Discovering La Union: A Guide to Tangadan Falls

A lot of us might think that La Union is only known for its surf spots, but little did we know that there’s a hidden treasure that lies in the small town of San Gabriel, just a 20-minute jeep ride from the town of San Juan.

I have been hearing about this for quite a while now but every time I’m in La Union, I only take advantage of surfing to make my 7-hour bus ride worth it. But when my friends and I went there recently, the waves are quite not nice to surf with and so we took the opportunity to check out the clandestine Tangadan Falls.

As I wasn’t able to research about this hidden body of water before going, I thought the trek was pretty easy and the route was not as complicated.

We rode a jeepney to San Gabriel. The driver dropped us off exactly where the tricycles going to Tangadan Falls were parked. Before we alight, he mentioned that the trek will probably last for around an hour so he suggested to bring water; we actually brought two bottles each, so we thought that they’re enough. The tricycle ride took us to Brgy. Dagup, the start of the trek.

We hired a guide because there were actually no signs that lead to the falls. We did not know then that we were trekking the hard route, we thought that there was no other way — this is what happens when you don’t research and just rely on the people that live in the area and think everyone is a local.

Our trek lasted for almost two hours instead of doing it for an hour and a half, and it was my fault because I suddenly tripped when I stepped on a slippery rock with algae. I thought I broke my arm and hip but after some rest, I was able to move. The trek was pretty hard for me, considering that I also have a meniscal tear on my left knee.

When we went trekking, a huge storm just passed a few days ago so the soil was still pretty damp, and the rocks that we needed to step on were quite slippery and the current from the rivers were pretty strong. The trek had a lot of difficult obstacles like crossing rivers with strong currents, climbing a wall without a leash and jumping from one rock to another but if you trip, you’ll most likely break a bone, or bones.

The trek was really challenging but all worth it when you reach the falls. It was really beautiful and I take it as a reward for surviving the trek. You don’t have to pay for anything, you just have to sign an attendance sheet so that the locals could monitor the people coming in and also probably for safety.

You can also try to go behind the waterfalls, although it takes a lot of effort to swim because of the strong current and the slippery rocks, but it’s really wonderful once you’re behind.v If you like an adrenaline rush, jump from the top of the falls which is 50 ft high.

Going back to the small town of San Gabriel, we decided to take the shorter and easier trek. It was shorter but there were a lot of steep stairs to climb at and it took us around 30-45 minutes to reach the place where we can ride a motorcycle that will drop us off to our jeepney ride back to San Juan.


Here’s my itinerary in case you may want to visit this hidden paradise:

Manila to San Juan, La Union

• 2:30 AM – We rode the PARTAS bus from Cubao

• 9:20 AM – Reached San Juan, La Union after 3 stopovers and dropped us off directly in front of the place where we stayed

• (Paid Php 435.00 for the bus ride )

San Juan, La Union to San Gabriel, La Union

• Take a jeepney ride to San Gabriel. Ask the driver to drop you off at the tricycle station that goes to Tangadan Falls (Php 15.00 Per Person)

• It’s up to you if you want to take the hard trek to the falls. Ride a tricycle and tell him to drop you off at Brgy. Dagup

• In case you want the easy trek, hire a motorcycle. (Php 125.00 per person) Going back has the same price and same route. I highly suggest for you to hire a guide especially if it’s your first time to go there.

~Patrice Averilla

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  • Enx Daryle M. Peralta

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  • zenyjane

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  • zenyjane

    a licensed tourist guide from the toursim office,, joshua miranda aka kuya kulot,, if you want to hire me as a tour guide of yours just contact my numbers:
    09972940367
    09073570537..thanks godbless

  • zenyjane

    a licensed tourist guide from the toursim office,, joshua miranda aka kuya kulot,, if you want to hire me as a tour guide of yours just contact my numbers:
    09972940367
    09073570537..thanks godbles

  • zenyjane

    a licensed tourist guide from the toursim office,, joshua miranda aka kuya kulot,, if you want to hire him as a tour guide of yours just contact my numbers:
    09972940367
    09073570537..thanks

  • zenyjane

    a licensed tourist guide from the toursim office,, joshua miranda aka kuya kulot,, if you want to hire him as a tour guide of yours just please contact my numbers:
    09972940367
    09073570537..thanks