It took us a while, but it is all worth it!
We’ve been seeing Hulugan Falls all over the feeds on social media but only until February 2020 when we decided to finally set foot on this famous waterfall of Luisiana, Laguna.
And you know what we realized? We should have visited Hulugan Falls earlier! You will know why by reading this travel guide.
Are you an adventure enthusiast? Then exploring the waterfalls of Luisiana, Laguna is the right place for you.
Not just one, not two, but three waterfalls are waving. In Barangay San Salvador in Luisiana, you have two options; to visit one falls or three falls in a single day. The first option will bring you to the famous Hulugan Falls and by selecting the latter; you have the chance to visit the two-tiered Talay Falls and the Hidden Falls together with Hulugan.
Plan your trip ahead and decide how many waterfalls you like to visit. Our advice, go explore them all!
Trekking and Nature-Tripping
By choosing three waterfalls, the trekking will take longer from a normally 30-minute trek to Hulugan Falls.
From Captain’s House or “Bahay ng Kapitan”, you need to ride the tricycle going to the jump-off point to Talay Falls, the first destination.
The trail is a combination of flat, few uphill portions and river crossings. Make sure to wear proper footwear such as trekking sandals and trekking shoes. The trail could be murky and slippery especially during rainy seasons.
After 30 minutes of trekking, you will arrive in Talay Falls, a two-tiered waterfall with slightly green tinge water. The first tier is shallow and the second tier is 30-ft deep. For safety reasons, swimming is not encouraged.
There are bamboo tables and chairs where you can take a quick rest or have a picnic. The towering trees provide shade and give you fresh air while enjoying the view.
From Talay Falls, you need to bear a challenging 5-minute trek upward holding and passing through massive boulders on the way to Hidden Falls. There is a rope that serves as a support when going up and down these gigantic rocks.
You’ve got to see it to believe it! Hidden Falls is tucked on those enormous rocks and greens, but a shocking wonder once revealed.
The ravishing falls is one not to miss when visiting Luisiana. The water flowing through Talay comes from Hidden Falls. You need to go up to really experience it but be more than careful; the rocks are tricky and slippery. Follow the instructions of your guide and move slowly and surely.
The water is strong, cool and refreshing. This is a good place to freshen up after the trekking. Make sure to wear something readily available for swimming and getting showered so you do not need to change clothes during your adventure.
From Hidden Falls, another 30-minute trek is needed to get to the highlight of this tour, the majestic Hulugan Falls.
A portion of your trail going to Talisay Falls will be covered until you reach these huge pandan trees with pineapple-like fruits. Quick information on this, pandan leaves are used to create handicrafts, a raw material for clothing, basket weaving and even shelter.
From this spot, a somewhat non-stop steep footpath of roots and stones supported with wooden handrails in the middle of a densely-forest will lead you to Hulugan Falls
You know you are near when you hear the dropping sound and streams of Hulugan and we know you’ll be in awe when you see it, the way it did to us.
This stunning waterfall stands at a height of 70 meters (230 ft) and is one of the most beautiful waterfalls near the metro. It has a broad basin and multiple natural pools for swimming. The water is clean and particularly cold.
There are life vests being offered during the registration so make sure to get one if you don’t know how to swim.
The strong water drops of Hulugan is a must experience. Swim your way to the bottom of Hulugan and get yourself showered with its water cannon-like force.
The nearest rocks are a great spot to get that picture-perfect waterfall whether you are facing backward or in front!
From the left side of Hulugan is a small cave-like hole, another good spot to view the majestic Hulugan Falls.
The trek back to the jump-off point from Hulugan is different. The local guides of Brgy. San Salvador established the trail to make Hulugan Falls more accessible to visitors. For about 30 minutes of continuous ascent, you will reach the top where the sign “I Love Hulugan Falls” is located. This is where you can cool down before completing the trail and hop on the tricycle to get you to Captain’s House.
Ideal Time to Visit Hulugan Falls
Waterfalls are best to experience after rain to witness the gushing water, but make sure to wait for a few days to give the trail a time to dry up and to avoid a muddy and slippery trek. This is in the months of July to November, the rainy season in the Philippines.
It is also good to visit in the months of December until February when the weather is most likely favorable. During summer, Hulugan Falls is anticipated to get overcrowded at times which is another factor when planning your trip.
