The Niagara Falls Of The Philippines: Tinuy-An Falls Of Surigao Del Sur


Safely tucked away in the outskirts of Bislig City, Surigao del Sur, is one of Philippines’ most prized gem. This crown jewel entails a majestic three-tiered waterfall that will leave you wondering why you haven’t thought of being here years back.

Legend has it that the warm inhabitants of Magdiwata Mountains were slaves by the fierce tribesmen from Agusan. During this period, the tribesmen forced hard labor on inhabitants besides making them build small boats called baroto and rowing the herdsmen aboard the boats, across the falls. In their quest for freedom, they came up with a plot to push the boats towards the falls hence leading the cruel masters to their demise. The act of intentionally forcing the baroto towards the fall birthed its name Tinuy-an, which directly translates to the intentional act to realize a particular goal.


Similar to other exotic destinations in the world, this spot is well tucked away in a remote place called Burboanan Village which is just an hour ride from Bislig City’s commercial center. The surrounding area is equally stunning, consisting of lush forest hills with a plethora of exotic flora and fauna to complement it.

Touted as the Niagara Falls of the Philippines


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Tinuy-an Falls is often referred to as the little “Niagara Falls of the Philippines” because of its 95-meter width and 55-meter plunge making it the widest waterfall in the Philippines. It has three levels of curtain-like cascading waters and a fourth tier hidden from view. The second level being the tallest of the three is where tourists swim and explore. There are bamboo rafts available for rent which cost 100 to 150 pesos each that will get you close to the cascading waters. Also, expect to catch a glimpse of the beautiful rainbow in proximity between 9:00 a.m and 11:00 a.m.

How to get there?


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Getting to Tinuy-an falls from Manila should be an adventure in itself. You can opt to either catch a flight to Butuan City before taking a five-hour bus ride to Bislig City for less than 300 pesos, or a trip to Davao City followed by a six-hour bus ride for less than 350 pesos. Upon reaching the city, you can ride a motorcycle that will take you to Burboanan Village in 40 minutes for another 200-300 pesos.  Sounds tedious right? Well, you may be forgiven for thinking it is, but it’s not, thanks to the fantastic panorama along the way. To access the falls, you will only need to part an entrance fee of 50 pesos for adults and free for children. It would be in your best interest to ask your motorcycle driver to stick around for easier transportation back to the city.

What to expect?

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You can get acquainted with some of the Philippines’ best cuisines as you enjoy the scenic falls’ grandeur, on the picnic tables spread along the river banks. It is worth noting that Bislig has high regard for large crabs, shrimps, and lobsters for export and domestic consumption which means it would be in your best interest to carry some as pasalubong. Visitors who arrive early get the best spots as tables come on a “first-come -first-served” basis. There are many well-stocked stores nearby for those who wish to grab some snacks and few cottages charged on a nightly basis, if time flies by unknowingly. However, don’t expect significant developments or resort-like amenities here, which means, your safest bet of quality accommodation lies in the city. It offers a vast array of dining and lodging options ranging from budget-friendly pension houses and hostels for 150 pesos to high-end hotels ranging from 500 to 2,000 pesos.

Nearby Spots Worth Checking Out

You will never run out of different tourist attractions in the area. Therefore, it is best to maximize your time. Be sure to check out the 24 Britania coral Islets that resemble floating topiaries from a safe distance. The panoramic islands rest in Lianga Bay, San Agustin and to get up-close, just arrange a boat trip from one of the numerous resorts lined up along the way. Another spot worth checking out is the famous “Enchanted River” situated in Barangay Talisay, Hinatuan. The popular tourist destination offers a display of exotic fish, and deep blue waters complement the great tranquility.

Call yourself a well-traveled individual when Tinuy-an Falls is a tick off your bucket list. Be sure to book your accommodation and flight in earnest as the country is a popular tourist destination throughout the year.

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