There are countless of camping sites, AirBnb properties, and resorts just a few hours away from Manila but my most recent discovery stands out from the rest of them. I’m referring to Camp Sandugo in San Mateo, Rizal. Just a quick disclaimer: during our visit the quarantine classification was MECQ. Yes, you read it right! If you’re a biker or a hiker, you know Sandugo, the local brand of gear and equipment for recreational activities.
I first saw the place in pictures as recommended by the jowa who have seen it on his friend’s Facebook post. We decided to inquire and set a date through their Facebook page. We appreciate that they are very responsive and warm in answering our queries. We opted for the weekday glamping rate of P2500 which includes the cozy tent for 2 with cots, pillows, and blankets already. It was honestly a good deal because the following items were also included:
- Free use of mini bar/cooler with ice
- Free use of cooking and grilling area
- Free use of electricity
- Table and chairs
- Breakfast for 2
- Welcome drinks and snacks
- Complimentary water (which we weren’t able to receive HAHA)
We chose a weekday, as usual, and it’s always the best decision when visiting a destination. The rates are usually less expensive and there are always lesser crowds. True enough, there weren’t many guests that time in the place.
They offer pick-up and drop-off service from a few points for as low as P150 per way. We availed a pick-up and drop-off from Marikina. The travel time from there to the camp is about 45 minutes to an hour.
For glamping, check-in time is at 2PM and check-out is at 10AM. We arrived at 3PM and although it’s really ideal to arrive the earliest time possible to make the most of , the sun was still high and the whole area is still very hot because it’s out in the open.
Because the welcome drinks and snacks are served, we lounged by the dining areas for the meantime. Another thing I loved the most here is their restaurant. It’s just easy to buy food if you don’t like bringing some, plus they serve freshly brewed coffee from P50. I brought my syrups with me and made us iced mocha later in the afternoon. We brought instant ramen to cook and a few cuts of pork to grill. There’s no corkage fee for the food you’ll bring. The mini bar’s free of use so you can bring your own drinks but they also have their own offerings. The cooking and grill area is communal as well as the toilet.
Here we go with the experience. Overall, glamping here was something we really loved and enjoyed that we promised ourselves that we’d come back again. There was no data connection signal so we were forced to talk with each other and bond over food and drinks whilst watching the beautiful cityscape lights of the metro. That is just one of the many highlights. The sleeping area is very comfortable. There was never a time we did not feel safe and secured. They have guards roaming around from time to time. Once they asked us if we needed anything for the night and even installed an electric fan, which we actually didn’t need anyway because this mountainous area is cold and chilly.
If you need to charge, they provide outlets and it’s free of use. Our glamping area even has its own solar light post. It’s indeed a comfy way to camp and be with nature, not-so-far-away from Manila. The place isn’t totally finished yet and there are still constructions going on. We were lucky to experience the place without the big crowds yet. I also love it that it has the right balance of being commercialized and being raw.
For additional information, yes there are parking lots but you have to be reminded that the roads to the camp is extremely bumpy. This is why I am so glad we availed their pick-up and drop-off service because it made the travel to the place very convenient. The restaurant is open even for non-campers. If you have your own tent, you can also pitch it. As of this writing, yes, kids and pets are welcome.
Entrance Fee (Day Trip) Php20.00/person
Camping Fee (Overnight),Weekdays, Php350.00/person
Camping Fee (Overnight),Weekends & Holidays, Php500.00/person
** Weekday rates apply from Sunday to Monday, and Wednesday to Friday. Camp Sandugo is closed every Tuesday. Weekend rates apply from Friday to Saturday, Saturday to Sunday, and holidays.
Sandugo Trail, 1850, San Mateo, Rizal