4 waterfalls you can’t miss in Cebu

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Where to find the four best waterfalls in southern Cebu

There are so many beautiful waterfalls in Cebu, how do you choose which ones to explore? Now you don’t have to – we scoured the internet, Instagram, tourist brochures, and (most importantly) asked locals to find the best waterfalls in southern Cebu!

We rented a motorbike from our traveler’s inn in Oslob and had grandiose plans to visit five waterfalls on our first day in the Philippines. Despite having an early start (thanks, jetlag!), we soon realized our plan was overambitious.

We visited the following four waterfalls over two days (we tried to visit a fifth but the trail was closed due to a landslide – more on that later). Each waterfall is not just one waterfall, they all have several levels of waterfalls to explore! They are not ranked in preferential order (as the fourth was probably our favorite) but listed in the order that we visited them.

Here are the four waterfalls you can’t miss in Cebu. We’ve also included a cost breakdown for fellow backpackers on a budget.

Click on the links to see separate blog posts highlighting more information for each waterfall, including more photos, our personal experiences, and plenty of tips to make the most of your experience chasing waterfalls!

1. Kawasan Falls

Kawasan Falls
Kawasan Falls

If you’ve ever spent a little time scrolling through travel photos on Instagram, you’ll recognize the Insta-famous Kawasan Falls. With big bamboo rafts and water so vibrant and teal, you’d think it is photoshopped (but we can vouch that it’s not!).

To get our insider tips, read about our experience getting lost and hiking into the middle of the park (at least we unintentionally avoided the entry fee), and see many more photos of Kawasan Falls, click here.

What we paid: (rough conversion is 50php to $1 USD)

  • Entry Fee – 0 php (because we accidentally entered in the middle of falls through the jungle) but it is normally 40 php per person
  • Raft Ride – 600 php private raft for two with a table to keep our belongings including a 100 php tip to our raft driver
  • Motorbike Parking – 100 php, parking in private property

Our total = 900 php (~$18 USD)

2. Inambakan Falls

Inambakan Falls
Rainbow at Inambakan Falls

Inambakan Falls (at 100 feet tall) are lesser known and a Filipino favorite, according to the locals we asked. The falls can be reached down a long set of concrete stairs and a short pathway into the jungle – it only takes about 5 minutes to reach them from the designated parking area.

To get our tips, hear about our experience and see photos of the other even lesser known levels of Inambakan Falls, click here.

What we paid: (rough conversion is 50php to $1 USD)

  • Motorbike Parking – 40 php
  • Entry Fee – 20 php per person (40 php)

Our total = 80 php (less than $2 USD)

3. Tumalog Falls

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Tumalog Falls

Tumalog Falls are gorgeous and massive, not only in height but also in width. They are relatively easy to access and there is one large pool for swimming.

To learn what time is best to go, learn from our mistakes, and see more awesome photos of Tumalog Falls, click here.

What we paid: (rough conversion is 50php to $1 USD)

  • Entry Fee – 20 php per person (40 php total)

Our total = 40 php (less than $1USD)

4. Aguinid Falls

Aguinid Falls
Aguinid Falls

Aguinid Falls just might just be our favorite falls in southern Cebu! There are five levels of waterfalls and each is more beautiful than the last. At one point we climbed up a waterfall (no you didn’t read that wrong) with a rope. It was surprisingly easier than sounds.

To find tips (like how not to overpay for parking – oops), hear about our fun experience, and see photos of the five levels of Aguinid Falls, click here.

