Philippines Travel

Why You Shouldn’t Go to Taytay Falls on a Weekend

This title is not a click-bait. I didn’t use this to fish for curiosity, make you wonder why you shouldn’t visit a certain place but in reality, I was really telling you to go visit it. I am telling you for a fact that it is a terrible idea to go to Taytay Falls, at least on a weekend.

Few months ago, I went to see the famous Hulugan Falls in San Luisiana, Laguna. It was magnificent beyond words that if it weren’t for the many tourists, the experience of seeing it would have been perfect. Mother Nature has blessed Laguna with these beautiful and wild rapids and so after seeing Hulugan, I thought that I should check out the other waterfalls too.   

[Getting To Hulugan Falls Is Not Easy But Here’s Why It’s Worth It].

A former officemate mentioned Majayjay Falls (the other name for which Taytay Falls is known for). She said it’s beautiful but the trek is not as difficult as the one that leads to Hulugan. Few months later, I had an opportunity to see it for myself after attending the Pahiyas Festival in Quezon with my friends.

There is an entrance fee of PHP 35 (USD 0.75). There are many people at the jump-off point but that’s to be expected because it was a Saturday.  

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True enough the trail is easy. The path to the falls is wide and made of concrete. I noticed some people carrying picnic paraphernalia; big pots and Tupperware, and plastic bags that contained either utensils or food. My friends and I continued our walk with ease; no need for trekking poles or great balancing skills.

While we were walking I heard some of my friends contemplating about taking a quick dip. I didn’t dress the part so I dismissed the idea; I just wanted to see the waterfalls. But nothing could have prepared me (or my friends for that matter) for the scene that awaited us.

I meant, this...

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Everywhere we looked, there were people.

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I was stunned beyond words; there are people swimming, people who put up their tents, people eating, people showering, people taking selfies, people people people.

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Seriously, what is this an evacuation center?

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To the best of my ability I still tried to get closer to the waterfalls to take photos. No doubt that it’s beautiful, but it was hard to appreciate it when too many people obscured the view.

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Disappointment fell over our group. I thought Hulugan Falls is crowded, obviously, I’m wrong. Was there a holiday of some sort, or is this how it really is on weekends? I truly wish this is not always the case.

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I think there should be some way to control the number of visitors if only to avoid destroying it. Garbage is thrown recklessly; truly a disheartening sight.

Just to be on the safe side, and if you don’t want to deal with the crowd, do not go on a weekend. That, or go very early so you have time to appreciate it sans the crowd.

I told myself that I’m never coming back to Taytay Falls again upon seeing the “swarm,” but on second thought, maybe I should, just not on a weekend. How about you? Have you been to Taytay Falls? How was your visit?

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Comments (27)

  1. Karlo
    Karlo

    I remember going to Majayjay in 2009 with some church people for a retreat. It was a Friday and we stayed overnight. We were pretty much the only people around until Saturday midmorning. It was a fun night of macro shooting at the camp fires and daring our stupid teenagers to get as close to the falls as possible. It was a moonless night but the falls glowed like a gigantic writhing snake in the shadows.

    Just looking at your photos, it’s a bit sad to see what it’s become now. I don’t want to go there again and see how run down it’s become. I don’t want to spoil my memories of the place.

    If you’re up for a trip to the north though, I’d recommend Imugan falls in Nueva Vizcaya. It’s a 20 minute walk from the main road into the deep forest bordering Vizcaya and Pangasinan. I believe there’s a 35 peso registration fee as of last August, which I didn’t pay because I saw the sign only by the time I went back to the town. Talk about isolation, the few times I’ve been there on weekdays or Saturdays I always found myself alone in the falls.

