Adventures Down South: A Guide to Cavinti Falls

When you hear Laguna, you usually think of hot springs and resorts. But if you go a bit further, you will definitely find yourself at the entrance of a great adventure filled with waterfalls, caves and the lake life. Cavinti Falls is one of those wonders, where you usually just read and see about in school books here in the Philippines. 

Formerly known to be Pagsanjan Falls, this beauty is also known as Magdapio Falls by the locals. It is actually situated in Cavinti, Laguna. It is a pretty large waterfall with a secret cave. You will find it draped with dense foliage and massive boulders.

You can now hike going down to see this beauty and enjoy its majestic wonder for a long time. Before, the only way to see it was to get a boat ride, which has a strict schedule and less time to enjoy said waterfalls. I am pretty happy to come back here, as this year it was my second time to trek down. 

Where to start your trek to Cavinti falls:

If you're new to Cavinti, it is advised to get in touch with their tourism office in Pueblo El Salvador Nature Park in Brgy Tibatib. This will be your starting point for reaching Cavinti Waterfalls, and even Cavinti Cave. But that's for another post. 

Anyway, there are a number of ways you can reach it, from hiking a foot trail, a canoe ride, or a combination of both. My personal favorite way is to trek down, then get a canoe ride to the mainland. 

Unfortunately, when we went there were no available boats, but the trek back up to El Pueblo is doable, especially if you're having fun with friends. I think our trek was at around 1 hour and 45 minutes, 30 minutes of which was on going down.

The entrance fee covers a tour guide to the waterfalls, bamboo raft ride, life vests for the bamboo raft ride and canoe if you opted for that, safety harness, and the use of washrooms. They said that boats would most probably be available this March 2023.

Here's a link to my vlog of the first time I went to Cavinti Falls, I'll be updating soon with a vlog of this trip too.

The Trek down:

The safety harness is worn on the nature park, and you would need it when you rappel down the caged ladder, similar to a fire exit ladder. The trek starts with a concrete road. Next notable station is the El Pueblo Salvador statue, and near that is a viewing deck. 

The viewing deck a couple of steps away from El Salvador

Once you're there, you will start to hear the rapids. Afterwards, you walk for a bit more and the fun begins with the vertical rappel. It is as it sounds- you are strapped with a harness, then hooked up with a rope. You hold onto the rope while making sure to stand upright. If you have a bag like me, it would be better to kilt it to the side to not change your balance. There will be a guide who will help you as gravity gets you down to the next station.  

The Caged Ladder

rapelling down :D

It sounds easy, feels scary-ish to adrenaline pumping, especially if it is your first time! Then you continue your descent downwards, and once you reach the 2nd rappelling station, the next challenge is the 80 degree ladder-stairs that you have to climb down to. If you're feeling a bit nauseous or is afraid of heights, just take your time and climb down while facing said ladder instead. 

Then, we finally reached the basin of Cavinti Falls.

You can hear the loud gushing sounds of the water as it fell down the wide basin. The place itself has big boulders and concrete benches where you could take photos with Cavinti Falls in the background. There is also a station where you can get life vests.

The balsa was pulled near the waterfall by guides until we were directly under the stream. The downpour was quite strong, and it still felt like someone was massaging my back. The cave was a bit different from the last time I went here, as we were not allowed to go down and explore inside, and there were no more steps on the mini island inside the cave. The guides then turned the balsa around to bring us back. It was still pretty much fun, and I still want to go back as I write this now.

The trek back up to El Pueblo Nature Park is pretty exhausting. Especially if you are not used to trekking. That's because you will need to climb up the vertical ladder, as well as the caged ladder, although for that a guide will still hook you up to a rope, but they won't help you up, just make sure that you won't fall down said ladder. We were pacing ourselves which is why it took another 1 hour and 15 minutes to get back up. Doable, definitely but tiresome, so you have to be sure to go to a restaurant with really delicious food like Las Caidas after trekking. 

As I said before, my preferred way of  going to Cavinti falls is to trek and then get a boat ride after. Visiting Cavinti Falls is definitely a great highlight of our trip to Cavinti, Laguna. I can't wait to come back, hopefully with my kids in tow soon and a canoe ride going back up the mainland. :D

Tips for going to Cavinti Falls:

  • Prepare to get wet. I personally like to use swimwear whenever I trek because of the balsa ride going to the cave. You can also have a drybag ready and just bring a change of clothes for when you get wet. There is a restroom down there so no worries if you feel like you need to pee or change clothes. 
  • If you're wearing slippers, make sure they have grip, and they are made for hiking. Also bring extra slippers just in case.
  • Best gadgets to use is a go pro or something that can get wet, or even a case for your phone. It would be better if you have casings for them that you can strap or hang on your neck, as you need to be hands free at times especially when you will descend the vertical ladders.
  • If you plan on trekking, better start early in the morning to avoid the harsh sun.
  • Bring a water bottle or two, especially if you are doing this in the middle of the day.

How to get to Cavinti Falls:

  • Ride a bus from Buendia bound to Sta. Cruz, Laguna
  • In Sta. Cruz, take a jeepney going to Cavinti, then a tricycle to Pueblo El Salvador Nature Park and Picnic Grove in Brgy Tibatib.

Cavinti Falls Rates

You can go there via a number of ways, and here are the rates for each: 

The entrance fee includes a tour guide to the waterfalls, bamboo raft ride, life vests, safety harness, and the use of washrooms. 

For inquiries about Cavinti, you can contact Cavinti Tourism Site Operators Association (CTSOA) via Facebook.

1 comment:

  1. Ang ganda dyan sa Cavinti Falls 😍 Ang worth it talagang puntahan. For sure, sobrang memorable and ganda ng experience kapag pumasyal dyan ❤️