Water Forms

The Philippines' Niagara Falls: Tinuy-an Falls in Surigao

Surigao del Sur

Ida Damo
Ida Damo | Apr 29, 2013

The road trip to Surigao from Davao City was long, but thanks to the Metro Shuttle bus that our company chartered, the ride was smooth. Everyone was in high spirits despite the impending rain and the early jump-off at 4 AM.

Along the way, heads nodded off to sleep. For those who managed to keep their eyes open, the passing scenery of green rice fields and tall trees, the fog in Mawab, the snaking concrete, and the airconditioning created a cocoon apt for relaxing. And so this writer slowly succumbed to slumber, too.


When I woke up, we were already in Bislig City, just a few kilometers from the Hinatuan Enchanted River. The bus turned left toward the opening to the river. I opined that our itinerary was for Tinuy-an Falls first before the Enhanted River, so we made a U-turn and headed to Tinuy-an.

Ferns and tall trees grew on the walls along the highway leading down to the river. We had to get down from the bus and hike, because the road wasn't wide enough to accommodate a big vehicle. It was raining and the limestone road was a little slippery.


There were souvenir shops and food stalls at the entrance. Our eyes, however, were drawn to the cascading body of water. The lowest layer of water artfully cascaded from what appeared to be a man-made pile of rocks.

As we looked up to its source, Tinuy-an, at a breathtaking 180-foot plunge and a width of ninety feet, made its presence known.

As we went up the steps for a better view, a fine spray of mist from the falls freshened up our tired faces. In the end, the long road trip was all worth it.


What to do & what to bring

  • Swim in the river or go bamboo rafting to be near the cascade.

  • Go to the top of the falls and take pictures. Just make sure your camera has a waterproof casing.

  • Wearing aquashoes is a plus.

  • Lather on sunscreen or sunblock.

  • Don’t throw plastic containers anywhere; use the trash receptacles in the area.


How to Get There

Located in Sitio Sote, Barangay Burboanan, Bislig City, the Tinuy-an Falls can be reached from Davao City through the Davao-Agusan Highway passing through the provinces of Davao del Norte, parts of Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley, and Agusan del Sur and Norte. It's a good 6 to 8 hour trip depending on your speed and road conditions.

From Bislig City, private vehicles can go straight to Tinuy-an. Commuters can hire a tricycle or habal-habal to take you to the waterfalls just 30 minutes from the city proper.



  • Entrance Fee: Php 50.00.
  • Small Cottage: Php 200.
  • Big Cottage: Php 300.
  • Function Hall Php 500
  • Table with 4 chairs rental: Php 100
  • Chair: Php 10.
  • Umbrella Shed: Php 150
  • Room Rental: Php 150/person
  • Raft: Php 100
  • Boat: Php 50.
  • Parking Fee: Php 20
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