Hiking to the top of Taraw Cliff for sunrise is one of the best things to do in El Nido! This one is for the thrill-seekers who are not afraid of heights and not afraid to break a sweat, for you will experience both of these things when embarking on the 45-minute hike to Taraw Peak!
I have put together this guide of Taraw Cliff (also referred to as Taraw Peak) including where it is, where to find a guide, and my own experience hiking to the summit of this epic viewpoint for sunrise!
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WHERE IS TARAW CLIFF?
Taraw Cliff is located right in the heart of El Nido town. You can’t miss it because it’s the most dominant mountain in the area and completely visible from practically everywhere in town.
If your accommodation is located somewhere along the bayfront or in town, it’s no more than a 10-minute walk to reach the starting point.
FINDING A GUIDE FOR TARAW PEAK
Having a guide with you for the hike is something I highly recommend because the locals know this mountain like the back of their hands. The trail would not be easy to navigate on your own and having a guide to show you the safest way to the top is imperative.
To find a guide, you can ask around some of the tour desks in town to see if there are any guides available.
Alternatively, you can contact the guys from The Couch El Nido on Facebook. Simply send them a message and organize your adventure preferably a day or two before you plan to hike.
The cost of a guide to hike Taraw Peak is around 500 pesos.
Selfies at Taraw Peak El Nido
The view from the top
My guide Jeo
I contacted the guys at The Couch El Nido to organize my Taraw Peak adventure one day before. After chatting with them over Facebook, I was told to meet my guide at 4:30 am the following morning at Midtown Bakery.
The sun rises at around 5:30 am in El Nido and the hike takes approximately 45-minutes, one-way.
If you’re not an early riser, you can choose your own time to start the hike to Taraw Peak, though I strongly advise the earlier the better as it gets very hot and humid as soon as the sun is up.
At 4:30 am sharp I met with my guide Jeo and another fellow traveler from Israel. It was still pitch black at this time and so we were given head torches and a pair of gloves. I was a bit questionable as to why we needed the gloves but soon realized why.
There is no easing into the hike and I broke out in a sweat almost instantly as we started to scale the mountain, following in Jeo’s footsteps. I use the word ‘hike’ lightly as it was more of a scramble most of the way up and I needed to use my hands to hold on to the rocks for balance. That’s where the gloves came in handy.
The trail to the top consists mostly of sharp jagged limestone rocks and two almost vertical sections that require climbing. At this point, I was more than happy to have Jeo guiding the way to show me exactly where to place my feet and hands to reach Taraw Peak safely.
Jagged rocks on the Taraw Peak hike
The vertical wall climb
AT THE SUMMIT OF TARAW CLIFF
We arrived at the summit of Taraw Peak drenched from head to toe in sweat but we were graced with the phenomenal view of Bacuit Bay and El Nido town, instantly drawing our attention away from the hurt.
From what I know, the highest point of the cliff is around 250m above ground level and the knee-jittering drops on either side of the peak sure do prove that.
If you aren’t comfortable with heights, you can safely sit around in the center of the peak away from the edges and enjoy the panoramic views in front of you.
Must Read → 3 Weeks Philippines Itinerary
Sunrise at Mt Taraw El Nido
Standing on the edge
Watching the sunrise
As the sun was rising I continued to explore the area on top of the cliff, looking for different angles and perspectives to shoot. I couldn’t find much in my efforts and to be honest, the best view is the one that overlooks the bay.
When the sun was finally shining, it really showed the true beauty of El Nido, the distant islands, and the surrounding mountains that envelop the township. Though it didn’t take long for the temperatures to start rising so I took a few more keep-sake photos before we started our descent.
The way down took just as long as coming up and required full concentration. We all made it back down safely without a scratch and it was hi-fives all around!
If you’re looking for an epic adventure that doesn’t require the use of a boat, hiking Taraw Cliff El Nido is a well-worthy addition to your El Nido itinerary!
Marveling at the view
Jeo is the man
Chilling with the boys
Sitting on the throne
El Nido Taraw Cliff
TARAW CLIFF CANOPY WALK
There is another alternative to get an elevated view of El Nido Bay which is the Taraw Cliff Canopy Walk.
This particular viewpoint is positioned at a lower section of the cliff which has better safeguards and features a Ferrata making it much easier to get to the top.
In my opinion, the view from the Canopy Walk Viewdeck isn’t as impressive as the official Taraw Peak El Nido, though it is an option for those who are looking for a worry-free experience for this activity.
Taraw Cliff Canopy Walk consists of steel cable rails fixed to the rock, metal steps, a suspension bridge, and zip wires. Visitors will also be provided with a helmet and harness as extra precautions.
Book Now → Taraw Cliff Canopy Walk
WHERE TO STAY IN EL NIDO
El Nido has hundreds of accommodation options to choose from, so I have narrowed it down to a few of the best places to stay to fit the needs of budget backpackers, luxury travelers, and everyone in between.
See the list of accommodations below that I personally recommend:
Luxury: Lagùn Hotel
Lagùn Hotel is one of the best and most modern hotels in El Nido featuring an outdoor swimming pool, terrace, restaurant, bar, and free wifi throughout the property. The rooms are fitted with a flat-screen tv, wardrobe, work desk, fridge, kettle, private bathroom and some with a balcony. A buffet breakfast is also included for all guests. Recommended for couples, families, and friends.
Mid Range: Sea Cocoon Hotel
I personally stayed at Sea Cocoon Hotel and can’t recommend this place enough! Located right in the heart of El Nido and just minutes walk to the beach. Sea Cocoon Hotel features an outdoor swimming pool, terrace, restaurant, bar, and a shared lounge. The rooms are spacious and modern with air-conditioning, large comfy beds, wardrobe, balcony, and private bathroom. A buffet breakfast is also included for all guests. Affordable place to stay for couples, families, and friends!
Budget: One Hostel El Nido
One Hostel is one of the best budget accommodations in El Nido with great reviews! Centrally located and within walking distance to the bus terminal, shops, cafes, bars, restaurants, and beaches. There are dorm rooms, double rooms, and quadruple rooms available with air-conditioning. The Hostel also has free wifi and a shared lounge area for guests to hang out. Perfect place to stay in El Nido for solo travelers, couples, and friends!
FOR ALL OTHER PLACES TO STAY IN EL NIDO, SEARCH ON AGODA OR SEARCH ON BOOKING.COM
BEST EL NIDO TOURS
AIRBNB EL NIDO
Another option for accommodation in El Nido is to stay at an Airbnb, which generally has some great deals.
Use the search box below to find all available Airbnb’s in El Nido.
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LONELY PLANET PHILIPPINES
One of the best books to take on your trip is the Lonely Planet Philippines Travel Guide!
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I hope you enjoyed reading this article and if you have any questions at all, please leave me a comment below this post and I will get back to you as soon as I can.