Rizal town is one of the underrated destinations in Palawan deserving a visit. Located 203 kilometers south of Puerto Princesa City, it’s a place blessed with off-the-beaten attractions waiting to be discovered and shared to the world.
Here, we’ve listed places to see and activities to do when in Rizal. Read on!
Scale Mt. Mantalingahan
If you’re fond of mountaineering, then a trek of three to four days (including ascent and descent) to the summit of Mt. Mantalingahan Protected Landscape(MMPL) is for you.
Rizal covers almost 60% of MMPL’s total land area of 120,457 hectares.
With food, water and other hiking essentials, hardcore mountaineers and even beginners who are physically fit can scale this magnificent mountain that soars to 2,086 meters above sea level.
The jump-off point is usually in Barangay Ransang, 40 minutes by van (P40/person) from the town center.
In Ransang, you can hire a guide for P700 a day (that’s P2,800 for four days). If you want to save money, bring your friends with you! And, besides, hiking in group is more fun than going solitary, right?
Choosing this adventure-filled escapade gives you a taste of Palawan’s pristine natural environment, as you’d get to see 861 plant and 169 animal species that call this mountain home.
You can hike up Mt. Mantalingahan anytime of the year as long as the weather condition is good, but it’s best to do it in summertime for a clearer 360-degree view at the peak.
Chase refreshing waterfalls
Like other southern Palawan towns, Rizal is likewise endowed with lots of waterfalls to chase. Of the nine waterfalls, its must-visit are the two-tiered Turbong Falls in Bgy. Punta Baja and Mantayob Falls in Bgy.Bunog.
Both are relatively near from the town center, with travel time of 45 minutes to Turbong Falls and 30-45 minutes to Mantayob Falls.
You can reach these waterfalls via shuttle van but if you want to tour around at your own pace, rent a motorcycle at P500 per day.
Other choices you could include in your bucket list are Muslod Falls in Bgy. Campong Ulay; Buar-Buar Falls in Bgy. Ransang; Ilian Falls also in Bgy. Bunog; and Madiplak, Sumigay, Kinaruwayan and Gamay Falls in Bgy. Iraan.
Appreciate Tau’t Bato’s culture
One of the enriching experiences you can have while in Rizal is spending a day or two appreciating the way of living of cave-dwelling indigenous people Tau’t Bato in Singnapan Valley.
Located south of the town center in Bgy. Ransang, this bowl-shaped valley spanning 176 hectares is a five to seven-hour hike from the national road.
Wear light-colored dress and slather your skin with insect repellent to ensure you won’t get bitten by malaria-carrying mosquitoes as you trek through the jungle.
The Tau’t Bato community enjoys a back-to-basic life, taking refuge in caves, especially during rainy season when the valley gets flooded.
To get by, they rely on planting root crops and hunting wildlife like bats.
Indeed, the simplicity of life here will make you grateful for all of the things you have – but you somehow take for granted – back in the city.
While some are still wearing the traditional g-string and tapis, most of them are noticeably getting civilized as many prefer wearing shirts and pants from lowlanders.
Upon requests, community members could also perform tribal dances to wow visitors, particularly during the Tau’t Bato Festival celebration every April.
While giving off gifts is not required, it’s better to do so to say thanks for their warm welcome and also to show appreciation of their unique culture.
Enjoy unspoiled beaches
With its remote location making it less touristy, you can enjoy Rizal’s unspoiled white beaches all to yourself.
Among its beaches, locals recommend the one in Double Island in Bgy. Taburi, accessible only by 20-minute boat ride (starts at P500/boat) from Bgy. Panalingaan. You can get to Panalingaan after a 1.5-hour jeepney ride (P100/person) from the town center.
Double Island is literally two islands connected by a sandbar that shows up during low tide. It also boasts of crystal clear surrounding waters and dramatic rock formations that add up to its castaway vibe.
To take advantage of your visit, why not spend a night beach camping on Double Island?
Pitch your tent before the day ends, then make a bonfire and huddle around it while playing a guitar or having an intimate conversation with your friends under the starry night skies.
And then the next morning you’ll wake up to the soothing sound of waves crashing on the shore. What a lovely feeling it is!
Try white water tubing
Imagine yourself slowly floating down a glistening river for less than an hour, with your feet dip into the refreshing waters as the warm sun shining down on you. Relaxing, isn’t it?
This is exactly the experience you’ll have when you try white water tubing down Ilog-ilog River in Bgy. Campong Ulay, 20 minutes by van or bus (P10/person) from the town center.
Coordinate with the town tourism office to arrange this fun-filled activity for your group. The staff provideguests with tubes, as well as life jackets and safety helmets to keep everyone safe in case of flipping out of tubes.
After paying an environmental fee, equipment are available at the municipal tourism office at a minimal rate of P200/person.
Whether you’re in it for a weekend getaway or holiday escapade, Rizal holds plenty of surprises up its sleeves.Living up to its slogan “Your Gateway to Nature,” it will always have you coming back for more!
Rizal town is 5 hours away from Puerto Princesa City. It’s accessible by public utility vehicles like shuttle van, bus and jeepney. Rent a motorcycle to get around the town. Tourist spots in Rizal have no entrance fees, but the municipal government collects environmental fees of P100 and P200 respectively for local and foreign tourists. For more information about these activities and as well as where to eat and stay, contact the municipal tourism office at 0999 993 8869, or email them at bojielorenzo @gmail.com.
This article has also appeared on Palawan Daily News.