Kilangin Falls is one of those places that will take your breath away. It looks beautiful not just in photos, but in real life too. And even though it has become popular especially in the past years, its secluded location at the foot of Mount Banahaw will still make you feel like you’ve discovered a hidden gem.
Kilangin Falls is a two-tiered waterfall which sources its water from mountain springs, hence the enchanting clear, turquoise-blue color of its pools. It’s also referred to as Maimpis Falls by some residents and as Bukal Falls by locals of Majayjay.
In the past, there was a territorial dispute between the towns of Majayjay and Liliw about which one rightfully owns the waterfall area. In 2017, it has been legally declared to be under the municipality of Liliw.
Here’s our day trip to Kilangin Falls in Liliw, Laguna!
Our day trip to Kilangin Falls
My boyfriend Hali and I went here the day after our visit to Pagsanjan. We arrived at Kilangin Tourism Office around 9AM on a weekday, and we paid a small fee for registration. Then we went ahead to the Sunflower Farm where our guide was waiting for us.
The trek to Kilangin Falls via Liliw takes about 45 minutes to 1 hour. The trail head starts with a wide cemented road that steeply ascends and descends. Then it narrows down into a trail in the midst of a forest. The trail has steps, which according to a local makes it easier for trekking and makes it a viable road for horses as well. This is especially helpful during rainy season, as it prevents slipping accidents.
It was tiring but definitely doable. We didn’t stress ourselves and took breaks when we could. We were also accompanied with a dog — I believe our guide called him “Pogi.” Past halfway on the trail, we passed by a small store with a garden. As per our guide, this is where we could rent horses for the way back.
The last part of the trek includes steep stairs going down.
Then we finally heard the gushing sound of waterfall.
A clear catch basin greeted us. This is the bottom tier of Kilangin Falls — it has a small stream and a pool that is 8-10 feet. The one above it is the main falls, and its basin goes 13-15 feet deep. As it was already the start of summer, the water fall was weak, but according to our guide, the water at the pool is actually the clearest blue during this time.
Since we went there on a weekday, we were the first guests. We had the pool to ourselves — and of course we took a lot of photos! I planned to swim, and it was refreshing but also numbingly cold. I think this is the coldest waterfall I’ve been to yet. Hali managed to swim and float for a bit, but he also gave up after a while. Haha.
There is also a small cave here, but we didn’t notice it at that time. We just sat there appreciating this amazing spot, and my boyfriend told me he was glad we made the trip.
Then we went back down and tried to swim at the first pool. It was just as cold. Haha. So I just rested on one of the boulders, while Hali enjoyed a massage in an area with shallow water.
After a while, we decided to head back. Hali and I wanted to try horseback riding. When we arrived back at the store, our guide called for 2 horses for us. I hadn’t ridden a horse before, so I was excited. However, I soon got frightened when my horse Georgia started moving (Hali’s horse is named Emma). Georgia’s owner though was very assuring and said we would go slowly.
True enough, I started to enjoy the ride. I still got worried especially on steep ascents and descents, but Georgia trotted steadily. There’s a trick when going up, which is to place both of your hands on the front hold and lean your body forward.
The horse owners were friendly and we chatted along the way. They were proud of the clear water of Kilangin Falls. We also made it back to the jump-off area in record time! I highly recommend trying horseback riding on your way back.
Afterwards, we ate halo-halo in the small eatery/vegetable shop near the guides post while enjoying the view of the fields and Mount Banahaw.
How to get to Kilangin Falls/Bukal Falls
Kilangin Falls (or Bukal Falls) is located in Liliw, Laguna. The drive is about 2 hours away from Manila via private car and 3 hours via commute.
There are 2 trails to the waterfall:
- Majayjay: the route is an easy trek that takes 45 minutes.
- Liliw: the route is more challenging but also more scenic and takes 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Note: As of our visit in March 2023, the route via Majayjay is still closed.
Here are the commute directions:
- From Manila, ride a bus bound for Lucena and get off at SM San Pablo. Then ride a tricycle and tell the driver to take you to the jeepney stop going to Liliw (near San Pablo Cathedral). Ride the jeep and get off at Liliw Church.
