Tourism Triangle: NPC Nature's Park (The Park and the Waterfalls)

Maria Cristina Falls:  The third highest waterfall[1] in the Philippines; Iligan’s greatest heritage; the landmark of Iligan City.  This is the second stop of Tourism Triangle Tour in a Day with fellow Iligan Bloggers Society (IBS) members.

With a height of 320 feet and a waterdrop rate of 130 cubic meters per second, it's no wonder the falls is the veritable source of industrial power in the city as well as in about 70 percent of Mindanao. The waterfalls is located 9.3 kilometers away from the city proper, at the borders of Barangay Maria Cristina, Ditucalan and Buru-un.  Known as the "Twin Falls," “Mother of Industry,” and “Fountainhead of Progress,” Maria Cristina Falls is indeed the most splendid among the 23 waterfalls of Iligan.

ma. cristina falls | iligan city mindanao philippines | TravelJams

I admitted in a previous post that I was (and still am) a stranger to my own hometown.  Here’s one proof:  It was only about five years ago that I first had a chance to actually visit Maria Cristina Falls.  Imagine twenty-one full years of living in Iligan City and never having been to see the world-renowned waterfalls.  My idea of Maria Cristina Falls was confined to the pictures I find in books and in TV and magazine features.  Never experienced firsthand. Why I waited that long to see the marvel that is Maria Cristina Falls with my own two eyes, I don’t really know.  

But I do remember exactly how I felt during that first visit.  I just stared there in awe for a few moments, enjoying the mist touching my skin, listening to its deafening power, and just drowning in the grandiosity of Maria Cristina Falls.  Fast forward five years later, I go back for my seventh visit, the third within the year.  The feeling is still the same.  The majestic waterfalls has not lost its power over me.  Not one bit.  It has this unique combination of irresistible beauty, undeniable power, and innate greatness, you can't help but stare at it and admire it in its entirety.

ma. cristina falls | iligan city mindanao philippines | traveljams

To make it even more attractive to tourists, the area surrounding Maria Cristina Falls was also developed.  NPC Nature's Park is now a family destination everyone can truly enjoy.  It has amenities that caters to visitors of all ages. It has a viewing deck, mini-zoo, cottages, canteen, and adventure rides, among others.

Viewing Deck 
Due to the strong current of Maria Cristina Falls, swimming is strictly prohibited in the area.  But that would certainly not stop you from admiring the beauty and splendor of the waterfalls up close, right?  Good thing NPC has a viewing deck at the third floor of the building.  That's as close as you could get without endangering your life. 

Alex, Richard, and Francis

NPC Nature's Park houses many animals for viewing.  There are ostriches.

And crocodiles...
There are nine crocodiles in the park.
And a bunch of other animals to see.  

Butterfly Garden
This is my second favorite spot in the park, next to the waterfalls of course.  It was fun chasing these colorful creatures around inside the Butterfly Garden.  There was also a pond full of equally colorful fishes in the garden. 
 Some of the photos grabbed from Alingatong of Explore Iligan 9200.
The visit to the mini-zoo brought back the zoologist spirit in me.  Lai, a fellow BS Biology graduate, kept asking me and Xy-Za for scientific names of the species in the park, even the ones not in cages.  At one point I asked, "Varanus salvator man na no?" (Is that Varanus salvator?), pointing to a monitor lizard in the Crocodile Park.  (Eww. Nerd. Yuck! Haha!) 

There is also an area to run around and shoot that famous jump shots with your friends and family.  There's also a hanging bridge, which was still under rehabilitation when we visited.  I would want to cross that bridge once it is operational. 

Cottages and Canteen
And if you're tired from all the walking and running and jumping, there are also cottages where you can rest your feet for a bit. 

Or you can enjoy a snack or a meal in the NPC Nature's Park Canteen in full view of the magnificent waterfalls.  The canteen serves snacks.  No meals served as of yet, but you can bring your own food if you want.  Use of tables costs only Php20 for non-customers.

