It takes a pair of wandering soles to find beautiful, gorgeous, and scenic places that are hidden from the eye of the development of the metropolis. Treasures are meant to be hidden and those who dare to discover them are often rewarded by majestic sceneries more than words can describe.

As a continuation of our travel guide series, we will take you to a place with best-kept secrets and unspoiled beauty which its name literally translates to “one that is hidden.”

Tinago Falls is one of the hidden gems of Lanao del Norte and Mindanao itself. With its beauty, no wonder this place has sparked the imagination of natives to create myths on how the waterfall was created.

Situated at the peaceful municipality of Linamon, Lanao Del Norte near Iligan City, the Tinago Falls is close to being untouched as there are only man-made staircases and few cottages to accommodate the flock of tourists.

The Tinago Falls has 240 feet-high colossal rock run down by rushing water to its tranquil, cool, brackish, blue water basin fringed with the lush greenery of endemic trees, flowers, and grasses. 

If you plan to stay away from the hustle and bustle of the city, Tinago Falls is worthy to be added on your list of must-visit destinations to relax and relieve stress. It is also perfect for adrenaline junkies as this place is not easy to reach. Patience and endurance are needed because you have to trek down the 500 steps man-made stairway to see the one of a kind beauty of Tinago Falls.


What to expect at Tinago Falls

Located in Lanao del Norte, the place dubbed as the place of majestic waterfalls, Tinago Falls is a place that encapsulates the beauty of Lanao del Norte.

It seems as the numbers of adjectives in a sentence make you curious, well, you don’t have to worry as we are going to tell you what you should expect at Tinago Falls.


1. Trek down the 500 steps of the winding staircase to the falls

Strength, patience, and endurance are needed to trek down the 500 steps of what the people dubbed as the winding staircase. Trekking down is not advised for people that are hypertensive or people with pre-existing heart problems.

If you ever need motivation to trek down the winding staircase, just remember that a gorgeous waterfall is waiting for you at the bottom. Be sure to bring a tumbler or bottled water with you to stay hydrated.

 2. Enjoy the view of the waterfall

The tiresome experience of trekking down to the falls will be rewarded with the beautiful and scenic view of the Tinago Falls. Miraculous as it may seem, but I assure you that your fatigue will vanish as the soothing and relaxing ambiance of the place engulf you.

The waterfall is proudly standing high with an approximate elevation of 420 feet cascades with its curtain of water running down to its calm basin of crystal clear and blue water. The waterfall is perfectly hidden in the heart of the lush forests of Linamon. Its colossal rock is fringed with towering endemic trees, tall grasses, and wildflowers. A beautiful sight that we rarely see but will leave a lasting impression.


3. Swim in the Tinago’s calm basin

Tinago’s calm basin is perfect for swimming. You can enjoy swimming in its basin as much as you want. Its crystal clear water is enticing as if it is calling your name to plunge to its cool brackish water. Just a reminder though that it has a deep basin, be sure to swim with precautions or better wear a life jacket which is available to be rented in the area at a very affordable price of P25.


4. Try cliff-diving

This activity is perfect for adrenaline junkies. If it happens that you are not a fan of high places but eager to try cliff diving, you can muster your courage while screaming while jumping from the cliff. There’s no stopping you to try this activity but yourself though. So why not try?

There are also life jackets available for you to rent if you don’t know how to swim. There are designated areas you are allowed to cliff dive. That’s why it is advisable to hire a local guide, not just to support the local tourism industry, but also to be properly guided with the dos and don’ts in the area.


5. Ride the Bamboo Raft

Your Tinago Falls trip will be a total waste of time and money if you won’t try their bamboo raft. The price of the bamboo raft is negotiable depending on how you huddle with the assigned individuals for the bamboo raft. We paid P300 good for 5 people.

Excited as may seem, we were in great awe as we crossed the calm basin of crystal clear blue water of Tinago Falls. We were heading to the next activity that you should expect while at Tinago Falls – the waterfall massage.


6. Enjoy the waterfall massage

Waterfall massage is one of the activities Tinago Falls offers, as you have read above, it is a prerequisite to ride the bamboo raft to enjoy this activity. Relax and relieve your stress as your body is naturally massaged by the water running down to the Tinago’s basin.

What’s more, you can also enter the small cave under the waterfalls where you can listen to the rumbling of waters inside. Be sure that you have your guide with you to ensure your safety.

Lastly, there are two smaller falls nearby where you can freely visit to take pictures or swim.

How to get to Tinago Falls

Interested in visiting Tinago Falls? You have two choices to choose from, either you take public transportation or rent a private vehicle.

