The Filipino Backpacking community went abuzz when a photo of a newly discovered waterfall in Laguna surfaced the internet late September 2015. The photo was no doubt beautiful that it immediately took my breath away and triggered my inner curiosity. Words about it spread like wildfire. Days passed and more and more people are posting their wonderful experiences in Hulugan Falls on Facebook and Instagram. It made me unable to resist its charm that I decided to pay it a visit before Christmas.

HULUGAN FALLS LUISIANA LAGUNA

My first attempt to witness the beauty of Hulugan Falls was a failure. I and Ian, my boyfie-slash-constantly-complaining travel buddy woke up late and started preparing at 8AM. Traffic in Calamba made the travel twice longer than normal causing us to arrive in Sta. Cruz a little over 1PM. While I already realized that we were a little pressed with time and Brgy. San Salvador (Jumpoff point to Hulugan Falls) is still an hour away, I haven’t thought of calling it a day until one of the locals confirmed that we might as well be wasting time if we would still pursue Hulugan Falls as there might be a great chance of local officials not allowing us entrance that late unless we are in to spend a night there. Staying there overnight on Christmas Eve wasn’t part of the plan. A little upset I decided to head home. Just when I thought the world was conspiring against me, I discovered another hell of a surprise along the national highway on our way back. It was an utterly weird restaurant called Isdaan. And wow! It pretty much compensated the missed Hulugan Falls adventure as the food was good, the staffs were the friendliest I’ve known and the scene.. Absolutely stunning!

My second attempt was a day after Christmas. I made sure not to go on indulging in holiday merriment and drinking too much so I would wake up early the following day. My being a party pooper on Christmas day paid well as I woke up at 5AM and prepped up for that day’s adventure early on. From our home in Biñan, we reached Sta Cruz at 9AM. When during our first attempt what bothered us was the limited time, it was rain on the second. The ever pessimist Ian urged me to quit and try another day but I on the other hand was hard as steel in seeing Hulugan Falls, not tomorrow nor some other time but that very same day. What can a soft drizzle do to us anyway? He was wise not to argue any further as few minutes passed, we were already ridden on the passenger’s seat of a jeepney heading to Brgy. San Salvador in Luisiana.

The journey through the roads going to Luisiana made us discover other beautiful things the province of Laguna has to offer through the tarps displayed along the highway. There’s the magnificent waterfalls in Pagsanjan (Of course I’ve read about it in my geography class!), the irresistible underground cave river in Cavinti and the white water rafting/tubing in Majayjay. It surprised us how this province near the bustling Metro Manila got so much up its sleeves. Perhaps I was just overpowered by the thought that anything near Manila is as exploited and exposed to people and pollution as that busy city itself. I was too caught up with that thought that I didn’t open myself to endless possibilities in this side of the wood. Such a shame to know that I have been missing a lot of amazing things lain in my backyard for a very long time.

The ride got even more exciting as we paved our way through the uphill roads of Laguna. The richness of the greenery along the highway was something I appreciate the most. It made the travel bearable as it completely took my attention away from my aching butt. Normally rides like this would get me shifting positions from time to time like I’m the most uncomfortable human in the planet but the scene got me so hooked that I forgot I was cramped up inside a moving jeepney with Ian sleeping on my shoulder with all his wait on me.

Hulugan Falls Lusiana

The downpour had stopped several minutes before we reached Brgy. San Salvador which took a little longer than I expected. The jump-off point is an inverted T-junction, at the mouth of the street going to Hulugan Falls and spotting it is easy if you pay attention to the road. There’s a huge signage facing those coming from Cavinti and a small waiting shed. A little walk leading inside the street is a spot where you get your guide. After getting ourselves a guide (the meek and kind Kuya Wilbur – #27), we then rode a trike going to the captain’s house where we registered and payed the fees. From the captain’s house, we then walkedpassing through local houses towards the first block turning left to a then still under construction road.

The walk is just easy. No tiring uphill walk. Just the bearable one but it lasted for about an hour. Halfway through, along the road is a signage on the left with the trail going to the other waterfall called Talay. You can take this route if you want to see the 2-tiered Talay Falls first then trek your way down to Hulugan Falls. We chose to stay  on the road until we reached the end of construction and landed on a dirt road. We walked down the muddy trail for a little over 15 minutes before reaching a resting camp.

