Saturday, July 22, 2017

Tukal tukal Falls

I have so many pending stories to tell, but I always get excited for the new ones, so I am writing an entry regarding my July’s leisure travel. I am not ditching those I promised to continue because trust me, I will surely find time.
Tukal-tukal Falls

This time, we didn’t go anywhere further and chose to visit the recently discovered Tukal-tukal Falls located only at Botolan, Zambales. We are teased from a post on Facebook showcasing what Botolan has to offer when it comes to Tourism and voila! Little did we know, our eyes were set on this magnificent natural wonder. We made the necessary preparations and marked the calendar for a 1 day time event. We went last Sunday (July 16, 2017). We are a group of 9 pax. Call time was 5AM, and this time I was the first to arrive (proud early bird haha). From Olongapo to Botolan it took us 1hour and a half since we rented a van. We stopped at the Botolan Municipal Hall to take some pictures before proceeding to the registration site. Camp Kainomayan, which was the registration site, was not yet pinned on any GPS maps like Google Maps or Waze so it took us a while to figure out the route by asking local residents. Yes! We finally reached Camp Kainomayan at exactly 7AM, so what’s next? Camp Kainomayan offers ATV rides on the main camp or on the vast lahar landscape, trek towards Tukal-tukal Waterfalls, and even visit the famous disastrous beauty, Mt. Pinatubo. We didn’t change mind and chose what we came for. Registration amounts to Php500.00 per head inclusive of a 4x4 ride. Riding a 4x4 we started around 7:30AM.
Camp Kainomayan, San Juan, Botolan, Zambales

To Tukal-tukal Falls

We had a fun, dusty and bumpy ride. We witnessed the on-going government project of Botolan-to-Tarlac road construction. The 4x4 ride was such a marvelous addition to the experience. It took us almost an hour to reach the jump-off where we finally started trekking. On our feet, we headed with eagerness. The surrounding was outstanding. The scattered mountain rocks along with fresh green grasses made the landscape appealing and heartwarming. I felt gladly lost again in nature away from all my obligations and this was indeed my much needed escape. Since the scenery was picture perfect, we had lots of photo ops along the trail. The weather was quite favorable compared to the previous days before this scheduled outdoor activity; no rain, no sun, just a pleasant cloudy day and the best day for swimming.
4x4 Ride @ vast lahar

Jumping forward, we finally reached Tukal-tukal Falls at approximately 9:30AM. Tukal-tukal, on their dialect was the term for staircase because it does resemble one, a huge one; like a stair made especially for Fee, Fye, Foe, Fumm and Fallon or for BFG, the famous giants from the Hollywood movies. It was a series of waterfalls consisting of four that comes in different heights and ample. Each waterfall has a pool like basin with a depth suitable for cliff jumping. The water was crystal clear as what the pictures and video depicts (see below). We tried cliff jumping and it was a hell of an experience. I was trembling despite the average height of the cliff and being capable of swimming. I thought that it would be easy at the drop of a hat, but that moment when I’m already on the cliff, and my feet were refusing to take a leap, I took a deep breath and let go. Letting go was never easy, unless you have complete trust with what you have, what you can do and what could happen. Cliff jumping was such a fun thing that we did it over and over. We chowed down earlier than noon time because the monsters residing on our tummies were already roaring. After having our lunch, we swam on all four basins undeterred by the ice cold water to our delight. I even tried rock climbing from the third waterfall going to the fourth waterfall basin, which was another first on my existence.
Tukal-tukal Falls
Tukal-tukal Falls
Tukal-tukal Falls

The Gate of Hell

Tukal-tukal Falls

Our guide said, he will take us to another waterfall that was just along the trail so he encouraged us to descend early. At approximately 11:50, we descended. It was indeed just along the trail, but we didn’t notice it during our trek to Tukal-tukal waterfalls because it was hidden down the slope. We reached it around 12:30. This one was also magical, it looks like a sanctuary. The locals call it “Bibig ng Impyerno (Mouth/Gate of Hell)”, maybe because of its depth, the cave like appearance and the creepy ambiance which I thought was perfect for a horror movie location. The water was also ice cold and crystal clear with a darker look due to its depth. We spent another 30minutes here dipping, chit chatting and taking pictures. We enjoyed taking underwater shots, but I didn’t swim here a lot compared to Tukal-tukal falls because I started feeling my legs are about to cramp.
Bibig ng Impyerno Falls

From the Gate of Hell going back to the 4x4 vehicle, it took us 20minutes then another joyride. We asked the driver to have a little stopover at the vast lahar for some pictures.
Vast lahar, San Juan, Botolan

At 2PM, we are already in Camp Kainomayan. We took turns taking shower while waiting for the van and at 2:30PM, we are already on our way back to Olongapo.
Tuka-tukal Falls

This adventure was truly not a dime a dozen kind of outdoor experience.

Tukal-tukal Falls Adventure on Vimeo


  1. Hi there,

    ask langpo how much ang travel budget niyo?


    1. Hello po, thanks for dropping by
      Around Php800.00
      -Php500.00 for the registration @ Camp Kainomayan already inclusive of a 4x4 ride
      -Php300.00 back and forth from/to Olongapo

      For more info po here's the contact number of Mr. Quentin of Botolan's Tourism Department