    Reply
  2. Angelie Pangilinan
    Angelie Pangilinan

    I probably won’t be able to enjoy the Taytay Falls fully with that much person around! I don’t like visiting attractions on weekends in general. I like visiting on weekdays instead, less people means you have mo space to yourself and more fun. 🙂

    Reply
  3. Jan Michael De Guzman
    Jan Michael De Guzman

    Oh my… it looks really crowded. Definitely, i could not stay in that place for more than an hour. No point of being there if you cannot appreciate and explore the nature at its best. i hope that they can control the crowd to maintain its beauty.

    Reply
  4. Kati Balayan
    Kati Balayan

    Yeah, I can still remember the resurgence of the public’s interest with waterfalls last summer, particularly those in the Laguna and Rizal area. Maybe this may have contributed to the swarm (yes, there is no better word to use :D) of people then. Like you, what I worry about was the litter and trash they might have left behind, considering they are eating very close na to the water. Hope those who look after the falls will enforce some kind of regulations on this.

    Reply
  5. Flordeliz Fullo
    Flordeliz Fullo

    I have never been to Taytay Falls but seeing the influx of people made me anxious about going to see it. I hope the local government would do some action to preserve and balance it. Falls are best enjoyed with a lesser crowd. But as you have said, you went there on a weekend and the fee is so accessible.

    Reply
  6. Bluedreamer
    Bluedreamer

    yikes… one thing I really hate is when a place is too overcrowded.. Kasi for me, i will go there to relax and unwind but I don’t think it is possible if the area is too spoiled like that… you can’t embrace the beauty of it and I can also imagine the noise… yes I think it is not ideal to go there on weekends

    Reply
  7. Zwitsy
    Zwitsy

    Though I haven’t seen you personally yet, I just can imagine your facial reaction upon capturing the mob… hahahaha I would surely have the same reaction, perhaps if I were there too. Well, certainly, it’s best to go there most probably if the weekend is the last resort, at least be there earlier.

    Reply
  8. Nilyn
    Nilyn

    I’ll immediately lose interest if this is how crowded it’s going to be. I agree, not on a weekend. I bet it’s a lot fewer if it’s not a weekend. I really don’t like crowded places, specially when it comes to visiting the nature, ‘coz that’s where you’re supposed to have some reflection and me time. Definitely can’t do that on a crowded place like this.

    Reply
  9. Carola
    Carola

    Wow. This is crazy. So many people!! These pictures just show it all. I just have to agree with you. The Taytay Falls sound very nice though. Just not when it’s this busy. Will go back on a more quite day?

    Reply
  10. Kat
    Kat

    I think that’s normal for tourist attractions near Manila. That’s why I also avoid going to these places unless it’s a weekday. I agree about several comments here suggesting crowd control, I actually wrote a similar one about tourist capping in general. The problem is it will be difficult to implement. First, there’s really a lot of people in Metro Manila – about 12 million if I remember it right. Second, it will adversely affect local tourism in that it will also put a cap to revenues. I think the most that they can do is ensure that garbage is being disposed properly and vandalism and similar activities are prevented.

    For reference, this is what I wrote about tourist capping a few months back: http://www.taraletsanywhere.com/tourist-capping-ecotourism/

    Reply
  11. Vyjay
    Vyjay

    Your post reminded me of a similar experience when we went to see a waterfall in India and it turned out to be a Saturday and the crowds were all over. Water falls need to be viewed in quite solitude and one needs to soak in the reality.

    Reply
    • Marjorie Gavan
      Marjorie Gavan

      I definitely agree. I understand that people are drawn to the beauty of waterfalls, but it’s hard to appreciate something when you are doing it at the same time with a crowd.

      Reply
  12. anna
    anna

    Oh my gosh! That looks horrible. TOO MANY PEOPLE. I’m sure that was pretty disappointing, Marge.

    Reply
  13. Lisa (Klipdrifters)
    Lisa (Klipdrifters)

    So many people, font enjoy too many people either. Agreed, think if anyone is planning on visiting, they should go during the week. Looks beautiful though!

    Reply
  14. Verushka
    Verushka

    Looks like an awesome place. But it is so full so defo would have to visit during the week.

