AURORA | Ditumabo Falls the Second Time Around


Ditumabo Falls of San Luis, Aurora (one of the best spots to visit when in Baler)

We got up early that Sunday morning to prepare for Ditumabo Falls. I decided to start early because it would be scorching hot by noon unlike the first time I visited it five years ago—it was at noontime but was raining down all throughout the trek. For me, chasing waterfalls within a jungle on a rainy day is a magical struggle. That's one of the reasons why I came back to Baler in June when wet season in the country begins.

READ ALSO: Chasing Ditumabo Falls, the Mother Falls of Aurora (my 2015 experience)

Ditumabo Falls (or Mother Falls) in San Luis town was a 20-minute drive from our transient house in Sabang, Baler. Back in 2015, we parked on a jam-packed space under the shades of coconut trees near a tricycle terminal in Ditumabo. These tricycles bring tourists near the town's hydroelectric power plant where no vehicle can pass anymore; it's where the 1.3-kilometer trek to the falls would commence. That 20-minute tricycle ride back then, though lush and a bit scenic, was along a narrow and bumpy road. Our recent drive to Ditumabo went straight to the trekking jumping-off point and it was along a wider and already-paved roadway. There's also an adequate parking space that could fit more large vehicles like ours.

Trek starts with our tour guide

We registered our names and secured a tour guide on the entrance booth before the trek started. It's only 8 AM. The sun's not that high yet and only a few tourists would go toward the falls. Maybe because summer's already over or 8 AM is just not the peak hour.


The trail had not changed. It's verdant and slippery. Trekking it entailed crossing shallow streams and crawling between large boulders. The only unnatural parts of the route were the gigantic pipes that connect to the power plant and the concreted paths and makeshift bamboo bridges and ladders that were built for easier and safer trek.

Ditumabo Falls welcome signage
Reads "Welcome Ditumabo Mother Fallls Adveture". This rock was newly painted back in 2015.
Caution sign along the trail
Boulders, large metal pipes and streams amid the lush jungle
Getting down a makeshift wooden ladder on the trail
Large pipes along the trail
A boulder within a clear stream you can sit on for photo op
One of the makeshift bamboo bridges on the trail
A large, rusty metal scrap on the trail
Close up photo of a flower on the trail
Walking beneath the huge pipes
Walking upon the huge pipes
A tiny waterfall-like stream along the trail

In less than an hour of trekking, Mother Falls showed herself. The torrent was not at its grandest. Maybe the recent summer's heat dried it up a little bit and it had not rained that much yet. Nevertheless, she didn't lose her grandeur.

Boulders on Ditumabo's cacth basin

What surprised me was the catch basin. Boulders now cover a huge part of the shallows, making much of the basin's swimmable portion, well, unswimmable. Our guide said it was the typhoon that washed those huge slippery rocks onto the basin while some says those were placed there on purpose. If the latter is true, I wonder why.

Still, Ditumabo's seemingly icy waters hadn't changed. Though I remember on my first time, it was more freezing down the crotch because of the drizzly weather. How can my balls forget that great shiver. Haha!

Jam-packed Ditumabo Falls

Like in any waterfalls I've been to, I went to the allowed area nearest the cascade to enjoy the moment—the mist, the violent gush, the natural noise. Those moments were addicting.

Ditumabo Falls' cascade up close
A dip at Ditumabo Falls' freezing waters

Thirty minutes with Ditumabo Falls and it's time to go back. It was around 10 AM and tourists start to swarm, photo bombers were already unavoidable. I was right, 8 AM was just not Ditumabo Falls' peak hour.

READ ALSO: 11 Things to Do in Baler for Your Weekend Itinerary


How to Get to Ditumabo Falls

Once in Baler, hire a tricycle or take a van going to Baranggay Ditumabo. Tell the driver you're about to visit Ditumabo Falls. Travel time is about 20-30 minutes.

Entrance Fee: PHP 30
Guide fee: PHP 300/group



DJ RIVERA

Filipino, dad, office guy, hobbyist. Writes computer programs on weekdays, works on just about anything on weekends. Click here to know more.

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