Things to Do in Pagsanjan Falls: A Comprehensive Guide

Pagsanjan Falls in Laguna province is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Philippines. The town of Pagsanjan is known as the Tourist Capital of the province, and it’s easy to see why. The main attraction in the area is Pagsanjan Falls, which is considered one of the most well-known waterfalls in the country.

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The falls are located in the Pagsanjan Gorge National Park, a protected area home to a diverse range of flora and fauna. Visitors to the area can take a boat ride up the river to the falls, which is an exhilarating experience that offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape. The boat ride is led by experienced guides who are skilled at navigating the rapids and ensuring the safety of their passengers.

In addition to the falls, there are plenty of other things to do in the area. Visitors can explore the nearby Japanese Garden, a beautiful park with traditional Japanese architecture and landscaping. Several other waterfalls, such as the Hulugan Falls and the Aliw Falls, are worth visiting. For those who enjoy outdoor activities, there are plenty of hiking, kayaking, and zip-lining opportunities.

History of Pagsanjan Falls

Pagsanjan Falls, also known as Cavinti Falls or Magdapio Falls, is a three-tiered waterfall located in the province of Laguna, Philippines. It is one of the most famous waterfalls in the country and a major tourist attraction in the region.

The falls have a rich history that dates back to the Spanish colonial period. During that time, the falls were known as Magdapio Falls, named after the indigenous people living there. The Spanish colonizers changed its name to Pagsanjan Falls, meaning “hidden paradise,” due to its remote location and difficulty reaching it.

In the early 19th century, the falls became popular among foreign travelers who visited the Philippines to explore its natural wonders. One of the most famous visitors was Sir James Brooke, the first white rajah of Sarawak, who visited the falls in 1830.

Today, Pagsanjan Falls remains a popular destination for tourists who experience the thrill of the “shooting the rapids” adventure, a boat ride upstream to the falls that involves navigating through a series of rapids and waterfalls. The ride is led by skilled boatmen who expertly maneuver the boats through the treacherous waters, providing visitors with an unforgettable experience.

How to Get to Pagsanjan Falls

Pagsanjan Falls is located in the town of Cavinti in the province of Laguna, Philippines. It is a popular tourist destination known for its scenic waterfall and exciting river rapids adventure. Here’s how to get there:

By Car

The easiest way to get to Pagsanjan Falls is by car. Take the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) from Manila and exit at Calamba. From there, take the National Highway and turn right at the junction of Calamba and Los Baños. Follow the road until you reach the town of Pagsanjan. The trip takes about 2-3 hours depending on traffic.

By Public Transportation

If you prefer to take public transportation, you can take a bus from Manila to Sta. Cruz, Laguna. From there, take a jeepney or tricycle to Pagsanjan town proper. You can take a boat ride from the town proper to Pagsanjan Falls.

Boat Ride

Visitors can take a boat ride along the Bumbungan River to get to Pagsanjan Falls. The boat ride takes about 45 minutes to an hour, depending on the water level. Visitors will pass through lush greenery and rock formations before reaching the waterfall.


For those who prefer a more adventurous route, visitors can also trek to Pagsanjan Falls. The trek takes about 45 minutes to an hour, depending on one’s pace. Visitors will cross a hanging bridge through a forested area before reaching the waterfall.

Tour Packages

There are also tour packages available for visitors who want a hassle-free experience. These packages usually include transportation, boat ride, and a guide. Visitors can book these packages through travel agencies or hotels in Manila or Laguna.

Best Time to Visit Pagsanjan Falls

Pagsanjan Falls is a popular tourist destination in the Philippines that attracts visitors from all over the world. The best time to visit Pagsanjan Falls is during the dry season, from December to May. The weather is generally dry and sunny during this time, making it ideal for outdoor activities such as hiking, swimming, and canoeing.

The rainy season in the Philippines typically starts in June and lasts until November. During this time, the water levels at Pagsanjan Falls can rise significantly, making it dangerous for visitors to swim or canoe. In addition, the trails and paths leading to the falls can become slippery and muddy, making hiking difficult.

If you plan to visit Pagsanjan Falls during the dry season, it’s important to note that the area can get quite crowded, especially on weekends and holidays. To avoid the crowds, it’s best to visit on a weekday or early in the morning before the crowds arrive.