    Reply
  15. Leona
    Leona

    oh my goodness, i can’t believe the number of people, this reminds me of any water falls area in Malaysia as well on weekends, it is just crazy packed with people till you can’t even get in the water. Good advice!

    Reply
  16. Mica de Leon
    Mica de Leon

    I live in Laguna too but haven’t heard of Taytay falls. I feel embarrassed of how the place turned out to be. They should have limited the people going in so travellers can really appreciate the falls and maybe increase the entrance fee a little bit so that the crowd isn’t that huge. Well, actually being overly populated isn’t big of an issue, it’s more on the garbage left. It’s frustrating… Hope they do something about it. I feel bad for mother nature once more.

    There’s More to Mica // http://www.micadeleon.com

    Reply
  17. Mauie - The 24-Hour Mommy
    Mauie - The 24-Hour Mommy

    Oh my, that’s really frustrating. You know, I always avoid the mall when there’s a sale event because I dread crowds. That’s the first thing that came to mind when I saw this. I think you should not go here in the summer even on weekdays.

    Reply
  18. theresa
    theresa

    Hoping that the weekdays isn’t like this at all. Or else….. Good thing I have my previous trips scheduled often on weekdays. I prefer travelling on weekdays because there’s less hassle and less people in some places. I just hope those people will throw whatever garbage they have in the proper places.

    Reply
  19. Teresa Dumadag
    Teresa Dumadag

    Wow! There really are a lot of people there on that weekend! I think this is true with most resorts or public places. They are most likely filled with people because most do not work on weekends. So, they look for places to explore. 🙂

    Reply
  20. Me-An Clemente
    Me-An Clemente

    I am SUPER surprised with what I see. I have visited this place once 10 years ago and once again 7 years ago. Although the hiking trail has been developed and a lot has been fixed, it doesn’t look appealing anymore. I wonder if the water is still icy as before and as clean. The local government should do something about that swarms of people. There will surely be environmental degradation because of uncontrolled numbers of people.

    Reply
  21. Jakey @ Tarot and Coffee
    Jakey @ Tarot and Coffee

    Quite a painful sight to see. There should be some sort of crowd control, or just anything to keep things organized and prevent over-crowding and that. Or at least, I’m hoping that this is just an isolated weekend case and it’s not necessarily always like that every single weekend. :/

    Reply
  22. Berlin
    Berlin

    The place is just too crowded. I hope there are huts for people to stay instead of camping anywhere. And hope the waste management issues be handled properly. Perhaps the place is too accessible thus people tend to camp there on weekends.

    Reply
  23. JONtotheworld
    JONtotheworld

    Oh may gulay hahaha!

    I remember you posted this on your Facebook and a lot of our friends commented that they thought this is an evacuation center or something hahaha

    But seriously, this is what we as bloggers can do to our readers – to give honest feedback or opinion about a destination. This is very helpful for those who plan to go to Taytay Falls.

    Remember guys, don’t go there on weekend or else, you know what’s gonna happen hahaha

    Reply
  24. Sydney Fashion Hunter
    Sydney Fashion Hunter

    You must have been soooooo disappointed! That’s the real problem when something gets popular, people just flock to it. Maybe it would have been better during the week. I find it strange that so many people had tents! The waterfall itself still look lovely though.

    Reply
  25. Veronica
    Veronica

    Oh no!!!!! What a disappointment!
    I would really regret going there and especially the time wasted! Of course, it is logical that many people would want to enjoy their weekend at the beautiful waterfalls… but the main question if anyone has actually enjoyed?

    Reply
  26. ROBERT LEE
    ROBERT LEE

    Marge, the scene you painted reminds me of how resorts advertise empty beaches pero turns out it is full of people. In a way the sight of so many people is both appalling and amazing. Amazing in the sense that there is a place to go to and appalling because I feel that there must trash everywhere too.

    You’re right. Don’t go on a weekend.

    Reply

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