Mindanao is home to many pristine beaches, unspoiled natural attractions and beautiful waterfalls that will keep you coming back. One of its gems is the Tinuy an Falls. It is dubbed as the Crown Jewel of  Surigao del Sur for its breathtaking beauty. 

Unlike other waterfalls, Tinuy-an has natural pools where one can take a plunge. The natural pool of the second waterfall—the tallest of the three layers⁠—is the biggest. It is wide enough to accommodate bamboo rafts to take guests closer to the falls where the waters drop.

Not as commercialized and popular as destinations like Cebu, Boracay, and Siargao, visiting this place may mean that there are only a few tourists. Sounds like a good thing, huh?

Why is it the Little Niagara Falls of the Philippines?

Many people describe Tinuy an Falls as the “Little Niagara Falls of the Philippines” because of its curtain of water cascading down a four-tier drop. The waterfall is 95 meters wide and 180 feet high. 

What’s inside this blog?

Tinuy an Falls History

tinuy-an falls

Photo source: Wikimedia Commons

Tinuy-an comes from the word Tinuyo-an, a Cebuano word which means “intentional act or performance to attain an objective or goal.” It can also mean babalik-balikan or “a place you’ll keep going back to” in the Filipino context. So, the question here is how did the people come up with such a name? Let’s find out the Tinuy an Falls history!

Legend says, the Magdiwata Mountain settlers were enslaved by cruel masters coming from the hinterlands of Agusan. They were mistreated and were forced to do hard manual labor.

Tired of the maltreatment, the brave natives gathered among themselves and created a plan to end the cruelty. So, one day, while rowing the bamboo raft boarded by their masters, the slaves jumped off and intentionally shoved the bamboo raft towards the cliff of the waterfalls killing all their vicious masters. This was how they got the freedom they’ve been longing for so long.

From then on, the high falling waters are called Tinuy-an Falls to commemorate the bravery of the heroic natives.

In 2018, the falls was proclaimed as one of the three protected areas in Caraga region under the Republic Act No. 11038 or the Expanded National Integrated Protected Areas System  Act of 2018.

The area is home to 91 species of animals consisting of birds, mammals, amphibians, reptiles, freshwater fish and crustaceans; and 144 species of flora, 33 of which belong to species considered to be nearing extinction.

Things to do in Tinuy-An Falls

Here are some of the best things to do in and out of Tinuy-an Falls:

1. Ride a bamboo raft

tinuy-an falls rainbow

To make your trip to there more fun, make sure to ride a bamboo raft to get closer to the base and enjoy the plunge of water. Then, you can go to the second and third level of Tinuy-an where you can sit or lean on the rock and let the water massage your back. You only have to take 200 steps to reach them. You can ask your guide to give you a Tinuy an falls brochure for more information.

2. Swimming

tinuy an falls

Enjoy the refreshing and soothing waters of Tinuy-an by swimming! The natural pool is wide enough to perform your hidden talent for swimming strokes or just float around. Just make sure to read your Tinuy an falls brochure to keep safe while having fun.

3. Visit the Hinatuan Enchanted River

Although this isn’t exactly located where Tinuy an Falls is, it’s still worth a visit. From Bislig City, you can ride a habal-habal (motorbike) from the falls going to Hinatuan Enchanted River which will take about 2 hours. This river is very popular because of its clear blue water which allows you to see the bottom from the river bank.

Tinuy an Falls Map

It is situated in Borboanan, Bislig City. From Mangagoy, the travel time is just one hour going to the falls. To keep you guided, check out this Tinuy an Falls map below.

 

How to get there

From Manila, you can reach Bislig City by riding a plane going to Davao City, Butuan City, or Surigao City. From there, you can ride a bus going to Mangagoy, part of Bislig City. the fare costs P250 to P300 one way.

The travel time depends on where you’re coming from. From Butuan City, the trip takes about 3 to 4 hours; while from Davao City, it takes 5 to 6 hours. 

Upon reaching Mangagoy, go to the terminal and ride a jeep going to Barangay Borboanan, the location of Tinuy-an Falls. Motorcycles are also available, which can be paid 100-150 pesos per person.

The best time to visit the place is in the morning, around 9am to 11am because a rainbow can be seen on a sunny day. Entrance fee at Tinuy-an Falls is P50.

The beauty of Mindanao is covered by the fear of people who have never been there. But once you see it for yourself, the region’s gems, like the Tinuy an Falls, will inspire a sense of wonder for those willing to go on an adventure.

Frequently Asked Questions About Tinuy-An Falls

Q: What is the Little Niagara Falls of the Philippines?

A: Tinuy an Falls is called by many as the “Little Niagara Falls of the Philippines” because of its curtain of water cascading down a four-tier drop. The waterfall is 95 meters wide and 180 feet high. 

