Chasing Waterfalls in Quirino Province

A landlocked province in the Cagayan Valley Region in Luzon, Quirino is bordered by rather popular neighbors. For one, Aurora lies to the southeast and is home to Baler, a famous spot for surfing. But despite being surrounded by famous provinces, Quirino has its own blend of charm that will surely enchant those who choose to stop by for a day or more.

A generally mountainous area, about 80% of Quirino’s total land area is covered by highlands and mountains. A number of caves are also within the borders of the province as is the upper section of the Cagayan River. Waterfalls also make up part of the natural wonders of Quirino, and there are quite a few of them.

Waterfalls in Quirino

  • Nantugaw Falls – an 80-meter high falls that can be reached after a 90-minute trek.

    Nantugaw Falls Photo by: Jan Darren/Flickr
    Natungaw Falls Photo by: Jan Darren/Flickr
  • Pensal Falls – a three-tier waterfall located in San Benigno, Aglipay.

    Pensal Falls Photo by: Sirpat/
    Pensal Falls Photo by: Sirpat/
  • Mabo Falls – located in the middle of a mossy forest, this falls in Nagabgaban, Aglipay towers at 150 meters and is comprised of six tiers. Getting here though is quite the travel: you’ll travel an hour from the provincial capital of Cabarroguis then trek for three hours to Nagabgaban then trek another four hours to Sitio Mabo. Whew!

    Mabo Falls Photo by: Sirpat/
    Mabo Falls Photo by: Sirpat/

That said, there is a shorter way to the falls and that’s through Barangay Alicia but it’s only available during the summer. This route is passable by 4×4 vehicles.

  • Maddela Falls – this might be the most developed of the waterfalls in the province. It’s located in Dumabato Sur and is comprised of seven tiers. The trek to the falls is only short and there are picnic areas available as well.
  • Mactol Falls – about 50 meters high, this waterfall is located in San Pugo, Nagtipunan.

    Mactol Falls by: Sirpat/
    Mactol Falls by: Sirpat/
  • Junuan Falls – another waterfall in Nagtipunan, this time in Barangay Disimungal. This is the easiest waterfall to reach and its peak can actually be seen from the highway. Dinadiawan Beach is located nearby.

    Junuan Falls by: Sirpat/
    Junuan Falls by: Sirpat/
  • Dinatay Falls – hailed as the most beautiful of all waterfalls in Quirino.

Getting to Quirino

By car

Three hundred and thirty five kilometers away from Metro Manila, Quirino can be reached by land in about six to eight hours. Keep in mind that this is a mountainous region and the roads zig and zag so be careful when driving.


By bus

But if you don’t want to drive, there are buses from Manila that pass Quirino Province. Usually, the trips leave at night and the terminals can be found at Cubao, Quezon City and Sampaloc.

Alternative routes to Quirino include Baguio City and Baler, Aurora. You can board a bus in Baguio that will take you to Madella, Quirino. In Baler, you’ll find vans and buses that head to Quirino and the trip takes about three to five hours.

By air

Quirino doesn’t have its own airport but if you want to skip the eight-hour bus trip, you can fly to Cauayan, Isabela or to Tuguegarao, Cagayan. From Cauayan, take a van bound for Cabarroguis (the provincial capital), Quirino; travel time is about an hour and a half. A van ride from Tuguegaro to Cabarroguis is about three hours.

So when you want a waterfall adventure in the Philippines, Quirino is surely one of the provinces that can offer a range of choices.

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