Visiting Tinago Falls in Iligan City
Northern Mindanao is blessed with a handful of distinct attractions. From dives sites, adventure activities, farms, and natural wonders, this region has many tourist destinations to offer that you’ll probably love going back to.
Tinago Falls is just one of them—one of the majestic waterfalls sitting in the outskirts of Iligan City in Lanao del Norte.
The falls’ name is derived from its location—a waterfall hidden in solitary in the midst of a deep forest and a part of the 36.5 kilometer-long Agus River. This is frequented by guests, aside from the equally stunning Maria Christina Falls, which is just a few minutes away from it.
But before having a glimpse of this wonder of nature, one has to go through a heart-thumping cardio workout and take 300 steps down to see its whole beauty. Trekkers need not worry about the struggle in going up and down the waterfalls. The wide stairs are well-cemented with sturdy handlebars. Trekkers can rest for a couple of minutes in shaded stops before they continue walking down the trail. It is still possible for the elderly and those who have health complications to see Tinago Falls from up close. Some people can assist and carry them using a chair for a minimal fee.
The entrance to Tinago Falls is Php 50.00. Visitors can bring their own food and rent cottages with nice views of the falls.
As you come near, the roars of the falling waters will grow louder and louder, signaling that you are already near your destination. You’ll see a complete view of Tinago Falls upon taking your last steps down the winding staircase.
Tinago Falls boasts of thick, cold waters gushing from Agus River and stands at 240 ft. It cascades down to its massive deep blue lagoon-like basin. People can swim through its tranquil waters, explore a nearby cave, ride a raft, or climb up to its rocky and steep steps before plunging into its cold waters. The whole beauty of Tinago Falls is evidently covered by flora and fauna, with towering, rich trees circling around it, keeping its visitors shaded while welcoming rays of sunlight peeking through the branches and leaves.
Tinago Falls’ legend reveals that a powerful Sultan and his pregnant wife were cursed by an enchantress who disguised as a beggar. Their child was born ugly and was hidden in a cave out of sheer embarrassment and disappointment from other people. Named as Tin-ag, or “hidden face,” the child grew up wanting to see the beauty of the world. She was offered by the enchantress to become just as beautiful as the world she saw. The girl accepted the enchantress’s offer, and thus, she became the Tinago Falls.
Iligan City will not be called the City of Majestic Waterfalls for nothing. It boasts of its 24 waterfalls sprawled within its borders. Aside from Tinago Falls and the equally-popular Maria Christina Falls, the city also has Dodiongan Falls, Mimbalut Falls, Limunsudan Falls, and Abaga Falls among others.
HOW TO GET THERE?
Book a flight to Laguindingan International Airport in Cagayan de Oro City. Ride a cab going to Iligan City. You can also ride a cab to Bulua Bus Terminal in Cagayan de Oro and right Iligan City-bound buses. Travel times takes 1 ½ hour.
From Iligan City
From Iligan City, take the Linamon route and ride a jeep to Buruan. Alight at the border of Linamon and Biruan. Take a motorcycle ride to Highland Resort, which serves as the jump off point of Tinago Falls. The fare is Php80-50 one way, depending on your arrangement with your rider.