Chasing 13 Falls in DRT Bulacan is the first adventure that I’ve done during the Covid19 pandemic. Although I already did some chill camping in Antipolo, Kaliraya, and Tagaytay campsites, there’s nothing compared to feeling alive again while hiking trails, crossing rivers, scrambling boulders, and swimming rivers. In this post, I will share our experience in 13 Falls. Check out the first part of this blog What to Expect in DRT Bulacan for complete details on our planning, itinerary, expenses, and what to expect when visiting DRT Bulacan.
13 Falls DRT, Finally!
In my previous post What to Expect in DRT Bulacan, I mentioned that we camped on Digos Hills before doing 13 Falls due to the previous day’s weather condition which caused the Municipal Hall to close it on Nov 29. The next day, Nov 30, upon leaving the campsite, the favor turned for us. 13 Falls is already open and the sun has started to shine! Upon arriving at the registration area to meet our guide at 7:30am, we paid 150php/person for the entrance and guide fee. We then started to drive to the jumpoff.
Getting to the jumpoff requires you to ride a 4×4 vehicle because of the very rough road especially towards the end. Thankfully, our friend brought a 4×4 pick-up. There were parts of the road with nothing but big rocks. Motorcycles can also go through but riders have to be extremely careful especially when rainy. It took 30 mins to arrive at the jumpoff. We could only see 1 vehicle that came before us when we got there at 8 am. Upon returning thereafter the 13 falls trail, there was already a sea of vehicles and motorcycles.
Since it was raining the previous days, the trail was really muddy when we were starting, and even muddier during our return since countless visitors have already stomped the ground. Luckily we were one of the first groups who arrived so we didn’t encounter many other people on the trail except when we were returning. Social distancing was not in effect, and it seems that there was no limit on the maximum capacity.
When doing the full 3-4 hour trail, make sure that you have hiking sandals with good traction to avoid slipping in the mud. We had to step on big slippery boulders, and pass through bamboo bridges. Also, we crossed brown rivers due to the mud that has been washed by the water. The guide assured us that the waterfalls we would visit are clearer since they come from a different source.
13 Falls is actually a Waterfall Cascade!
Arriving at the first waterfalls, we were welcomed by a short drop of greenish-brownish water. The guide said that the second waterfall is just the one on the higher level. Technically, 13 falls is just a cascade of small waterfalls that are close to each other. The two best drops are Falls #7 aka Adarna Falls and Falls #8. We mostly just passed by the smaller cascades and took our time swimming at the highlight falls #7 where we got some back massage from the falls, #8 where we cliff-jumped, and #13 with a larger pool. Even though the water was not clear, we still enjoyed swimming and cliff jumping. The following photos are screenshots from videos from our GoPro. For sure, the water would be a lot clearer under better weather.
Final Tips For Visitors of 13 Falls DRT Bulacan
Overall, 13 Falls in DRT Bulacan is highly recommended for adventurers who really want to take a break from being quarantined at home. We loved hiking while being excited about how the next falls would look. The water was cool and refreshing. Here are my tips if you’re planning to visit, too.
- Arrive earlier than early! Because of its lack of travel requirement, DRT Bulacan receives a lot of visitors, especially on weekends. We arrived at 7:30 am and we enjoyed the falls mostly to ourselves. The crowd fluxed in after us.
- Form a group of at least 4 people so you only pay 150/person.
- Contact a guide prior to arriving. We recommend our guide Johnjohn Papa (Contact number: 09353372958).
- It’s better to have a 4×4 vehicle. But if not, you can hire one at 150/pax. You may contact Mark Anthony 09431337027 who rents out a 4×4 vehicle.
- As much as possible, visit only when it hasn’t rained for a day so you can enjoy clear waters.
- Bring a dry bag that contains drinking water, snacks, and your gadgets.
- Wear proper footwear! We suggest hiking sandals with good traction. Don’t wear shoes as they will get wet 100 percent.
- There’s a shower area at the jump-off where you can wash for 10php per person.
- You can also have lunch at the jumpoff. There’s a store selling BBQ and rice with viands.
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Photo credits: Anthony Tuana and Joel Luna