When I first arrived in Iligan, a city in Lanao del Norte, it never occurred to me that it is dubbed as the “City of Magnificent Water Falls” despite housing 23 waterfalls. This is because what greeted me is a vast industrial park dotted with cement factories and food processing mills.
But I later realized Iligan City truly lives up to its trademark.
Iligan City is Well-known for the iconic Maria Cristina Falls of the
Agus River, a source of hydroelectric power. It is located inside NPC
Nature’s Park in the heart of Agus 6/7 Hydroelectric Plant Complex,
situated within the political boundaries of Barangay Buru-un, Ditucalan
and Maria Cristina, Iligan City. The vast park features a mini zoo, a
koi pond inside a butterfly garden, a lagoon, cottages, and viewing
decks. NPC Nature‘s Park also offers activities such as rock climbing
and zip line.
Commuting to Maria Cristina Falls is fairly easy.
From the city center, just look for a jeep bound to Buru-un. Ask the
jeep driver to drop you off at the jump off point to Maria Cristina
Falls, the landmark is a steel bridge and just walk towards the gate of
NPC Nature’s Park. Alternatively, you can take a cab from the city.
Visitors have to pay an entrance fee of Php 35 for adults while Php 20
for children and senior citizens. To get around, there is a Php 10 fare
for the shuttle. I was surprised to find that visiting this well-known
falls is dirt cheap because normally I’d pay for a hefty habal-habal
(motorcycle) to take me to the water falls since they are mostly located
in remote areas. Needless to say, this 98 meter high falls is
stunning. The hydroelectric plant is a great vantage point for
photographing the enormous waterfall. During weekends, the power plant
is said to release more water creating the second flow of Maria Cristina
Falls making it look like a twin falls.
Mimbalut Falls which is
roughly 90 feet high and 18 feet wide is also located in Brgy. Buru-un,
Iligan City. Just tell the driver to drop you off at the corner road to
Mimbalut beside Iligan City National School of Fisheries. You will
find an eco-adventure site -Iligan Paradise Resort and Eco-Park at the
upper portion of this falls. It has a cable car that crosses over the
gorge of Mimbalut Falls offering tourists a panoramic view of its
cascades. Also situated just a few minutes away from Maria Cristina
Falls is the famed Timoga Spring Pool. It boasts of refreshing springs
that flow freely to swimming pools of different sizes.
Unlike the easy to reach Maria Cristina Falls, exploring the awesome Tinago Falls is quite straining. Nevertheless, this 73-meter high waterfall is a highly recommended stop after touring Maria Cristina Falls. For commuters, you can just hop on the jeep bound to Buru-un. At Buru-un, motorcycles are available to take you Tinago Falls for about Php 100. Be prepared for a tiring hike when going back from the falls because you have to climb the stairs which (according to the locals) is approximately 400+ steps. Tinago Falls is by far one of the most beautiful falls I have seen in the country. It flows into a sparkling basin of deep turquoise water which is perfect for a refreshing swim. The lush green surroundings of Tinago Falls make the scenery feels right for a natural attraction such as this.