The Municipality of Santa Cruz in the province of Davao del Sur continues to amaze me with wondrous hiking attractions. With mountain ranges traversing across its vast geographical area, it is not surprising that there are plenty of trails waiting for every type of outdoor adventurer to discover – just like the one we tried recently, Mount Dinor.
As an occasional hiker, I found scaling the summit of the 1,274 masl Mount Dinor a pretty challenging one. While it may not be comparable to the neighboring Mount Apo in terms of the level of difficulty, I confess that my experience hiking to the peak was not a walk-in-the-park thing. My team started the day hike at around 6 AM; we got back at around 7 PM. The whole duration of the trek was 12 hours, give or take, traversing a 9-kilometer rugged, unfriendly terrain through the summit and back. Of course, that included several stops along the way for rest and photos.
Things to know before your hike
Now, if you are planning to do a Mount Dinor hike, continue reading. I am giving more information that may come in handy for you. Below are the things you should know before your hike to be 100% prepared for this adventure!
First, you need to register.
Then, they assign a local guide for you.
Shout out to our excellent local guide, Mariz! (in the photo above)
Right after a short orientation, you officially begin your trek (the first 3 kilometers is the easiest part).
3.5 km into your trek, you will be crossing a hanging bridge. Don’t forget to pause and enjoy the view of the river,
and rock formations,
and waterfalls too.
Moving on, don’t get dismayed that there are no established stations.
Because there are several houses along the way, offering some refuge.
And you will breathe a sigh of relief knowing that there are plenty of potable water sources along the trail, helping you get replenished.
And be ready for steep ascents again,
and conquer moments of struggles,
and to enjoy the breathtaking vistas along the way
and canopies of greens too.
And how about a blanket of greens to rest?
And exotic plants such as the one below?
And, if you get more luck, some edible fruits too.
Nearing the summit, you will pass by four campsites
and, should I still mention seas of clouds?
And, when the clouds clear away, you see the vivid panorama of the Municipality of Santa Cruz
Now, after taking some rest at the campsite area, it’s time for the final stretch to the summit
You will be traversing under the shade of towering trees
You conquer the summit!
How To Get There
- From Davao City, head to Ecoland Terminal to hop on a bus bound for Digos (or any bus going south)
- Alight at Santa Cruz proper
- From there, take a motorcycle (or tricycle) ride to Brgy. Sinoron
- Alight at the Brgy Gym, the registration site
Bus Fare: 85 x 2 = Php 170
Motorcycle/Tricycle Fare = 40 x 2 = Php 80
Registration Fee: Php 50
Tour Guide Fee: Php 200*
Food (lunch, dinner, snacks) = Php 300
Total: Php 800
Pitching a tent at the campsites: Php 50
Tour guide tip (if you’d like to give): Up to you
*Tour guide fee above assumes that you are in a group of 4. The minimum tour guide fee is 800 pesos (which means if you are going alone, you will pay 800 pesos. The tour guide fee for a group of 5 is 1000 pesos; additional 200 pesos per person after that.
TIP #1: If you are an occasional hiker like me, I would suggest you go for an overnight trek (I would have done the same had I known more about the trail in advance). As mentioned above, the hike took us more than 12 hours. We were not able to enjoy the side trips that much, including the rock formations and Mini Asik-Asik.
TIP #2: If you choose a day hike, start as early as 5 AM so that you have more time for it, and the chances that you complete the trek before sunset are high.
TIP #3: Use proper trekking wears for more protection from the scorching sun, scratches from shrubs along the way, and insect bites. Of course, use hiking shoes too.
TIP #4: There are sources of clean, potable, underground water along the trail, so bringing just a container or tumbler should be okay.
TIP #5: You may also consider bringing alcohol spray not just for sanitizing purposes but for leech removal, just in case. The trail reaching the summit is steep, a bit slippery, and mossy – leeches’ favorite spot.
TIP #6: As much as possible, you bring just what is necessary for your trek. Every pound fewer counts for a lighter, easier climb.
TIP #7: A flashlight (phone app will do) is necessary. It is your only source of light should you need to finish the trek after sunset, in a pitch-black trail.
TIP #8: You are not allowed to take home with you any types of plants unless they are grown by and asked from the locals themselves.
Santa Cruz Tourism Contact Information
Phone: +639171802365; +63920 856 7991