We rested for about 10 minutes and head on to face the challenge of the main trail going to Hulugan Falls. The trail was a very steep decent along a ragged path that stretched to about 100 meters. It was like a straight forward downhill natural staircase. The first 30-40 feet was the most difficult since the gaps between each step is longer than what a normal human can actually manage. Bamboo pipes were placed in both sides of the trail to serve as support. Upon reaching the bottom of the first part, you will then have to turn left and walk along rocks with some of them covered with moss. It will stretch to some 30 feet. Upon reaching the end of it, another descending path similar to the first part will have to be taken. It will turn left upon reaching the first 20 feet and will continue all the way down to the foot of the river. If you encounter some showers, don’t fret. It isn’t rain but sprinkles of water coming from the falls blown softly by the wind. In that same spot as well was where we had the first glimpse of the wonder of Hulugan Falls. We also have to be very careful in trekking the final left going down as it was totally muddy and dripping wet.

Standing on a rock at the base of the trail was where I first marveled at the exemplary Hulugan Falls. Her water flowing softly down from a 150 ft. (just an estimate) elevation was oh so flawless. She was so elegant. Seemed so delicate with her mist engulfing everything within her reach. I can hear her singing with every pounce she makes at the basin. She was so enchanting that she had me entangled in her charm making me care less about how crowded was her world that day.

We walked near her towards her catch basin which seemed like a natural swimming pool tracing east to an area resembling a cave. There we left our valuables to Kuya Wilbur’s care to take a swim and indulged in her cold waters. There were not too many people swimming so it was such a perfect opportunity. We settled at the rock near the falling water. We could no longer swim any further since we were advised it wasn’t safe. From the spot where we were seated, we saw several rainbows formed in the water. It was so amazing that spotting a rainbow after the other pretty much took our time. Silly but it was fun.

I still haven’t had enough when Ian told me that we were heading out. I thought it was to explore the other waterfalls in the area but heck no! He was so obsessed with going home! Upset I tried to convince him otherwise but you know men, when they are up to something, there’s no way they’d back down. So I gave up and called it a day. The events may not have turned out as planned but the very fact that Hulugan Falls exceeded far my expectations is more than enough for me to content myself with how things unfolded that day. Maybe getting a new travel buddy would do me the magic next time. Kidding. (Laughs)


MY 5 CENTS OF THOUGHTS

  • I’m saddened how hundreds or thousands of trees were cut down just to pave way to tourism in the area. Locals said construction of the road was spearheaded 6 months ago just about the same time when news about Hulugan Falls surfaced and the influx of tourists poured tremendously in the area. I wish someday we could promote tourism without sacrificing what’s still left of our forest.
  • I was surprised to know how Kuya Wilbur didn’t impose how much to pay him only saying “Whatever we think is good enough compensation for him” when asked how much would he charge us when all over the internet people are stating P650. If I would be asked whether P650 is fair enough, I think it is a little bit overpriced, at least in my opinion.

HOW TO GO THERE

  • Commute – Ride a bus going to Sta. Cruz from Buendia or Cubao Stations. You might also find some buses enroute Sta. Crus in Edsa. Fare is P140. Alight the bus in front of Sunstar Mall. From across the street beside Sunstar mall is a jeepney terminal. Ride one going to Lucena which departs every 30 minutes. Fare is P30. Asked the driver to drop you off in Brgy. San Salvador.
  • Private Car – Drive south in SLEX taking Calamba exit. From the toll gate turn left passing through the bridge then follow the National Hwy going to Sta Cruz, then to Pagsanjan and Cavinti. Upon reaching Brgy. San Salvador turn right at the street with a signage of Hulugan Falls.

THINGS TO BRING
  • Waterproof bag
  • Waterproof camera (If you don’t have one, try putting them in a waterproof case. You’ll badly need it.)
  • 2L Water
  • Packed Lunch
  • Trail food/Snack
  • Trash Bag
  • Waterproof mat (where you can place your valuables while you take a dip in the water)
  • Toiletries (For washing up)
  • Towel
  • Extra clothes

SUMMARY OF EXPENSES
  • RT Fare Sta. Cruz – P280
  • RT Fare Sta. Cruz – Brgy. San Salvador – P70
  • RT Fare Jump-off to Captain’s house – P30
  • Registration Fee – P20
  • Guide Fee (Up to you) – P650 (Hulugan-Talay-Aliw Falls) or P300 (Hulugan Falls)
  • Bath – P20

TOTAL – P570/Pax for a group of 2 ***Bring friends along to at least have the 5 of you share the guide fee cost.


