There’s been a boom in the local tourism industry these past few years as many Filipinos have been taking interest in travelling around their own country.
Social media is now flooded with pictures of people exploring different mountains or chilling on the white, powdery sands of various beaches. As a result, loads of travel agencies have been appearing left and right to meet the needs of travelers.
While most people prefer to book trips with these agencies, some prefer traveling DIY (Do-It-Yourself).
Planning a trip on your own isn’t as complicated as you think it would be. All it takes is patience and typing skills! The internet is a powerful tool you can use to get to know the details about your dream destination.
When it comes to DIY trips, all you need is an itinerary; and to create one, you must research the primary details of your destination, such as travel time, directions, accommodations (if necessary), and estimated expenses.
Laguna’s Buntot Palos: A Hidden Gem
For your first DIY trip, it’s recommended to visit a place nearby. As for my very first DIY experience, we headed to the province of Laguna since it’s near Metro Manila. Laguna is known for hot springs and the famous Pagsanjan Falls, but did you know that there’s another hidden gem that’s been attracting a lot of attention recently?
Buntot Palos is an 80-meter waterfall situated at Pangil, Laguna. It has a fairly easy trek, great for beginners. Buntot Palos is translated as “eel’s tail” in English, but don’t’ worry! There are no eels around this area. It got its name because of its shape, as the locals would explain.
Next is to learn how to get to your destination. To visit Buntot Palos from Manila, ride a bus bound for Sta. Cruz, Laguna. Travel time is around 2 hours. Get off the bus at the last stop.
Look for a jeep bound for Sinoloan and ask the driver to drop you off at Pangil Church. From there, look for a tricycle that can get you to Buntot Palos. Once you reach the jump-off point, you’ll see a barangay office. There, you will be asked to log in your name and you’ll then be assigned a tour guide for your trip.
Exploring Buntot Palos
The trek to Buntot Palos takes about 2-3 hours to complete, depending on your pace. It’s the perfect place to visit as it only requires one day to finish.
Trekking can be tiring for a first-timer because after all, it’s a physical activity that entails walking for long hours. The trail can be muddy during the rainy season, which makes the trek even more challenging. But finally hearing the faint thunder-like noise of the waterfall after the long walk will encourage you to finish your long trek.
The grand waterfall from afar is quite the view. As the water rolls down to the ground, you can swim in the large water basin. With no stores and cottages around, the place is a raw beauty! You can also pitch a tent and stay for one night. Just make sure to notify the barangay prior to trekking.
Lastly is the estimated expenses for the trip. It’s important to always bring enough cash, especially if the place you’re visiting has no ATMs or banks.
Can you believe that our trip to Buntot Palos cost just ₱1,200 for two people? The total expense would have been lower if more people had joined us.
Here’s a sample itinerary and the estimated expenses for 2 persons.
Sample Itinerary + Expenses
|8:00 AM||From Manila ride an FX bound for Buendia (~₱15.00 – ₱30.00)|
|8:30 AM||Alight at the Green Star Terminal, ride the bus going to Sta. Cruz, Laguna (~₱150.00)|
|10:30 AM||Arrive at the Sta. Cruz Terminal, ride a jeep bound for Sinoloan (~₱37.00)|
|11:00 AM||Alight at Pangil Church, ride a tricycle to Buntot Palos (~₱50.00 – 100.00 for 2 pax, ₱25.00 – ₱50.00 per person)|
|11:30 AM||Arrive at the jump-off point, register at Barangay Office and start ascent (Tour Guide: ₱300.00 for 1-3 pax, ₱150.00 per person)|
|11:30 PM||Arrive at Buntot Palos|
|3:00 PM||Start descent|
|5:00 PM||Arrive at the Barangay Office, ride jeep to Sta. Cruz (₱37.00), eat dinner|
|6:00 PM||Ride a bus bound for Buendia (₱150.00)|