Home >> Asia >> Here’s how to do Pagsanjan Falls … my Pagsanjan Falls DIY approach

Here’s how to do Pagsanjan Falls … my Pagsanjan Falls DIY approach

It’s a known fact that I love waterfalls (well it’s known, if you read this travel blog). I’ve done 4 of the big 5 waterfalls around the world, and I’ll generally go to any place where there is an awesome waterfall. On a trip to the Philippines, I had a chance to go behind Pagsanjan Falls. It’s pretty awesome and there are a couple ways you can see the falls

  1. Do a day tour from Manila
  2. DIY using local transport. I’ve put a link with directions at the bottom of the article – Pagsanjan Falls DIY
  3. Use a local driver and have them take you there directly

I chose option #3, since I was there on a work trip 🙂 Nothing better than having your trip paid for by someone else. If you’re wondering the best time to go, then you should go during the dry season, from end of October to end of May. From June to mid-October is the rainy season and the weather can be pretty bad as well as the level of the water on the river dangerous. On the road, you’ll pass through the town of Pagsanjan. For the average tourist, I wouldn’t recommend sticking around, as you’re here for the adventure of the waterfalls.


Many of the hotels along the river have a stairwell that goes down to the river. If you’re going to have lunch at their restaurants, you can get a much reduced rate on the boat ride and changing facilities. The restaurant facilities are not 5 star, but they will be adequate enough for your purposes.


Once you’re all arranged, you’ll get into these thin boats and you’ll be ferried to the start of the rapids. It’s a bit unnerving getting into those tiny little boats, especially if you are a person of size … compared to these little filipinos, I was a damn monster. That being said, it’s quite the little adventure up the stream and you’ll definitely enjoy people watching along the river. Feel free to wave at the people 🙂 Here is a video of the beginning ride upstream.

Next, you’ll then be pulled upstream by those two guys and they will drag you boat all along the river too. IF you’ve ever seen Jurassic Park, then you know exactly what the scenery looks like. In fact, while I was passing other little waterfalls, I wouldn’t have been surprised to see dinosaurs and an archeopteryx or two.




I did feel a little guilty, while I sat in the banca/small trigger boat, enjoying the scenery with my helmet and life vest on, but I rationalized it and I was over the guilt. I guarantee, you won’t be tired from paddling the boat, but it is tiring and exciting looking around.

Once you’re at the end of the river run, then you’ll have the option of going into the falls and visiting the Devil’s Cave (it’s named as such, because it looks like the face of a devil … I didn’t see that resemblance)

Devil’s Cave

I HIGHLY recommend it even though it’s a rather small cave inside but to feel the powerful waterfalls splashing on your back  is awesome, and you swim for a while inside the cave and take pictures. You will have to tip the guys about 4$ USD for the effort of pulling you into the falls … yep, just 4$USD for the efforts of three men to pull you into the falls (you will feel some degree of guilt about the whole thing, but this is how much people in the Philippines make … get over it!). My friend Melanie White, was the one narrating the little adventure and don’t bother asking why I had to roll up my sleeves.

If you’re looking for a schedule of times for your Pagsanjan Falls DIY, then I would use the following high level  itinerary from Manila, along with a clickable map of the sight along the way.

Time                          Activity
8:00 AM                     Leave Manila by car or busETD (Green Star Bus)
10:15 – 10:30 AM     Get into Pagsanjan Falls
10:30 – 3:00 PM      Pagsanjan falls adventure including lunch
3:00 – 4:00 PM        Lunch
4:00 – 6:00 PM        Get back to Manila
pag

Here are directions to Pagsanjan Falls with routes (taken from PH commute):

From NCR:

  1. Go to one of the bus terminals below:
  2. Ride an HM Transport/Green Star bus to Sta. Cruz, and get off at Pagsanjan/Jam bus terminal in Barangay Pagsawitan, Pagsanjan, Laguna. The ride takes about 2.5 hours.
  3. Go to Pagsanjan, Lumban, Paete, Siniloan, or Caliraya, you can either:
    • Ride a jeep to Pagsanjan, Lumban, Paete, Siniloan, or Caliraya, and get off at your destination. The ride takes about 20-30 minutes.
    • Ride a tricycle to your destination.

From Cavinti/Lucena/Luisiana, Quezon Province:

  1. Ride a jeep to Sta. Cruz via Pagsanjan, and get off at your destination.

From Lucban, Quezon Province:

  1. Ride a jeep to Pagsanjan town plaza, and get off at your destination.

From Dasmarinas, Cavite:

  1. From the Pala-pala Terminal (near Robinsons Place and SM City Dasmarinas), ride a van to Pagsanjan or Sta. Cruz, and get off at Pagsanjan/Jam bus terminal in Barangay Pagsawitan, Pagsanjan, Laguna. The ride takes about 2.5 hours.
  2. Go to Pagsanjan, Lumban, Paete, Siniloan, or Caliraya, you can either:
    • Ride a jeep to Pagsanjan, Lumban, Paete, Siniloan, or Caliraya, and get off at your destination. The ride takes about 20-30 minutes.
    • Ride a tricycle to your destination.

About Rishiray

Rishi Sankar is a Cloud HRMS Project Manager/ Solution Architect. Over the past 15+ years, he has managed to combine his overwhelming wanderlust with a desire to stay employed, resulting in continuing stints with 3 major consulting firms (IBM, Deloitte, Accenture). He documents his adventures around the world on "Ah Trini Travelogue" with pictures and stories from the road/tuk-tuk/camel/rickshaw. You can follow him on Twitter at @rishiray and on Facebook at "Ah Trini Travelogue . He doesn't like Chicken Curry but loves Curry Chicken and is always trying to find the perfect Trinidadian roti on the road. He also doesn't like cheese and kittens ... and definitely not together. E-mail from his blog is appreciated like a 35 yr old Balvenie at [email protected]

Check Also

Wining at a Trini wedding … and more videos

Over the years, I’ve take a lot of videos. I would say that my videos …

Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic – that’s a lot to say

When you’re in Kandy, along with the cricket ground where Murali grew up and the …