Near the canteen, there's a rock wall, which was under repair.  I hope it will be open for the public to try soon.

And of course, there's Tree-Top Tours Zipline.  Iligan Bloggers tried it out too! And I'm going to give you a blow-by-blow account of the experience in the next post. :)

How To Get There

  • Public Utility Jeepney (PUJ):  From the city proper, take jeepney bound for Buru-un and drop off at Maria Cristina Entrance, right after the bridge.  The walk to the entrance gate takes about 5 to 10 minutes.  From there, you can ride the NPC shuttle car to take you around the park. 
    • Fare:
      • City proper to Maria Cristina Entrance: Php 11
      • NPC Shuttle Car:  Php 10
  • Taxi:  Rate as agreed by passenger and driver. Fare:  ~Php 100-150
  • Private Car
Entrance Fees:  (updated September 15, 2011. Please see Notice below)
Adults: Php 35
Students and Senior Citizen:  Php 25
Service Fees
Shuttle Car:  Php 10
Table Rental: Php 20 (for non-customers)

Park Hours:
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM.  

Note:  Since Maria Cristina's water is being harnessed for electric power, full grandeur viewing of the waterfalls is on weekends at 11:00 in the morning.

This post is part of a series on the Tour of Iligan City Tourism Triangle.  Do check the rest of the entries out.

          1.  The Plan
2.   A Visit to a Military Camp
3.   NPC Nature's Park

                   Part 1:  The Park and the Waterfalls 

                   Part 2:  The Treetop Tour (Zipline) Experience
          4.   Iligan Paradise Resort
5.   Tinago Falls

Photo Credits: Ma'am BinkyAlingatongAlex; Ma'am Arlene

[1] The highest in the country is Aliwagwag Falls in Cateel, Davao Oriental. The second highest is Iligan's Limunsudan Falls, located at Brgy. Rogongon. (Thanks Noy Iko!) ^__^

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  1. nice on jam! ^^

    nice mga pictures. i love your angle of the falls.^^

    i still need 4 more post related to the tour and i hope i can make 1-2 tonight.

  2. There have been many additions and improvements to NPC Natures Park since my first visit a few years ago. On my last visit I really enjoyed the refreshing riverside pavilion area as a nice cool breeze from the rush of the river provided a nice place to cool off while enjoying some refreshing beverages. The Zipline adventure was really something else but I'll reserve any comment on that until I read your impression and experiences on it to see if they parallel mine ! LOL

    Iligan City & NPC Natures Park

    Simply Amazing !

    Bob New York

  3. @Bob: Hi Bob! Thanks for dropping by. Yes, there have been many improvements in NPC Nature's Park, and they're still working on adding attractions to make the visitors' stay more enjoyable and memorable. :)

  4. @Ma'am Arlene: Thanks ma'am! Grabbed your photo (signage sa canteen and souvenir shop) pud for this post. daghang salamat.:) by the way, ang photo sa falls, tinudlo na ni Sir Pat. hihihi...

  5. nice photos...
    hehehe. i havent visited ur blog in awhile.

    this would be such a nice place to visit. :D

  6. thanks for dropping by Jam...

    anhi ka dire sa iligan... laag ta! =)

  7. Nindot na gyud kaau ang Iligan City karon. I really hope that through our efforts mka tabang ta ug boost sa economy sa atong city. This post would surely attract tourists.

  8. Tama. Iliganons should work together towards development and improvement. :) Sana nga this blog can do something for the city. :)

  9. the place was very scenic hope the people would take care the natural resources of the city so the next generation could still enjoy it.

  10. i hope so too. if we all take part in saving the environment, our children's kids and grandkids could still enjoy what we currently have. :)

  11. open po ba kyo pag black saturday..?

  12. sino po bang pwedeng mag accomodate sa amin jan?? we are 55 students..mayroon bang tour guide sa'min jan?? sino din po ang pwede naming ma contact para jan? pls. contact me in my yahoo address please e-mail me,.we really need the information

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