We suggest you visit Aliw and Hulugan Falls in one trip. (Read: Hulugan Falls: One of the Most Beautiful Falls in the Philippines)
- (1/10/2016) Good news! Got an update from one of our Instagram followers that Aliw Falls is now open to tourists again!
- (2015) Hiking to Aliw Falls has been temporarily regulated by the barangay. If ever you plan to visit, kindly contact the barangay at Hulugan Falls first.
- (11/23/2015) Based on posts online, Aliw falls is now closed to tourists. Kindly contact the Brgy. at Hulugan Falls to seek updates.
After the rainy season is the best time to go to different waterfalls – trail is less wet and muddy making it relatively easier, it’s not as crowded compared to summer and gushing water is just enough to swim or wade.
Luisiana (pronounced as loo-sha-na) in Laguna hides more than a couple of grand waterfalls that are less popular than its neighboring town Pagsanjan, but are more budget-friendly and less touristy (for now). Aliw Falls is a known sidetrip to Hulugan Falls because it’s also in Brgy. San Salvador, Luisiana, but we think it deserves more credit than just a sidetrip option.
The jump-off point is in San Salvador, a baranggay in the outskirts of Luisiana. Luisiana is between Pagsanjan and Lucban.
By public transportation: Ride a bus bound to Sta. Cruz, Laguna via Calamba. There’s a terminal both in Cubao and Taft. Once in Sta. Cruz, ride a jeep bound for Luisiana. You can ask the driver if it passes by San Salvador. If not, ride a tricycle from Luisiana to San Salvador.
By private transportation: Take Calamba exit in South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) going through Pansol, Los Banos, Pila, Sta Cruz and Pagsanjan. About 30 minutes from Pagsanjan, you’ll find the San Salvador arc on your right past a waiting shed. A group of locals in a makeshift guard house will welcome you. Tell them you’re going to Aliw Falls. A guide will lead you to the jump off point.
- 0800 Depart for Luisiana, Laguna
- 1100 Arrival at San Salvador
- 1130 Start descend to Aliw Falls
- 1200 Arrival in Aliw Falls, free time
- 1400 Start ascend to San Salvador
- 1500 Clean up
- 1600 Depart for Manila
- 1900 Arrival in Manila
The jump off going to Aliw Falls is on the left side of the Lucban-Luisiana highway coming from Pagsanjan. If you’re traveling in a group, we recommend bringing your own car because 1. It’s just 2-3 hours away and 2. you can be more flexible with your itinerary. Looking for San Salvador may be tricky because there’s only one sign along the zigzag road pointing to the falls. Don’t hesitate to ask the friendly locals in case you feel lost.
Upon entering San Salvador, a group of locals are waiting to assign guides. The guides are provided by the local government to prevent mishaps or getting lost in the trail. The guide will lead you to the other side of the highway.
The trail to Aliw Falls is a walk in the park specially when it’s dry. It’s flat or banayad for most parts except for the last descend. You may opt to wear slippers or sandals for the short trek. About 20-30 minutes along the trail, you’ll already hear and have a glimpse of Aliw Falls.
The 65 ft. tall Aliw Falls is a class of its own because of different reasons. The flat rocks and edges where the water cascades makes the sight of Aliw Falls surreal, almost man made. The plunge pool is more accessible compared to Hulugan Falls. You can swim and even sit on the rocks under the waterfalls. While we were there, a few people also jumped from the cliff on the left side. Water is cold and refreshing, perfect as the afternoon sun beams from above.
Fees: P10 for entrance fee, P300-500 for the guide, P15 for using the bathroom
- If you want a less crowded falls, where you can sit down, eat, swim or wade, spend more time in Aliw Falls instead of Hulugan Falls.
- Go now. On the day before we went to Hulugan Falls, our guide assisted the producers of GMA for their feature of Hulugan and Aliw Falls. We’re also seeing an influx of posts on social media thanks to its proximity to Metro Manila. If you’re not keen on the crowd, another reason to go now is before the locals or the local government standardize fees and rates similar to Pagsanjan Falls. Our guide also mentioned that the local government is planning to build a dam on top of Hulugan Falls.
- When traveling in groups, bring a car. There are a lot of towns beside Luisiana for sidetrips: Los Banos, Pagsanjan, Pila, Majayjay, Liliw, Lucban, Lucena, etc. Each town has its unique charm and spots to get lost.