A DIY Travel Guide to Maria Christina Falls, Iligan City: Everything You Need to Know

ma christina falls travel guide

The Maria Christina Falls is a stunning waterfall located in Iligan City, Lanao del Norte. Known for its natural beauty and impressive size, it is a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers. Not to mention the fact that Iligan City is known as the City of Majestic Falls as it is surrounded by 23 majestic waterfalls. Thus, visiting Iligan City should be part of your bucket list and one of the places to visit in Mindanao. 

If you are going backpacking around the Northern Mindanao region, Iligan City must be part of your trip. As mentioned above, you can visit a lot of majestic waterfalls around the city such as Maria Christina Falls (which is the most famous one), Tinago Falls, Mimbalot Falls, etc. With that, here’s a DIY travel guide to help you make the most of your trip to Maria Christina Falls. This travel guide to Maria Christina Falls also includes other places to see in Iligan City. 

How to get to Maria Christina Falls, Iligan City?

  1. From Manila, take a flight to Cagayan De Oro City. The entry point should be at the Laguindingan Airport, which is approximately 75 kilometers away from Iligan City. 
  2. From the airport, take a van to head to the Tambo terminal. Travel time from Laguindingan Airport to the terminal is approximately 2 hours. 
  3. Then from the terminal, take a tricycle to the jeep terminal for Buru-un. Then, ride the jeep going to Buru-un and inform the driver to drop you off at Maria Cristina Falls.

On the other hand, in our case, my friend and I hired a habal habal driver so from the bus/van terminal, we met him and then he took us to Maria Christina Falls. 

Essential Travel Tips and Reminders 

  • I would highly recommend hiring a habal habal beforehand to avoid being a hassle during your trip to Iligan City. 
  • Make sure to have enough cash before going around the city.
  • Be mindful of the time while traveling around the city especially if you are going for a day tour. Buses going back to the city might be limited late at night. Better to book a room within the city, or try to leave the city around 6 PM for your safety purposes as well. 
  • Please take note that as of this writing (June 2023), tourists are not allowed yet to visit the Maria Christina Falls since the roads going there are not yet fully developed and it is still dangerous to get there due to unexpected landslides. 
  • To get updated on the status of Maria Christina Falls, you may visit NAPOCOR official website before you consider visiting the falls. 

To be frank, in our case, we visited the waterfall around November 2022, and I got a direct contact so we were allowed to enter the inside the premises. Though we could only stay for a short period of time. 

Estimated Budget and Expenses

  • Van from the airport to Iligan City: Php 250 
  • Habal habal to Maria Christina Falls & Tinago Falls: Php 700
  • Bus from Iligan City to Cagayan De Oro: Php 280

Best Time to Visit the Maria Christina Falls

The best time to visit Maria Christina Falls in Iligan City is during the rainy season (June to December) when the water flow is at its peak. However, the waterfall can be visited all year round, even during the dry season. The waterfall is always captivating to see in any season! (I wanted to cry while writing this. Hahaha!)

Entry Fees and Permits

There is an entrance fee to access the  Maria Christina Falls but the fee is typically minimal and subject to change, so it’s advisable to check the current rates before your visit.

However, as mentioned above, the Maria Christina Falls is still closed (as of this writing) until further notice. 

Other Places to Visit in Iligan City

Tinago Falls

One of the most popular waterfalls and tourist attractions to visit in Iligan City, Tinago Falls is another enchanting waterfall worth visiting. It is known for its crystal-clear water and a hidden cave behind the waterfall. 

I heard from our tour guide that Tinago Falls is also popular with local celebrities in the Philippines.

Mimbalot Falls

Situated in a scenic rainforest, Mimbalot Falls offers a serene atmosphere and beautiful cascades. 

Timoga Springs

Timoga Springs is a natural spring resort located just outside the city. The resort features several pools filled with cool spring water, surrounded by lush vegetation and picnic areas.

Macaraeg-Macapagal Ancestral House 

Immerse yourself in discovering more about the history of the Philippines. This ancestral house showcases traditional Filipino architecture and offers insights into the city’s history.

However, if you’re traveling within the day, you can just hire a habal-habal driver and try to coordinate with him. For a day tour, it is usually highly recommended to get a package tour where you get to visit the three most popular waterfalls in Iligan City, Ma. Christina Falls (if possible), Tinago Falls, and Mimbalot Falls. In our case, we only spent a half day in Iligan City because we also planned on visiting Marawi City which is located in Lanao del Sur.

My Thoughts on Visiting Maria Christina Falls

Maria Christina Falls is one of the most iconic places that we learn about in elementary school. Ever since I learned about this place, same to the Mayon Volcano in Bicol Region, I told myself that one day, I would want to visit this place. So when I planned our Northern Mindanao trip, I tried my best to really make my childhood dream come true. 

My friend and I were so fortunate to have been given a chance to have a glimpse of this majestic waterfall in Iligan City. Learning about the Maria Christina Falls from history textbooks in elementary school was definitely one of my favorite core memories! The inner elementary kid in me must be so happy and fulfilled! Ahhhh! It’s been a dream to get here! (Thank you, Lord!) 

For those who are planning to visit Iligan City, don’t lose hope! Maria Christina Falls will soon be open to the public once the roads are finally cleared! 

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About the Author

Ara Patria

A travel blogger in the Philippines and a K-pop enthusiast, Ara Patria (The Adventuress) pursues her passion and love for traveling. She’s been blogging for years, where she writes about her own travel experiences and promotes the wonders of the Philippines. Not only does she promote the beauty of her country, but she also focuses on promoting sustainable tourism. She dreams of traveling the world and inspiring other people through her own written works and captured moments with her camera.

The Adventuress is a travel blogger with a purpose. She aims to inspire other people through her personal experiences, stories, and lenses. Outside her blogging world, she is an education, an SEO specialist, and TEFL/TESOL certified.

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