If you prefer to take public transportation, you have to bring lots of patience with you. From Davao City, you have to ride a bus bound to Cagayan De Oro because there is no direct route of public utility bus to Iligan City as of the moment. You have to pay a P350-P700 bus fare depending on what type of bus you are going to ride. Basically, the air-conditioned bus is more expensive than a non-air conditioned bus.

Upon your arrival in Cagayan De Oro, you have to ride either a motorcycle or a taxi to go to Balua Integrated Bus and Jeepney Terminal then go directly to the ticketing booth and ask for a ticket for a bus bound to Iligan City.

From here, you can either directly hire a habal-habal or motorcycle to take you to Tinago Falls with an estimated fare of P600 per person. Fare prices may vary depending on how you negotiate with the habal-habal driver. Another option is to ride the local jeepney, which means you have to transfer from one jeepney to another.

Tiresome, right? Would you like to skip the hassle of long hours of transportation and transferring from one mode of transportation to another? Worry no more, Car Rental Davao is here to cater to your travel needs. The best option out there is to rent a car. Not only is it convenient, it is also cheaper and hassle-free compared to taking public transportation. And, you can cut your travel time from approximately 7 hours to 5 hours or even less.

Car Rental Davao has everything you are looking for in a car rental agency, from vans, sedans, to SUVs. Premium vehicles with cheap rental fees. Why waste your money with much more expensive and very hassle and tiresome public transportation to Tinago Falls when you can take advantage of the conveniences of renting a vehicle offers? So, what are you waiting for? Plan your next travel goals with us by contacting us through our Booking Page, via call (+63906-059-1323) or email (sales@carrentaldavao.com).

If you’re a tourist or visitor from the north, we can have an airport car rental arranged for you and have the unit delivered at Davao airport. If you’re already in the city, we can also drop off the unit exactly at your preferred location.

If you intend to stay in Lanao del Norte for long, we can also offer special car rental deals for you. Contact us directly and we will do the arrangement for you.

Things to bring at Tinago Falls

It is important to be mindful of the things you have to prepare before you head to Tinago Falls. Now, below is a shortlist of essentials you have to bring.

1. Extra clothes and swimwears
It is expected that you are going to swim in Tinago’s basin, so make sure to bring extra clothes and swimwear with you.

2. Foods
Bring foods with you so that you don’t have to go back to the top taking the 500 steps staircase again just to get some food. That is why it is advisable that you have to bring your food with you by the time you trek down to the falls.

3. First aid kit
Wherever and whenever you go, the first-aid kit should always be in your bag to mend wounds from unforeseen accidents. It is our basic lifeline, so make sure you have it with you, always.

4. Camera or smartphones
Tinago Falls is such a beauty that is why photographs of the place are flooding the social media platforms. If you plan to share your Tinago Falls trip to the world, be sure to bring a camera or a smartphone.

5. Bring trash bags
Clean As You Go (CLAYGO) is one of the important policies of the Lanao del Norte Tourism Office. We have to become a responsible tourist and it means not throwing our garbage everywhere. Throw your garbage in the trash bag to help the local government sustain the natural beauty of Tinago Falls.

6. Cash
There is no ATM Machine nearby that is why it is important to bring cash with you. As of the moment, they don’t accept online payment and credit cards.

7. Non-slip footwear
To avoid accidents, it is advisable to wear non-slip footwear. The area, in general, is slippery.

8. Water
Of course, how can you forget your water? Stay hydrated and bring a tumbler or bottled water with you. Trust me, you will be needing a lot of water trekking down the 500 steps winding staircase.


Fees to keep in mind

Entrance Fee – P50
Bamboo Raft –P300 for 5 persons (Negotiable)
Open Cottage – rate starts at P50
Life Vests – rate starts at P25
Local Guide – rate starts at P50 per person. There’s no fixed price for local guides, so it depends on how you negotiate with the local guide.


Where to stay

Go Hotels Iligan
158 Macapagal Ave., Mahayahay, Iligan City, Lanao del Norte, 9200, Philippines
6.3 km from Tinago Falls
Rates start at P1767 per night good for 2 persons
Contact: +639988887788 / +639178887788
Website: https://www.gohotels.ph/go-hotels/branch/iligan
Email: reservations@gohotels.ph

The Loft Hotel
Corner Aguinaldo-Ubaldo Laya Street Pala-o, Iligan City 9200 Philippines
7.8 km from Tinago Falls
Rate starts at P1450 per night good for 2 persons
Contact: 09957941185

Famous Pension House
Milestone Drive, Iligan City, 9200 Lanao del Norte
9.4 km from Tinago Falls
Rates start at P500 per night good for 2 persons
Tel Nos.: 063 223-0684
063 225-3966
063 225-3967
Mobile: 09228658456


How to contact the Linamon Tourism Office

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Linamon-Tourism-Office-150347562344061/
Website: www.lanaodelnorte.gov.ph
Email: information_ldn@yahoo.com

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