Tinago Falls: Probably Not As Hidden As You Think But Still Offers A Breathtaking View


I whisper something to myself the moment I woke up on the 2nd day of 2018. I have made my dream into a reality as I was able to commune with nature yesterday. My Mambuntan Falls experience was brilliant, and experiencing the relaxing fish spa at Rito’s Farm was such a memorable way to end my 1st day in 2018. I was woken up from a cold fresh air hugging me tight. I heard the wave kissing the coast, since the house where I stayed was just close to the ocean. I drag myself out of the house and got straight to the public beach. It was serene and beautiful, away from the bustling city.

Chasing waterfall is close to my heart, and I just don’t know why. Likely because I get deep fulfillment with nature’s innate beauty.

We walk down the public beach in the morning while playing with an adorable dog name Jepoy. Then, went straight to Tinago Falls in Linamon, Lanao Del Norte from Manticao, Misamis Oriental. On our way to Tinago Falls, I heard that heavy rain was trying to extirpate the innate beauty of Tinago Falls a day before we went there. But didn’t stop me from going there, since I have long been dreaming to traipse my two little itchy feet in the “City of Majestic Waterfalls”.

We used the same Mitsubishi Strada when we went to Mambuntan Falls in Naawan, Misamis Oriental. And from Manticao where my host is living, we drove more than an hour to reach Tinago Falls. We passed by at the Iligan City proper and I finally find out that Iligan City is really beautiful. It’s far from what my expectations because of cynical news I always heard way back when I was in college. As we almost reach Tinago Falls, we were passing on the road with full of green trees. It was refreshing and I genuinely enjoy the provincial vibes.

Shortly enough, we made it at the entrance of Tinago Falls. We were required to pay for the entrance fee and pay for a lifebuoy if we wish to swim. I was supposed to pay for lifebuoy, but I was told that the water was not as pristine as compared to previous days because it was raining hard the other night. I told myself that I might not be experiencing the real beauty of Tinago Falls, just like what I read in other blogs and also on Facebook. Nonetheless, I was still excited to get down and see what Tinago Falls has to offer.

Tinago Falls is peacefully situated in the Municipality of Linamon, Lanao Del Norte, and very close to the City of Iligan. This waterfall might have been fanning out its name around and outside the Philippines, but still left in its innate state. Its name is inferred from the Filipino word “tinago”, which means “hidden”, because the falls is hidden in a deep ravine and surrounded by lush scenery green forest.

But since it has been accessible to many, this waterfall is no longer a hidden jewel. But before you can finally see its astounding beauty, you have to go down by treading on the 500-steps winding staircase, which made it easy, but going back would be a real challenge. As we reach down, I was amazed because it is naturally destitute of any sign of commercialization, which made me happy. There were a bunch of travelers during our visit, some went swimming and some just took some photos of the Falls and leave. There are also cottages built near the waterfalls to accommodate visitors.

The outflow of Lake Lanao in the town of Baloi, is where the water comes from. It actually flows to the Agus River and cuts into two channels before heading out to Iligan Bay. One of which is freely flowing to the famous Maria Cristina Falls, which is likewise located in Iligan City, and the other one goes to Tinago Falls. The cold water plunges from a 240-foot high cliff into a rich blue-green catching basin, but we weren’t able to witness its natural beauty because as I have said, it was raining hard a day before our visit.

Since I resolved not to swim and so my travel buddies because the water lost the cool blue water due to heavy rain and floods a day before our visit. We just took some photos and stay there for a moment while staring to the innate beauty of Tinago Falls. Shortly enough, we departed back to the entryway and we were struggling a lot as we traipse our feet to the winding staircase on our way up. I was sweating and I feel so thirsty, good thing that there was a store near the entrance, hence, we bought a bottle of water. We decided to get some rest and head straight to the majestic beauty of Maria Cristina Falls as our second destination.

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HOW TO GET TO TINAGO FALLS

There are daily flights from Manila and Cebu via major Airlines to Cagayan De Oro City. From Laguindingan International Airport, you can take a bus bound for Iligan City, fare is around Php 150. You can also take the Super 5 Bus, their airport shuttle will drop you off at the National Highway where you will transfer to a Superstar Bus bound for Iligan City. Transit Bus also have trips from CDO to Iligan, available 24 hours a day.

You can as well ride a van bound for Iligan City from Laguindingan International Airport such CDO Transco and Lord’s Transport.

There are also yellow taxis (Alphat Airport Taxi) and metered taxis, which are also available at the Laguindingan International Airport.