It’s also important to note that the water levels at Pagsanjan Falls can vary depending on the time of day. The best time to see the falls at their fullest is in the morning when the water levels are typically at their highest. If you plan to take a canoe ride to the falls, it’s best to do so early in the morning to avoid the crowds and have enough time to explore the area.

The best time to visit Pagsanjan Falls is during the dry season when the weather is ideal for outdoor activities and the water levels are safe for swimming and canoeing. If you plan to visit during the rainy season, taking extra precautions and being aware of the potential risks associated with high water levels and slippery trails is important.

Activities at Pagsanjan Falls

Boat Ride

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One of the most popular activities at Pagsanjan Falls is the boat ride. Visitors can rent a canoe and take a thrilling ride up the river to the falls. The two boatmen of every canoe try very hard to navigate the rapids and keep the canoe from tipping over. The upstream river trip is the point of the tour, and it is an unforgettable experience. The boat ride is a must-do activity for anyone visiting Pagsanjan Falls.


Swimming is another popular activity at Pagsanjan Falls. Visitors can take a dip in the cool and refreshing water of the falls. The water is crystal clear and perfect for swimming. However, visitors should be careful as some areas have deep water. It is recommended that visitors wear life jackets for safety.


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Pagsanjan Falls is a beautiful location and a great place for photography. Visitors can capture the scenic beauty of the falls, the lush greenery, and the wildlife. It is recommended that visitors bring a camera or a smartphone with a good camera to capture the moments. Visitors can also hire a photographer to take their pictures.

Pagsanjan Falls offers a variety of activities for visitors to enjoy. The boat ride, swimming, and photography are just a few of the things visitors can do at the falls. Visitors can also enjoy the local cuisine and explore the surrounding areas. Pagsanjan Falls is a must-visit destination for anyone visiting the Philippines.

Safety Tips

Visiting Pagsanjan Falls can be an exciting and memorable experience, but it is important to keep safety in mind while exploring the area. Here are a few safety tips to help ensure a safe and enjoyable trip:

  • Wear appropriate footwear: The terrain around Pagsanjan Falls can be slippery and uneven, so wearing sturdy shoes with good traction is important. Avoid wearing flip-flops or sandals.
  • Follow your guide’s instructions: If you are taking a guided tour of Pagsanjan Falls, listen carefully to your guide and follow their instructions. They are trained to keep you safe and can help you navigate the area safely.
  • Stay on designated paths: Stick to designated paths and avoid wandering off into areas that are not marked or that you are not familiar with. This can help you avoid getting lost or injured.
  • Be mindful of your surroundings: Look for potential hazards such as loose rocks, slippery surfaces, or steep drop-offs. Be aware of your surroundings and stay alert at all times.
  • Do not swim in unsafe areas: While swimming can be a fun activity at Pagsanjan Falls, only swim in areas designated as safe. Avoid swimming in areas that are too deep or have strong currents.

By following these safety tips, visitors to Pagsanjan Falls can help ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

Where to Eat Near Pagsanjan Falls

When visiting Pagsanjan Falls, there are plenty of options for dining nearby. From Filipino to Asian cuisine, visitors can enjoy a variety of flavors to satisfy their taste buds.

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One popular restaurant is Calle Arco Restaurant, located just 3.2 miles from Pagsanjan Falls. This restaurant serves Filipino and Asian cuisine, and is known for its good food. Another option is Aling Taleng’s Halo-Halo, located 3 miles from the falls. This restaurant specializes in Filipino and Asian cuisine and is known for its delicious halo-halo dessert.

Lolo Tuge’s Restaurant is a great choice for those looking for pizza and fusion cuisine. Located just half a mile from Pagsanjan Falls Lodge, this restaurant serves Filipino, Asian, and fusion cuisine. Visitors rave about the pizza here, calling it the best in town.

Hana Japanese Restaurant is a must-visit if Japanese cuisine is more your style. Located 0.8 miles from the falls, this restaurant serves sushi and other Japanese dishes. Visitors love the fresh and delicious food here.

