Tierra Alta was touted as being the most scenic spot in the Dumaguette area.. As I've said many times before, the journey is almost always better than the destination. This proved true here as well. Although it was a very scenic spot, it was far from the most scenic place. I had been on this trip. Nonetheless, I will share my experiences at this high altitude destination in Valencia.
Tierra Alta has been called the Santorini of the Philippines after an island in the Aegean Sea, but frankly, I don't get it. This could not possibly rival a place that beautiful.
Tierra Alta means highland, and it did live to the name. But the views were not nearly as impressive as I had hoped. The ride up the mountain was more memorable than the place itself.
I drove up the mountain on my 125cc motorbike. I was a bit apprehensive if it had enough horses to carry my fat butt up the mountain, but that ended up not being a concern. When you arrive you enter the building and are greeted with this:
Then, after paying 50 pesos (about $1USD) you are permitted to the viewing area. But, if you prefer to eat at their inflated prices restaurant, admission is free.
Unfortunately, on the day I arrived it was raining. But I think you would have to be fortunate to find a day when it wasn't raining in those mountains. I made several trips in them and it rained sporadically every time. But even if it didn't rain, there's almost always cloud cover to obscure the perfect view.
The first site you encounter is the lighthouse. It's odd to me to see a lighthouse so far inland from the sea. I thought lighthouses were located on islands within the sea to guide and warn sailors. I don't know what purpose it served so far away from the ocean.
But I did climb the spiral staircase to the top for the views, the staircase began by wrapping around the outside and then continued to wrap around the inside 1/2 way up. I was glad to be inside because it started to rain harder at the time.
As you can see below, the views were less than spectacular. There was much cloud cover, but I expect clouds are almost always present here:
After the lighthouse you follow the path to a short glass bridge to an overlook area. Again, the views were nice but not stunning;
To me, the best part of the area were the trees and landscaping of the grounds;
I don't get why this place was so hyped up. Yes, it is on the highest spot in the area, but it was far from the most scenic.
This is a famous location for the area. Many young couples exchange their vows here. It was the number one area I wanted to see when I arrived, but I will tell you there are far more impressive sites to see in the Dumaguette area. I'll post on them soon.
This was worth the visit, but more for the drive up the mountain than the destination. I'm glad I only spent a buck to get in!