From Iligan City Terminal, there are 2 ways to reach the falls or go around Iligan City

  • (1) You can take a motorcycle (habal-habal) – Many drivers would come offering you a tour around the city for PHP 600.00 to PHP 700.00, which I think is overpriced, but if you’re after for convenience, then this could be a consummate choice for you.
  • (2) If your budget could not afford a PHP 600.00 – PHP 700.00 tour to various tourist attractions in Iligan and you only want to visit Tinago Falls, then probably this is the best option for you. From Iligan Integrated Bus Terminal, ride a jeep going to the city proper then stop near or at the public market. The fare is around Php 8.00. Then ride another jeep that has Maria Christina or Purakan signage. Don’t forget to ask the driver to drop you off at the crossing in Purakan where you can hire a motorcycle or Habl-Habal going to Tinago Falls. Fare is around Php 15.00. Then hire a motorcycle going to Tinago Falls for less than Php 50.00 per head.

 

TRAVEL TIPS:

  • Entrance fee is Php 50.00
  • Always check the weather when you go there for there is always a possible flash flood when it rains.
  • Be careful with the wet rocks, for they are very slippery.
  • If you wish to swim, make sure to bring extra clothes.
  • There is a mini convenience store available near the entrance area, but restaurants or eatery is not available. It is better to bring your own food. Bring some water as well for ascending back to the entrance could be a real challenge.
  • Please remember to leave no trace behind. Take good care of our mother nature. Just enjoy and be responsible enough. Bring your own trash bag.
  • You can also visit other nearby waterfalls such as Mimbalut Falls and Maria Christina Falls through hiring a motorcycle or Habal-Habal
  • Above all PRAY before going to the waterfalls for God’s guidance and protection.

 

ITINERARY FOR THE WHOLE TRIP
Cebu-Cagayan-Naawan-Manticao-Iligan-Cagayan-Tagbilaran-Cebu

 

DAY 1 New Year’s Eve Preparation

07:00 AM ETA Cagayan De Oro City
08:00 AM Breakfast
10:00 AM Depart for Manticao
11:30 AM ETA Manticao
12:30 PM Rest (Sleep)
03:00 PM Prepare for New Year’s Eve
07:00 PM Dinner
12:01 AM New Year’s Celebration

DAY 2 Mambuntan Falls & Rito Farm

01:00 PM Depart for Naawan
01:30 PM ETA Naawan
01:35 PM Depart for Mambuntan Falls
02:25 PM ETA Mambuntan Jump Off area
02:30 PM Trek to Mambuntan Falls
02:40 PM ETA Mambuntan Falls (Picture taking & Swimming)
03:30 PM Natural Pool (Picture taking & Swimming)
04:30 PM Depart for Rito’s Farm
05:10 PM ETA Rito’s Farm
05:15 PM Fish Spa
05:45 PM Depart for Manticao
06:00 PM ETA Manticao
08:00 PM Dinner
10:00 PM Lights off (Sleep)

DAY 3 Tinago Falls & Maria Cristina Falls

08:00 AM Depart for Tinago Falls
09:30 AM ETA Tinago Falls (Swimming & Picture taking)
10:40 AM Depart for Maria Cristina Falls
11:10 AM ETA Maria Cristina Falls (Swimming & Picture taking)
11:50 AM Depart for Iligan Proper
12:10 PM Iligan City
12:30 PM Buying Pastel for take out & Pasalubong
01:00 PM Depart for Manticao
02:00 PM ETA Manticao
02:30 PM Late Lunch
03:00 PM Depart for Cagayan De Oro City
05:00 PM ETA Cagayan De Oro City
06:00 PM Dinner
07:00 PM Depart for Tagbilaran, Bohol

DAY 4 Tagbilaran City, Bohol

05:00 AM ETA Tagbilaran City, Bohol
07:00 AM Breakfast
09:00 AM Ambling around Tagbilaran City
02:00 PM Late Lunch
03:30 PM Depart for Cebu
05:30 PM ETA Cebu
06:30 PM Home sweet Home
10:00 PM Rest (Sleep)

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34 comments

  1. I am a great fan of waterfalls too and I have seen quite a few in my life. Tinago Falls remind me a lot about some waterfalls I’ve seen in Kauai. I’ve never been in the Philippines yet, but I’d love to go. It seems there are so many beautiful places to explore there.

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  2. Hi, Ariel! Loved this post about the Tinago Falls. Never heard of it until today and already in love with the place. Thank you for the introduction. I’m kind of a waterfall chaser myself. 😉 All your tips are very useful and I’m glad to hear that the place isn’t too much commercialized.