Lastly, El Panchito’s Fil Mexicano Resto is a great choice for those looking for Mexican and American cuisine. This restaurant is located just 0.4 miles from the falls and is known for its tasty food and friendly service.

Accommodation Options Near Pagsanjan Falls

Pagsanjan Falls is a popular tourist destination in the Philippines, attracting visitors from all over the world. If you’re planning a trip to the falls, you’ll want to ensure you have comfortable and convenient accommodation nearby. Fortunately, there are plenty of options to choose from, ranging from budget-friendly to luxurious.

Hotels Near Pagsanjan Falls

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Several hotels located near Pagsanjan Falls offer comfortable and convenient accommodations for visitors. Some of the most popular hotels include:

  • Pagsanjan Falls Lodge – This hotel is located just a short distance from the falls and offers comfortable rooms at an affordable price. Guests can enjoy free Wi-Fi, a restaurant, and a swimming pool.
  • Casa Marina Bed and Breakfast – This charming bed and breakfast is located in the heart of Pagsanjan and offers comfortable rooms with air conditioning and free Wi-Fi. Guests can enjoy a complimentary breakfast each morning.
  • Pagsanjan Rapids Hotel – This hotel is just a few minutes walk from the falls and offers comfortable rooms with air conditioning, free Wi-Fi, and cable TV. Guests can enjoy a restaurant and bar on site.

Resorts Near Pagsanjan Falls

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If you’re looking for a more luxurious experience, several resorts near Pagsanjan Falls offer a range of amenities and services. Some of the most popular resorts include:

  • Pueblo El Salvador Nature’s Park and Picnic Grove – This resort is located just a short distance from the falls and offers guests a range of activities and amenities, including a swimming pool, picnic areas, and a restaurant.
  • Caliraya Resort Club – This resort is located on the shores of Caliraya Lake. It offers a range of activities and amenities for guests, including water sports, a swimming pool, and a restaurant.
  • Mountain Lake Resort – This resort is located in nearby Cavinti and offers comfortable rooms with air conditioning, free Wi-Fi, and cable TV. Guests can enjoy various activities, including swimming, fishing, and horseback riding.

Whether you’re looking for a budget-friendly hotel or a luxurious resort, there are plenty of accommodation options near Pagsanjan Falls. Book your stay today and experience the beauty of this stunning natural wonder.

Must-See Nearby Attractions

Pagsanjan Falls is a popular tourist destination in the Philippines that offers a wide range of activities for visitors to enjoy. In addition to the breathtaking waterfall, several other nearby attractions are worth checking out.

Caliraya Lake

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Located in the town of Lumban, Caliraya Lake is a beautiful man-made lake that offers a variety of water sports and outdoor activities. Visitors can go kayaking, windsurfing, and fishing, or simply relax on the shore and enjoy the stunning views.

Hulugan Falls

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Hulugan Falls is another stunning waterfall located near Pagsanjan Falls. This waterfall is known for its crystal-clear water and lush surroundings, making it a popular spot for swimming and picnicking.

Pagsanjan Gorge National Park

Pagsanjan Gorge National Park is a protected area that encompasses the Pagsanjan River and the surrounding forests. Visitors can take a boat ride through the gorge to experience the stunning scenery and wildlife up close.

Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe

Located in Pagsanjan town proper, the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe is a beautiful church dedicated to the Virgin Mary. The church is a popular pilgrimage site for Catholics and features stunning stained glass windows and intricate architecture.

Art Studio

The Art Studio in Pagsanjan is a must-visit destination for those interested in art. The studio features local artists’ works and offers various classes and workshops for visitors to participate in.


Pagsanjan Falls is a must-visit destination for nature lovers and adventure seekers alike. The majestic three-tiered waterfall is fed by the Pagsanjan River, which offers visitors a thrilling and unforgettable experience of shooting the rapids to reach the falls.

Aside from the exhilarating boat ride, visitors can enjoy various activities such as swimming, hiking, and exploring the surrounding forests and caves. Local guides are available to assist visitors in navigating the area and ensuring their safety.

For those interested in the local culture, Pagsanjan Falls also offers a glimpse into the region’s history and traditions. Visitors can learn about the legends and myths surrounding the falls and the river’s significance to the local communities.