Ideal Day Trips for Summer: 5 Beautiful Waterfalls near Manila
Are you looking for cool and relaxing destinations to travel to near Manila? Summer is almost here and if you are looking for other activities to do with friends or family rather than the usual beaches in Batangas, Baler or La Union, there are several waterfalls to go to which can satisfy your adrenaline rush and much needed nature escape.
Each waterfall listed below has their own charm and difficulty level, but all in all are worth a visit during the weekends.
My trips to these waterfalls were all via private vehicle, so this article will not be sharing modes of public transport to reach there.
1. Pagsanjan Falls
Estimate Travel Time from Makati: 2.5hrs Location:Barangay Pinagsanjan, Pagsanjan, Laguna Estimate Cost: 1,250 per pax for the boat ride (leave extra for boatman tip)
Pagsanjan Falls is one of the most popular waterfalls in the Philippines. Because it is a major tourist attraction, there are a lot of people who visit this area especially during summer so if you are a sucker for some quiet time and soul searching activity, this will not be the place to go.
Despite the waterfall being located in Cavinti, the jump-off point is in Pagsanjan. The good thing about Pagsanjan falls is it’s for anyone. No hike is needed to reach the destination as you get towed by experienced boatmen in their slim canoes to Cavinti waterfalls.
The nice thing about the boat ride to Pagsanjan is the sites along the way. While going up the river, you will see lush vegetations around you and unique rock formations. Pagsanjan Falls gives you a feeling that you are far away from the city.
2. Buntot Palos Falls
Estimate Travel Time from Makati: 3 – 3.5hrs Location: Pangil, Laguna Estimate Cost: PHP30 entrance fee
Buntot Palos is one of my favorite waterfalls near Metro Manila. It is located in a forested area of the Sierra Madre. On my second trip here, I was able to do an overnight camping trip by the waterfalls. There are two hiking trails which you can pass to reach Buntot Palos. The more scenic route can take around 2.5 – 3 hours, and the quick and less scenic route can take around 1 hour.
If you are an avid hiker, I suggest the scenic route as it is more beautiful. Each hill you climb up and down from offers a different view. You also pass by farms and vendors who offer fresh coconut juice so you can be refreshed from the hike.
Although the hike to Buntot Palos can be very muddy and slippery, I suggest you visit during the rainy season as the waterfalls looks more beautiful. If you would rather play it safe, it’s best to visit during mid-summer so the trail is dry.
3. Taytay Falls (Majayjay, Laguna)
Estimate Travel Time from Makati: 3 – 3.5hrs Location: Majayjay, Laguna Estimate Cost: PHP20 entrance fee
If you want a refreshing trip, or should I say, almost freezing trip, then Taytay Falls is for you. The water is a lot colder compared to the other waterfalls I’ve been to around Laguna, but it is also refreshing to jump in after a hike. Taytay is also a place where you can do an overnight camp out.
4. Hulugan Falls
Estimate Travel Time from Makati: 2.5 – 3hrs Location: Cavinti – Luisiana Rd, Luisiana, Laguna Estimate Cost: PHP300 for a tour guide
I visited Hulugan Waterfalls for my birthday last February. February is still slightly rainy, so our trip here was very muddy and slippery. There are two options – going straight to the biggest hidden gem which is Hulugan Waterfalls or doing a side trip to two other waterfalls, Talay and Aliw. For more detailed information on how to get to Hulugan Waterfalls (the famous trio), visit my blog post here.
5. Panguil River Eco Park
Estimate Travel Time from Makati: 3 – 3.5hrs Location: Pangil, Laguna Estimate Cost: PHP40 entrance fee
Pangil River Eco Park is a child friendly adventure. If you want to take your children to a short hike and nature escape, Panguil is one of the best waterfalls to go. The short hike includes basking in water streams, climbing around boulders, riding a bamboo raft, cliff jumping and swimming by a waterfall. Once you make your way back to the park, you can rent a cottage and eat your snacks or lunch. They also have small sari-sari stores where you can buy refreshments and also some barbecue.
There is also an option to go camping in this area.