Q: What is the meaning of Tinuy-an?

A: Tinuy-an comes from the word Tinuyo-an, a Cebuano word which means “intentional act or performance to attain an objective or goal.” It can also mean babalik-balikan or “a place you’ll keep going back to” in the Filipino context.

Q: What is there to do in Tinuy-an Falls?

A: Here are some of the best things to do in and out of the falls:

  1. Ride a bamboo raft
  2. Swimming
  3. Visit the Hinatuan Enchanted River

Q: Where is Tinuy-an Falls located?

A: Tinuy-an Falls is situated in Borboanan, Bislig City. From Mangagoy, the travel time is just one hour going to the falls. 

Disclaimer: ZEN Rooms claims no credit for images featured on our blog site unless otherwise noted. All visual content is copyrighted to its respectful owners. We try to link back to original sources whenever possible. If you own the rights to any of the images, and do not wish them to appear on ZEN Rooms, please contact us and they will be promptly removed. We believe in providing proper attribution to the original author, artist or photographer.

With over 7,000 fascinating islands, breathtaking waterfalls in the Philippines, diverse geography, palatable cuisine, and hospitable people—the country is a paradise that travelers make sure to include in their bucket list. 

And for people who want extra adventures, they aim to see nature’s best no matter how hard the journey will be. Most travelers like to see the amazing falls in the Philippines even though it includes hours of trekking. From the iconic Kawasan falls in Cebu to the stunning Laguna waterfalls, there are tons of refreshing cascades to see.

10 Most Beautiful Waterfalls in the Philippines

Fall head over heels with these 10 stunning waterfalls in the Philippines you should visit at least once.

  • Hulugan Falls – One of the most popular falls near Manila because of the majestic view it offers.
  • Hidden Falls – It is smaller than the Hulugan and is more difficult to reach.
  • Pagsanjan Falls Laguna – One of Laguna’s major attractions and among the best falls near Manila to visit.
  • Limunsudan Falls – It is one of the largest falls in the country. Standing at 900 feet, this waterfall comprises two distinct tiers.
  • Pahangog Twin Falls – The twin falls is about 98 feet in height and surrounded by lush vegetation, including beautiful orchids.
  • Kawasan Falls – Its turquoise waters charm its visitors making it an Instagram favorite destination in Cebu.
  • Inambakan Falls – Standing at 100 feet, the aquamarine waters of Inambakan Falls Cebu plunge down into a pool, deep enough for a good swim.
  • Tinago Falls – Hidden deep within a jungle in Iligan City is an incredible waterfall that plunges into a dazzling blue-green pool.
  • Cambugahay Falls – Famous for its turquoise clean and warm water originating from natural springs. 
  • Kaparkan Falls – It’s one of the most unique falls in the Philippines. Kaparkan Falls is literally a high-terraced waterfall, filled with a number of small basins.

We’ve listed 10 of the most stunning waterfalls in the Philippines that will blow your mind!

10. Hulugan Falls

hulugan falls waterfall in the philippines

While Laguna is best known for hot and cold springs, it is also home to numerous waterfalls that became a favorite weekend destination of city dwellers. One of the most famous is the Hulugan Falls Laguna in Luisiana. It’s recommended to go here early in the morning so you can see the rainbow that’s always there around 9am. Going here from the main town just takes about 30 minutes but it’s climbing back up that’s quite the challenge. Nevertheless, this Luisiana Laguna Falls is indeed nothing short of amazing.

9. Hidden Falls

hidden falls in the philippines

Another falls near Manila is the Hidden Falls. This waterfall is near the Hulugan Falls and is tucked in by giant boulders, hence the name. Hidden Falls Laguna is smaller than the Hulugan and is more difficult to reach. If you’re planning to go here, be careful as the trail is steep and risky. 

8. Pagsanjan Falls Laguna

pagsanjan waterfall in the philippines

Approximately 300 feet tall, Pagsanjan Falls Laguna is one of the province’s major attractions and among the best falls near Manila to visit. To get to this three-tiered falls, you’ll either have to take the thrilling indigenous dugout canoe ride or enjoy a hike. 

7. Limunsudan Falls

astounding view of the limunsudan falls

Photo source: Wikimedia Commons

Limunsudan falls, located in Iligan City, is one of the largest falls in the country. Standing at 900 feet, this waterfall comprises two distinct tiers. Not many tourists brave this waterfall because of its remote and difficult-to-access location. It takes at least a 3 to 4 hour one-way drive from Cagayan de Oro which is the most “convenient” jump-off-point to the waterfall. And to our surprise, not many locals know about Limunsudan Falls, too! Take advantage of it and be among the first ones to see this majestic falls.

