Adventure Travel

Your Guide to Tangadan Falls in La Union, Philippines

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After doing a lot of surfing in La Union, it didn’t take long until I was sore (haha) and seeking out my next adventure. I came to hear about this magical place called Tangadan Falls!

Located right outside La Union in San Gabriel along the Bororo River, add this gorgeous natural attraction, Tangadan Falls, to your list. Only the days the waves aren’t good, of course.

Here’s everything you need to know before you make the visit:

The Vibes:

This video shows you what it’s like to actually to get there, and be there, after a personal story that showcases the consequences of being unprepared:

Hope you caught the guy that almost cliff-dove onto my head at 2:11.

How to get to Tangadan Falls:

Unsurprising to most, we winged it.

Once we had a proper dirt bike that could take us up the hilly roads, we just followed Google Maps best we could and looked for signs along the road. Of course we took a few wrong turns, and asked some people the right way, but then we ended up at this guy’s house and a dirt parking lot, and entered a trail on the side of his house. Without a guide.

After doing some research, I learned that this is NOT what most people do. Most people take a longer hike to get there that is all along the river, and get a guide. So, if you want to do that, it’s probably best to follow someone else’s directions.

Here’s are what some other, better-prepared bloggers have instructed when it comes to getting to Tangadan Falls:

From Mr. & Mrs. Wanderlust:

1. From surfing areas in San Juan take a jeep going North to San Gabriel (has a sign in front says going to San Gabriel). For around 20 minutes.

2. Hire a motorcycle taxi to take you to the falls area. Usually there are drivers waiting in San Gabriel town. The roads are steep so tricycles usually can’t take you further up. Arrange a time when they would pick you up. Price range from 200 php up per head for this 30-minute ride.

3. They will drop you off at a waiting shed and from there you start walking downhill, follow the road until it turns into a muddy track, then smaller track going to the rice fields.

4. Follow the tracks to the pilapil (middle of rice fields), then once you see the irrigation water follow it further until you get to a dam, then from the dam, you cross the river then just follow the stream of river to get to the falls.

From Mike’s Travel PH:

San Gabriel is a municipality surrounded by other municipalities of La Union as well as Benguet. It is around 30 minutes away from San Juan or 45 minutes away from San Fernando La Union.

  • Ride a bus from Cubao bound to Laoag/Vigan then alight in San Juan, La Union (6-7 hours travel time).
  • From San Juan La Union, take a jeep going north and ask the driver to drop you off at San Gabriel.
  • In the town proper, ride a tricycle and tell the driver you’re going to Tangadan Falls. Fare is PhP 50.00.
  • At the jump-off point, hire a guide (price usually starts PhP 500.00 per group) for the hike.

From More Dan Travels:

  • From Manila – Bus or Private Vehicle Going to the following: Laoag, Vigan, Candon, Abra
  • Get down to any of these places in La Union namely: San Fernando or San Juan.
  • From San Juan, you can hail jeepney via San Fernando-San Gabriel route.
  • From downtown San Gabriel, La Union go to Bucao, Duplas
  • Hire a tricycle to bring you to Duplas which passes through Barangay Bucao.
  • Just tell the tricycle driver that you are going to the Drop-off point to Tangadan Falls at Barangay Duplas – upper (Duplas is a part of San Juan, La Union) near Dagup

As you can see, there’s more than one way to get here.

Tangadan Falls is best for:

Swimming, having a picnic, Instagramming, hiking, or if you want to get in some really crazy cliff diving.

Explore.

A photo posted by Kaitlyn Schlicht (@kaitlynschlicht) on

 

Entrance fee:

There is no entrance fee, but at the dirty parking lot we rolled up to, there was a sign asking for something like 20 Filipino pesos (less than 50 cents).

Sounds like the guides you can get are around 500 pesos, or $10 USD.

Tips for visiting:

  • Bring water
  • Bring snacks
  • Bring beer
  • Or just bring beer
  • Wear your swimsuit
  • Or don’t
  • Bring a towel (because we didn’t)
  • Leave early in the morning
  • Or forever be lost in the dark
  • Bring good shoes
  • Or else you’ll slip?

Have fun, and keep an eye out for this guy!

Tangadan Falls La Union

Always in search of worldly knowledge and broader understandings, Kaitlyn has been freelancing while traveling since 2015. She's passionate about digital content, being environmentally friendly, and surfing. 16+ countries and counting.