- From there, charter a tricycle to either the Liliw or Majayjay registration area.
If you’re driving a car, simply input Kilangin Tourism Office (Liliw route) or Bukal Barangay Hall (Majayjay route) in Google Maps.
The streets at the town of Liliw is quite confusing since most of them are narrow and one-way only, so you may need to use your senses instead of relying on Google Maps to navigate the roads. If you want to make a stopover at the town, you can park your vehicle at Liliw Church.
Kilangin Falls/Bukal Falls Rates
Here are the current rates via Liliw (Updated as of 2023):
|Registration fee||P10 per person|
|Tour guide fee||P350 (good up to 5 people)|
|Others||Lifevest rental – P50 per person|
Horseback riding – P350 per person
Reminders and Tips
- When is the best time to visit. To see clear turquoise waters, visit during summer months (or on days with good weather). If you want to see gushing streams, visit during the rainy season or days after a recent rain. Note: Always check the weather before you go and preferably contact the tourism office, since Kilangin Falls is closed to tourists during inclement weather.
- What to bring. Water and trail food are necessary.
- Are there stores and restrooms? Yes! (Via Liliw) At the jump-off area, you can find a sari-sari store and an eatery that offers silog meals and snacks like halo-halo. There are also restrooms where you can bathe and/or change to dry clothes. Other restrooms can be found along the way.
Other things you need to know:
- It’s best to visit on weekdays to escape the crowd.
- Make sure that you are physically fit before you go. I would say that this is an easy hike, but it’s still tiring and hence not recommended for those with certain conditions like asthma.
Other Things to Do in Liliw
After your visit to Kilangin Falls/Bukal Falls, have a stopover at the town of Liliw!
- Shop for shoewear. Liliw is dubbed the Tsinelas Capital of the Philippines. They make abaca sandals and shoes, which are known for their craftsmanship and native design. You can find shoe stores along Gat Tayaw Street.
- See ancestral houses. A quick stroll around town will let you see ancestral houses, perfect for those who love old architecture!
- Visit Liliw Church. This is one of the iconic landmarks in the town of Liliw. Also called St. John the Baptist Parish Church, this is a heritage church with striking red bricks and baroque-style architecture. It was originally built in the 1600s during the Spanish Colonial Era. In 1880, it was partially damaged from an earthquake and eventually reconstructed true to its original design.
- Grab a bite. Some of the best restaurants you can visit are Arabela, Caffè Lilio Ristorante, and White House Bistro 1983.
Other nearby places you can visit:
- Esmeris Farm/Daang Hari Campground. Located near the jump-off point to Kilangin Falls, this farm is known for its Bali-like giant swings, relaxing views, and camping facilities.
- Costales Nature Farms. Located in Majayjay, this farm offers guided tours and hands-on farming experiences, delicious farm-to-table meals, and humble cottages for overnight stays. A great place to visit for nature lovers.
- Other waterfalls. There are other waterfalls you can visit nearby, including Majayjay Falls/Taytay Falls (Majayjay) and Bunga Falls (Nagcarlan). About an hour away, you can also head to the town of Pagsanjan and book a river boat tour to see Pagsanjan Falls.
For inquiries about Kilangin Falls/Bukal Falls, you can contact Liliw Tourism via Facebook.
Has this article about Kilangin Falls/Bukal Falls in Laguna been helpful to you? If you have questions or comments, let us know in the comment section below!
What to read next:
Visiting Laguna soon? You might also be interested in these:
- Best Laguna Tourist Spots + Things to Do
- Best Resorts in Laguna
- Waterfalls in Laguna to Visit on a Weekend
See these Laguna attractions:
- Cavinti Falls
- Shooting the Rapids to Pagsanjan Falls (Cavinti Falls)
- Kilangin Falls/Bukal Falls
- Balon-Balon Falls and the Tri-Falls of Barangay Tibatib
- Cavinti Cave
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Katherine Cortes is a long-time backpacker and a freelance writer/editor. She likes beaches, snorkeling trips, and relaxing staycations (preferably with bath tubs!).