DAYTRIP FROM MANILA: PALAYA NATURAL FARM

While doing our roadtrip in Tanay last December, we stumbled upon signs for Palaya Natural Farm. Being the impulsive couple that we are (when traveling), we followed the signs until our hunger betrayed us and we could no longer go on. I vowed go come back and so, we did!

Reaching Palaya Natural Farm is an adventure in itself. While I messaged them on Facebook shortly after we came home from that roadtrip, it wasn’t until a few weeks later that they replied — due to the Christmas season, I suppose. I’ll post the information you need to know below (including rates — wait for it because it’s so affordable!), but before going further, the adventure starts from the road going there — sedans are discouraged from driving all the way to the farm because of the rough road (especially during the rainy season, they said). You don’t need a 4WD vehicle, but you need something high enough to endure the rough road you will pass (about 2 kilometers if we calculated correctly).

These are huts you can rent for the day. We ate our food here.

When we got there, there were enough parking spaces for their guests. And the parking is very near the reception and buffet area. I was worried my mom might not be able to enjoy this place (she has a hard time walking far due to her knee problem), but was glad to see that it’s friendly even for those with walking difficulties. While I won’t advise bringing a stroller because the ground isn’t always cemented (many uneven parts due to the mix of soil, blocks of rocks, bricks, grass, and pebbles), it’s often flat enough — definitely the type of ground toddlers and young children would love to explore!

Walking with dill on both sides of the walkway!

We got there around 11:00 AM and went on a Saturday, so after paying the entrance, we headed straight to their Market Day. Held every Saturday (starting at 8:00 AM until supplies last), they sell a good variety of vegetables at such great prices! Palaya Natural Farm is mainly a dragon fruit farm, so whenever there’s harvest, you can expect that in the market, too (along with their Dragon Fruit Wine). I love that their market is situated in a native hut, and displayed in native baskets! Super good vibes here. Don’t forget to bring your bayong/ shopping bag if you plan to shop. Market Day shopping is on cash basis only.

After shopping, we headed to the buffet area (lunch starts at 11:30 AM). Our lunch buffet only cost PHP 300 and they offered quite a number of meals. Thankfully, there’s always a vegetarian option. They always have their Palaya Salad for one (they include the Clitoria Ternatea flower in their salads) and a vegetable dish (it was crispy eggplant when we went). Their menu changes every week, but you can expect salad, fruits, rice, vegetable dish, chicken and fish dish, and vegetables mixed with some meat. Juice/Water is also included in your meal.

We really love their washing station just right outside the buffet area — my toddler could reach it and so he didn’t need help in washing his hands.

After eating and a little bit of resting, I got a massage while my husband and little P went around the farm. The massage area is in one of their huts, with a bed on the floor. It was good, but due to the setup, I wouldn’t recommend it to someone like my mom who has difficulties standing up.

This was my bed post-massage.

And then, we explored the river! This, for me, is the best feature of the farm when you have a toddler.

It’s wide, clean, crystal clear, and best of all….it has depths for all skills and ages!

It has a huge part of shallow areas – perfect for young children and non-swimmers. Honestly, this type of scenery didn’t attract me as much as when I became a mom — nowadays, clean, clear, shallow rivers EXCITE ME so much! LOL. A note though: Of course water also rises during typhoons or the rainy season.

This is the shallow part.

The farm formed a pool on one part by placing rocks from the river — this area was up until my toddler’s thighs.

Of course, what he enjoyed most was exploring the rocks – balancing, walking, throwing rocks!

If you want to ride their raft (manual work, included in the entrance fee), you have to walk further down (not far). If you go further than that, the river gets a bit deeper – perfect for adults who want a dip!

You can ride the raft to cross to the other side and hike all the way up for a good bird’s eye view of the farm. This needs to be a guided hike, so you have to tell their staff if you plan to do this. I think it takes around an hour, and according to the hikers we talked to, it was full of blood leeches (limatik)! We were totally unprepared for that, so we skipped the hike.

We asked their staff to tour us around their huts for overnight rent if possible, and they were able to show us this hut. It’s good for 3 persons and it comes with a native veranda. None of the huts have a private restroom, though. There is a common restroom in the reception area, and two in the sleeping area.

