General Nakar is a town that nature lovers and adventure seekers will love. Fringed by the Sierra Madre mountain range and surrounded by a long coastline, it boasts of pristine nature attractions including beaches, rivers and streams, mountain forests, and waterfalls. Depalyon Falls is the highest waterfall in General Nakar and it’s a must-visit especially for first-time tourists in town.
Our trip to Depalyon Falls
I visited General Nakar with other content creators to witness the Gapo and Palusong Festival. We allocated a whole day so we could see the best tourist attractions in General Nakar. We opted for a habal-habal tour because the sea was too rough for a boat.
We visited Masanga Point first and then traveled back to Depalyon Bridge.
Before the trek, we stopped at a cottage near the bridge for a seafood lunch with an ocean view. We were served fried lapu-lapu with sweet and sour dip, sinaing na isda, and vegetables.
From the jump-off point in Depalyon Bridge, it takes 30 min to 1 hour to reach Depalyon Falls depending on your pace. Essentially, you have to follow the stream to reach the waterfall, but the route isn’t a straight one — you need to make at least seven river crossings and then trek across flat roads and narrow trails in the mountain forest.
The trek is tiring but easy enough. I wish I could say that I was sufficiently prepared, but the way locals tell about the waterfalls, it sounded like a walk in the park so I wore a beach attire and slippers instead of the usual trekking outfit I have. These made the trek a bit challenging but doable — the slippers did a good-enough job, but alas the soles were too thin especially when stepping on boulders and they tended to float away from me when crossing the river. So a word to the wise: wear proper trekking sandals.
The river crossings were the most challenging part of the route. The water level was safe as it only got as high as the knees, but it was difficult for me to see where to step next without slipping or getting my foot stuck in-between boulders. We were a group of seven and we only had one guide, so that made things slower.
I read that during the rainy season the river could rise up to chest or neck high, so we were lucky to visit Depalyon Falls after summer but before the full onslaught of the rainy season.
After almost an hour, we reached a part of the stream blocked by large, heavy boulders. Our guide said it was caused by a recent landslide. We had to find our way and scramble up the boulders. For this reason, I think this trek isn’t suitable for children.
A few minutes walk and we finally made it to Depalyon Falls. What a beauty! Depalyon Falls stands about 50 feet tall – the highest waterfall in General Nakar. Our guide said that there are about 20 waterfalls in the mountain area and there are two more waterfalls above it, but Depalyon Falls is the most accessible one and is thus a favorite swimming location among locals.
We had the waterfall to ourselves that day. It had been raining the past weeks so the waterfall current was strong and the basin was full. Huge rock formations flank the waterfall on the sides.
The water was cold and refreshing, especially after the tiring trek. We spent several minutes to recuperate and enjoy the cold water — floating, swimming, and taking pictures. It was just bliss. When our guide told us it’s time to go (since there was another waterfall we had to visit: Pagapeden Falls), I asked for a few minutes so we could stay longer in the water.
The trek back was faster. Since we were already familiar with the route, it only took us 30 minutes to get back to the cottage near the bridge. There we asked for fresh coconut juice so we could re-hydrate before making our way to Pagapeden Falls.
How to get to Depalyon Falls
Depalyon Falls is located in Barangay Sablang in General Nakar, Quezon.
Here are the commute directions:
- From Manila, ride a bus or van at Raymond Bus Terminal in Legarda bound to Infanta, Quezon. Travel time is 5 hours.
- From the town of Infanta, ride a tricycle to the tourism center in General Nakar. Once there, register and secure a habal-habal ride to Depalyon Falls. Travel time is about 1.5 hour. Get off at Depalyon Bridge, which serves as the jump-off point and then trek for 1 hour to reach Depalyon Falls.
Tourists visiting General Nakar are required to register first at the tourism office beside the municipal hall.
Depalyon Falls Travel Tips
Here are some useful travel tips when visiting Depalyon Falls in General Nakar:
- Things to bring: water, trail food, and (optional) change of clothes.
- Wear proper trekking sandals. I do not recommend wearing slippers or closed shoes since the route involves river crossings.
- As always, follow the LNT principle and do not leave any trash in the area.
- Since the waterfall is far from the town and other possible help, make sure that you know how to swim before plunging into the water.
Have you been to Depalyon Falls in General Nakar (Quezon)? If you have any questions, let us know in the comment section below!
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Katherine Cortes is a 30-something freelance writer/editor. She likes beaches, snorkeling trips, and relaxing staycations (preferably with bath tubs!).