Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Captivating Taytay Falls of Majayjay Laguna

Taytay Falls is located in Barangay Gagalot, Majayjay, Laguna. The two-story high falls is impressive because of it’s’ extremely cold cascading water. The water stream is gushing from Mt. Banahaw through verdant and unscathed forest which keeps the water clear even during heavy monsoon. Throughout summertime always expect the water temperature to be sensibly icy. The catch basin of Taytay Falls is almost the size of an Olympic swimming pool; it is somehow shallow since the enclave is rock-strewn. The area always feels refreshing because it is continuously sprayed with fine cool mist from the cascading waters. The rocky landscape back dropped by perennial woody plants is quite mossy making it very slippery so caution must always be observed when making a step.

The captivating Taytay Falls

Majayjay is a 4th class municipality in the province of Laguna. It is located at the foot of Mt. Banahaw, and stands 1,000 feet above sea level. It is 120 kilometers south of Manila; it is bounded by the municipality of Magdalena on the north, by Lucban in Quezon province on the south, by Luisiana on the east, and by Liliw on the west.

Taytay Falls is about 11 kilometers from Carayan Resort, where my family was billeted for an overnight stay. Carayan Resort is located between Liliw and Majayjay, and a few meters away from the Majayjay welcome arch. There is only one signboard along the road that directs the way towards the access road to Taytay Falls so be sure not to miss the small board because once you start driving along the access road, there are no adequate landmarks except the Barangay Hall at the end of the trail.

A GPS can be very useful in locating the waypoints. Here is the exact coordinates of the “waypoint” leading to the access road which will guide you towards Taytay Falls;

Latitude 14.134253, Longitude 121.507282

So GPS users, all you need to do is upload the coordinates in your GPS and trek on carefully. For those who do not have GPS receivers, I will explain the direction as accurately as I can.

From Majayjay town proper; exit town and head east towards Lucban, Quezon. The road will start to be winding, coming down from a bridge then up again for about a kilometer until you reach a junction that leads to Louisiana. From this junction, continue towards Lucban for another 2.4 kilometers. Watch out for an access road on the right side with a signboard pointing to Taytay Falls. Turn right and take the access road. The access road is a narrow paved road. Follow the road until you pass by a jeepney terminal and clusters of small carinderias. Turn right towards Barangay Gagalot. The barangay hall will be visible and you will be required to register and pay an entrance fee of P20.00 per head.

A few meters away from the barangay hall are parking space and from there, the trek begins. You need to go down the stone steps in order to reach a narrow foot path. The hike would be about 15 minutes and almost a kilometer stretch. There is no other way around except this single pathway. Caution must be taken into account all the times. The hike is not for the unstable trekker either because it tends to be slippery in some sections and although there are guard rails along the pathway, there are bends that is just a couple of feet away from the almost-vertical side of the cliff.

The stone steps leading to the footpath
The almost 1 kilometer stretch pathway under the canopy of thick foliage

While hiking, one will be amazed with the graceful flow of the crystal-clear stream along the inland waterways which seemingly leads to vague tributaries. The lush vegetation is nature-adorn; festooning the narrow footpath and surrounding foliage complacently attesting the unspoiled beauty of the hidden gorge. The moss covered rocks and perennial woody plants add colors to the verdant landscape. The breath of air is so refreshing and while your skin is incessantly pampered by the misty spew; one could not help but prolong the stimulating sensation.

Lush greeneries with variaties of flora
The crystal clear waterway
The main flowing stream 
The rushing ice cold water of the stream
The moss covered landscape
Panoramic view of Taytay Falls and its catch basin
The misty bliss within Taytay Falls catch basin
The area is adorned with diverse flora

Here are some matters of concern to consider before visiting Taytay Falls; there are no established resort facilities in the area. We noticed some run-down buildings with few functioning toilet and bathrooms. Don’t expect clean toilets. Expect no service utilities (electricity, cell phone coverage, safe & clean drinking water, immediate medical service.) at all. Camp-out on tents are the only means of lodging. Night activities are limited to bonfire get together and drinking spree which likely becomes unruly. Several sari-sari stores located before the pathway descend caters to basic commodities only. We saw several campers in pitched tents, and we learned later that local residents are similarly renting out tents.

Camp-out tents are the only means of lodging
A hanging bridge suspended over the stream

Like practically all places frequented by visitors, I do not recommend going to this place on weekends and holidays, there simply are just too many people going to such a small place and through such a narrow pathway. It’s terribly crowded and tends to be very noisy as well. And just as the same, I hope the local community authority must start enforcing strict rules on waste management. Taytay Falls is such a beautiful place slowly being ruined by insolent tourism.


TheJon Diesta said...

I love the canopy trail to Taytay Falls as well with the fact of intense rollercoaster trip in the zigzag roads of Majayjay...

TheJon Diesta said...

Actually, I want to share my travel experience in Laguna Loop where I traveled from Victoria known as the Duck Capital of Laguna which can compete with Pateros for products such as balut and Victoria has their own kinulob na itik. Pila for their Spanish heritage houses, Magdalena for preserving their historical sites esp the St. Mary Magdalene Church and Bahay Laguna, Majayjay for Taytay Falls, Liliw for slippers and Nagcarlan for the Underground Cemetery and the St. Bartholomew Church... This region in Laguna is known for Baroque churches built in Spanish era.

Kirstz said...

Perfect place for weekend getaway. :)


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