Most unplanned travels often turn out to be the best ones. One morning, my younger brother telling me “Biyahe tayo!” after a nice cup of coffee ended up in the mountains of Laguna — in search for the famous waterfalls of Pagsanjan. Spontaneity can be (a lot) less complicated.
We didn’t do the conventional "Shooting the Rapids", as the local tours call it. That's a 17 kilometer trip in a local canoe or banca which can be really expensive but you get the full adventure of the 16 rapids to reach the falls. We obviously took the cheapest option — driving all the way up to the quaint town of Cavinti.
Our entry point is from Pueblo El Salvador Eco-Park and Picnic Grove — the main gateway to Pagsanjan Falls (actually, Cavinti Falls). For the town folks in Cavinti, it is also known as the Magdapio Falls.
We paid a minimal fee of PHP 270 (per person) which already included a friendly tour guide plus safety briefing, safety harness for rappelling and later, life vests and raft riding to the main falls. Expect some serious trekking, hiking and rappelling down a steep steel ladder with some sections going vertically straight down the gorge.
Did I mention vertical ladders? Not for the faint of heart so try not to look down. At our feet was a very steep stair winding its way down the mountain into the depths of the gorge.
It was a challenging trail but once you reach the base, you see nothing but pure beauty of nature surrounded by a breathtaking view next to the majestic waterfalls creating that dreamy mist.
Our bamboo raft awaits us to experience the strong water current and that powerful hammering waterfall up close. And when I say experience, it means experiencing the “massage of mother nature” — literally lying down on the canoe as the boatman slowly passes you through into the grand falls.
Can you imagine that massive water falling on your back? It can get quite intense but definitely a one of a kind experience.