Being one of my childhood dream destinations, I felt so excited when my friend invited me to explore Pagsanjan Falls in Laguna. This waterfalls is so near from Manila yet it was only last year that I was able to see its beauty. Locally known as Magdapio Falls, this waterfalls is one of the most-visited Philippine day trip destinations. Though it is more popularly known as Pagsanjan Falls, it is actually located in the town of Cavinti, an adjacent town to Pagsanjan.
Upon arrival in Pagsanjan, we went to the tourism office to inquire on how to get to Pagsanjan falls. There are boats that could take you directly to the falls from the jump-off in Pagsanjan, which is popularly known as "shooting the rapids." We learned from them that the standard rate for this is about 1,250 pesos per head (which includes the round-trip boat ride, entrance fees, and use of life vests). OMG! Pang-turista! Being a "matipid" na traveler, we really can't afford it. Sayang naman... *enter sad face*
IMPORTANT NOTICE: Negotiate only directly at the tourism office. There are some people outside the tourism office that will offer you with a packaged tour to the falls. Avoid them. The right way to do if you want to get to the falls via a boat (rapids) is to get a packaged tour from the Pagsanjan tourism office.
But there's a another way to get to the falls without "shooting the rapids". From Pagsanjan, we took a jeepney to Cavinti and alighted at Cavinti crossing. From there, we took a tricycle going to Pueblo El Salvador Nature Park and Picnic Grove located at Brgy. Tibatib, the alternative jump-off point to the falls.
Let me remind you that Cavinti route is not for the weak heart. Hahaha! I'm just joking. Seriously, you have to be physically fit if you want to take this route. This would require trekking down steep steel stairs plus vertical rappelling with a 90 degrees angle. Hold tight and be cautious (or should I say "very cautious") as one mistake would lead to accidents.
I've been through this way of getting to a waterfall, just like in getting to Tinago Falls in Iligan and Casaroro Falls in Valencia Negros Oriental, but this is so far the most challenging. Don't worry, the guides of the resort will assist you in every step of the way.
So, after about 1.5 hours, we finally reached the bottom of the stairs. Pagsanjan Falls at last!
I was instantly captivated by the beauty of Pagsanjan Falls. I've been dreaming about it since I was young and now it right in front of me. Woohoo!!! Hindi naman Huwebes, pero ang lakas maka-throwback Thursday... Hahaha! It brings back memories of my Sibika at Kultura subject way back in my grade school days.
One exciting activity that can be done here aside from swimming is getting inside the "Devil's Cave" right under the waterfalls. The experience is so much fun and exciting! I was shouting the whole time as the bamboo raft passes through the cold waters of the falls! Hahaha!
Be ready with your waterproof camera to have a souvenir of this exhilarating raft ride. It was my first time to do it. I really enjoyed it! (Watch the videos below)
Getting inside Devil's Cave
Getting out of the Devil's Cave
After spending about 2 hours enjoying the cool waters of the falls, we decided to trek back to Pueblo El Salvador. Again, be prepared as going up is much harder. :) You can do it! Just take it slow.
So, if you're looking for an adventure-filled destination near Manila, go to Cavinti and trek to Pagsanjan Falls! It will definitely be a fulfilling and enjoyable nature trip with some aching muscles. Hahaha! *wink*
TIPS, REMINDERS AND BASIC INFO
- Entrance fee to Pueblo El Salvador Nature Park is 270 pesos per person which includes a guide, rent for the rappelling gears and use of life vest.
- Be there as early as possible to have ample time to explore the place.
- Eat a lot as you will need enough energy for the trek. Don't worry, you'll surely be burning those extra calories.
- Pack light and don't bring anything aside from your camera (preferably waterproof) and bottled water when trekking to the falls.
- You may deposit your things at the reception area of Pueblo El Salvador Nature Park.
- Be sure you're physically fit to do it. Don't force yourself. Take a rest from time to time.
- There are no stores or restaurants near the waterfalls, be sure to bring drinking water.
- Bring extra clothes and toiletries.
- You can take a shower and change to your dry clothes at Pueblo El Salvador Nature Park after the trek.
- Riding the bamboo raft and going to the Devil's Cave is free but you may give a little tip to your raft guide.
- Reduce your waste. Always practice "leave no trace" principle.
- Bus Fare (Pasay to Sta Cruz, Laguna) - PHP 140.00
- Jeepney Fare (Sta. Cruz to Cavinti) - PHP 27.00
- Tricycle to Pueblo El Salvador - PHP 60.00
- Entrance Fee - PHP 270.00
- Food Expenses - PHP 250.00
- Tricycle to Cavinti Proper - PHP 60.00
- Jeepney Fare (Cavinti to Sta. Cruz) - PHP 27.00
- Bus Fare (Sta Cruz, Laguna to Pasay) - PHP 140.00
- TOTAL - PHP 974.00
HOW TO GET TO PAGSANJAN FALLS VIA CAVINTI
From Manila, take a bus bound for Sta. Cruz, Laguna. Bus companies stationed near Buendia LRT Station have daily trips to Sta. Cruz. Fare is around 140 pesos and travel is 2 hours. From Sta. Cruz, take a jeepney to Cavinti. Travel time is around 45 minutes and fare is 27 pesos. Alight at Cavinti town proper and hire a tricycle to Pueblo El Salvador Nature Park and Picnic Grove located in Brgy. Tibatib. Travel time is around 15 minutes and fare is 20 pesos per person or 60 pesos per tricycle. Register and pay the fees and start to trek to Pagsanjan Falls. Trekking time is about 1.5 to 2 hours depending on your pace.
More photos on Pinoy AdvenTurista's Facebook Page, click here.
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