Epic Rider – Exotic Nature Tripping at Jariel’s Peak
A hidden nice, steady spot in the East, it’s not easy to find Jariel’s Peak. But for those willing to travel 2 hours uphill, and go through twisties and rough roads…with the intention of enjoying the cool mountain breeze that Infanta will give you, as well as eating exotic food after a long drive, then this one’s for you. I have been here several times and I will not hesitate to go back here again so I could enjoy once more the fresh air, exotic food and the beautiful sights and sounds I will experience along the way.
The Place called Jariel’s Peak can be accessed through the newly-developed Marifanta Highway bordering the provinces of Rizal and Quezon. It is said that it is almost always at least 15 degrees colder here than in the lowlands. For those having a bit of trouble finding this place, it is approximately 37.6 kilometers if you are coming from Sierra Madre Hotel. From Sierra Madre Resort and Pranjetto, just follow the route going to Marifanta. Roughly 37 kilometers from there is this famous resto bar. Just a caveat though, be prepared for some rough roads, or rather, a lot of rough roads and a lot of zigzags. The trip will be worth it.
Accessed through the newly-developed Marifanta Highway bordering the provinces of Rizal and Quezon, it’s almost always 15-20 degrees colder here than in the lowlands. This area hands down is very relaxing. People, more particularly motorcycle riders, love it here that is why instead of the usual Marilaque weekend rides, Jariel’s Peak has been included in the weekend rider’s Sunday destination. Food is always fresh and tastes good. The climate is excellent if you want to be refreshed with the cool breeze. There is some truth to the claim that sometimes it actually is colder in this part of Infanta compared to Baguio. Yes you read that right, sometimes it’s colder in Jariel’s even if you compare it with the country’s Summer Capital. You will actually see the your breath as you speak even during the middle of the day. That happens in Baguio too but mostly only during the night. Well both are good places to relax however for a place so near, or if you don’t have much time to spend, then this is a good destination for you.
Make no mistake about it, Jariel’s Peak is actually frequented not just by motorcycle riders but runners, bikers, or even by 4-wheel enthusiast doing their own Marifanta tour. You could even spend an entire weekend here doing sight seeing and nature tripping as they now offer rooms for rent for both short and long term stay.
The quick 2 hour trip is worth it for most because the menu served here is most likely (and obviously) not found in any ordinary restaurant. Jariel’s Peak offers mostly exotic food. From Adobong Bayawak to Sizzling Baboy Ramo to Tapang Buwaya, they got it. They also got Adobong Kuneho, Fried Itik, and Ensaladang Pako. Quality is the name of the game for a hide-out as far as this, as they only cook the meals upon order. No re-heating, no freezing. With that in mind, you might have to wait a little longer than usual, but it’s gonna be worth it anyway. The place is relaxing so you could rest and unwind first before eating. My personal favourite is the Sizzling Mountain Snail, freshly cooked every order.
Jariel’s Peak is also involved in the motorcycle industry as they actually would help fellow riders who would have any bike trouble along the way to Jariel’s Peak. They will rescue the rider and provide help as needed. Jariel’s Peak is also the host to the now annual “Jariel’s Peak Uphill Climb Challenge.” The first edition was last year and in order to promote road safety, they, with the help of the local government and local PNP, closed down the entire 18.5 kilometer course along Marifanta Highway. Organized by Adventure Team Philippines (ATPI) and Jariel’s Peak, the Jariel’s Peak Uphill Climb Challenge is a motorcycle race-against-time from the starting point at Km. 114 Pinlak Bridge up to the end point at Jariel’s Peak. Riders were sent-off at 1-minute intervals and timed individually. In this kind of challenge, riders are classified according to their motorcycle displacement and bike category. Riders with the fastest time will be the champion in their respective categories. The event aims to promote the sport of motorcycling and support the Philippine Government’s Eco Tourism programs. The second edition of the Uphill Climb Challenge or UCC will be on December 6, 2015.
One of the things that I found interesting is their resident Eagle, named Tisay. She is posted on a branch overlooking the mountains. Seemingly guarding the whole of Infanta, she sits atop her throne overlooking the forest below. It is obvious that the owner is fond of animals as his own pet monkey will greet you upon entering the establishment.
With my long lost twin, Mimay.
Situated in Marifanta highway on top of a mountain and almost 2000 kilometers above sea level, Jariel’s Peak Resto Bar is owned and named after Mr. Ariel Evangelista, a biker himself. During the early days of Jariel’s you could see the owner’s very own CB400 Super Four displayed in front of the restaurant. Jariel’s Peak is located at Km. 94 Sitio Baguio, Barangay Magsaysay, Infanta, Quezon.