If you think La Union has nothing more to offer than surfing, you’re wrong! Elyu has all sorts of amazing things stored in his nooks and crannies. But if you’re staying in Urbiztondo in San Juan, there’s one interesting thing you won’t forget Tangadan Falls!
La Union has the largest number of waterfalls in the country – from Lang -ay Falls in Tubao to Occalong Falls in Luna. But perhaps the most famous of these cascades Tangadan Falls, imprisoned in the sleeping city of San Gabriel. This waterfall is a section of the Baroro River, two steps, each with a natural body of water at the base, surrounded by limestone cliffs and large boulders.
Tangadan Falls is located in Barangay Amontoc in the mountains of San Gabriel, La Union. So the first step was to enter La Union. This waterfall is too far for a day trip directly from Manila, so most tourists visit it as part of the La Union trip. They usually book a hotel in San Juan (also known as Urbiztondo Beach) or the city of San Fernando. From here, you can dedicate half a day to this waterfall.
Planning to visit Tangadan waterfall soon? Here are some things to know before you go.
What is covered in this guide?
1. Put the knife in San Fernando.
If you’re coming from Metro Manila, the only travel companies we know of that directly take passengers to La Union are PARTAS and VIRON Transport (as of May 2022). They have terminals inside Cubao. You can find La Union car rides at Viron’s Sampaloc Terminal.
Take a car to the city of San Fernando or San Juan, depending on where you live. Most of the La Union cars end up in San Fernando City.
Alternatively, if you live somewhere else, you can catch a car going to Abra or Ilocos instead of San Juan or any other city in La Union. (Keep in mind that not all cars allow this, so it’s important to ask an employee before booking a ticket.)
For the project, fees and other important reminders, we have written an article dedicated here: MANILA I LA UNION BUS IKE HELE! ✅
If you take your own car, just use Google Maps or Waze, then search for San Gabriel Municipal Hall.
2. Take a car or jeepney to San Gabriel Town Proper.
Travel time is about 45 minutes from San Fernando and about 30 minutes from San Juan. Jeepney fares are between P15 and P20 pesos.
- If you are coming from San Fernando, go to Tanqui Transport Terminal to catch a jeepney.
- If you’re coming from San Juan, go to People’s Park, which is on the other side of the San Juan Museum.
An easier (but more expensive) option: Get a car to take you directly to San Gabriel Municipal Hall. The tour starts at P500 if you are single, or more if you are a group. (We paid P800 for a party of 3.) The driver can wait for you in the appropriate city and take you back to your hotel or guest house later.
If you want to make the most of your day, arrange a Tangadan Falls + Northern Tour (which includes a visit to Immuki Island at Bacnotan and rock climbing at Luna). Trips like this range from P1800 to P2000.
3. Pay the entrance fee to the Public Treasury.
The bus will take you around San Gabriel Municipal Hall. It’s on the Police Station side in the club.
Pay the community fee / entrance fee at the City Library. The fee is P30 per person.
No, no entry into law. You may be asked to provide official information online.
4. Hire a tour guide.
Yes, it is required. A “No tour guide, no participation” in power. You will find the tour guide on the side of the police station.
The tour guide fee is P500 per group. We are unable to capture the total number of members allowed for each group. But there were three of us and we were considered one team.
5. Take a habal-habal or jeepney on the trail.
Choose between the habal-habal (kalakalakala) and the jeep.
- The Habal-habal tour fee is P400 for the company. A group can accommodate up to 2 guests. If time is tight or you can visit early in the morning, this is the type of transpo for you.
- The Jeepney costs around P150 per person. But maybe wait for more drivers before leaving.
Travel time is 20-30 minutes.
6. Go to the waterfall.
It takes 15-20 minutes to walk down the stairs to the waterfall. But it depends on your speed.
RECOMMENDATION: The road leading to the trail is narrow and winding, and in some places it is steep. It’s hard if you’re not familiar with the road.
We have a video version of this tour guide here:
- To swim Swim in the cool waters of the Baroro River. If you are not a confident swimmer, you can rent a life jacket or just swim in shallow areas. The mossy stone is very slippery, so be careful.
- Dive the cliff. If you like magic, jump the cliff! Check the fall if there are swimmers below before taking a dive. Note that the main cliff jump is closed for safety reasons, but you can jump from the rock below near the waterfall.
- Take it away. Take lots of pictures. This truly beautiful landscape, with limestone cliffs all around, makes for an amazing sculpture.
