How to go to Pagsanjan Falls
This post is an outcome of those queries asking me for directions & tips to visit Pagsanjan falls, pronounced as Pag-san-nyan.
You can also watch a video of the falls to feel how pleasant is the journey.
I give here comprehensive driving directions and tips to visit Pagsanjan town from Manila. You can do the round trip the same day. It is not too complicated really.
Some people under the waterfall.
1. Start early, not because it is far but because it could become hot in the later hours at the river.
2. Drive to south of Manila and look out for directions to reach SLEX , South Luzon Expressway. This is by far the best and the fastest way to reach Pagsanjan. This is a toll road and it could become pretty crowded during holidays.
3. There are several petrol / gas stations integrated with restaurants if you want to fill’er up or fill yourself up.
4. After driving for about 47-48 KMs, take the Calamba Exit and go underneath SLEX and drive for a couple of kilometers.
5. At this point the road narrows considerably and could become quite crowded.
6. After about 2.5 KM, turn right at the crossroads. Look out for boards that says National highway. Remember to turn right not left. (both directions are national highway)
7. Travel for about 40 KM and you will reach Pagsanjan.
8. On the way you will pass by several small towns and habitats. Notable amongst them are Los Banos and Pila.
9. You cannot mistake the town of Pagsanjan as there is an old arched gate announcing the town.
10. Total time, at the most 2 hours, not including food, bio-breaks and gas stoppages
11. The minute you slow down, there will be several touts on bikes wanting to take you for a ride literally. Better to go to one of the several shops there or to a hotel to book your journey to the falls. The rates are fixed by the government. We paid PHP 1500 per person. (PHP is Philippines Peso and is equal to 1.30 Indian Rupees or 1 USD = 43 PHP).
12. Tips to boatmen are included in the ticket, but if you still feel to give them, be ready to shell out a few hundred PhPs.
13. The whole canoe trip is around 2-3 hours depending on the flow of water. I suggest you read this for more info and do’s and don’ts on the canoe trip.
14. If you are lucky you get to see the major fall other wise you have to do with the minor falls.
15. It is the journey that is impressive, when you lie down on the canoe and see the strip of blue that is the sky.
Alternately you can take the national high way right from Manila, but the drive may not very comfortable. Another cheaper option is to take a bus to a town called Santa Cruz and then hop onto one of the Jeepneys which will take you to Pagsanjan. I have not used this bus tour option and am told this could take anywhere between 3-4 hours with many stops in between.
Enjoy the canoe ride right thru the “Apocalypse Now” canyons!
There are a couple of other places that you can visit in the region around Pagsanjan if you decide to stay a night here. E.g Taal lake and embroidery museum at Luzon.
If you want to travel places with me, I suggest you to join me on my Facebook travel page.
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