It was so rewarding to visit this majestic Tinuy-an Water Falls which is situated in the forest of Borboanan in the outskirts of Bislig City of the province of Surigao del Sur. This falls is approximately 95 meters wide and 55 meters high and is dubbed as the “The Little Niagara Falls” of the Philippines. Tinuy-an is one of the most visited tourist spots in Caraga region being known for its wondrous white water that curtains and flows in three different levels and is said to be one of the widest waterfalls in the country.
From the town of Mangagoy, this can be reached through a chartered habal-habal, as the locals call a single motor bike for P250 round trip. The driver can wait for you while you are enjoying the place and it all depends if you will give additional payment. After all, they have no fixed rates for this kind of transaction as long as you provide them the food. If you are in big group, you can charter van at affordable price. You can ask some assistance from your lodging house owner. Accredited local guides are also available within the area where charging will depend on your kindness. They can take you pictures and accompany you till to the third level of the falls. If you want to ride in the raft, you will be charged for P100 per head and the environment fee is only at P20. To minimize my accommodation expenses, I stayed overnight in Saint Francis Lodging House at P100 per night in Mangagoy proper. This is my second time to be in this town.
The place itself pride giant and centuries-old, mossy trees and varieties of green ferns and brown vines which enclose the water falls. This is a superb treat for bird watching enthusiasts and nature photographers. Since the falls is multi-layered, there are three natural swimming pools to swim around. The paths to these pools have already been established and getting there is never a problem at all.
Bislig City can be reached by air or sea travel from Manila via Davao City or Butuan City or Surigao City. The easiest way to get to Bislig City is to take the direct flight from Cebu City during Mondays and Thursdays (Yes, a commercial airline is currently offering this service). Commercial buses or vans for hire are available: 3 to 4 hours from Butuan City or 5 to 6 hours from Davao City. When in Mangagoy, head over to the Integrated Terminal and rent a jeep or van which will take you directly to Tinuy-an Falls. While I personally reach this water falls coming from Cagayan de Oro City which is 8 hours away from Butuan City.
HOW TO GET THERE
You have the option to book with major airlines with direct daily flights from either (1) Manila to Surigao City, (2) Manila to Butuan City of Agusan del Norte or (3) Davao City. One can also have a flight from Cebu to Surigao City.
Inter-island vessels like the Super-ferry and Sulpicio Lines serves the Manila-Butuan or Cebu Butuan routes on regular schedules with Nasipit Port as transit point. Aircon vans are available at the port area or take a jeepney to the city terminal for the regular bus trips going to Mangagoy in Bislig City.
From Butuan City. Ride in a bus (non-aircon) bound to Mangagoy (Bislig City)- 5-hour travel. In Mangagoy, go to the tricycle/habal-habal terminal in the market – there you can hire a habal-habal for P250 to P350 (depending on your haggling skills) - back and forth including waiting time. Travel time is less than 1 hour.
You can also ride in an air-con bus bound to Davao City- that’s 2-hour travel, get-off at San Francisco terminal and transfer to non-air-con bus or van bound to Mangagoy. Then follow instructions above.
For group tour (minimum of 5-6 pax) better to hire an air-conditioned van from Butuan City as the cost is quite close or much cheaper, less time consuming/tiring.
From Surigao City. Ride in a bus/van bound to Butuan City- 3-hour travel. At Butuan City Bus Terminal, ride in a bus bound to Mangagoy (Bislig City). Then follow instructions above.
You may also ride in an AC or non-AC Bus in Surigao bus terminal bound to Davao City then get-off in San Francisco. Then follow instructions above.
From Davao City. There are non air-conditioned buses in Davao Ecoland Terminal directly bound to Mangagoy in Bislig City. Travel time is more or less 6 hours. Another option is you can ride in an air-con bus going to Butuan City, get-off at San Francisco Terminal and ride in a bus or van going to Mangagoy. Then follow instructions above.