Iligan: Philippines’ “City of Majestic Waterfalls”

BY Anazel Gallardo TIMEDecember 15, 2014 PRINT

The City of Iligan is well-known for its magnificent waterfalls – 23 waterfalls in all; Iligan City is often referred to as the “City of Majestic Falls.” Though the waterfalls are the main attraction in the city, you can also rely on their growing industry and wonderful restaurants that serve amazing foods and local delicacies.

Maria Cristina falls near the City of Waterfalls, Iligan via Shutterstock*
Maria Cristina falls near the City of Waterfalls, Iligan via Shutterstock*

Maria Cristina Falls is the most loved one among the tourists. It is also known as the ‘Twin Falls’, as the flow is separated by a rock at the edge of the waterfalls. It is the most popular landmark in Iligan City. Visiting most waterfalls in the Philippines requires demanding trekking and laborious roads, but Maria Cristina Falls will give you none of that. You can expect a relaxing journey from the heart of the city to the place where Maria Cristina Falls is located. The travel time is roughly 20-30 minutes, though it depends on what form of transportation you are using. The local jeepneys will take time; if you have your own road vehicle, it would be much better. When you get to the place, you will have to pay for the entrance fee which is quite affordable.

Tinago Falls (Wikimedia Commons, Paul van der Vegt)
Tinago Falls (Wikimedia Commons, Paul van der Vegt)

Next is Tinago Falls. You wouldn’t want to miss the beauty of this waterfall. From Maria Cristina Falls, it will take roughly 30 more minutes.  Tinago means ‘hidden’ in Philippines’ dialect, as it is located in a deep ravine place between Iligan City and Municipality of Linamon. You have to be ready for a pretty long and exhausting trip. Also, warm up your thighs to take the winding, 500-step staircase. But all of these will be absolutely worth it once you get there. You can bring your own foods and snacks but remember to pack light as you don’t want to drain your energy while taking the 500 steps. If you don’t want to bring your own food, there is a mini-store in the place selling bread, drinks, and other snacks.

You can opt to hire a guide to help you carry your things to save you energy while going through the stairways. You can give the guide any amount you would like or you can agree on a certain amount beforehand. Locals are friendly, especially the kids, so talking to them about helping you is not something to worry about. The stunning Tinago Falls streams glamorously into a crystal-clear pool with very cold water. One of the many things you can do while at Tinago falls is to stand or sit inside the small cave inserted underneath the falls and enjoy listening to the sound of nature and roar of the waterfalls.

There are more waterfalls you can visit but they are pretty far from the city compared to Maria Cristina Falls and Tinago Falls.

If you want to swim in cold water without the need of hikes and treks, you can visit Timoga Cold Springs. The place is really close to Maria Cristina Falls. Timoga Springs has five resorts you can choose from, each one having sterile spring waters flooding in different pools varying in shapes and sizes.

Choosing a place to stay is not a problem in Iligan City, as there are many hotels and inns to choose from. There’s Famous Pension House, Elena Tower Inn, and Plaza Alemania Hotel, to name a few.

You can definitely enjoy the nightlife and visit as many restaurants as you would like. Some of the most popular restaurants in Iligan City are Delecta, Gerry’s Grill and Enang’s Grill.

If you want to be more adventurous, try eating Iligan City’s local delicacies or the challenging Filipino street foods, such as Kwek-Kwek (a deep-fried orange batter covered hard boiled eggs), Isaw (made from barbecued chicken intestines), and Balut (a developing duck embryo that is boiled and eaten in the shell).

Copyright © 2014 by the Dauntless Jaunter Travel Site. This article was written by  Anazel Gallardo and originally published on

*Image of Maria Cristina falls near the City of Waterfalls, Iligan via Shutterstock

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