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  3. I love waterfalls although I have been to many in the last few years as I travel with my daughter and always find its such a difficult trek up or down to go and see one. But as she gets older we can afford to be more adventurous. Too bad about the clarity of the water after the rain. Still looked amazing though!

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  4. At first, I got curious why it’s called Tinago. Now, it’s clear. It has been a majestic gem to nature and to all the people living near the waterfalls. Does the rain and flood affect the cleanliness of the water in the waterfalls?

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  5. Great falls! I’m planning to go to Iligan soon so I’ll be sure to visit this. What would you say are your favorite falls in the Philippines?

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  6. Certainly a breathtaking view. Amazed to see how many beautiful waterfalls you have visited in the Philippines. Do you know how many there are in total? Which one is your ultimate favourite? Would love to visit the Philippines soon, looks so beautiful 😀

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  7. I love waking up next to the ocean, it is such a beautiful sound! Tinago Falls are stunning, even without a bright blue colour. You were lucky it wasn’t raining the day of your trip, I wonder if those steps are slippy in the rain!

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  8. My only experience in a waterfall was when we participated in a clean up drive for Hinulugang Taktak. Apart from that, I don’t remember seeing one personally. I hope someday I can travel with my family in one of the places like that.

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  9. The only waterfall I’ve seen in my life is the Hinulugang Taktak in Antipolo when I was around 12 years old which I’m glad the city government has somehow done something a few years back to revive it but I haven’t really come back yet even though I live in Antipolo.

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  10. I love waterfalls and I am reminded of the time when we hiked in the rain to reach Tappiya falls in Batad 🙂 This waterfall looks a lot bigger . Thanks for bringing this awesome post which is going to help me plan a trip to Tinago falls , next time I am in the Philippines.

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  11. Naturally waterfalls are some of nature’s greatest gifts. It’s very good to hear that, although this waterfall is relatively easy to get to, the surrounding area hasn’t been commercialized.

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  12. Great itinerary! I haven’t gone here yet but it’s going to be next on my list now 🙂 What other falls would you recommend?

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  13. wow!It is a beautiful waterfall.It seems Philippines is full of natural attractions.This itinerary is really helpful for anyone who visit this Tinago falls.I like such nature’s sites to visit in any holiday.

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  14. Awesome! The fall looks soothing and serene. I like how you add the necessary details to make a visit to the place. I hope some day I will be able to visit this waterfall. Glad the access to the place isn’t that difficult.

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  15. I think i would prefer to just pay ₱600-700 for the tour. Aside from convenience, i got to help locals, too, to earn. The place is indeed a beauty. Like also that you leave tips for us which we can apply not only at Tinago falls but n most adventures.

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  16. I think it is the second waterfalls related post of yours that I’m reading. I’m not complaining though. The narration and photographs bring alive the experience quite well. If you are ever in India and feel an urge to chase waterfalls, do checkout a place called Cherrapunji in the state of Meghalaya. It is the rainiest place on the planet and has some absolutely mind blowing waterfalls if you visit immediately after the monsoons.

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  17. What a beautiful waterfall! I always think waterfalls are so soothing. It’s too bad that you weren’t able to swim because of the rain. But at least you got to enjoy the peace of the falls and take some amazing pictures!

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  18. Wonderful post on Tinago Falls. Reading through your post reminded me of our trip to Meghalaya, which is known for its stunning waterfalls. What time of the year is most appropriate to go?

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  19. I’ve heard from a friend that he was disappointed when he visited Tinago Falls because it was filthy. I hope it was already addressed by the local government now since it looks clean on your photos. I’ve never been there yet so I can’t tell if it’s true. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Wow what an amazing and beautiful place to visit!! I really enjoyed the gorgeous photographs you shared with us!

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  21. I am a fan of the sound of water, I find it so soothing and calming. This waterfall looks absolutely stunning, how very luck you got to visit.

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  22. Never heard of this place but looks so amazing. I love waterfalls. I have seen so many of them in Laos or Iceland

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  23. Gorgeous waterfalls! It looks like you all enjoyed. Thank you for your details of this destination. I think I’ll look into it for the future!

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  24. I hardly get to see waterfalls but I sure love the pictures I see about how they are.
    It shows how great God is…Nature is so beautiful! 🙂
    + I loved those tips!

    Thanks for sharing!!!

    Like

  25. wow.. this looks really neat and amazing.. just the name itself “tinago” seems it was really a hidden beauty of nature that people should know and see for themeselves… 😀 great post here

    Liked by 1 person

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