Move Forward and Never Be Still

Aliw and Hulugan Falls of Luisiana, Laguna

Aliw and Hulugan Falls of Luisiana, Laguna
My friend Joshua invited me to his Aliw and Hulugan Falls adventure before the start of the year. My Indochina trip was more than three months ago and I was already beginning to get bored since my first official air travel won’t happen until March. With this, I gamely said yes to him. I also thought it was nice to forge new friendships. And I was glad I came as Joshua’s friends were sure awesome!

We visited Hulugan Falls and Aliw Falls in Luisiana, 
Laguna. Luisiana is a fourth class municipality bounded by Pagsanjan and Cavinti in the north, Magdalena and Majayjay in the west, Lucban and Sampaloc, Quezon in the east. This agricultural town used to be a part of the older Majayjay where another well-known falls is located, the Majayjay or Taytay Falls. 

It is also called the ‘Little Baguio of Laguna’ due to its cool climate. Like the nearby towns, Luisiana has been gifted by natural wonders such as these two waterfalls slowly gaining a widespread popularity. 

Talong Hulugan (Hulugan Falls)
Brgy. San Salvador, Luisiana, Laguna

Hulugan Falls is a gem

It was such a lovely day with friends

Talong Aliw (Aliw Falls)
Brgy. San Jose, Luisiana, Laguna

Aliw Falls is a sleepy but pretty waterfall


How To Get To Hulugan/Aliw Falls
From Manila, ride any bus towards Sta. Cruz, Laguna and alight at the town proper. Ride a jeep with the signage Luisiana and ask the driver to drop you off at Brgy. San Salvador.

The walk to Hulugan Falls is kind of easy. But for those new at this kind of activity, the way down is hard, steep and slow due to the contour of the land. You could literally fall at some point hence the name Hulugan, from the Filipino root word hulog, meaning the act of falling. The trek could take about 40 minutes to an hour, depending on how fast you are. Prepare to get sweaty all over but once at the base, you will be rewarded with the awesome view of the falls looming over you. It reminded me of some waterfalls in Mindanao. For me, Hulugan Falls is truly captivating. Much more breathtaking than the popular Pagsanjan Falls. I dipped in for a few minutes and man! The water was freezing cold at high noon!

Meanwhile, Aliw Falls is located in nearby Brgy. San Jose. The jump-off point is behind an obscure resort. The trek is about twenty minutes, depending on your pace. The path towards Aliw Falls is gentler, with sloping curves and hardly any obstacles. Between the two, Aliw Falls is easier to accomplish and ideal for those traveling with kids and elderly. To pass the time, I imagined myself then hiking with my little nephew in the future. But with the steep path towards the falls, baby wraps and slings would definitely come in handy. It would be perfect for a faster and safer first hiking experience for him. I just hope my sister in law would let him come with me though.

You can take a trike from Brgy. San Salvador to the resort at Brgy. San Jose. Ride takes about ten minutes only. I tried swimming in here but I already got tired from our earlier trek. I ended up just sitting in the side with my friends, admiring the waters swiftly cascading from this multi-tiered falls. Visitors can actually hike up and take a view of the falls from the top. Take note though that there are some parts that are prohibited. However, some do not heed the reminders at all. So take selfies at your own risk.

The arch of Brgy. San Salvador is seen from the right side if coming from Pagsanjan town proper. Just advise the driver to drop you off on the way to Hulugan Falls. There is only one highway so you won’t get lost.

The locals will gladly assist you. Trikes are waiting in the street corner eager to bring you to the registration area. You may leave Manila earlier at 6 AM so you have ample time to do a bit of sight seeing in downtown Pagsanjan or admire the heritage town of Pila, Laguna late in the afternoon. You may brings cars for your convenience. Parking is at the right side of the street. Just ask the locals where you can park your wheels.

After registration, your group will be assigned a guide. They have official IDs and will be with you in the whole duration of your stay. No standard guide fee yet as of our visit. But according to our young guide, Leomar, there will be an ordinance coming out soon to standardize the tour guide fees. For now, we can be a little generous to them. After all, they won’t only serve as your guide, they sometimes become your porters and photographers too!

Before going home, try out Aling Taleng’s Halo-Halo (since 1933) in Pagsanjan. The restaurant is in a street corner just past the bridge (if coming from the town proper). 

Budget and Itinerary  

(prices per head)
630 AM DLTB Bus to Sta. Cruz                Php 140
10 AM   ETA Sta. Cruz           
            Early lunch                               Php 100
11 AM   Jeep to Luisiana                       Php 30
            Alight at Brgy. San Salvador
            Trike to registration center      Php 10
            Registration                             Php 15
            Trek to falls
1 PM     ETA Hulugan Falls
            Tour guide tip per head*           Php 50
 2 PM    ETD back to registration ctr
            Trike to main road                    Php 15                   
            Trike to Aliw Falls                     Php 25
            Donation as entrance fee*         Php 20 
            Guide fee per person*               Php 20
            Snacks                                      Php 50            
4 PM     ETD to Sta. Cruz                       Php 30
5 PM     Dinner                                      Php 100
6 PM     Bus to Manila                            Php140
            Total                                        Php 745

*may change based on the number of persons in your group
1. Come on weekdays if you can. Less crowd. More privacy.
2. Visit the falls before it is developed into a prime Laguna tourist destination. The local government has almost completed the road and it won’t be long before it’ll get busy super busy up there. A waterfall is more beautiful when its surroundings are still raw.

3. Bring baon, water, enough money and a change of clothes for this waterfalling adventure. Wear sturdy rubber shoes or trekking shoes for the hiking activity. Small stores are set-up in the registration area. You can buy drinks and light snacks like bibingka (rice cake). There is a basic rest room at the registration area.
4. Waterproof your things. A mist forms at the foot of the waterfall.
5. I suggest visiting Aliw Falls before Hulugan Falls. The trek towards the latter is longer, harder and more arduous. Spell body ache for the first timers!

 5. Be mindful citizens, please.


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