The Hidden Gem of Tarudak Peak and Mt. Pimmayong

Zambales Falls
Tarudak Falls in Brgy. Sta. Fe San Marcelino, Zambales
Picture this: cliff jumping to a waterfall, picturesque backdrop of mountains, rivers, islands, and walking on grasslands while breathing fresh air. If you are the one who loves nature and enjoys tranquility, then you'll find this natural attraction in San Marcelino Zambales a perfect destination.

Tarudak Falls - Pimmayong Guide

Tucked deep in the midst of three mountain slopes (Mt. Paite, Mt. Tarudak, and Mt. Pimmayong), Tarudak Falls in Barangay Sta. Fe, San Marcelino, Zambales is savored for its solitude. Because of its remoteness, only a few braved the long hike despite the beauty it offers.

Mt. Pimmayong Tarudak Peak Hidden Waterfall - Zambales
Tarudak Falls Plunge Pool

With a depth of 5 meters and wide basin to swim in, Tarudak Falls is what our group calls a beautiful destination. Here's a rundown of experiences on the trail going to the hidden waterfall of Sta. Fe.

Revenge of the Disturbed (0540 Hrs - Points 22 - 7)

As the day breaks, the noise of intruders between the tall grass on a mountain slope was audible from afar. We 've been trekking for twenty minutes and our guide was swift, we cannot keep up with his stride. We struggled to move fast between tall grass and twigs hampering our ascent.

Tarudak Peak Hiking in San Marcelino, Zambales
After the Wood Ant's Revenge Ric momentarily removed his shirt.
Suddenly, yowls behind me broke the silence. Gazing upon the source of high pitched wailing cries, I saw my friends throwing their bags; scratching and tapping their backs as they do the tap dance-like movement. I felt sorry for them. I wasn't aware I accidentally stepped on an ant's nest on the trail. They got the revenge of the ants in return.

Tarudak Peak Travel Guide
Our Mt. Pimmayong - Tarudak Falls Trail

The Scenic Pre-Tarudak Peak (0900 Hrs - Points 8-17-9-16-10)

The panoramic view of Mt. Pimmayong enveloped us as we ascended in awe. We were astonished by the vastness of beautiful sightings. It was the time of immense photo opportunities, forgetting that we still have another destination to visit - the Tarudak Falls (check this link for more Mt. Pimmayong pictures).

Mt. Pimmayong and Tarudak Peak
This time there's no trail.
Feeling sufficed after feeding our love for photography, we progressed only to learn our two guides disappeared on tall grass hundred meters ahead. We proceeded after we heard them shout.

Tarudak Peak Campsite (1100 Hrs - Points 10-11)

We were running out of drinking water. To solve this issue, we needed to reach the campsite before midday. Hurriedly we walked along the grassy vegetation; we got cut by razor-sharp edges of cogon grass and scattered bashful mimosa. Then we reached a rough road, what a relief!

Tarudak Peak Mt. Pimmayong
They finally found their lost toy.
The rust-eaten bulldozer became our resting area. A herd of cows blocked the camp site's bamboo fence. They watched us while we bend over in-between bamboo and barbed wire fences.

Mt Pimmayong Tarudak Peak Travel Guide
Barbed wire fence at the campsite.

The Magical Eerie Creek (1200 Hrs - Points 11-12-13)

The caretaker of the campsite spread the bad news about drinking water shortage. Our only chance is to get to the river that feeds Tarudak Falls and look for spring water. First, the trek was smooth under tree shades until we reached the creepy creek.

Tarudak Falls Trekking
The trail was straightforward until we reach the creek...
At midday, we reached a spring water where we had our refill. The area was pleasant and inviting for a picnic so we had our cookout and lunch.

Tarudak Peak's Hidden Gem
Our cook-on-duty
Recharged from our simple lunch, we headed to our destination passing thick canopy covering the creek. A mixture of nature sounds was a melody of comfort; from birds singing, rushing water, to rustling leaves. Ahh! This is nature!

Tarudak Falls Source
For almost two hours we trekked on this creek

Tarudak Falls At Last! (1400Hrs - Point 12)

Squeezing ourselves between thick vegetations, we finally heard the sound of gushing water. Ric, one of our members broke his footwear as he ran towards the waterfall ledge. His excitement brought him into trouble. Getting down to the waterfalls' pool was a challenge for our guide but he managed to cut down overgrowth. I had itchy skin after a few minutes that turned irresistible to scratch.

