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“Overrated”
Review of Pagsanjan Falls

Pagsanjan Falls
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$130.00*
and up
Pagsanjan Falls from Manila
Ranked #1 of 4 things to do in Pagsanjan
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed February 8, 2013

I find Pagsanjan Falls to be an overrated tourist trap. The views going to the falls are quite magnificent and awe inspiring. However, in the middle of the rapids, you'll find hurdles of pipes that will give you a bit of a fright while passing over them.

There are plenty of smaller falls along the way. There is also a small eatery along the way but is quite dirty.

What I don't like most are the "bankeros" who butter you up on how little money they have and would like to have a tip.

Thank Anonymous-Itchy-Feet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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193 - 197 of 254 reviews

Reviewed December 26, 2012

Yes sure, it was like being to the places seen in avatar movie. The fluorescent lights in the flying butterflies and birds, unimaginable beauty, and don’t have more words to say now. It is a truly heavenly place on earth. U need to be there to feel it and believe what I am saying. Been there on 25th September 2012, and it was raining heavily the day back, but it was a clear sky on that day. September must be rainy days there, hence the water was not as clear as it should be in the river, but as u go forward to reach the waterfall it gets clearer and clearer. Its unimaginable to be standing beneath the water fall and experience the force of the nature. Please don’t miss it if u got the Philippines.

2  Thank AKASHMGOPLANI
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 16, 2012

My brother lives in Manila and he suggested we do the falls for a day trip. There are a lot of signs along the town road stating the price of the trip up and down as obviously there have been a lot of people ripped off in the past.

The journey was a lot of fun and the boats quite stable (although it does feel like they could tip).

I know most if the money for the fee goes to the organiser and they would do much better for tips if they stopped being so pushy.

3  Thank Andrew L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 23, 2012

By the time you have decided to venture out of town for the trip to Pagsanjan Fall, you have already figured out that almost every soul you encounter is looking to extract money from you. Once you drive several hours into "the province" you may expect that to change but it doesn't. Nothing is overly organized, overly clean, or safe or regulated for that matter. From the moment you enter the community where the falls lie, your taxi will be surrounded by touts who get some small commission for driving clients to a particular place. I was with a seasoned local driver, my Filipino sister-in-law, and another Filipino and they harassed us as they would any other car coming into the area; it was crazy! However the trip itself was fun and the guys in front and back of boat were quite needed when it came to pulling or pushing the boat up the stream in certain areas and for getting us around in general. These guys are great as were the others we encountered along our journey. It was much more expensive that I would have thought at 1200 pesos per person and then extra for food and tips at the end of our excursion. If you are afraid of getting wet or smearing your makeup then don't take this trip. It is a back woods adventure but plenty of fun. TIP: Leave Manila EARLY in the morning (we left at 5am) so you avoid the crippling traffic that starts heavy about 5:30.

3  Thank Twowilliams
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 3, 2012

I've been looking for good day trips from Manila that would entertain kids of a range of ages, and this really fit the bill. I read a lot of really negative reviews about forced tipping, so I was worried about that aspect of the trip, but it wasn't a problem. A woman approached us on a boat to sell us water, but when we politely declined, she said thank you and paddled away. There is a stop about halfway also where you can stop and buy food. We brought our own, and shared fruit with the boatmen. At the end, they did ask us to consider a tip, but it was politely handled and I didn't feel pressured to do so. They did a great job, and I tipped them each.

Regarding the falls as a day trip, some information I couldn't find on other postings: it took us 1.5 hours to get to the falls from Manila on a public holiday. So, largely empty roads were balanced by 2 congested towns on the way there.

They take passengers of any age, so you can take kids, as long as you are comfortable with them in the boat with you. Regarding lifejackets for kids, the company we used did have kids' lifejackets and adjustable plastic helmets that fit our children's heads.

Also, we didn't take a camera with us, as it's not waterproof and we knew we'd be getting wet. But, the way the trip works is that you have a boat ride upstream, then stop where the rocks essentially block off the river, and you walk about 100m across the rocks along a path, and then get onto the bamboo raft to go under the falls. We noticed that quite a few people didn't go under the falls, but just watched. And, of course, you could leave your camera with your boatman while you go under the falls (with the raft man) and it would stay perfectly dry. There is some splashing while you paddle up the river, but otherwise your things can stay dry easily while you are on the boat.

Other notes- we arrived in Pagsanjan and knew that the price was 1,250 per person but were nonetheless charged 1,375, so we asked if we could pay 1,250, and they agreed cheerfully enough! After we arrived in town, we picked a hotel (there were no hawkers along the road as we'd seen in previous years), and were in the water within about 10 minutes. The whole ride takes about 2 hours. The scenery is breathtaking, and there were a few other boats, but generally we felt like we had the river to ourselves. It was an absolutely beautiful day, and everyone in the family, young and old, loved the trip. The ride back is much faster, and it's more fun riding down the rapids than up them. The whole system seems to be well run, as the boatmen are licensed, and the barangay checks each of the boats that goes down the river, so we felt quite safe.

After we finished the boat ride, we got back in the car to head back to Manila, but stopped at Isdaan Floating Restaurant for a late lunch, which the kids loved. We also stopped to a do a little roadside shopping for local produce. That made it a great day trip, and we arrived back in Manila in the early evening. I would highly recommend this as a day trip from Manila with guests and with families.

18  Thank ManilaExpatMom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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