La Union has always been known for surfing and that life-so-hippie-chill vibe. But if you’re looking for adventure, a quick side trip to Tangadan Falls should not be missed!
Hike up to the falls is a short and easy 45 min. trek; though if you’re used to climbing mountains, you could go way faster than this. And if walking’s not your thing, I swear this is bearable because even my mom was able to come with us. She usually stays in the hotel or at home when I ask my dad if he wants to go on a hike with me, but this time, she came with us–and in slippers, lol.
Tangadan Falls is in San Gabriel, La Union and you can find it via Google Maps but I do not suggest relying on it. There’s actually two paths/trails going to the place. I think all maps we’ve used led to one which can only be accessed by motorbikes and cars well built for heavy terrains. What’s best done is drive or ride a jeepney to San Gabriel then once there, ask a tricycle driver (or ride/hire one! if you’re commuting) for directions to the place. You can also pay them to lead you directly, pretty much like an old-school Waze, if you’re driving–like what we did! It takes maybe an hour to get the hike starting point from the famous stretch of beaches in LU. Then from there you go on foot!
A trail guide is optional and there aren’t really any facilities in the starting point unlike in mountain hikes. So no fees as well. Yay! Maybe because it’s not that famous yet and the hike is just short. It is just as pretty though. Very much like river hikes in Rizal! (Daraitan and Tinipak River vibes.)
Near the falls, flooring would be marbl-y and you can get your adrenaline rushing through cliff diving! Lots of diving spots! We had a local kid with us going to the place by coincidence, and he mostly became our guide. He sidetracked our walk a couple of times to show us diving spots and it was so worth losing time! I barely had any pictures because I was always wet and forgot that I even had the camera with me. So, the falls:
We were so lucky that when we went there, the place was mostly clear of people. And the water was so ice refreshing after the hike! You can pay Php 20 to use the balsa to go directly below the waterfalls or just swim there. Life jackets are also up for rent for the same price. It was a good side/day trip!
On the way back we chance upon carabaos and cute little puppies that I didn’t get to take a photo of. (But I was able to pet them so yay! Haha.)