On my fourth time visiting La Union, I finally got the chance to trek Tangadan Falls!
If you would like to go the off the beaten track and have a change of view from surfing and beach bumming, Tangadan Falls is the perfect side trip when you’re in La Union. If you are coming from San Juan, you can get to the visit the falls in about 30 minutes in the nearby town of San Gabriel. Tangadan Falls is just one of at least ten found in this town.
Me and two of my friends rented a tricycle from outside our accommodation at Flotsam and Jetsam Hostel to go to San Gabriel. We paid PhP 200 each for a round trip fare. We were dropped off at Brgy. Duplas, our starting point of the trek. We then hired a guide, Christopher who will help us all throughout the trek which also involves 3 river crossings and for the daredevils, you can also go cliff diving. We also paid for PhP 200 each for the guide fee.
I am not brave enough to do cliff diving but one of my friends did. If you plan to go cliff diving, you have to pay PhP 50 to ride a sort of a cable car to take you to the jump off point. And whether you are a good swimmer or not, it is highly advisable to rent a life jacket for PhP 50. Safety first of course.
Once we were finally at the falls, we paid for PhP 30 for the entrance fee and PhP 50 to rent for life jackets since the basin is about 30-50 feet deep. The water is cold and is a welcome treat after a more than an hour trek.
On our way back, since we were very tired, we decided not to trek the same route we’ve been to. We decided to join another group up the easier route which is mostly paved trails. But it is still challenging especially for someone like me who is not used to doing treks since some parts are too steep. We were supposed to ride a jeep that will take us to the jump off point but because of some technical problems, we rode the habal-habal ride (PhP 150/person) instead. It was fun but scary because the road is very steep and there are a lot of sharp hairpin turns. We were dropped back off at Brgy. Duplas where our tricycle driver was waiting.
Here are some tips when you go to Tangadan Falls:
- Wake up early. The entire trip took us almost five hours. The earlier you start, the earlier you get to be back to do other activities. And it is better to start early so that there are not a lot of people still when you get to the falls.
- Keep yourself hydrated. Bring some bottle of water. You may also bring some snacks and trail food since you will most likely be starving before you can even go back to the drop off point. Our Tangadan Falls trip ended at around 2:00 PM!
- Wear your most comfortable clothes that are just perfect for trekking. Slippers are okay to wear but just make sure that it has a good grip since some parts of the trek are a bit slippery.
- Secure your belongings especially your gadgets. Secure them in waterproof bags especially when you are crossing the river and when you are near the falls.
- Always prioritize safety. Wear your life jackets when cliff diving and swimming.
It was one tiring activity but I had so much fun. Once in a while you just need to disconnect and commune with nature. Plus I get to bond with my new friends and met a few more.