WATCH: Minalungao National Park for Php700

Do you ever feel stressed and just want to get out of the city for a quick respite, but don’t want to further stress yourself out by spending a huge amount of money? Do you love nature and discovering new places? If so, Minalungao National Park in Nueva Ecija is right for you!

Minalungao National Park is just 3-4 hours away from Metro Manila. One morning, I decided to just drive there and see it for myself.

Check out my experience here:

I was able to do all if this stuff in the 4 hours I stayed in Minalungao:

Have lunch.

The food was okay and the best thing was that it wasn’t expensive since you can buy carenderia (hawker) price food inside the park. I had chicken barbecue for lunch and it only cost me Php60 (USD1.2) per piece. It is obvious that the local government really did a good job in regulating the prices inside Minalungao.

(READ: 15 Restaurants You Should Try When in Manila)

Trekking 1000 steps up to the grotto with a glass cross (FREE OF CHARGE).

For starters, it is recommended to first try the 1000-step trek up the shrine of the glass cross. It will really make you sweat. Don’t worry about getting too tired, though, as there are shaded pit stops along the way where you can rest and enjoy the view. You can also purchase some very delicious iced candy on top for just Php10 (USD0.2).

Go river wading (FREE OF CHARGE).

After the long trek, this is a cool way to cool down by crisscrossing the river on the way to the caves. The fresh clear water will surely rejuvenate and prepare you for spelunking.

Enjoy spelunking (FREE OF CHARGE, but should be done with a guide = Php300/group for the whole day).

There are a couple of cave connections in Minalungao and some are still closed. For beginners, it is better to try the basic cave connection. (Check out my experience here.)

Go cliff diving (FREE OF CHARGE).

There are a couple of cliff diving spots in Minalungao that you can visit depending on your abilities. There are cliff diving spots for kids, for beginners and for experts. A lifevest is required by the Minalungao Administration for this, regardless of which level you are on.

Ride the current (FREE OF CHARGE, but life vest is required = Php25).

You can start upstream and just float downstream while holding some beer or juice. It has the same feeling as tubing in Vang Vien in Laos.

Here are other activities you may want to try out whilst there:

I. Ziplining – Php100 one-way or Php200 roundtrip.

II. Rent a floating cottage – Php800 – Php1,500 good for 8-10 pax.

III. Stay at a hotel overnight – Php2,000 good for 4 pax.

Now, here’s the breakdown of my expenses.


Note: I drove to Minalungao myself, but here are the possible fees for those who might want to commute:

  • Bus: Php150-Php200 one way
  • Jeepney and tricycle: Php50/pax


  • Php100/pax


  • Chicken BBQ = Php60
  • Rice = Php10
  • Softdrink = Php15
  • Iced candy = Php10
  • Merienda and others = Php80


  • Lifevest = Php25

TOTAL = Php700


Public transportation:

  • From Cubao or Pasay, ride a bus bound for Gapan/Cabanatuan. The fare is around Php150-200, and the estimated travel time is around 2-3 hours.
  • Ask the driver to drop you off at Gapan. From there, you can ride a jeepney to General Tinio then hail a tricycle to Minalungao Park. The fare for this is around Php50/person.

*If you are looking for something more convenient, you can rent a tricycle from Gapan to Minalungao Park for Php500-600/tricycle. The tricycle will wait for you and bring you back to Gapan. Travel time: 1-1.5 hours.

(READ: Unbelievable Travel Destinations in Nueva Ecija You Never Knew Existed)

Private transportation:

  • Take the NLEX and exit at Sta. Rita.
  • Turn right to the Candaba-San Miguel Road until you reach Bucana, Gapan.
  • Estimated travel time: 3-4 hours, with some portions on a rough road. The parking is convenient and safe and is near the picnic area.

SPECIAL NOTE: Please help conserve the area. DO NOT LITTER!


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