LANAO DEL NORTE | Tinago Falls ~ Iligan City’s Hidden Waterfall

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

At Tinago Falls in Iligan City

Some say that the most beautiful spots in the world are located in places that are not so easy to reach; places that are hidden from the eyes of ordinary people. I guess one can say the same with Iligan City’s Tinago Falls. Literally translated from Filipino, it means the Hidden Falls.

Steps Leading Down to Tinago Falls in Iligan City

There are actually three ways to reach Tinago Falls. The easiest are through Buruun or by the town of Linamon, and hardest is through hours of river trekking from Mimbalot Falls. We chose the easiest of the three, of course.

The way to Tinago Falls through Buruun is not as hardcore as Iligan’s Kalubihon Falls but it does take a bit of stamina to reach it.

First, we had to descend half a thousand steps into a once beautiful resort that has now fallen into absolute ruin. Our Iliganon friends related, as we hiked through the bushes in the area, how posh the resort once was before it was abandoned and nature once again took over.


The Trail to Tinago Falls in Iligan City

From there, another set of rougher steps led us further down. The trail and the surrounding greeneries reminded me so much of Laguna’s Majayjay Falls trail, although it was definitely an easier path compared to Tinago’s. As if to emphasize the point, we passed a sign In coming up, do not hurry, take a rest. Good advice, I thought to myself.

Tinago Falls in Iligan City

The hike took almost fifteen minutes before the view opened up to 240 feet of enchanting beauty. I have seen my share of waterfalls in the Philippines but I haven’t really attached the word enchanting to any of them, the closest perhaps would be to Siquijor’s Cambugahay Falls, but it pales in comparison by a huge margin to Iligan’s Tinago Falls.

Details of Tinago Falls in Iligan City

I first saw Tinago Falls on a local travel show, PHL 360. They went to the falls early in the day and the morning light literally made the waterfall sparkle. It was jaw-droppingly beautiful. Unfortunately, we visited the falls late in the day and the light that made its magic on Tinago then was nowhere to be seen.

Rentable Bamboo Raft at Tinago Falls in Iligan City

But beautiful light notwithstanding, Tinago Falls is still a sight to behold. Its water cascades gracefully down through a wide rocky surface overgrown with clinging vegetation. Its main drop is located in its center with two minor drops on its left and far right. In between those, smaller drops trickle down towards its dark green basin.

It is unlike anything I’ve seen before.


The Right Drop at Tinago Falls in Iligan City

Near the right drop, a slanting tree extends towards the waters of Tinago Falls. Kids swimming in the area take advantage of this by climbing its main trunk, carefully balancing themselves along its length, before throwing themselves to the cold water of the falls, whooping and hollering all the way down.

The Rock Wall of Tinago Falls in Iligan City

And did I mention it is cold? The waters of Tinago Falls is the coldest waterfall basin I’ve swam in so far, exceeding even the refrigerated-like waters of Majayjay Falls. The basin descends to unknown depths and swimmers are advised to wear life jackets for protection.

The View From Below Tinago Falls in Iligan City

I initially thought of swimming without a vest, thinking it would only be a hindrance but finally relented, everyone was wearing one—it is apparently required for anyone wanting to have a dip. And it was a good thing too as after some minutes of wading, I started to feel cramps creeping up through my legs which is probably due to the freezing temperature of the water.

Rafting at Tinago Falls in Iligan City

With cramps starting to spread through my calves, I joined my waterfalling buddies on the raft that they pulled all the way to the main falls of Tinago, reaching a cave located under the gushing water. I didn’t want to further stress my legs by swimming all the way back to the shore, I boarded the raft instead and enjoyed the ride back.


Kids at the Trail to Tinago Falls in Iligan City

While it was a piece of cake going down to Tinago Falls, I now contemplated the aspect of going back up. Well, I can always follow the sign we saw earlier; there’s absolutely nothing wrong in slowing down and climbing it on my own pace, especially with cramps attacking my legs. Argh, indeed the most beautiful places in the world are almost always not the easiest places to reach, or in this case, to leave.


Iligan City Location MapTinago Falls
Address: Brgy. Ditucalan, Iligan City
Opening Hours: 7:00AM to 5:00PM, Daily
Entrance Fee: ₱30.00
Life Jacket Rentals: ₱25.00
Cottage & Table Rentals: ₱50.00 – ₱100.00
Rafting Fee: ₱15.00/pax
GPS Coordinates Map: 8.159290, 124.185992


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  1. Christian, you should swim in side the caves of Sumaguing and also in Bomod-ok Falls both in Sagada so that you can compare which one is the coldest. =P

    Nice photos! I was actually dismayed at the thought of too many tourists in the area. Perhaps I need to visit Tinago Falls again when it's less crowded so that I could enjoy its beauty peacefully. hehehe

    1. Aww crowded when you got there? I actually tried dipping in Bomod-Ok before, parang di naman masyadong malamig. Siguro dahil summer?

    2. baka. kasi when we went there, tinutusok ng lamig yung mga kamay namin na parang needle =P
      yeah, sadly crowded =(

    3. whoa grabe ang lamig nga nun kung ganun!!

  2. wow! Amazing photos. Been there last May:) We love it so much tagal naming naligo!