I must admit that the phrase ‘off the beaten track” is a bit cliche’ and very loosely used” among travelers and travel bloggers. But believe me when I say that that this mountain resort, is very little known that I initially doubted whether the place exists, when I was first offered to go there.
I have visited Camarines Sur several times already thanks to my growing interest in wakeboarding but it was the first time I heard about Consocep Mountain Resort.
Picture this, a breathtaking view at 1,800 feet above sea level. Several waterfalls on the way to the peak, amazing tree houses, a collection of several man-made gardens and swimming pools. Add to this the fact that you have to take nearly 2,000 steps just to get to the base.
And it is just over an hour away from the famed CamSur Water Complex (CWC). It sounded too good to be true and the adventurer in me was really getting perked up for yet another unexpected adventure in an all too familiar province.
Getting there was actually very easy. If you’re coming from Manila, you will can take the 45-minute plane ride to the provincial capital of Naga City. You can take the cheaper alternative of taking the bus but it would take you 10 hours, more or less to get here.
From Naga, you can take private vehicles to public buses to the town of Tigaon, where the entire complex is located. The travel time to Tigaon is just about an hour and half which you can use to further enjoy the sights and sounds of Camarines Sur.
Over the recent years, Camarines Sur has been giving Boracay a run for its money in terms of the number of foreign visitors. The biggest draw, of course is the CWC. But in the eyes of our tour guide, more foreign visitors would visit CamSur if they could only discover Consocep.
After the short trip, we reached the gates of the Consocep where we were welcomed with a warning. If your body is weak and your resistance is poor, then you can take the next bus back to Naga.
Apparently, the trek towards the various attractions inside the resort are is too strenuous that some visitors, who insisted in pushing ahead despite the stern warning.
More than a thousand step towards the peak and another thousand back. Think you can handle it? our guide asked. And we yelled, “Hell, yeah”.
But it was indeed easier said than done. The complex pathways leading to the various sites were steep. It just rained that morning so the steps are quite slippery so we really took our time. After almost 30 minutes of trekking, we marveled at the first attraction of the resort, a tree house, built so high up, I couldn’t believe my eyes. The tree, the guide said, was more than 100 years old.
I must confess, I was really scared in conquering the tallest of the tree houses, due to the old, seemingly unstable steps leading to the house. But, the guide challenged us by saying that only the bravest try to climb the steps. It was a trick, I knew, but I was more than ready to prove her wrong.
Inside the tree house, you can get a different view of the entire resort and the I was really happy I climbed it.
Next off, we visited the Tumaguiti falls, which our guide claimed, somehow reminds visitors of rainfall. She wasn’t kidding.
Tumaguiti falls was just about 4 meters and the water flowing from this very low falls somehow resemble drops of rains. Nonetheless, thousands of years of these “rain drops” have managed to create a mini pool that is just about 6-7 feet.
If you’re visiting with friends, the guide said, that you can treat it was your own private jacuzzi. Interesting right?
She then took us to Bulalacao falls, which was equally enjoyable. There was a third major falls called Kawa-kawa but we declined to visit it due to the limited time that we had. We were supposed to be in CWC by late afternoon.
Now, if you think that the steps down to the tree house and the various falls were challenging already, then you’re in a big surprise because to get back to the gates, then you will have to take a thousand steps up.
I stopped several times and I was really glad to see the others also gasping for breath. This was a confirmation that the steps were really difficult to climb and that I wasn’t a weakling at all.
At the end of the thousand steps, we were greeted by refreshments courtesy of our guide and we were so happy we could have hugged her on the spot.
Seeing our exhausted forms, our guide said she will take us somewhere we will really enjoy.
After a 15-minute drive, we were entering the gates of a deer farm, which is also located inside the Consocep complex.
We fed the deer till the sunset, during which, we were also treated with a fantastic view of the Mt. Isarog.
Heading back to Naga, I was really happy that I took the time to visit the resort, which for adventurers, can also be good part of your CamSur itinerary.