I first set foot at Mount Purro Nature Reserve in 2014 in one of the teen camps we hold in my previous work. It is a sprawling eco-park nestled at the foothills of Sierra Madre Mountain Range run by the Malvars in their mission to protect the balding mountains.
It seemed like a world of its own. Like a village of huts made of Bamboo and Nipa. Its structure is built around the natural terrain with pebbled pathways and covered with plants. You can spot some Chickens running free, hear birds and crickets chirping, and the occasional Tuko (Gecco) vocalizing.
Their food is wholesomely made from scratch, with most of the ingredients sourced locally, if not from its own farm and the staff that run the daily operations are mostly the Dumagats, who are the settlers in the area.
Although its rugged style isn’t for everyone, this eco-park has such a charm, especially when I learned about their story: tito Toto, being told by his mother as a boy to save the balding mountains after a devastating typhoon made it his mission to restore it to its former glory. He left his lucrative corporate job and brought his family to take care of the reserve. He then started planting trees. However, this first attempt seemed to have gone to waste as the locals started taking the trees down for Kaingin. Soon, he figured out that in order to carry out the project of reforesting, he needed to take care of the settlers whose early mindset is only to survive first. So they helped the people first by giving them livelihood, building relationship and trust, and even started giving scholarships to their children. Now, they even have a doctor to look after their health.
As they are quick to point out, Mount Purro Nature Reserve is not a hotel/resort. You can’t expect 5 star amenities, and other guest services but they ensure that everything is clean, comfortable, and relaxing while you’re there. There’s no air conditioning because the place is naturally cool. They do not provide towels and toiletries to minimize trash and water consumption. Also, there is no cellular reception, a coincidence to align with its mantra “disconnect to connect”, so guests can have their time away from social media and enjoy the moment.
The place is also known for its team-building conducive amenities such as the hiking trail, zip line, rappelling tower, zip line, pool, and more. I have not visited since 2016 and was utterly surprised when I came with my husband and Atticus recently. I didn’t think it could get any better but it sure did with more barkada activities, family-friendly spots, and pretty additions that puts everything together nicely.
I was especially excited for me and Atticus to play at their new activity spots for kids.
Atticus had the mud kitchen all to himself and rummaged through all of the pots and pans for practically two-hours non-stop. I was equally entertained because it looked like the kitchen of my dreams in toy form.
Mount Purro describes their accommodations as “farm-style” inspired no less by our very own Bahay Kubo. It’s spacious and airy that you can feel a slight drop of temperature once you step in. I like that it even has a nice earthy-smell that makes you feel more one with nature. As of bugs, you can rest assured that the whole place is screened to keep mosquitoes away. I experienced sleeping in their cottages for a couple of times and it has always been comfortable and cool especially at night. They even station pitchers of water and glasses at your cottage to make sure you’re well hydrated.
They feature day tours and family packages where groups can join a pre-scheduled hikes, access to amenities, and buffet meals.
1. Bring a mosquito lotion or patch.
It’s best to put on insect repellents or patches on both kids and adults to keep bugs at bay.
2. They have rugged walking paths.
Being built along the mountain’s natural terrain, you can expect slopes and rugged walking paths so always watch your step. As an extra assistance, they give bamboo canes that you can use whenever you go around the area. They do not require any attire but we suggest wearing proper shoes and clothes that are comfortable and covers your legs to avoid scratches.
3. Prepare your mind that it’s far from your regular hotels.
The place is cozy and au naturel–no air conditioning, water heaters, 5-star bedding, and other guest services you would expect from hotels, but it is perfectly clean, and comfortable.
Guests get an orientation before being allowed in to show what the nature reserve is all about and how they are expected to do their part in preserving the mountain.
How to get there:
Here are the directions Mount Purro Nature Reserve gives to those who are commuting:
- Along Aurora Boulevard/Marcos highway, you can take a Jeep going to COGEO
- From COGEO, take another Jeep that says PAENAAN. Tell the driver you would be going down at KANTO VETERANS
- From KANTO VETERANS, ride 2 tricycles to Mount Purro Nature Reserve in Barangay Calawis. (130 pesos for the 2 trikes)
If you’re driving, you can get the location in Waze and Google Maps, just look up “Mount Purro Nature Reserve” but try to save them offline because the signal goes off shortly before the climb up to Calawis.
How to contact them:
Mount Purro Nature Reserve
Address: Purok 5, Barangay Calawis, Antipolo City, Philippines
Front Desk : 542-3005 (PLDT Mobile Landline)
0908-881-2701 (Smart Mobile)
Reservations : 0949-398-1799 (Smart Mobile)
* Office Hours : M-F, 9AM to 5PM
How to book:
You can book through their website, www.mountpurronaturereserve.com or through Trip Advisor.