Last Updated on October 6, 2022 by Tina
While La Union is known for surfing, there are other things you can do in the province if you are not into this type of activity. La Union has plenty of waterfalls that you can visit, with Tangadan Falls as the most popular.
Tangadan Falls is located in the municipality of San Gabriel, La Union. It is around a 45-minutes drive from Brgy. Urbiztondo in San Juan to the drop-off point to the waterfalls. I’ve always wanted to visit Tangadan Falls even before the pandemic but never had the chance. I was finally able to visit it last February, and I didn’t have to go alone.
What to Expect in Tangadan Falls
Tangadan Falls is a two-tiered waterfall with the lower cascade as the main attraction. It is around 40 feet high and its catch basin is around 20 feet deep. You can do cliff jumping here. My sister said there used to be a bamboo raft that you can hire if you want to go close to the waterfalls. When I asked our guide about it, he said it got washed out during Typhoon Maring.
All the people I know who have been to Tangadan and even the blogs that I’ve read say that you need to hike for around 45 minutes to get there. When we went there on February 8, we only walked for around 15 minutes from the parking lot. Going down to the waterfalls from the parking lot was relatively easy, but going back to the parking lot is super tiring. That’s because you need to climb up the stairs. The walk is actually just around 600 meters, but the elevation gain is more than 100 meters.
How to Get to Tangadan Falls
By public transport
Go to Tanqui Transport terminal in San Fernando and board the jeepney to San Gabriel or you can hire a tricycle although hiring a tricycle is more expensive. Alight at San Gabriel Municipal Hall and pay for the Environmental Fee. After paying, hire one of the guides waiting outside the municipal hall.
By private transport
Navigate your way to Tangadan Falls using Google Maps. But don’t go there directly. As mentioned above, you need to pay for Environmental Fee at the Municipal Hall of San Gabriel. You will pass by it on your way to Tangadan Falls.
Just to share, we didn’t know this information when we went to Tangadan. We passed by the Municipal Hall already. Along the way, a guy on a motorcycle stopped us and told us that we have to pay the Environmental Fee first. Also, a guide is required when visiting the waterfalls. The guy who stopped us happens to be a guide. I asked him if it was okay if I just give him the money for the Environmental Fee and he’ll be the one to go to the Municipal Hall and that we will just wait for him. We didn’t want to drive back anymore. He agreed, and he said our vaccination card is also needed for the registration.
When he came back, he gave us the receipt and my vaccination card. Then we followed him. The road to the drop-off point to the waterfalls is paved, but there are parts that are steep, and the last 850 meters are very steep. The guide told my cousin that our car may not be able to go up but when my cousin checked the road, he said that it can. And so he drove down to the parking lot. This is the reason why we only had to walk for less than 15 minutes to the waterfalls.
Environmental Fee- Php 30 (~US$ 0.60) per person
Guide Fee- Php 500 (~US$ 10) per group, maximum of 7 pax
Parking fee- Php 20 (~US$ 0.40) for motorcycles and Php 50 (~US$ 1) for cars/vans
Some Tips When You Visit Tangadan Falls
- There is no signal/reception for Smart and Talk and Text beyond the Municipal Hall up to Tangadan Falls.
- There are no ATMs nearby so make sure you bring enough cash.
- We were able to drive up to the farthest part where a car could reach. But if you are not used to driving on steep roads, I advise that you park near the waiting shed instead and walk for around 30 to 40 minutes. Also, the guide said the road is slippery when wet so it is harder to drive when it is raining/just rained.
- If you are visiting at midday, bring sunblock to avoid getting sunburned. Best if you use a reef-safe sunblock like Magwai.
- There are shower rooms and toilets near the waterfalls. It is free to use but my cousin said that it is not clean. There are shower rooms in the store 400m away from the waterfalls that you can use for a fee. We haven’t checked it but it must be clean because there is a fee to use it.
- Even if you are not going to swim, bring a towel/hand towel because you will be perspiring on your way back to the parking lot.
- You can bring snacks or lunch if you are planning to stay long but please don’t leave trash there.
- There are stores near the waterfalls that sell snacks.
- Our guide said the waterfalls get crowded on weekends so if you can, schedule your visit on a weekday. Especially now that the pandemic is not yet over.
There are life vests that you can rent, but I was not able to ask how much it costs.
Tangadan Falls Guide
If you are planning to go to Tangadan Falls, you can contact our guide, Roel Corcochea. His number is +639361860632. I have included here his picture, with his permission.
He can arrange a vehicle for you, and if you are traveling solo, you can arrange for him to pick you up in San Juan or wherever it is that is convenient.
Another guide that you can contact is his nephew, Joshua Miranda. He is also an accredited guide for Tangadan Falls. His number is +639972940367.
I hope you found this post useful. Feel free to write down in the comments section any questions that you would like to ask. If you need more information about traveling to La Union, you can check out La Union Travel Guide: Things to Do, Where to Stay, Where to Eat and Tourist Spots to Visit in La Union.