The Pagsanjan Falls, which is locally known as the Magdapio Falls, is an extremely popular Philippines day-trip destination. The fact that the falls are just 60 miles southeast of the capital city of Manila is part of the reason why they are highly visited. In addition to swimming in the natural pool that has formed at the base of the Pagsanjan Falls in the Philippines, visitors can use the site as a starting point for canoe rides down the Pagsanjan River. Interestingly enough, stretches of this river were used in the filming of Apocalypse Now, which is a 1979, Oscar-winning movie set during the Vietnam War.
The Pagsanjan Falls in the Philippines drop 393 feet at their longest point. The cascading water that plunges into the natural pool below is strong enough to give a good massage, which many visitors take advantage of. Swimming and getting a free massage are just some of the things that visitors to these impressive waterfalls in the Philippines like to do. There are also caves that beg to be explored. One of the caves is actually set behind the Pagsanjan Falls.
After hanging out for a while at the Pagsanjan Falls in the Philippines, many visitors embark on the popular canoe rides. In the past, the boatsmen that offered these rides down the Pagsanjan River were quite pushy in their attempts at drumming up business. Thankfully, however, the government has taken measures to make the experience more enjoyable for tourists. When looking to book a boat ride down the Pagsanjan, it is best to arrange it at the village's main tourist office.
Going by boat is pretty much the only way to get to the Pagsanjan Waterfalls in the Philippines. On the ride upriver, visitors will have the chance to admire the impressive scenery. Towering cliffs rise up on both sides of the river at various points, and passing through the gorge is a treat. Once visitors get to the falls, they can pay their guides extra to actually pass under them on the small canoe-like boats. Cushions are provided by the tour companies to help make the boat rides more comfortable, and life jackets are also supplied. It's customary to tip the boatsmen on trips to the Pagsanjan Falls, as they handle all of the upstream paddling. The trip downstream requires little paddling, thanks to the natural current. There are some rapids in the Pagsanjan River, and while they are relatively weak during the dry season, they strengthen during the wet season, offering an added thrill.
The best time to visit the town of Pagsanjan on a Manila day trip is during the week, as the site of the falls tends to get crowded on the weekends. For travelers who aren't planning on visiting Manila or the island of Luzon, there are other waterfalls in the Philippines that can make for ideal day trip destinations. The island of Mindanao is home to some of the country's best, and they include the picturesque Tinago Falls. Davao City is the main entrance point for the island of Mindanao, and it can make for an excellent base for those who want to explore the inviting southern reaches of the Philippines.