Despite its proximity to Tagaytay City the town of Amadeo in Cavite has pretty much remained under the tourism radar. A small town of less than 40,000 people, Amadeo is nonetheless known as the “Coffee Capital of the Philippines,” acting as a major supplier of coffee beans to Metro Manila’s numerous cafes. Looking for a waterfall in the Cavite-Batangas area to practice our photography four years ago, we were delighted to know about Balite Falls in Amadeo, only a 15-minute or so drive from Tagaytay.
Four years later we were back in Amadeo for a brief respite from the hassles of city life. The resort where the falls is nestled has constructed additional facilities, including a swimming pool, although most of the structures blended seamlessly into the green surroundings. Other than that, the place pretty much looked the same as we found it during our first visit.
A stream running through the resort drops down onto a small shallow pool, forming a small, two-tier waterfall, before cascading down into a larger and deeper pool at a lower level. (According to the resort-keepers, the stream originates from groundwater in the area.) The second falls at the lower level is the major waterfall – although “major” sounds like an overstatement as the latter is a relatively small cascade.
The area around Balite Falls is covered in lush vegetation and is ideal for picnics or a quiet getaway. When we arrived in the morning there were just two small groups of people preparing for a picnic and taking a dip in the catch basin downstream. However, the resort staff told us that the place really fills up during the summer.
The shorter route going to Amadeo from Metro Manila would be to take the South Luzon Expressway, then take the Southwoods exit and head for Amadeo through Indang. Since we didn’t like the traffic on this route and wanted to drive through a more scenic route, we took the Santa Rosa/Greenfield City exit on the way to Tagaytay, passing through Santa Rosa and Silang on the way. At Tagaytay we continued on past the junction, turned right at Mahogany Avenue, then right again at Crisanto M. De Los Reyes Ave. we drove straight along the latter for about 14 kilometers or so (avoiding going through Amadeo town proper) and turned left on Balite Road from the main highway – this road goes straight to the resort and falls.
If you are commuting you may take the bus headed for Trece Martires-Indang. Ask the driver to drop you off at Manggahan. There are jeepneys near the 7-Eleven store there that will take you to Balite, Amadeo in barangay Banay-Banay. Just ask the driver to drop you off at the entrance to Balite Falls.
On the way back you can make a stopover at Café Amadeo located on Crisanto M. De Los Reyes Ave. just after the town proper if coming from Tagaytay. We bought plenty of ground coffee and goodies here but could only stare at the intriguing café alamid or Civet Cat Coffee which was quite expensive.