Thursday, August 27, 2015

Lunao Sulfur River Trek

Somewhere in the quaint and peaceful brgy in Bago City is a paradise in its raw state.  If you are tired on basking your skin in salty water of the beaches, you will find this place a little interesting to visit. Where virgin foresty trails and gushing sulfuric water is a scenery to behold, all you can hear is the splashes of water and chorus of birds. Welcome to Lunao Sulfur River.

Bago City is famous for water falls and upland resorts if you want to experience a cooler climate but doesn’t want to go farther from the Metro. Sitio Lunao is located some 15 kms away from Maao Public Market. One has to take more than an hour jeepney ride from Bacolod to get to Maao and take another 30 minutes tricycle ride from the market to Lunao proper . From there you can start walking to get to the jump off point, approximately 1.5kms with some unpaved roads but mostly uphill.  According to the locals, there are some tricycle that can take you to the jump off for Php 75.00 but maximum of 4 pax load.

We were so lucky that day since a DENR vehicle passed by, saving grace! That’s one hell of difficult walk and to think that we’re pressed with time.  Good thing the locals were very helpful in giving us directions until we reached Cuenca’s Farm (this is the jump off to our destination)
Cuenca's Residence

We approached the caretaker (forgot the name) and told him we wanted to go to the river and if he can possibly help us get someone to guide us. He was kind enough and offer us his relative to be our guide going to the river, falls and Jacuzzi.  While we’re waiting for our guide, we  spend the time taking pictures and enjoying the surroundings. Who wouldn’t?  We are overlooking some parts of Bago City, the pine trees surrounding us and most especially, I just love the cool winds blowing.

Perfect Jump Shots (Ian’s Cam)

30 minutes passed and we haven’t heard back from Kuya and we started to worry. So we decided to ask for some directions, realizing that the trail is a bit easy, we told Kuya to tell our guide to just follow. Kuya told us when we reached the Durian Farm there will be a fork in the road, the left side will take us to the river and the right to Jacuzzi. Just in time, our guide is already behind us when we reached the Durian Trees.

Trail Lined Up with Pine Trees
Durian Trees, it's my first time to see one, hihi!

We took the left road, this will lead us to the falls and the river pool. The trail is a bit slippery and moist due to scattered rains during the afternoon. Luck is on our side maybe because Mr Sun is smiling down on us that day. The 30-minute walk to the river, though uphill became tolerable with the help of the shades of the trees.

Hearing the rushing water seemed enticing, the smell of sulfur is already getting into my nerves and when we finally get a glimpsed of  the river, yey, achieved! Before going down we passed by some rockies with flowing water. Our guide said it’s safe to drink, yahoo…Finally, potable water! That expression and smile speaks for itself.
View from the Top

We went down, dropped our stuff and enjoyed the water. Compared to the sulfur spring of Mambukal, this river is cold. Oh well, water from the pool passed through several minutes before it reaches the part where we took pictures. Fair enough, let’s jump and enjoy!

Sulfur Smells Refreshing, hihi!
The current is too strong that we decided to stop and not go any further. The falls and sulfur source is few meters away from us but we have to cross the water. Well, we can still go back.  Seize the day

The cold water felt refreshing. No sleep but full of energy and smiles. That’s the beauty of nature, it will really take your stress away.

Enjoying the gushing water
After almost an hour of dipping, we decided to go to the Jacuzzi part. The trail going here is easier and shorter. Paved stairs will help you get in here effortless.

A short yet very enjoyable trek and swim in this one of a kind river.  Choose your own adventure, explore on your own pace and discover the unexploited beauty of the place.  Live in harmony of nature, choose the road less traveled, follow the off beat trail to see the wonders of nature – this is Lunao Sulfur River.

Take a Jeep bound for Ma-ao (more than an hour from Bacolod City)
Take a Tricycle from Ma-ao Public Market – the orange one. They are color coded. Fare going to Lunao proper is Php 25.00/pax. There are tricycle that can take you to the jump off at Php 75.00/pax
If you have a private car, you may take it until Lunao proper. Only 4x4 or off road cars can be brought to the jump off .
Best time to start your trek in the morning so you have plenty of time to explore.
Make sure to get a local guide
Bring sunblock, insect repellent and clothes to protect your skill from the bushes
No Entrance fee, but your generosity will be appreciated.

Take care and have fun!

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