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A Weekend Visit to Tinuy-an Falls, Philippines


Mindanao, located in the southern part of the Philippines, is the second largest island of the archipelago. Dubbed as the “The Land of Promise”, it offers a lot of breathtaking attractions and scenic spots that would liven even the sleepiest soul. One such natural attraction is Tinuy-an Falls in Bislig, Surigao del Sur. Surely this is one delightful treat to any nature lover and adventure seeker. It is a perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of urban life. And a sure ball 360 retreat from the daily grind. From afar, it looks like a giant outdoor cinema with the water gushing majestically from 55 meters above serving as the white vivid screen.


A glimpse of the rush at Tinuy-an falls.


It is a multi tiered waterfall and is about 95 meters wide, said to be the widest in the country. Being there would make you feel like you are the star of your own version of a pirate movie in search of a buried loot or the famous Jungle Book perhaps. The mere sound of the furious waterfall and the droplets of water caressing your face blown by the cool wind are refreshing enough to make you stay all day long. Even the birds in the area agree as they sing along to the tune that nature plays. Locals and tourists alike go there either to commune with nature, satisfy their curiosity or simply to sit back, relax and enjoy. Aside from the usual picnic, there are other activities that one can be busy with after the obligatory “selfie” or “groufie”. There is swimming of course, which is the obvious one and a back massage which can be achieved by simply standing at the bottom of the cascading water allowing it to pelt on your back. A bamboo raft can be rented to ferry the patrons to the spot so there is no need to worry if you don’t feel like swimming in ice cold water. The place offers life vests though, for a fee, for those who don’t know how to swim, in case you are that bold. If you would rather stay dry and simply marvel at the grandeur of nature, you can ask for a guided tour to the upper tier where you can take more selfies with an equally stunning backdrop. The walk to the upper tier may not be treacherous or challenging but tipping the guide is recommended since no one is allowed to go up there except with an official guide.


Visiting Tinuy-an falls is not hard at all. There are two main entry points, Davao City and Butuan City. If you want the easy and more convenient way of going there, you can always book a package tour where all you have to do is simply pay and wait until you arrive at your destination. Or, if you are the adventurous type whose wanderlust is insatiable, then you can opt to just simply ask your way around. People are friendly and accommodating so you will never get lost. In my case, I took off from Butuan City by bus. I simply asked around at the terminal to point me to the bus that would lead me to the place where Tinuy-an Falls is located. Once identified, as soon as I paid my bus fare, I told the conductor to drop me off where I can continue my journey. Along the way, I feasted my eyes on the rural life slowly unfolding. I lost count of the coconut trees, banana and mango trees, ricefields, rivers, and bridges. True enough, 4 hours later, and after multiple bus stops, there were motorcycles for hire waiting in line for passengers going to the falls where the bus dropped me off. It will then be another 30 bumpy and dusty minutes to the actual location riding on the “habal-habal”.


I could barely remember the exact amount I spent. The schedule of fees that I will quote is a close approximation. In Pesos, Bus fare – 320 (one way), Habal-habal or motorcycle – 200 (round trip), Entrance fee to the falls – 50, Life vest – 30, bamboo raft – 100. Other possible expenses will be for food, if you haven’t brought any, cottage, or table and chairs, and tips.



Like in any other trip, it would be best to plan and be prepared. Do a little research about the weather condition as this may affect road condition, the availability of the facility and the like. I visited Tinuy-an Falls in November of 2017 so the falls spewed tons and tons of water since it rained a couple of days ago. During that time, most of the road leading to the falls has been concretized and just a portion was either mud or dust. The increasing influx of visitors surely paved the way for the local government and communities to work hand in hand to develop the area in the hope of giving everyone one pleasurable experience.


At the end of the day, it’s true what they say. “It’s more fun in the Philippines”.



Author: Expatch Editorial Team

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