Hulugan Falls is a breathtaking waterfall that can be found in Luisiana, Laguna. For a long time, it had been a secret among locals until it became popular in social media. It can be visited as a day trip from Manila, along with two other nearby waterfalls — Talay Falls and Hidden Falls.
Here’s our visit to Hulugan Falls in Laguna, including a guide on how you can get here too.
Our waterfalls trip to Laguna
This is a DIY trip that I took along with my boyfriend Hali in 2019. I’m probably one of the last people among my travel circles to visit Hulugan Falls in Luisiana, Laguna. It was hugely popular in the past 1-2 years prior to our visit and I typically avoid such places because of too many people.
Our group met up early in the morning in Manila and we arrived in Luisiana at around 8AM. We registered and then joined a short orientation on what to expect on the trails.
From the registration area, we took a tricycle to the jump-off point that leads to Hulugan Falls and the other two falls.
We were accompanied by guides and a dog named Pochi — who is admittedly the best trekker among us.
Our first destination was Talay Falls.
It takes 30 minutes of trekking to get to Talay Falls. The trail is easy enough — it starts with concrete stairs and then proceeds right through the forest.
Talay Falls is a 2-tiered waterfall. Swimming here is not advisable since there’s a current that may pull you to the depths of the water. You can only take pictures and appreciate its beauty.
There are bamboo tables beside it where you can leave your items.
Hidden Falls is about 5-10 minutes from Talay Falls. The trail going here is steep and risky. Our guides advised us to leave our stuff in the tables before proceeding, so we left our packed lunch and other unnecessary items and brought only our drybag with the cameras.
The first part of the trial includes climbing up one by one on a steep route, all the while holding onto a rope. Honestly, I wanted to skip going to Hidden Falls when I learned about this. It was more out of laziness than fear, but Hali insisted that I come — he’s the one who always push me to try new experiences.
We passed the rope trail safely. After that, we had to “face the wall” and walk along a cliffside. I’m a minor-experienced trekker so I don’t know how much weight this holds when I say it, but this is possibly the most dangerous route I’ve ever taken. There are guides to assist on both ends, but one slip and you’ll fall off to great injury or death — no one has died here yet, by the way.
It was worth it though. Hidden Falls is so beautiful that I don’t know why it’s not talked about as much as Hulugan Falls. It stands at 70-80 feet tall, with different streams pouring down into the basin at the bottom. It’s not possible to reach the pool below, but you can bath directly under the gushing streams.
Hidden Falls is called as such because it is sandwiched between boulders that hide it from full view. Once you get past the cliffside, you can see it in its entirety.
Depending on weather conditions, it may not be possible to visit Hidden Falls due to the slippery rocks.
Hulugan Falls is of course the highlight of our waterfalls itinerary in Laguna. From Talay Falls and Hidden Falls, it’s another 30 minute trek to Hulugan Falls.
The route is relatively easy. We even got to chat on the way there. As it rained the past few days before our visit, the trail was still muddy so we still had to be careful especially as we were on a descent. Someone in our group actually slipped down.
There was an area where we could already see Hulugan Falls and the cave beside it from afar. Then there were huge boulders to pass by and then finally Hulugan Falls itself.
Hulugan Falls stands approximately 230 feet high — the tallest waterfall in Laguna province. During rainy season, it transforms into a massive gush of water that collects to a muddy-colored pool at the bottom. It’s surrounded by boulders and potholes of varying sizes which look like small pools themselves.
On the left side of Hulugan Falls, there’s a small cave that serves as respite for people visiting Hulugan Falls.
After we had surveyed the falls, we picked a spot with a good view and ate our lunch. I was really hungry from the trek and my knees were complaining from the strain. It was a good idea that we brought rice meals because I needed the energy.
Hali went for a swim while I took a rest on the cave. I appreciated the fact that even though we went on a Sunday, there was just a moderate number of visitors to Hulugan Falls. It felt like a real nature attraction. Perhaps this was because it was the rainy season.
The trail back to the jump-off point takes about 20 minutes. It’s rocky and mostly assault, but there are bamboo handrails all throughout, so while it’s still tiring, it’s easier than the earlier treks.
This was a very worthwhile day trip in Laguna. I liked the fact that the trekking was something that everyone can do and that there are more than one waterfalls we could see in a day.
How to get to Hulugan Falls
From Manila, it takes about 2 hours to reach Luisiana, Laguna.
- From Manila, ride a bus to Sta. Cruz, Laguna (2 hours). Get off at the town proper.
