Most people don’t leave the beaches when they visit El Nido. But if you look up, there are some awesome adventures to be had! Now I love relaxing as much as anyone, but after a few days of swimming and sunning myself, I was itching to do some exploring. I had seen images of Taraw Cliff on Instagram, so knew that there was a way to get to the top… And so, starts my little adventure.
BEFORE YOU GO
Firstly, let me just clarify something. You WILL need a guide to climb Taraw Cliff. This is climbing. In the dark. Up a limestone cliff. At first I was frustrated that everyone kept telling me I needed a guide instead of just telling me the way (how hard can it be, right?), but after doing it… Yeah, I get it.
This is a relatively new offering in El Nido, so ask around. I was initially quoted 1000 pesos (umm, nope) but ended up paying 600 after doing some research and haggling. This price includes gloves, helmet and a headlamp. I also ended up with a private guide instead of in a group. This was a huge win because I could go at my own pace and had the views at the top to myself!
I met my guide at 4:45am to start the climb around 5:00am (urgh, pass the coffee). The climb up Taraw Cliff wasn’t long but it was quite challenging. Even though it was early, it was already hot and humid. I was a sweaty mess about three minutes after setting off!
It’s pretty steep from the start, and only gets steeper as you go. There is a fair bit of scrambling involved but it didn’t feel dangerous in any parts. That said, the rocks are pretty sharp and I was incredibly grateful for the gloves provided.
It only took me about 30 minutes to the top. It’s worth mentioning that I hike regularly and have climbing experience, so be prepared for it to take longer. However long it takes, it’s WORTH IT. The views from the top are breathtaking.
IT’S WORTH THE CLIMB!
When I got to the top, it was just me and my guide at the summit. We sat in the silence and waited patiently for the sun peek over the horizon. El Nido bay started to come alive below me as the sky turned a dozen shades of pink and orange. It was truly incredible and totally worth the 4:00am alarm clock. We stayed there for about 45 minutes, and in that time another few people made it to the summit.
What goes up, must come down, and once I managed to tear myself away from the view, we started our descent. It was easier than I thought and only took about 20 minutes to get back into El Nido town. (Again, I’ve done this before, so be prepared for it to take a fair bit longer.)
All in all, it was a hugely rewarding couple of hours. The Taraw Cliff climb is a great way to add a little bit of adventure to your time in El Nido. I promise you’ll go home with some pretty awesome memories (and photos, you know, for Instagram!).
- Sneakers – don’t attempt this in your flip flops.
- Lots of water – you’ll sweat. A lot.
- Your camera – the views are EPIC (and also, selfies).