Their restrooms – the only spots in their whole farm that I really wish they would improve on. It’s not exactly dirty, though an effort for cleaner ones would surely be appreciated, and also, there are too few restrooms (the one I’m sharing here was in the hut area, I think), plus the toilet bowl is quite low — good for young children in a way, but not as comfortable for adults.

Before I end this, I also want to share — their bibingka is also worth trying out! It’s not part of the buffet meal, but only costs PHP 40. You may also order a cup of coffee or chocolate for only PHP20.

So there – I think I’ve pretty much shown you an overview of what a daytrip would be like. Hopefully, the details here are helpful in your preparation for your own visit. I honestly want to share a lot more photos, but it might slow down this post already!

DETAILS BELOW!

Palaya Natural Farm
Sta Ines Road, Brgy Cayabu/Tinucan, Tanay, Rizal
Landmark: Mt. Maynuba Jumpoff
+63926-065-6757
+632-330-28-65

(open for inquiries Mondays to Fridays, 8AM-7PM)
please text them to reserve prior your arrival — on paper, they say atleast 5 days before, but if not busy, they accommodate you even with a shorter notice. while they do accept walk-in when there are slots, they really would appreciate a reservation via text especially on Saturdays so they can estimate the meals they would prepare for their buffet day

* Market Day = every Saturday
* Buffet Day = every Saturday
* Entrance Fee = PHP 100/person, but during Market Day (Saturdays), it’s only PHP 50 per person. If you avail of their breakfast (PHP 200) or lunch buffet (PHP 300) on Saturdays, the entrance fee is already waived.
* Children 6 years old below are free-of-charge.

OVERNIGHT RATES:

-Huts range from PHP 1200 (good for 3) to PHP 1800 (good for 5) to PHP 3500 (good for 10, 2 rooms in one hut).
-None of the huts come with private restroom. None are airconditioned, too.
-You can also stay at a tent. Their tent rates range from PHP 500 (2 persons) – PHP 800 (4 persons). You may also pitch your own tent for PHP 200.
-Bonfire Setup is possible for PHP 300.
-They use solar panels and generator.

OTHER ACTIVITIES:

-Bike Rentals for adults (PHP 150/hour)
-Massage (ranges from PHP 300-450/ hour — they only have 2 therapists so far)
-Assisted Hike (included in the entrance fee, just inform staff to guide you to the Palaya View Deck – it’s an uphill hike, and like mentioned above, blood leeches aka limatik are common. dress accordingly.)
-Tree Planting Activity (done every Saturday — they plant either Narra or fruiting trees, yey!)
-Watch Pitahaya (Dragonfruit) in bloom, or pick your own dragonfruit. Dragonfruit season runs from May to November. Best to ask them before coming if there are dragonfruits available for harvest.

OTHER INFORMATION:
– You can rent huts for the day for PHP 350/group of 10.
– The drive from San Juan, Metro Manila is roughly around 2 hours.
– Expect rough road on the last stretch of your roadtrip to Palaya Nature Farm. Sedans are discouraged to drive up to this area. I saw some signs at the farm regarding a shuttle schedule – maybe you can ask them about that.
– There is currently NO SIGNAL for any phone company.
– On weekdays and Sundays, you may order a la carte. They also sell vegetables on weekdays and Sundays, but not as many as the ones during marketday.
– They also sell plant herbs (ask about it at the reception). We bought tarragon, thyme, mint, etc.
– You can take a bath at the river, but Palaya Nature Farm does not provide towels nor toiletries for your trip. Also, while the river is generally shallow, of course it’s still wild and natural — so expect to see slight changes every visit depending on the following factors: rainy season, dry season, low pressure area in the country, etc.
– You can’t locate the farm exactly on Waze, but basically, from SM Masinag, you just go straight towards Rizal and turn left on Sta. Ines Road and follow it until you reach the farm. You’ll be seeing signs from there.
– For more information/ inquiries, just contact them via text or Facebook.

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Hope this post was helpful! Have fun with your kids!:)

 

 

 

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