The Treasure Mountain Camp in Tanay, Rizal is known for its “Sea of Clouds”. We went to check if its real.
I consider myself lucky to live in a holiday-loving country such as the Philippines!
As a matter of fact, my American expat boss was amazed at the number of holidays that we celebrate each year when he just came to the Philippines in 2013. Now, being almost four years working and living here, whenever a regular, special, or additional holiday comes, he would just smile and say “of course it is!”
Just this week, we have an additional 3-day holiday because of the ASEAN Summit hosted by our country. I knew that I needed to do something fun with my guys and not put those three days to waste. I then realized that we have not camped out in a little while. The last time we did was last year in the beautiful island of Real, Quezon and on a long motorcycle ride. I remembered that it was a great experience for Yuli and I and felt a little pity that our son Omer was not with us when we went.
So that’s when I decided to make November our annual family camp/hike month. I love building family traditions small and great, and an annual family camp could be added to our list. November would be perfect for our annual camp since not only is this month filled with Philippine holidays, the weather (and our finances!) are also usually good at this time of the year. ☺
I asked some friends for some recommendations for kid-friendly campsites near Manila, and that’s how I learned about Treasure Mountain Camp in Tanay, Rizal. It’s east of Manila and about 3 hours away from our place. The place is known for its “sea of clouds” and good mountain view. I thought that the trip would be a great stress reliever for us so we tried it out.
This map shows the route that we took to reach the camp. I will outline our itinerary, expenses, and tips made for this trip in case you want to go camping with your family and decide to try Treasure Mountain Camp too.
TIP # 1: Make your reservation as early as possible!
The place could really get packed with tourists especially during holidays, so it’s better that you plan your trip ahead. Send a message to Treasure Mountain Camp’s official Facebook page to make a reservation or ask questions. I had A LOT of questions prior to the trip, and their staff was patient enough to answer them until I finally made the reservation.
The general information you would need, such as entrance fees, tour guide fees, check-in and out schedule, etc. may already be answered by their Facebook posts so better check that first. If you wanted to ask about the availability of swimming pools and fire pits in the camp, the answer is no and no. Their swimming pool was under maintenance when we went, and making bonfires were not allowed. A bit of a let-down for me since I was already thinking about enjoying making s’mores with my guys during the night. Oh well.
We reached the camp at about 10:30am and this is what greeted us.
We were a bit ahead of our schedule since we arrived. Overnight stay are expected to check-in by 1pm but we were already at the site by 10:30am. The staff told us we will be subjected to the day tour fee on top of the overnight fee, which was fine by me. However, when we told the staff that we were scheduled to trek the Bosay falls, she waived the day tour fee and just asked us to proceed with our trek.
We left our stuff in a Nipa hut by the entrance and took about 45 minutes to trek, mainly because of our 5-year-old baggage. But even without Omer, I would say that it wasn’t an easy trek because of the muddy trail. It rained for a bit in the morning. We also had to cross some stream and rock formation until reaching the falls. In the end, however, just like any other trek, it was always worth it.
I hoped to have come out on a better day when the trail was drier and the water clearer, but these boys didn’t even notice! They were having so much fun.
TIP #2: Bring some snacks to Bosay falls.
Due to our excitement, we forgot to bring some food to eat by the falls! Lucky we found some ripe bananas along the trail which kept us energized until we returned.
The trail back was much harder as it was uphill, and our Omer was giving up being tired from all the swimming. Yuli had to carry him to the last parts of the trek. We got back to camp by 3:30pm and ordered a super heavy super late lunch meal for us.
TIP #3: Bring your own food/snacks/drinks when you can.
This was a major fail on our part. As I said, because we were so excited to reach the camp early, we did not buy any food from downtown. In effect, all the food we ordered from the venue were much more expensive. I mean, really expensive. Like a 1.5L coke zero that cost 50 pesos back home cost 100 pesos over there. We could have avoided those unnecessary spending by bringing our own food and snacks.
At about 5pm we were already ready to go to sleep. We pitched our tents and took some good pictures overlooking the mountains and the sea of clouds. Sure enough, as soon as Omer laid his back on the air bed, he was fast asleep! And the funny thing is, Yuli was too! I wound up binge watching Stranger Things Season 2 which was actually one of my goals for that evening! Ha!
Call me cheese balls, but I wouldn’t trade this view for the world. 🙂
The following day, we mostly just enjoyed the peaceful view and our time together. We took some more photos, ate our breakfast, and then prepared to go home. Since Yuli was going to work that night, we decided to leave early so that he could have time to sleep in the afternoon prior to work.
I was trying to do a pro-looking yoga pose, but I could see that I’m not there yet! Lol!
Yuli’s scary pose by the rocks.
It was overall a quick, tiring, but super fun trip. Tiring mainly because we had to keep up with the mood of our Omer. Ultimately, though, Im glad that we brought him along. He made the trip triple times fun. 🙂
Here is a summary of our expenses. If you are headed to Tanay, Rizal soon, feel free to check out Treasure Mountain Camp and let me know how it goes!
Transpo – About 500.00 (Motorcycle gas)
Parking – 20.00 (For motorcycles)
Entrance for 2 – 400.00 (Kids 5 years below are free of entrance fees.)
Tent for 3-4 people – 800.00 (If you plan on bringing your own tents, you’ll just pay a pitching fee of 300.00)
Tour Guide fee – 400.00
Food – 1,500 ++ (Really, bring your own food when you can!)
Tips and others – 300.00
Total: Php 3,920.00
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‘Til the next family camping,