#ExpPalawan: Kaldero Falls Series, Sta. Cruz, Puerto Princesa City

Hey there, weekend warriors! Rainy season is here and for adrenaline seeking wanderlust like us, this only means one thing – chasing waterfalls mode on! Aside from breathtaking views from the mountaintops and azure crystal clear waters, Puerto Princesa City is endowed with amazing waterfalls such as Tibag, Tinagong and Kawa Falls – and lately, the team composed of Wild Expeditions Palawan and Magbabagtik Mountaineers explored the highest (probably, most likely, not claiming anything here) waterfalls in the City – the Kaldero Falls Series.

This is my first time to go in an exploration hike, our team of seven don’t know what to expect except that there might be a series of cascades hidden behind the mountains of Bacungan and Sta. Cruz since it is visible from Mt. Magarwak’s Raven’s Ridge. Upon arrival at the trail head, we talked to some of the locals and looked for a guide. As a team that has been hiking and exploring for a little while, we really recommend for you to get guides from the locale communities, aside from ensuring that everyone is safe and nobody gets lost in the trail, it is our way to contribute to their livelihood and a sign of respect as well.

Our hike began at the Nagsaguipi Bridge; the water is raging after days of nonstop rain. The sky darkened and the drizzle began to pour down softly. We paved our way across what seem to be small farms towards the established feeder road as we listen to Kuya Ramil’s, our guide, story. The drizzle turned into downpours as we silently passed through a tunnel of undergrowth. As we reach the fourth of many river crossings, our guide told us that the trail from then on is nonexistent and we’ll have to push upstream through the gushing torrents. It was exciting but as the minutes passed, the water seems to be stronger, the rocks became more slippery and I began losing control of my steps. Just when I was thinking of asking the team for a ‘take five’, we were awestricken by a massive raging white curtain of a waterfall.

I fell silent and contented then, thankful even… but just when I thought I could take a short nap with the sound of water lullaby, the Kuya Ramil told us that we have to push upstream more, the hidden gem is yet to be seen. Our team again threaded through the watercourse, me occasionally slipping and the rest of the team laughing… but minutes after these, my breathing hitched, I felt like I have fallen in love again right there and then because right before my eyes are thousands of water droplets, pouring down altogether in a hurry to kiss the hardened soil – the exploration hike was successful: we reached a series of enormous waterfalls few meters from each other, each uniquely magnificent and beautiful.

How to get there

Located at Purok Pag-asa, Brgy. Sta Cruz, Kaldero Falls’ jump off point or trail head is located at the Nagsaguipi bridge at the kilometer 32 north of the city proper. The area can be reached via private cars and motorcycles, and public utility vehicles travelling from Puerto Princesa City for 40 to 60 pesos. The best time to explore any waterfall here in the city, including Kaldero Falls, is after days of rain – believe me J. The difficulty level is 3/9 – now, the trail from the river to the last two waterfalls was already established, you have a choice if you want to have an adventurous river crossing or an easy hike.

What to wear and what to bring

It is advisable to wear protective hiking clothes and shoes or sandals that can easily thread through the mossy rocks and muddy trails. Bring a water bottle (let us avoid buying bottled water; combat single-use plastics), lunch and trail food. Do not forget to apply insect repellent and waterproof your stuff or it will surely get wet. Bring a power bank, charging cord and extra clothes for travel back home.

Other notes

The name of our guide is Ramil Fulgencio, his house is near Dianne Store, few meters away from Nagsaguipi Bridge and the guide fee is 600 to 1,000 pesos. You may also contact Peter John Cacayan and Wild Expeditions Palawan on facebook for group explorations. Shout out to the Magbabagtik Mountaineers – Peter, Novee, MV, Chad, Chicoi and Judd for the photos and for an amazing weekend!… and many thanks to Ate Ems for the review.

Please LEAVE NO TRACE, Palaweño weekend warriors! Happy responsible trails!

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