And lastly, like any other tourist destination, make time to visit on a weekday to get a better chance of quieter and less crowded Hulugan Falls.
Fees and Expenses
These are the basic fees and expenses in Hulugan Falls as of February 2020. Please note that we brought our car for travel.
Registration Fee – Php30
Tour Guide – Php600 (Hulugan Falls, Talay Falls & Hidden Falls). For Hulugan Falls only, standard rate is Php500.
Car Parking – Php40
Motorcycle Parking – Php20
Tricycle to Jumpoff Point – Php20
Shower – Php20
Toll Fee – Php220 (one way)
Other Expenses assuming if done by commute:
Bus Fare to Sta. Cruz – Php140
Jeep to San Salvador – Php30
Tips and Reminders
- Bring packed lunch before heading to Hulugan Falls, there aren’t many options in Brgy. Salvador and in the Captain’s House.
- Bring enough water with you during the trek.
- Wear appropriate trekking attire – a comfortable shirt, trekking sandals/shoes, headwear, etc.
- Apply sunscreen for skin protection.
- Visit during weekdays to avoid the crowd.
- The ideal months to visit are December to February for favorable weather.
- Bring waterproof bag for your gadgets, phones and other important items. Action camera and mobile phones are better of use near the waterfalls as it may get foggy.
- Your guide knows best where to take a good photo.
- Camping is allowed near the intersection of Talay Falls and Hulugan Falls. This is where you find the pandan trees. This is according to our guide Tatay Maximo.
- Bring enough cash with you; there are no nearby ATMs in San Salvador.
- Do not litter.
- Bring your trash with you.
- Respect the locals.
- Enjoy and keep safe
If you want Tatay Maximo as your guide, you may ask him in the Information Desk. He doesn’t have any contact number but here’s a picture of him so you can recognize him.
Where to Eat
It is recommended to bring your packed lunch in Hulugan Falls. You can buy it at Pagsanjan town proper or along the Cavinti-Luisiana Road. We didn’t find any carinderia in San Salvador so make sure to buy beforehand.
At the Captain’s House, you can buy drinks, bread, snacks and special bibingka at Php100 (best to have it after the trek). There is also a nearby store that sells pancit habhab.
Treat yourself and try the popular restaurants in Pagsanjan. We tried Aling Taleng’s and Calle Arco Restaurants many times before. But this time, we ate at Balai Ilocos serving Ilocano cuisine in a vintage house setting. Try their Balai Ilocos Platter and Sinigang na Hipon, you’ll definitely love it!
Other restaurants in Pagsanjan:
- Xiangye Taiwanese Restaurant
- Abram’s Cuisine
- Hana Japanese
- Le Maison Yelo Lane
How to Get to Hulugan Falls
Hulugan Falls is three hours away from Manila located in Barangay San Salvador in Luisiana, Laguna.
The location is accessible via car or commute, but we recommend bringing car as much as possible for convenience and hassle-free travel.
By Private Car
- Using WAZE, search Hulugan Falls or Hulugan Falls jumpoff point.
- Drive your way to South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) and exit in Calamba.
- Continue and follow the national road highway passing through towns of Los Baños, Victoria, Pila and Pagsanjan.
- At Pagsanjan town proper, pass through Pagsanjan Arch and turn right to Cavinti-Luisiana Road. Landmark is Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish Church.
- Follow the Cavinti-Luisiana Road and watch out for the small signage of San Salvador/Hulugan Falls at a corner to your right.
- You will find the Information Desk where you need to register, sign a waiver and get a tour guide.
- Follow your tour guide until you reach the Captain’s House. This is where you can park your car.
- Going to the jump-off point, you need to ride a tricycle. Fare is Php20 per head.
By Public Transportation
- Ride a bus from Cubao or Taft to Sta. Cruz, Laguna.
- From Sta. Cruz, ride a jeepney going to Lucena or Lucban and alight in Brgy. San Salvador. Make sure to inform the driver to drop you off in San Salvador going to Hulugan Falls.
- Register at the Tourist Information Desk and get a guide.
Sample Day Tour Itinerary
The three waterfalls of Hulugan, Talay and Hidden Falls in Luisiana, Laguna is good for a day tour. You may follow this sample itinerary but you may adjust based on your preference.