ENCHANTED. The Engkantadora waterfall is a hidden gem of Barangay Dipilat in Vintar, Ilocos Norte. On Sunday (Sept. 18), the local government unit finally opened it for tourists to enjoy. (Photo courtesy of Vintar Balay ti Ili) 

LAOAG CITY – An enchanting waterfall located in the mountainous village of Dipilat in Vintar, Ilocos Norte is now open to the public after it has been kept exclusive for residents to enjoy.

The Engkantadora waterfall named after its enchanting natural ambience, is approximately 18 kilometers from this city or just a 30-minute drive from the Vintar municipal hall, according to village chief Nick L. Foronda of Barangay Dipilat. The village officials are spearheading the management and upkeep of this newly opened tourist attraction.

Ideal for picnic, swimming and kayaking, the waterfall area offers lush vegetation with available cottages and kayaks ranging from PHP400 to PHP450.

In pre-pandemic times, Foronda said they used to welcome 300 to 500 visitors during weekends until they closed the area due to the threat of the coronavirus disease 2019.

“The waterfalls is best enjoyed during the rainy season but from February to August, our Zanjera takes over because the water will be used to irrigate our farmlands,” he said citing about 10 hectares of palay and peanut farms depend on water supply from the falls.

Zanjera is taken from the Spanish word “zanja,” meaning ditch or canal.

While the water is plenty these days, villagers have thought of opening up the waterfalls to tourists as an additional source of income generation.

Since its opening last Sunday, the village chief reported that they have welcomed at least 50 registered visitors so far with a minimum entrance fee of PHP10 per person of all ages.

As host to the pioneering bike zipline in the Ilocos Region spanning some 230 meters, Vintar town is slowly recovering from the pandemic with the recent influx of tourists wanting to travel again in this northern part of Luzon.

According to municipal tourism officer Erwin Suguitan, the newly-added tourist attraction in Vintar town will be a great boost to the town’s local tourism under the new normal. (PNA)