Planning to stay a few days in La Union? San Fernando and San Juan are the best places to book a hotel. The two are in the center, closely related, and close to a lot of interesting people. Here are some properties available on Agoda.
Below is a full tour that includes the Tangadan waterfall. Remember, this means you are living in San Juan, just like us. You can use this as a great trip to La Union.
The bus tour for Tangadan waterfall is P500 if one, P800 if you are a group of 3. If you want to visit both Luna and Immuki Islands (behind Tangadan waterfall), the tour combined transportation costs P1800 to P2000.
In our case, we all agreed to visit Tangadan waterfall early in the morning to avoid the crowds. We had a party for 3, to cover some of the costs.
05:30 AM – Train to San Gabriel
06:00 AM – Rent a tour guide, P166.67 / pax (P500 / group)
06:10 AM – Pay at Tangadan waterfall, P30
06:15 AM – Habal -habal ride, P200 / pax (P400 / car)
06:45 AM – Enjoy Tangadan waterfall
08:30 AM – Head back
09:00 AM – Decide on Tangadan fees (if you’re not already there)
09:10 AM – Depart for Immuki Island
09:45 AM – Pay Immuki Island entrance fee, P20
09:55 AM – Stock price, P83.33 / pax (P250 / stock)
11:00 AM – quick swim – P10
11:20 AM – Bahay na Bato, P50
12:20 PM – Bato de Luna, P50 admission, P150 lunch
01:40 PM – Meals at Lola Mending’s Cafe – P250
02:40 PM – Baluarte Tower
03:15 PM – Darigayos beach and Paraoir forest nearby
04:00 PM – Return to rest, relax, clean up
If you are 3, each trip should consider going out for this trip:
PhP 1677 – Tangadan Falls + Immuki Island + Highway
PhP 664 – Tangadan is just a waterfall
What are the working hours?
In writing, visitors are allowed during the following periods:
What are the costs? How much money?
Here is a summary of the expenses you can expect.
- Car: P505 to P800 (depending on car company and road)
- Transportation (San Juan to San Gabriel): P500 for one, P800 for a group of 3
- Community Fee: P30 / head
- Travel guide fee: P500 (good for 5 pax)
- Holo Habal-Habal: P400 (car tour)
- Rent a life jacket: P50. This is just an option.
What are the travel benefits for La Union?
You will need a NAPANAM QR Code, along with other requirements. A full list of requirements related to your vaccine status and the alert level of the area you are coming from.
In order to better explain, we have created a separate article with more details here: LA UNION TRAVEL REQUIREMENTS for TOURISTS 2022
When is the best time to go?
The cascades are strong when it rains, but some parts of the trail are muddy. It is best to visit two or three days after the rain. There is plenty of time to see the twins in the water. However, check the official notice of the town’s tourism office or the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council for replacements and advice before your visit.
If you want to avoid the crowds, visit on Sunday. If you can’t help visiting on the weekends or holidays, try going there early in the morning (like we did).
Are visitors allowed on foot?
Yes! But if you want to book your slot, you can schedule the trip a day or night before your visit.
Is there a car park?
If you take your own car, you can park at the jeepney stop where the tour guide is located. But since it’s a public server, you need to go first before filling the slots.
There is a parking lot along the way. We don’t know if they will allow private cars to drive here.
Do we need to hire a tour guide?
No tour guide, no entry.
Also, don’t forget the official receipt (OR) issued by the Department of Commerce.
Where to eat
There is a food stall and souvenirs in the parking lot of the trailhead (where the habal-habal and “monster” jeepneys park).
An adult and a child?
But it may not be for the elderly and not at all for people with car problems. The journey back to the airport is lined with climbing routes and a long flight of solid stairs. While there are rest areas, it can be difficult for young children, the elderly, and people with car problems.
- Town Hall: +63 (72) 687 0125/0916 479 6253
- San Gabriel Health Center: +63 (72) 682 0504 / [email protected]
- San Gabriel Police Station: 0928 780 2268
- La Union County Office: +63 (72) 607 5100/0977 844 4404
- The Union Coast Guard: +63 (72) 607 2877/0917 815 2012
- County Disaster Management and Disaster Management Office: 911/0945 283 5067
- La Union Bureau of Fire Protection: +63 (72) 607 4066/0917 186 2711
- La Union Medical Center: +63 (72) 607-5938 / 607 5541 ai 45
- Aleng Pulis Hotline (for sexual harassment): +63 9197777377
- Tisya Justice (Independent Legal Counsel for Sex Abuse): Globe / TM, 09533826936; Naauao / TNT / Date: 09510774412