OTHER INFORMATION
  • Guides are available at the registration point. While others may recommend a specific guide, please understand that there are 130 of them and it would be for everybody’s best interest if we would give them equal chance.
  • The latest that local officials will allow tourists to the see Hulugan Falls is no later than 3PM unless you are to stay overnight.
  • There is a campsite situated by the river above Hulugan Falls. Camping fee is P50 per person.
  • If you still haven’t had enough chasing waterfalls, you can visit Talay and Aliw Falls. Please note that Aliw Falls is situated within a different Barangay than Hulugan and Talay Falls which may require you to get a new guide or pay another fee.
  • Locals sell special bibingka which is perfect as snack after the long trek while marveling at the beauty of the waterfalls.
  • The parking area for those bringing their car is beside the Brgy. captain’s house. Not sure though whether there is a parking fee.
  • To those going home to Cavite, you can get off the terminal of passenger vans routing to Calamba/Sta. Rosa. Dropped off is at Sta. ROSA public market. The terminal for vans routing Cavite is a few walk away from the drop off point . There you can ride another passenger van going home.
  • Isdaan Floating Restaurant is a perfect sidetrip after a long day chasing waterfalls.

SAMPLE ITINERARY
  • Hulugan Falls only

0530: Assembly Buendia/Cubao Station
0600: ETD Sta Cruz
0800: Sta Cruz
0900: San Salvador Registration site
1000: Hulugan Falls
1200: Lunch
1400: Pack and Leave
1500: Wash up
1600: Head Home

  • Hulugan, Talay & Aliw Falls

0530: Assembly Buendia/Cubao Station
0600: ETD Sta Cruz
0800: Sunstal Mall Sta Cruz
0900: San Salvador Registration site
1000: Hulugan Falls
1200: Lunch
1400: Talay Falls
1600: Aliw Falls
1700: Wash Up
1800: Head home


OTHER INTERESTING PLACES TO VISIT IN LAGUNA
  • Isdaan Floating Restaurant
  • Bukal Falls
  • Taytay Falls
  • Mt. Romelo, Buruwisan Falls and the other stunning waterfalls
  • Pagsanjan Falls
  • Buntot Palos Falls
  • Pandin and Yambo Lakes
  • Cavinti Underground River Cave

There you go folks! If there is anything I missed to mention, feel free to leave them on the comments box below. Until next time. See yah. 🙂

Author

Hi There! Watashi no namaeha Kezudesu! "A wanna be. Wanna do everything kind of badass" Chos! Hmm. I'm wondering what I should tell you since I really don't wanna oversell myself. Let's see.. Just like any other girl, I'm just ordinary. I love to travel, take photos, share stories and write. I'm an anime otaku and my favorite country is Japan although I haven't been there yet. I have a 9 by 5 job but I hope to travel full time someday. And I'm also a blabbermouth since birth. Me blogging and writing stuff online is just some sort of therapy so I don't get myself in trouble. You know, me and my big mouth. Lol and writing stuff online is just some sort of therapy so I don't get myself in trouble. You know, me and my big mouth. Lol

86 Comments

  1. hello po
    ask ko lng pa if open sila ng hollyweek .. if may mag to-tourguide b?
    thank you

  2. Hi! Thank you for this blog. Okay lang kaya magsama ng bata (7 years old)? Salamat!

  3. Chelsea Gatchalian Reply

    Hello! Planning to celebrate my birthday rhis march in bukal falls and hulugan falls, just wondering
    who can we hire as a personal driver who knows the place?
    where can we stay?

    Thank you 🙂

    • Hi Chelsea, I don’t know any drivers who knows the place that can drive you around. Pero I can refer a van for hire which you can use to tour around. Bukal falls has limited camping space better to camp in Hulugan Falls. If you don’t feel like camping, you can go back in Pagsanjan or Sta. Cruz to check in a hotel.

  4. Hi! Ilang oras kaya ang trekking going to hulugan falls? Where planning kz this jan. 18. Thanks

  5. Thank you so much for this blog, me and my boyfriend are planning to go waterfall hopping this weekend. Keep up the good work.

  6. Hi! Your blog is really helpful. We’re planning to visit Hulugan Falls this month. Do you reckon it is safe to bring a drone? Thank you!

    • Hi Racqy. Yeah. I think a drone us just gonna do fine in Hulugan Falls. Just assess the wind condition before using it when you’re there.

  7. Hi! Would you know where I can find the contact number of any of the guides or registration booth? I’m hoping to go to Hulugan on the 2nd, but worried we won’t be allowed pala since holiday. 🙂 Thank you!

