Fast forward, in 2018, my co-workers and I longed to venture to Mt. Kapayas in Catmon. Our passion for climbing just began and rumors have it that it is challenging. Lack of knowledge and skills made us delay the plan. Years after, I’m still vying to reach that brain-like summit just like that of Mt. Mauyog. Still, it didn’t happen. Not until an upcoming major event needs preparation.
We planned to hike and camp at the mountain as our pre-climb last February this year. Unfortunately, I need to delay it again due to the tropical storm Auring. What’s in this legendary hiking destination? Well, it pays to wait because last May 10 and 11 we were given very favorable weather for this adventure.
Disclaimer: This is a personal blog. The views, opinions, and tips expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of the other travelers. I’m not an expert. My purpose of writing is to share my story, hoping, somehow, to be helpful and inspirational to some – if not all.
A Bit About Mt. Kapayas
Locally known as Lantawan, Mt. Kapayas gains its reputation of being one of the toughest mountains to hike in Cebu. Although you’ll find its location on Google map in Carmen, it is part of the Municipality of Catmon. Its summit stands at 780 masl, offering a stunning panorama of mountain ranges as per our guide.
I heard you, why named such when we haven’t seen much of kapayas (Cebuano term for papaya) trees in the area. It’s already named such as per our guides. According to a local I came across and talked to, it is so-named “Lantawan” (Cebuano for a structure or spot with greater height and massive horizon) because of its towering height at the peak.
From Cebu City, you may hop on a bus bound for Catmon or any bus passing by the municipality then alight at their Municipal Hall for registration. Travel time is approximately 2 hours.
Tip: It would be better to contact a guide or anyone from the tourist office for your pre-registration to reserve your slot since hikers/campers allowed are limited in number.
As for this event, we opted to meet at the Municipal Hall to prevent a gathering of the crowd in the city. After the registration, we headed to jump off (about an hour ride). We left our things and proceeded to the summit. The trail is already established and going up is not that challenging as I’ve expected. This is not to brag. The thing is – my mind thinking its difficulty level – was an exaggeration.
The rock-climbing part towards the peak of that journey was fun especially when you’re with people kidding around the slopes and trails in the wild. The view from the top is breathtaking. Embracing the breeze and everything you see around you is very fulfilling, worth the sweat you shed along the way.
Note: Climbers to the summit are limited to 10-15 only to avoid a probable accident.
Tip: It would be best to keep both your hands-free and wear gloves and footwear with good traction towards the summit.
It’s just sad to see some trash anywhere, which some we picked on our way back to the campsite. Let’s do follow the Leave No Trace (LNT) principles all the time wherever we may go. By the way, you can reach the summit from 1-2 hours from jump-off, depending on your pacing.
No kidding, the campsite here is so amazing with the incredible sunset and beautiful, colorful morning sky. It’s on a hill yet the night is not that cold. The surface is soft for our backs as we lay down to sleep. The water source for cooking and drinking is just nearby. You can even ask favor from the guides or locals for your needs so long as they are available onsite.
Also, there’s a kubo where you may cook your meals or hang your hammocks. Ask permission from its owner and the guides, of course.
Note: There are military detachments near the campsite. We were given orientation for the dos and don’ts here. Lower your voice especially during socials and lights off at 10 pm, otherwise, your attention will be called.
Side Trip to Tinubdan Falls
Our packaged registration fee of 250 pesos is inclusive of a side trip to Tinubdan Falls. The waterfall is about an hour travel from jumpoff. It has a pristine beauty of its own with its cascades converging in two catch basins at the end of the waterfalls. Verdant trees and other flora around seem to isolate the waterfalls from the civilization. We soaked our tired and smelly bodies to get relaxed and freshen up before ending the adventure.
Note: Be careful with the slippery, smooth rocks around the falls. It would be best to wear your non-slip footwear.
At last, the long-overdue Mt. Kapayas venture came to reality. I would love to go back when given the chance. Everything seems in conspiracy, the weather, the company, the guides, food, etc. Something in the memory lane I would not mind going back.
Thank you, dear Lord, for the guidance and safety always. Thank you, guys. It was awesome. See you around in any of our adventures in the future. Until my next wanders and adventures.
10:00 AM – Meetup Catmon (Municipal Hall)
11:00 AM – ETA jump-off
12:00 NN – Lunch
01:30 PM – Start trek
03:00 PM – ETA summit
05:00 PM – Back to basecamp
07:00 PM – Dinner
08:00 PM – Socials
10:00 PM – Lights off
05:00 AM – Wake-up call
07:00 AM – Breakfast then break camp
09:00 AM – ETD jump off
10:00 AM – ETA Tinubdan falls
11:00 AM – ETD Tinubdan falls
11:30 AM – ETA Catmon proper
12:00 NN – Lunch
01:00 PM – ETD Catmon
03:00 PM – Cebu City bound
250 – Guide Fee (inclusive of camp fee and a side trip to falls)
25 – Registration Fee
275 – Total (excluding food and transportation)
Registration Fee – 250 per group (max. 10)
Guide Fee – 150 each for a day trek, 250 each for camp (camp fee and side trip to falls)
Trail Specs: Moderate but muddy start of the trek then slowly assault towards the summit
Meals to Prepare: Lunch (packed), Dinner, Breakfast, Lunch (packed)
Transpo from Meet-up area to Jump-off – 450/pax habal2x fare (back and forth)
You may contact Kyno Lim Dumlao for a reservation.
Face Mask, Face Shield, hand sanitizer
Bring your own trail food
Bring at least 1 liter of water to drink (there’s a water source at the campsite)
Bring ion-rich beverages or energy drinks to prevent cramping
Sun/rain protection (cap, jacket, umbrella, first aid kit)
Waterproof your belongings, in case of heavy downpours (it’s rainy season so rain pours are expected)
Bring extra clothes and extra cash for emergency purposes
Wear trekking shoes or sandals with good traction for slippery rocks and muddy/loose soil
Camp gear (tent, headlamp, flashlight, sleeping bag, eating utensils, toiletries, cook set (by group)
Follow LNT principle
Be your own responsibility/liability
Pray and be safe
Be physically fit before the climb and enjoy the adventure
For your next adventure, you might want to hire a cab for your group’s safe transportation. Just contact Kuya Bong at 09616214406 or visit his FB page for a quotation.
*Some photos are not mine; they belong to the rightful owners (friends).