should be prepared to start walking at 5am (better earlier) so that you are at the top before 6am.
What do I need to take with me?
In addition to sturdy shoes, you should take enough water and of course a camera. A flashlight and gloves will be provided by the guide. So you don’t have to carry anything else up there. Of course I took my drone up to Taraw Cliff to take spectacular pictures.
I was warned that the rocks sometimes limit the reception and also the nearby airport could have a negative impact on the flight, but I had no problems with my drone and was able to capture wonderful images.
How much does the Taraw Cliff hike cost?
We paid our guide 600 pesos per person and were also the only ones, so we basically had a private tour. We find the price absolutely reasonable, because the guide needs a lot of experience to bring you safely up the mountain and also has a knack for taking good photos from all possible angles. In addition, it is an experience that you will not forget.
Do you have any questions about the Taraw Cliff hike or just want to leave a comment? Go ahead!