- Ride a jeep bound for Lucena or Lucban and get off at Barangay San Salvador. Fare is P30 per person.
- Ride a tricycle to “Kapitan’s house” or simply inform the driver to drop you off at the registration area for Hulugan Falls. Fare is P20 per person.
If you are bringing a car, you can park at the parking area near the registration area for a minimal fee.
There are two trails that lead to Hulugan Falls.
There is an easy trail, but it’s about 30 minutes longer than the second option. We took this route, but we first visited Talay Falls and Hidden Falls before trekking back to Hulugan Falls. Here are the details:
- From the registration area, ride a tricycle to the jump-off point. Fare is P10 per person.
- From the jump-off point, trek for 30 minutes to reach Talay Falls.
- From Talay Falls, trek for 5-10 minutes to reach Hidden Falls.
- From Hidden Falls, trek back for 30 minutes to reach Hulugan Falls.
The other trail is steeper, but it’s also shorter. We took this route going back.
1 Day Itinerary to Hulugan Falls
Here’s a sample 1-day itinerary for visiting Hulugan Fall, as well as the other two waterfalls in Luisiana, Laguna (c/o our organizer Peng):
4:30 AM ETD Manila
7:30 AM ETA Luisiana, Laguna
8:00 AM Register and secure guide; ride trike to jump-off point
8:30 AM Start trek
9:00 AM Talay Falls
9:30 AM Hidden Falls
10:30 AM – 12 PM Hulugan falls/lunch
12 – 1 PM Start trek back to jump-off point
1 – 2 PM Wash up
2-5 PM onwards – sidetrip (optional)
5PM ETD back to Manila
8-9PM ETA Manila
Other places you can visit
There are other nearby waterfalls you can visit. These are:
- Aliw Falls
- Pagsanjan Falls/Cavinti Falls
- Kilangin Falls/Bukal Falls
Aliw Falls is the closest option because it’s also located in Luisiana, albeit in a different barangay. To get here, you can simply commute via trike. Fare is around P60. You need to register and get a guide (environmental fee: P30, guide fee: P300). Then trek for 30-40 minutes to reach Aliw Falls.
As for us, we opted to visit Batis Aramin Resort. Typically, you’d want a full day or overnight here, but if you just want to see the hobbit houses and take a short dip in the pools, 2-3 hours stay is good enough. We took photos of the hobbit houses and rested up at the in-house restaurant before heading back to Manila.
At the time of our visit in 2019, day tour rate was P200 per person.
Things to bring
Here are the things you should bring: dry bag (optional), waterproof camera, bottled water, snacks or trail food, trash bag. You can also bring a trekking pole if you wish — for us, we find that it’s not necessary for us, since the trails are manageable.
There are sari-sari stores in the registration area/parking area, but none at the trail or at the site of waterfalls.
Reminders and Tips
- Make sure you are physically fit before you go.
- Don’t forget to wear trekking sandals or other durable, non-slippery footwear.
- It’s best to go here on weekdays to avoid the crowd. Hulugan Falls is one of the most popular day trips in Laguna, so expect it to be crowded on weekends and holidays.
- The best time to visit Hulugan Falls is from January to March — the months leading to dry season. However, if it hasn’t rained in a while, there may not be much water in the stream, which can be disappointing. Others recommend visiting here during rainy season, but you have to time it well. Schedule your trip a few days after the rains to give time for the trail to dry. In severe weather, the LGU closes visitation for safety reasons.
- The latest you can trek to Hulugan Falls is 3PM or 5PM if you are camping. There are 2 campsites you can stay at overnight. There is a bare campsite near Hulugan Falls, with a make-shift bathroom. There is a newer campsite near the jump-off point, complete with electricity and other amenities.
- You can wash up in one of the shower rooms and rest rooms at kapitan’s house or parking area.
- After your trek, make sure to buy bibingka from the locals! P100 for 3 pieces including a small woven basket.
Budget and expenses
These are the rates you should take note of (Updated as of 2021):
- Registration fee – P40 per person
- Guide fee – P500 for Hulugan Falls only; P600 for the 3 waterfalls (good for 5 people)
- Shower fee – P20 per person
- Campsite: Hulugan Falls campsite – P100 / campsite at jump-off – P400 or above
Whether you’re commuting or going via private car, a safe budget would be P1000 per person for a day trip.
For other inquiries, you may contact Luisiana Tourism Office.
Has this guide to Hulugan Falls in Luisiana, Laguna, been helpful to you? Let us know in the comments 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!).