Monday, January 4, 2016
Mainit Sulfuric Hot Spring in Maco, Compostela Valley
The Mainit Sulfuric Hot Spring is a natural hot spring located in the mountainous and geothermally active interior of the town of Maco in the province of Compostela Valley. The heated water flows from the spring and through a stream which then cascades over a rocky side of a mountain where minerals are deposited on the surface to create these beautiful yellow stalactites.
The surface is also completely covered with a smooth deposit of mineral so you have to be careful while walking. The water is only ankle-deep and can be uncomfortably hot to your feet in the beginning, until you get used to the water temperature when it becomes soothing and relaxing.
There are spots where you can seat on boulders or on smooth rock steps. It is also surrounded by trees which provide shade from the sun.
The cascade offers a relaxing warm shower which is believed to have natural health benefits such as improving blood circulation, relieving muscle pain and reducing stress.
The Mainit Sulfuric Hot Spring also features natural saunas inside small caves created through the formation of stalactites. These caves trap the heat of the spring water flowing above it. Once inside the cave, expect to sweat just like when you are in a sauna. Make sure you drink a lot of water before entering the sauna to avoid dehydration.
A minimal fee of P10.00 is collected at the entrance of the hot spring. There are also cottages available for rent. Rooms are also available for visitors who wish to stay overnight. There is a small convenience store where you can but drinks and snacks, but I suggest that you bring your own water.
How to get to Mainit Sulfuric Hot Spring (Maco, Compostela Valley)
The cheapest way is to take a bus to Tagum City from Davao City. At the Tagum City terminal, take a jeep bound to Masara. Tell the driver to drop you off at Mainit Hot Spring. The jeep will take at least 1 hour to get full until it departs for Maco. Along the way, the jeep will pick up or drop off passengers. The Hot Spring is a short uphill walk from the main road (see road sign below). Total travel time from Tagum is around 3 hours which includes waiting time.
A faster alternative is to take a bus to Nabunturan from Tagum and tell the driver to drop you off at the Mawab terminal. At the Mawab terminal, you can hire a habal-habal (single motorcycle with driver) to take you to Mainit Hot Spring. Total travel time is about 1.5 hours including waiting time.
Here is the marker of the hot spring found on the main road. When you see this, you will need to make a short uphill walk to the left. If you are taking a habal-habal, the driver can drop you off right at the entrance of the hot spring. No need to negotiate a round trip habal-habal ride. Just go back to the main road and there are habal-habal bikes going back to the bus terminal.
Here is the map showing the exact location of the Mainit Sulfuric Hot Spring