Majayjay: A Backcountry Retreat

This small town located at the foot of Mt. Banahaw is one of our favorite spots whenever we wanted to get away from the metropolitan jungle that is Metro Manila. Located about 120 kilometers south of the metropolis, Majayjay in Laguna province offers waterfalls, cold springs and soothing views of farm fields and rain forests back dropped by the towering presence of the Mt. Banahaw volcano complex.

rice fields line the road to Majayjay, summer 2016
Golden-yellow rice fields line the road to Majayjay, summer 2016

The start of the rainy season in the Philippines often brings a stop to our island-hopping and beach-bumming trips. That’s also the signal to look elsewhere and hop off to destinations where we do not have to worry about riding a boat amidst turbulent waves. Which brings us to Majayjay and adjacent towns including Liliw and Nagcarlan. However, we recently discovered that summer or the dry season is also a good time to visit as it affords magnificent views of golden yellow rice fields ready for harvest while the cold springs provide a wonderful respite from the summer heat.

another view of Taytay Falls, Majayjay
Taytay Falls

Easily the most popular tourist destination in Majayjay is Taytay Falls, located in Barangay Gagalot/ Taytay. The 12-meter high falls is located in the middle of a protected rainforest. The water volume is pretty impressive, even in the dry season. The hike to the falls is along a kilometer-long concreted pathway that offers excellent views of the surrounding forest and the stream from the falls tumbling down among the huge rocks below. The trek is easy and the scenery enjoyable.

Taytay Falls from another perspective
Taytay Falls from another perspective

Because Taytay Falls is quite popular and has been developed for tourism we’ve encountered quite a number of visitors in the area each time we visited. It’s fortunate if you can get a picture of the falls without people bombing your shots. Walking along the pathway to the falls we often spot several tents for overnight stay pitched right beside the stream.

There are several stores selling food and pasalubong items in the area leading to the falls, a large parking area and rooms for overnight stay. The catch basin around the falls itself has been dammed in and concreted to help irrigate farmlands in the town; there is an irrigation canal running parallel to and under the concrete pathway to the falls.

catch basin and rocks at Taytay Falls
The concreted catch basin at Taytay Falls

Another natural attraction in Majayjay not too far from Taytay Falls is Bukal Falls. The latter is also located inside a lush forest. It takes more effort to reach Bukal Falls, though — around an hour of hiking through the forest. One you get there however, you will be enthralled by the sight of the falls’ deep blue-colored catch basin.

rice field in Majayjay not too far from Costales Farm
Another rice field in Majayjay not too far from Costales Farm

We were planning to visit Dalitiwan Resort during our most recent visit to Majayjay. Located right along the main highway, Dalitiwan has a natural cold spring, man-made waterfalls and beautiful, lush surroundings. Unfortunately the resort was closed when we got there. A few visitors lost their lives during a sudden downpour and flash flood and a resulting investigation and/or litigation had closed down Dalitiwan for the time being.

The Costales Farm — located very close to the detour from the main highway going to Taytay Falls — is an organic farm that also provides overnight accommodations and tours for guests. Visitors can enjoy the fresh air and beautiful farm scenery Costales Farm offers as well as learn how to start their own organic farm.

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