Tucked away in a deep ravine between Iligan City and Municipality of Linamon is a beautiful falls, the Tinago Falls so called because it is mostly hidden from view unless you trek down to reach its hiding place. This majestic falls cascades beautifully in a basin-like pool with very cold water. Many tourists who visit the falls enjoy standing inside the small cave tucked under the falls while marveling at the cascading waters and enjoying its rumbling sound.
Legend has it that the beautiful falls was once an ugly maiden. Her parents were proud rulers, the king and queen of the land. Sultan Agok and his wife became greedy and usurped their power. While pregnant, the queen was visited by an enchantress disguised as a beggar. When the queen rejected and exiled the beggar, the enchantress revealed her true identity and cursed her unborn child. The couple didn't believe her until the baby was born. Although her mother was very beautiful, the baby was quite ugly. Ashamed of the baby and their evil deeds, the couple hid her in a cave and named her “Tin-ag” which is the local term for “hidden face”. Although they continued to care for her, she never had the chance to leave the cave. When she grew older, she went out and marveled at the beauty outside her cave prison. The enchantress took pity on her and transformed her into a beautiful waterfall when she accepted the offer to become something of “great beauty and splendor”.
Tinago Falls is a must-visit especially if you can spare at least half a day more in Iligan City. This beautiful falls boasts of 5 drops, the longest of which has a height of 73.152 m or 240.0 ft. These cascades form a veil over the cliffs, with the waters easily blown by the wind so that they could be likened to curtains over a natural setting. Truly a beautiful sight!
To reach the falls, you have to trek down a winding staircase with about 500 steps. The task can be a long and difficult one so that families with small children are not advised to take the trek for safety. Those who do want to visit a waterfall but find it difficult to trek down Tinago Falls can check out the other falls in the city, including the grand Maria Cristina Falls which is very accessible and set in a family-friendly nature park. In fact, most tourists visit the Maria Cristina Falls first then proceed to Tinago so that the latter can get crowded in the afternoon.
To those who are willing and able to take the stairs down to the falls, the view along the way is beautiful and the breathtaking destination is well worth the sweat and effort you spent. A swim in the cold waters can jar your senses but could also provide rejuvenation after the long trek. It is the waterfall’s way of welcoming and thanking you for taking the time to take the difficult jaunt just for a visit.
You can bring as much food as you want to because there are no corkage fees to be paid. But you also have to remember that you have to lug down all your supplies down the winding stairs to reach the falls. It would be best to pack light and bring just ample food to enjoy. Still, if you didn’t bring supplies, there is a mini sari sari store where you can buy some bread, drinks, and other snack items.
Another option is to hire a guide who will also take the task of bringing your belongings. This way, you will have lesser burden as you navigate down the stairways. How much you give the guide really depends on you. He might ask for a specific fee but you can always add some few pesos to the amount, especially if he has to bring lots of food and luggage along.
A lot of tourists are disappointed that they can’t swim at the Maria Cristina Falls – that could be deadly! Those who wish to experience swimming under a waterfall can do so at Tinago Falls, easily endearing it to the hearts of many tourists. So, aside from food (and cameras, of course!), don’t forget to bring extra clothes for swimming.
It is also possible to experience the cascades directly down your body by enjoying a raft ride. The ride is safe and can accommodate a group. Just be prepared for the strong force of the water on your skin, though it won’t be pounding too hard. The raft ride is available for a fee.
- Please,Please NO LITTERING! Let’s preserve the cleanliness and beauty of Tinago Falls.
- Check your Camera’s Battery – never-ending subjects!
- Bring lots of water or I should say “energy drinks”? as the steps going down requires stamina.
- Bring foods! There are no restaurants or canteen in the area only 2 sari-sari stores selling soft drinks and snack items.
- 7:00-8:00 AM is the best time to travel going to the falls.
|Draco Lizard? I saw this lizard species in the area.|
HOW TO GET THERE
Read the detailed Iligan City Trave Guide here. Tinago Falls is in between Iligan City and the Municipality of Linamon so definitely there are two routes going there.
Buruun Route (Iligan City) :
- From Iligan City, take a jeepney bound to Buruun. Tell the driver to drop you in crossing going to Tinago Falls. From crossing, hire a habal-habal going to the jump off area of Tinago Falls. Fare ranges from 50 - 80 Php (one way). You have to walk for more or less 10 minutes to reach the entrance to the falls. From the entrance area, you have to take the steps going down to the actual drop. The way is quite slippery and not advisable for fainthearted. Just take your time going down. Going down usually takes 15-20 minutes walk depending on your stamina.
- From Iligan City, take a jeepney bound to Buruan. Tell the driver to drop you at the boundary of Linamon and Buruan. Talipapa or small market is a few steps away where you can hire habal-habal that will take you to Tinago Falls. Fare is 50 - 80 Php (one way). Tell the driver that you’re going to Highland Resort - the jump-off point in Linamon. Travel time is more or less 15 minutes. Pay 5 Php entrance fee.
- If you have your own car, parking fee is 10 Php for tricycle, 20 Php for car/van, and 50 Php for Tour Bus.
- From the resort, take the steps going down to the location of the falls. Take your time and enjoy the nature going down.
Note: We took the Linamon route and it’s quite easy and more accessible as the roads are completely paved (including the way going down to the actual drop). In addition, Highland Resort has safer and more secure parking area for cars/vehicles.