Tarudak Peak's Tarudak Falls
Tarudak Falls in Sta. Fe San Marcelino, Zambales

Waterfalls in Zambales
Enjoying the fruit of our toil

Zambales Falls Cliff Jumping
Karl preparing to jump.

Mt. Pimmayong Travel Guide to Tarudak Peak's Gem
Under the water curtain, Ric struck the 'thumbs up' pose

Through the Grassland They Disappear (1500 Hrs - Points 13-14-15-16)

Trekking back home was arduous. The steep slope back to the rough road that leads to the campsite was dominated by tall grass. A road that leads to the mining area was traced by our guide but it was gone; all marks had disappeared, just eroded rocky terrain covered by grasses and shrubs remained. Then, one member got an ankle sprain - another disaster.

Two and a half hours we traversed this grassland. This is the last photograph taken on our trekking.

Starry Night over Pimmayong (Points 16 - 9 - 17 - 18 - 19 - 20 - 21 -7 -22)

Dusk came swiftly. The sweetest couple in the group was having difficulty walking. Ric had a painful Achilles heel while his wife suffered an ankle sprain. But believe it or not, Ric's wife ran fast when we saw a herd of cows approaching us. It then became our amusement when we recall that incident, cows can cure ankle sprain.

We walked on a rough road at night, on rolling stones under a starry night with the sound of our footfalls and the rustling wind in the trees and grass. At seven forty in the evening, we reached Barangay Sta. Fe and took the Kuliglig ride to town. We bade goodbyes hoping for another adventure.

Our Tarudak Falls Travel Itinerary (From Olongapo City)

0400 AM - Travel to San Marcelino
0430 AM - 7-Eleven Convenient Store
0440 AM - Breakfast at Public Market's Gotohan
0500 AM - Travel to Barangay Sta. Fe by Kuliglig
0530 AM - Hiking Preparation
0540 AM - Start Trek
0900 AM - Arrive at Mt. Pimmayong (Rest/Photo Ops)
1000 AM - Trek to Campsite
1100 AM - Arrive at Campsite (Water Source)
1110 AM - Trek to Tarudak Falls

1200 PM - Cookout/Lunch

1230 PM - Continue Trekking
1400 AM - Arrive at Tarudak Falls (Swim, Photo Ops)
1500 PM - Trek to Jump Off
0740 PM - Arrive at Barangay Sta. Fe
0750 PM - Kuliglig Ride to San Marcelino Town
0815 PM - Travel to Olongapo City
0900 PM - Arrive at Olongapo City

Other Natural Attractions in San Marcelino Zambales and Neighboring Towns

If by chance you want to explore more tourist attractions within San Marcelino town and its neighboring towns, consider the following:

  • Mapanuepe Lake -  a shared tourist attraction between Barangay Aglao and Buhawen, in Sta. Fe, San Marcelino, Zambales. This lake was formed when Mt. Pinatubo erupted in 1991.
  • Palacapac Falls - located in San Narciso, Zambales. Its closest jump off to the waterfalls is in Barangay Feria in San Felipe, Zambales. Sample travel itinerary here
  • The Lonely Mt. Bagang - standing in the midst of lahar laden Sto. Tomas River, it has an elevation of 302 meters. This can be a side trip when visiting Mapanuepe Lake.
  • The Anghalo Falls - located in San Felipe, Zambales, this easy-to-access waterfalls is the most visited waterfalls during the rainy season. It is dry during the summer though. Click for more info
  • Crystal Beach and Sitio Liwliwa - also in San Felipe, Zambales. These tourist attractions are the two best surfing spots in Zambales.

Blog Topics:

  • Pimmayong Travel Guide
  • Tarudak Falls Travel Guide
  • Tarudak Peak Campsite
  • Pimmayong - Tarudak Falls Hiking 
  • Tourist Attractions in San Marcelino, Zambales


  1. ok lang po bang mag overnight dyan?

    1. I'll let you know if overnight stay at Tarudak Falls is allowed. Wala po kasing mapaglagyan ng Tent unless yong hanging tent ang dala mo. Sa Mt. Pimmayong pupwede po mag overnight.

  2. Replies
    1. You are right Junjun - Tarudak Falls is simply amazing! :)

  3. Nice read ­čśŐ may recommended guide ka ba sir? Tia

    1. Hi Sir John, you can contact Ms. Christine from San Marcelino Tourism Office. Siya po ang magbibigay ng guide. Her number is 09300885828.


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