6. Pahangog Twin Falls 

the beautiful blue green water of pahangog falls

Done touring the breathtaking Chocolate Hills or having that buwis-buhay picture taking in Man-made Forest? It’s now time to have yourself relaxed at the famous Pahangog Twin Falls Bohol located in Dimiao town. The twin falls is about 98 feet in height and surrounded by lush vegetation, including beautiful orchids. There are also cottages for rent, with fees ranging from P50 to P100 per day.

5. Kawasan Falls

turquoise water of the stunning kawasan falls

There’s no doubt that Kawasan falls is considered as one of the most stunning waterfalls in the Philippines. Its turquoise waters charm its visitors making it an Instagram favorite destination. This falls in Cebu South is never a disappointment to anyone who has been here. Kawasan Falls Philippines should never be missed!

Related article: Kawasan Falls: A Spectacle of Nature’s Grandeur and Charm

4. Inambakan Falls

aerial view of inambakan falls

Aside from the Kawasan falls in Cebu, Inambakan is also a great destination for waterfall-hopping. Located at the town of Ginatilan that is most commonly known for its marine activities like diving, swimming, and whale watching, not many tourists are aware of this gem. Standing at 100 feet, the aquamarine waters of Inambakan Falls Cebu plunge down into a pool, deep enough for a good swim.

3. Tinago Falls

tourists riding a bamboo raft near the waterfall

Hidden deep within a jungle in Iligan City is an incredible waterfall that plunges into a dazzling blue-green pool. Tucked within a ravine, this majestic waterfall’s name fittingly means “hidden.” Standing at 240 feet, Tinago Falls Mindanao is surrounded by colossal rock structures dotted by thick masses of trees and natural foliage. This waterfall’s charm leaves visitors in awe. 

Suggested read: Discovering the Enchanting Hidden Beauty of Tinago Falls

2. Cambugahay Falls

the majestic view of cambugahay falls

Some people don’t consider Siquijor province as their travel destination because of the old beliefs like it’s full of mystic traditions such as witchcraft, healing, spiritual rituals. While we don’t have any proof that those aren’t true or not, it’s actually a good place to explore especially with the beautiful Siquijor waterfalls. Located at the town of Lazi, Cambugahay Falls is considered as one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the Philippines. This Siquijor waterfalls is a sure-hit for tourists because of its turquoise clean and warm water originating from natural springs. 

1. Kaparkan Falls

man at kaparkan falls

Photo credits to Rai Sean

To top this list, we’ll give the crown to none other than, Kaparkan Falls! Kaparkan Falls, also known as Mulawin Falls, is found in Sitio Kaparkan, Barangay Caganayan, Tineg in Abra Province. It is literally a high-terraced waterfall, filled with a number of small basins. The best time to go to Kaparkan Falls are the months of August and September during the rainy season. There can never be a waterfall in the country that may look as grand as this.

Now that you’ve seen the best of Philippines’ waterfalls, it’s now time to look for your hotel. Be sure to book only the trusted budget hotels near these areas. ZEN Rooms have hotels there that offer quality accommodation at a very affordable price.

Frequently Asked Questions About Waterfalls in the Philippines

Q: What is the highest waterfalls in the Philippines?

A: Known for its staircase-like boulders, Aliwagwag Falls has become a top tourist destination in the province. This picturesque 84-tiered falls with more than 130 cascades stands at 1,110 feet making it the highest waterfall in the Philippines. 

Q: Can we swim in Maria Cristina Falls?

A: No. Swimming is not allowed in Maria Cristina Falls. The 320-foot waterfall has a strong current that has been estimated to have a capacity of around 200 megawatts, that supplies 70% of Mindanao’s electricity. Because of this, people can’t swim in the Maria Cristina Falls.

Q: What are the beautiful waterfalls in the Philippines?

A: Here are some of the most beautiful waterfalls in the Philippines:

Fall head over heels with these 10 stunning waterfalls in the Philippines you should visit at least once.

  • Hulugan Falls
  • Hidden Falls
  • Pagsanjan Falls Laguna
  • Limunsudan Falls
  • Pahangog Twin Falls
  • Kawasan Falls
  • Inambakan Falls
  • Tinago Falls
  • Cambugahay Falls 
  • Kaparkan Falls

Q: How to get to Kawasan Falls?

A:

From Cebu South Bus Terminal, take the bus going to the town of Badian. The trip will take around two hours depending on the traffic. Bus fare is P130, one way.

Tell the bus conductor that you’re headed to Kawasan so that they can drop you off at the national highway. From the highway, you will walk around 15 minutes to get to the Kawasan Falls. 

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A:

Disclaimer: ZEN Rooms claims no credit for images featured on our blog site unless otherwise noted. All visual content is copyrighted to its respectful owners. We try to link back to original sources whenever possible. If you own the rights to any of the images, and do not wish them to appear on ZEN Rooms, please contact us and they will be promptly removed. We believe in providing proper attribution to the original author, artist or photographer.