    • Hi Honey Lyn. Sakay lang po kayo jeep pabalik ng sta. Cruz. Marami na pong options dun para umuwi sa. Re sa guide I think mandatory sya kasi mahaba ang bababain papunta sa falls. 😊

  8. hellow po, we plan to visit hulugan falls, mandatory po ba ang guide dito?? magmomotor lng po kasi kami papunta hulugan falls ..

    • Jeyjay,

      During our visit it was mandatory for everyone to get a guide. Kahit nakamotor, kailangan nyo dumaan sa reg area tpos dun magaassign na guide nyo. 😊

  9. Hi. Do you think it would be okay to bring a 6yo along on this trip to aliw and hulugan falls? Is the basin of both falls deep?

    • Hi Risa. Okay lang naman. Kaya naman ng 6y/o. Iwas lang sa rainy days kasi madulas ang trail. Yung main basin malalim tlga pero may mga parts naman na mababaw lang. 😊

    • Hi Whe. No need really to get in touch with a specific guide ahead of time since the barangay council will assign you your guide once you get there.

  10. Hi! you should visit Malaog Falls and Bumbungan Falls. they are also located at Luisiana, Laguna..

    • Hi Ann. Thanks for the info. I haven’t really explored Laguna after I came back from Vietnam but I am planning to get started next week! It’s really hard to decide where to go since there are too many beautiful sites in Laguna and I really couldn’t decide which one to explore first. Haha. But thanks for giving me a heads up. Those 2 will definitely be on my to do list in june! 🙂

    • Hi Carla. Kaya naman po kaso mapapamahal po kayo sa guide. Haven’t heard if they still require to get a guide because the last time I was there roads were under construction. Kung tapos na yun then you can simply ride a trike to the trail. You will know naman from there kung required pa rin ang guide. Try to look for other info sa web baka merong bagong update. 🙂

  11. Hi Madam Keza! Ask ko lang po sana if private car po ba? Ok po ba ang road condition kaya po ba ng Hyundai i10. Thanks

    • Hi Roldan. Yes. Kaya. Maganda at smooth lang ang biahe papunta dun along the national hwy and even when you turn to the street leading to the falls. 🙂

  12. goodevening po tatanung ko lang if meron po kayong nakitang lodging, inn or hotel na malapit sa sta cruz laguna for overnight? balak ko po sana 6am or 7am nasa registration site na kami. para onti palang tao 🙂

    • Hi Marco. Yes marami nman. Try those in Pagsanjan. Mas konte na lang ibabiahe pa dun kau nagsimula 🙂

  13. Good day Keza. Thank you for your very informative post. I would like to know if you happen to have any contact numbers (guides) for the area? I was hoping to get updates on the access to Aliw falls.

    Thank you.

  14. Belle Del Mundo Reply

    Hi Mam, may plan po kami ng mga ka-officemates ko to visit Hulugan, Aliw and Talay Falls this Feb. 25th, may mga time limits po ba per Falls?

      • Belle Del Mundo Reply

        Thanks po Mam :). We’ll follow your suggested itinerary. Thank you for your blog sobrang helpful sa amin. Have a nice day po.

  15. Hi gaano po kalayo yung hulugan sa aliw falls? and san po yung registration sa mismong barangay po ba? Thanks! Nice blog 🙂

    • Hi Jannie. Mejo malayo po e. Sasakay pa po kayo ng isa pang tricycle pagkabalik nyo ng registration ng Hulugan. Ask mo na lang yung tricycle na idrop kayo sa registration ng Aliw Falls.

  16. it is true that beautiful waterfalls. I arrived here in 2015 was amazing .. the cool water and good food, the more true this place is heaven on earth. 2016 I came here with the family…

  17. Did you bring your own lunch or did you eat somewhere? Just wondering what is the best way to have lunch when I visit with friends.

    • Hi Natalie. I brought snacks. It’s also preferable if you would bring lunch. Although a little past the registration is a Tapsihan and a small sari sari store where u can eat lunch or have snacks. Locals also sell bibingka.

  18. Hi! Pag pabalik po ng Manila same route po ba? From San Salvador jeep to Lucena, every 30 minutes din po byahe from San Salvador?

    • Yeah you can choose to do that kasi sobrang tagal ng mga jeep na pabalik ng sta. Cruz. You can choose to go lucena then from there ride a bus back to manila. Baka mas mahal lang ng konte yung pamasahe

  19. mam, nasa left side po ba or right side of the street ung signage ng hulugan falls?

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