Why Tangadan Falls is a must see from San Juan
As I stood on the edge of the cliff looking down the 20 foot drop in front of me, my guide at my side told me where to stand. I stepped off the cliff top and plunged into the water, adrenaline seeped through my body as I hit the water.
I am 40 minutes into my hike to the Tangadan Waterfall in the Philippines and this is the main cliff jumping spot. The most exciting part of the hike although it all was lovely.
Our day started in San Juan where we got a tricycle to San Gabriel the start of the trail. We managed to get the smallest, most broken down looking tricycle in the whole of San Juan; however it did get us safely to the start of the trek to Tangadan Falls. The ride took approx 45mins.
We met Samuel, our guide for the hike, at the start of the trek. The guides wait here for tourists. I was told prior to going that you had to have a guide. I would recommend one (see why in tips) but I doubt it is absolutely necessary.
We hiked down a track, past fields of rice and other crops. A few buffalos lifted their heads to watch us as the morning clouds lifted in the valley. Silence lingered in the air.
Soon enough, we got to the Baroro River which we followed up along its winding path with spectacular scenery around every turn. At two places we had to remove our shoes to walk through the water but with appropriately placed sitting rocks around to put your shoes on and off , this wasn’t a problem.
It was 40 minutes before we reached the jump off points. Here there is an option to just swim, take the plunge at the 5, 10 and 20 foot cliff jumps or just to sit and soak up the atmosphere. The guide is important here to tell you where to jump and if it is safe to do so due to the amount of water in the river. I did the 10 and 20 foot jumps which were great fun. Lifejackets are also available to rent here for those who are not confident swimmers.
We soon dried off as we continued our hike through towering trees and limestone formations for another 20 mins to Tangadan Falls. Here you can buy snacks, sit in the shade and swim in the plunge pool.
Tangadan Falls are really scenic with a beautiful backdrop of the forest and mountains behind. The water was a little less clear than what I had seen on photos but it had rained heavily overnight.
We had great fun swimming in the plunge pool, jumping off the rafts there and having a natural massage from the falls. A really pleasant way to spend a few hours on a lovely day.
The hike back saw us stopping again at the cliff jumping stop to get a few last jumps in. It was a little busier here at this point so we soon headed back to our awaiting tricycle.
In no time at all we were back in San Juan after having to practically push our tricycle up a hill, leaving us with plenty of time to get a few hours of surfing in before the sunset. The next day I was nursing a few bruises from being bashed around in the tricycle so perhaps check the condition of the tricycle before hiring it.
What is your favourite waterfall trek? Have you been cliff jumping before? Please comment below. Don’t forget to subscribe (It’s free!) to my blog for more posts like this and interesting travel tips.
1/ We looked at a few different options to get to Tangadan Falls. Hiring a Scooter is not particularly cost effective. The Scooter rental is out of the city and the cost of hiring and fuel would be more than the cost of the tricycle. Also the roads are not in the best condition.
2/ We paid P.500 between two for the Tricycle to Tangadan Falls. It’s normally approx P.600 however the discount may be due to the size of the tiny tricycle or because business might have been slow that morning due to the overnight rain.
3/ Why a guide? We were told you had to have a guide to go Tangadan Falls but this is not the case. However I would recommend you have a guide if you do not have a proper hiking map which shows the trail or if you want to go cliff jumping. The guide is important as he has years of experience knowing when and where it is safe to go cliff jumping. A slight mistake on your part could cost you your life or change your life forever. The cost of the guide was P500 between two people. For larger groups you would most likely get a better deal.
4/ It costs P30 to enter the area around Tangadan Falls for maintenance of the area.
5/ I wore hiking boots as it had rained heavily the night before but when it is dry, flip-flops and sandals may be best due to the river crossings.
6/ Don’t forget water, sunscreen and snacks although there are a few places to buy water and snacks along the way to Tangadan Falls and at the falls itself.
7/ It costs P20 to hire the bamboo raft to go under Tangadan Falls to get that natural massage.