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DIY Itinerary Guide to Kaparkan Falls in Abra and Pinsal Falls in Ilocos

Caganayan,, Tineg, Abra, Philippines

kaparkan falls in abra

Kaparkan Falls

The last time I have seen a breathtaking waterfall is during our TBEX Philippines Fam Trip months ago where we went to Cebu, Siquijor and Dumaguete. It was my first time to visit Siquijor so I really made sure I am feeling fine to all adrenaline - pumped sights prepared for us. One of those is Cambugahay Falls  in Siquijor that captivated me because the more we go up, the more we saw its beauty. Yesterday, I was checking my favorite DIY backpacking group in Facebook when I saw a DIY itinerary for Kaparkan Falls and Pinsal Falls in Abra. I have never been to Abra nor I have ever heard of these falls so I look closer.   

kaparkan falls
Balete swinging at Kaparkan Falls

A few seconds of staring to the photos became more minutes and then a light bulb appeared in my mind. My friends are looking for another province to explore we all have not been and we want to change the game for a while since we have been seeing beautiful beaches around the country. We want to see something different, a waterfall is a great idea.

Abra is a landlocked province surrounded by Apayao, Kalinga, Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur. It belongs to the Cordillera Region like Sagada which I have been few years ago. The nature, the spell of silence and lots of green view are the sole reasons why I really would like to come to this part of the Philippines over and over again. 

pinsal falls ilocos
Pinsal Falls

For those who share the same plans as we do, here is a 2 - day DIY travel guide to Kaparkan Falls and Pinsal Falls in Abra shared by Coolyn Tuguinay. She came from Baguio so we're gonna start the itinerary in her place.

Night Travel from Baguio to Bangued, Abra
Those coming from Manila can take Partas Bus (Cubao) - P665

Day 1

Take a tricycle going to the pick up point at P20 
7:30 am to 10:30 am (2 hours Bangued to Tineg - easy ride; 1 hour Tineg to Kaparkan - prepare for a VERY challenging ride) at P300 back and forth transpo fee. They use military trucks to transport guests, make sure to call in your reservation beforehand to ensure seat reservation in the truck. Contact Errol 0995-264-8541. 

10:30 to 3:30 Rest and relaxation, picture taking, swimming, cliff jumping, balete swinging. No entrance/environmental fee.

3:30 to 6:30 You'd want to start early for the trip back since there is no power in the area.

Tip: Don't be afraid of the soldiers lurking in the area - they're there to protect you just in case :)

Day 2

8:00 - 9:00 Bangued Town Tour (Victoria Park and Casamata Hill)

9:00 - 11:00 Travel from Bangued to Sta. Maria, Ilocos Sur. Locals are very accomodating and are very happy to assist you in your inquiries. Pinsal falls is easy to find.

11:00 - 4:00 Rest and relaxation. No entrance/environmental fee. There are cottages for rent if you prefer to use one. Cottages were free when we went there since rent collectors were not there - we got to enjoy the area by ourselves :) The area has a sari-sari store and a semi-decent wash area.

4:00 travel back home

Local food or pasalubong you should try:
Abra  - kininit bread and Miki noodles
Sta. Maria, Ilocos - kalamay, kornik

They used private car to reach Pinsal falls since there is no direct transpo straight from Bangued going to Pinsal Falls. Bring packed foods for convenience. Best time to go there is during rainy season (July to September) to fully enjoy the area as advised by the locals residing there.

Q & A with her
Where did you guys stay during the night? How much? Address?
- We stayed at the house of our companion. It's actually one of my "tipid moves". I try to look for someone (preferrably a local) who has a place to stay for free. Locals are the best tour guides since they know where to go, who to speak to, where to buy pasalubongs, etc. There are hotels in the area if you want to spend the night in Bangued.

How long is the travel from Baguio to Bangued Abra and how much is the fee?
- We rode a Van - P 350 at Gov Pack Road.   We were supposed to ride the bus but it was already full so we opted to ride the van. It took us 6 hours (including traffic) to reach Bangued.

What bus stations can you recommend?
- Partas Bus Terminal at Governor Pack Road going to Abra (below SM mall, near University of the Cordilleras and Session Road). Same terminal with the Van. Bus fare is almost the same as the van.

Do you have pics of Pinsal Falls?
- I have posted pics for both falls. Kaparkan Falls is the one with various cascades of water and Pinsal falls is the one with the twin falls.

Can you describe what are kininit bread, kalamay, kornik and miki noodles?
- Kininit bread is like chicharon version of bread. It taste salty and sweet at the same time
- Miki noodles is the usual miki noodles that we see outside. It's how they make the miki that's different. We baught our noodles from one of the locals - 
- Kalamay is the usual pasalubong from Ilocos. It's made of sweet rice (like tikoy) but with dark color and has bits of coconut.
- Kornik is salty fried corn

It says in the itinerary, cliff jumping and balete swinging. Saan po ito? Anong names nila?
- Both activities po are done at Kaparkan Falls
- Cliff jumping - there is part in the area where water cascade is high enough to jump. There is no risk of falling into rocks since the water basin can contain enough water to catch those who jump (we didn't try it though)
- Balete swinging - Kaparkan falls has a Balete Tree at the side and has strong vines that you can hold on to if you want to go swinging. You really have to hold hard so as not to fall in the cliff. The cliff is not that high but you can still get hurt if you fall (this we tried and it was so much fun - adrenaline rush talaga).

Do you have any pics of Victoria Park and Casamata Hill?
-I do :) 

Word of caution
We have to stress that to be able to fully enjoy the area, travellers/tourists have to go to both falls during rainy season. Any other time, both falls are dry and not pretty to look at. Patience will be rewarded as they say :) We had to perfectly schedule our visit to see both falls in thier full glory and it paid off.

Getting to know her
Tell me about yourself, your work
- Accountant working in a hotel here at Baguio City. (Hotelier)
 How long have you been travelling?
- I started travelling since 2012
Where is your next trip?
- I try to travel at least once a month so I usually plan travels in advance. In 2017, I have plans to go to Babuyan Islands (side trip to Batanes or Palui Islands), go back to Bani and visit Angel Cave when it reopens, visit Mt. Tabayoc at Kabayan, Benguet again when it's no longer raining and more :)


  1. will be arriving 30th March, thank you for your info and page i will be sure to follow your itinerary, salamat po, Goff Devon,England

  2. Hi Goff, nice to know this has been helpful for your trip :) Safe travels!

  3. Hi Maria, we want to travel the falls next week, is it the right time?? Cause its not so rainy but also not so sunny... tnx Kate

    1. Hi Kate, hmmm I am no expert about weather forecast. The only thing that is sure if you wanna see this falls in the most beautiful state is during rainy season. Up to you to choose! :)

  4. Hi, may i ask what date you went there?

  5. Hi we want to go to Kaparkan falls, baka pwede po maka hingi ng info ng expenses like registration fee etc. etc. Thanks

    1. pmunta na po kau???kami po bukas pa lang.panu po magpareserve???

    2. pmunta na po kau???kami po bukas pa lang.panu po magpareserve???

  6. Pupunta ako don DIY lang bukas.. 8PM alis ko galing dito sa manila.. Email niyo ko kung gusto niyo, sama tayo.