If there is one place that reminds me of Iligan City, it would the Tinago Falls. With around 24 waterfalls within the area, it is no doubt why the City of Iligan is dubbed as the City of Majestic Waterfalls.
Where to stay in Cagayan De Oro?
Since I was only doing a day trip to Tinago Falls. I stayed at a Bed and Breakfast by Budgetel located in the Lifestyle District. It is probably one of the most ideal places to stay if you are on a budget and want accessibility to restaurants, bars, and pretty much anything. This is highly recommended!
How to get to TINAGO FALLS from CDO
1. Take a taxi to BULUA Bus Terminal which cost around Php 120.00. I find it more convenient since taxis are everywhere.
2. Take the bus (Rural Tours) to ILIIGAN CITY (Php 145.0). Travel time is around 2 to 3 hrs.
Two options to get to Tinago Falls
When we arrived at Iligan Bus Terminal, there were Habal-Habal already waiting for tours. We asked how much they charged and they said it was around Php800.00 for half a day since we arrived late morning already. The price is a bit high for one motorbike but we didn’t want to waste any time so we went for it and off we went to Tinago Falls.
Another option that is much cheaper (Recommended for Budget Travelers)
- From Tambo Terminal , take a jeepney with a sign Iligan City
- From Iligan City, ask the driver to drop you off at BUROON JEEP
- Ask the Buroon jeepney driver to drop you at the Habal Habal Terminal going to Tinago Falls (Php 30.00) .
Lunch at Timoga
It was a hot day but we were not complaining because we were sure it was going to look nice at the falls. Since we hired a motorbike, part of the trip was to take us to Timoga for lunch. We were starving at that time and we were already looking for food. Once in Timoga, there were so many places to eat there and I really apologize that I forgot the name of the place where we ate. Ooopsie! Anyway, Lechon is really good and we decided to give it a try and the prawns that were so cheap. You must also try to order their rice that is wrapped in Coconut leaves called PUSO.
Lechon 1/4 – 120 Php | Prawns – Php 300.00 | Puso (Rice) – Php 25.00
TINAGO FALLS RATES AND FEES
After an hour, we moved on to our main destination and that is the TINAGO FALLS. Our tummies were so happy and we were just so excited to see it again after a long time. From Timoga, it took around another 1 hour to Tinago Falls.
We finally arrived at Tinago Falls and I must say it was different from what I remembered. There used to be restaurants and bungalows around but this time it changed. There were probably a lot of changes that took place here throughout the years.
Surprisingly there are NO ENTRANCE FEE! But you have to pay for some of the tariffs.
Package per Person (Life Jacket and Bamboo Raft) – Php 75.00
Tour Guide Minimum Fee – We gave Php 500.00 each because they were really good. I don’t know what is acceptable but we didn’t mind giving that much for quality service.
Voluntary Parking Fee – Php 50.00
Comfort Room – Php 10.00
After sorting out the tariffs, we then started our walk down to the falls. Remember to bring water with you and rest if necessary because it is over 300 steps down and back up again. Coming down was easy but climbing up is a different story. I like that they are now widening the walkway because the last time I was here, it was narrow,but this time, I saw improvements and I find it safer as well for tourists visiting Tinago Falls
As we were getting closer, you could already hear the power gushing down Tinago Falls and we could not wait to get into the water and swim. On the side, you will also find cottages for rent and also some stalls where you could buy drinks and other snacks. But it is optional, our guide knew someone and decided to just put our stuff in there for free. It is also advisable to get yourself a dry bag and a plastic cover for your phone just to keep them dry because it can be misty everywhere.
First thing we did was to try the Bamboo Raft going to the edge of Tinago Falls where two men will pull the rope while guests are sitting on the raft and enjoying the ride. As we were getting closer, excitement builds because you could feel the amount of water coming down at you and it can be very difficult to see and hear others because the waterfall was really loud. The whole rafting trip took around 10 minutes.
TIP: Sit at the front of the raft so you could start taking photos en route without other tourists behind you 😉
When you swim at Tinago Falls, expect a strong current. Since were very good swimmer we then did another thrilling activity and that is the cliff jumping. NOT advisable for non-swimmers and for the faint of heart. Some rocks are high enough for beginners. But there are some that could also be extreme and that’s what we did! With another guide (at a fee), he then took us to higher cliff to jump but what makes this difficult it was also a waterfall. So we were climbing up while water was rushing down on top of us making it difficult to walk and see. Thank goodness for the guide! So please do things very carefully and know the possible risks of doing so.
We basically spent around 2 hours at Tinago Falls and at around 3:00 pm, we started the 300 steps up to the main entrance. Luckily, when we arrived, there was a sweet lady selling coconut drinks. So we rested for a while and decided to refresh ourselves with a very sweet coconut juice before we headed back to Iligan Terminal and caught the bus back to Cagayan De Oro. Before going to back to the Terminal, we first went to see if Maria Cristina Falls but, unfortunately, they were on RED ALERT which prohibits tourist from entering the Hydro Electric Plant.
My Tinago Falls Expenses/ Itinerary
7:00am – Breakfast at Budgetel
8:00 – Taxi to Bulua Bus Terminal
8:30 – 11:00 am – Bus ride to Iligan City
11:00 am -12:00 pm – Lunch at Timoga
12:30 pm – 3:00 pm – Tinago Falls Adventure
4:00 pm – 6:00 m – Bus ride back to Cagayan De Oro
Bus (CDO-Iligan-CDO) – Php 300.00
Habal-Habal per Motorbike – Php 800.00
Lunch (Sharing) – Php 800.00
Life Vest – Php 75.00
Guide Fee – Php 500.00
Parking Fee per Vehicle – Php 50.00
Cliff Jump Guide Fee – Php 200.00 ( I thought he was just being friendly to take us up, but later he asked for a tip)
Coconut Fruit Juice – Php 35.00
As a solo-traveler/ or with a buddy traveler , I find it bit expensive than I thought it would be. I just really hope that someday they could create a fixed-rate for everything so tourists visiting are aware of their expenses, such as the Habal-Habal rates from and to Tinago Falls, guide fees, and more. I was surprised that the parking fee was Php 50.00 and we later found out just before we left Tinago, but we still had an enjoyable time!
It is not surprising that Tinago Falls is one of the most beautiful waterfalls I’ve seen in the Philippines! I am still very happy that we were able to visit this majestic waterfalls once again as it brought back good childhood memories. I really wish I could stay longer and maybe would love to stay in Iligan for a night to further get to know the culture and the people. But for now, I am happy and thankful we did this visit before I head back to Manila.