Mt. Binutasan and The Sea of Clouds

Maysawa Circuit is one of the newly-opened hiking destinations near Manila. It is located at Sitio Maysawa, Brgy. Cuyambay, Tanay, Rizal featuring two mountains – Mt. Sa Pari and Mt. Binutasan – with an optional “batis” or stream side trip near the camp site. This circuit provides a view of the sea of clouds and a breathtaking scenery of Sierra Madre mountain ranges.

A breathtaking view of the Sierra Madre mountain range.
A breathtaking view of the Sierra Madre mountain ranges.

The barangay requires a registration at the barangay hall before going to the trailhead. It was supposed to be a twin hike but we arrived later than expected in our itinerary. We were supposed to climb Mt. Sa Pari first but one of the guides said that the sea of clouds only last until 9:00 a.m so we started our ascend to Mt. Binutasan first to catch the sea of clouds.

Sunrise along the trail going up Mt. Binutasan
Sunrise along the trail on ascend to Mt. Binutasan

Mt. Binutasan stands at 577 MASL. The trail is easy and beginner-friendly with a difficulty of 3/9 and trail class 1-3, considered as a minor climb. There are occasional houses and farms on the early part of the trail.

A safe to drink spring water flowing directly from the mountain.
An ice cold spring water flowing directly from the mountain and is safe to drink.

Halfway, the trail became muddy and slippery. It then ascends into a cogon grassland where cogons are tall, thick, and damp. Best if you wear a cap and arm band to protect your skin from occasional sharp cogon grass.

Cogon grass
Cogon grassland, almost felt like paradise.


Tall, thick and almost wet cogon grass.
Tall, thick and damp cogon grass.

Before reaching the summit, we found a very good spot where we can behold the sea of clouds and the Sierra Madre mountain ranges.

The sea of clouds.
The sea of clouds.
My best friends and I with the sea of clouds behind us. Breathtaking, isn't it?
My best friends and I with the sea of clouds behind us. Breathtaking, isn’t it?

The sea of clouds atop Mt. Binutasan
The sea of clouds atop Mt. Binutasan

The picturesque scenery made me think that I don’t need to go as far as Mt. Kiltepan or Mt. Pulag to catch a sight of the sea of clouds but still, the experience going to those prominent mountains would be so different and exhilarating.

Summit, finally.

Summit of Mt. Binutasan
Summit of Mt. Binutasan
The summit overlooking Sierra Madre mountain ranges.

After reaching the summit, we traversed through the mountain to reach the camp site and the optional “batis” side trip.


The trail was muddy and slippery due to wet bamboo sheaths. This is what our feet looked like after the descend, seems like we needed a swim after all.

Mud spa
Mud spa

Not far from the camp site is a small waterfall called Maysawa Falls. We didn’t swim here though because of the crowd. Our tour guide brought us to a “batis” nearby which wasn’t crowded unlike the falls.

Maysawa Falls
Maysawa Falls
The optional "batis" sidetrip
The optional “batis” side trip

After an hour, we headed back to the trailhead to freshen up. We didn’t pursue our supposed hike to Mt. Sa Pari because it was almost noon and the sun was too hot and the view was also similar to what we saw at Mt. Binutasan less the sea of clouds. If we just arrived on time maybe we can climb Mt. Sa Pari too and it would be a different experience since we get to climb two mountains at once. Nevertheless, it was such an amazing experience to behold the sea of clouds and the picturesque Sierra Madre mountain ranges.

Additional Note: We joined a facebook event in this particular hike but we got disappointed because apparently, the drivers hired by the travel agency didn’t follow the original route going to Brgy. Cuyambay resulting for us to get stuck in a horrendous traffic along Marcos Highway very early in the morning. Our supposed scheduled hike at 4:30am started at 6:30am and because of this we realized that it’s still better to do a DIY trip.

Proposed Itinerary:

02:00am Assembly
02:30am ETD Tanay Rizal
03:30am ETA Bgy. Cuyambay Hall, Briefing
04:00am Head to Maysawa Circuit jump off point
04:30am Start hike
06:00am ETA Mt. Sa Pari
06:30am Arrive Mt. Binutasan
08:00am ETA Mt. Binutasan Peak 1
08:30am ETA Mt. Binutasan Summit (Peak 2)
09:00am Start descent to Maysawa Falls
11:30am Arrive Maysawa Falls, Lunch
02:00pm Trek to Jump-off point
04:00pm Jump-off point, wash off
05:30pm ETD Manila
07:30pm ETA Manila


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