What we paid: (rough conversion is 50php to $1 USD)

  • Entry Fee – 120 php per person (340 php)
  • Mandatory Local Guides – 120php per guide (340 php for both guides) *the guides are mandatory but their payment is not – the tip amount is up to your digression
  • Parking – 50 php (We parked at the first lot we saw, but as we walked up to the falls we saw other parking areas for only 20 php)

Our total =  780 php (a little under $15 USD)

*Doa Falls

We planned to visit Doa Falls (our last stop of the day after visiting Kawasan and Inambakan Falls) but after trekking for 15 minutes – we saw a sign that read “Danger! Landslide area.” We thought, really, how bad can this be? And continued onward but it only took us another 30 seconds to realize the path was completely impassible. Bamboo trees and loose dirt covered the way of what must have once been the steep path. As it was getting close to sunset and there didn’t appear to be another way to go, we turned around and headed back to our motorbike. [We visited in November 2017]

Transportation

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The best way to get around Cebu! Tip: Let the passenger take the selfies 😉

We highly recommend renting a scooter to visit the waterfalls around Cebu – most of the roads are paved and it is fairly easy to get around. We opted to drive around the island on the paved road instead of up through the mountains, as we believed this would be a more scooter-friendly route.

Visiting the waterfalls through a tour will cost a lot more money and put you on someone else’s schedule. A scooter gives you the freedom to stay at a waterfall as long as you’d like and stop wherever else you please (see the awesome pitstops for lunch we found below).

The automatic scooter we rented was 500 php (slightly less than $10 USD) per day – since this was our first stop in the Philippines, we didn’t negotiate for cheaper price, but we probably should and could have. We later rented motorbikes as cheap as 300 php in Puerto Princesa, Palawan for a day (thanks to a couchsurfer’s connection) and 400 php a day in El Nido.

Basic motorbike tips: When driving a scooter or motorbike, always be precautious and watch out for dogs, chickens, and other animals that can run into the street and cause accidents. Honk your horn to let people, animals, and other vehicles know where you are (especially if you are passing). Don’t be alarmed by the male nudist that roams the main street on the southwest side of the island.

We saw several tourists laying on the road after different moto crashes. We also saw many tourists with horrible (sometimes infected) road rash from accidents. We always wear helmets – safety first!

Accommodation

 Our Lady of Immaculate Concepcion Church in Oslob, Philippines
Church in Oslob, Philippines (no we didn’t stay here)

We spent four nights in Oslob at Luna Oslob Traveler’s Inn, which is a couple of blocks inland from the 7-Eleven! If you’ve never booked a room with Booking.com before, get $20 off your reservation by signing up here. Oslob is a great jumping point for exploring the southern part of Cebu island and many waterfalls. Oslob is close to both Aguinid Falls (42 km) and Tumalog Falls (23 km).

We, unfortunately, didn’t make it to Moalboal, but this is also supposed to be a charming (touristy) town that is much closer to Kawasan Falls and Inambakan Falls. A lot of people prefer Moalboal to Oslob, but since we didn’t make it there we can’t say for ourselves. If you stay in Moalboal (or Alegria), you would have a significantly shorter commute and a later wake-up time if you’re getting up to beat the crowds at Kawasan Falls (26 km to Kawasan as opposed to 82 km from Oslob).

Pitstops (where to eat)

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Pork, calamari, chicken fried rice, and grilled tuna with a view at Cosina Organica

On our way from Kawasan Falls to Inambakan Falls, we stopped in Alegria for lunch at Cosina Organica. We ate right over the water with a beautiful view! The food was cheap and delicious.

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Lunch over the sea at Cosina Organica

After visiting Tumalog Falls, we stopped in the town of Luka (where the Oslob whale shark watching is) for lunch before heading to Aguinid Falls.

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View from Sunrise Grill Haus in Oslob

Sunrise Grill Haus was right on the beach and had a great view. I had one of the best buko (coconut) shakes of the trip and Matt was able to select his fish (red snapper) from a cooler to have grilled for lunch. This was his favorite grilled fish he ate in the Philippines (and believe me, he ate a lot). I ate the pancit canton, which is one of our favorite Filipino dishes (it is thicker noodle like chow mein with veggies, meat, and shrimp). There was also a local singing and playing the guitar, who had a great voice and took song requests (after nailing an Ed Sheeran song I dubbed him the Filipino Ed Sheeran!).

I heart Whaleshark sign
Customers of the restaurant could take pictures of the I “heart” Whaleshark sign for free 😉

 

Recap: In case you missed it in each section, we’ve provided tips for visiting each waterfall in their own separate blog posts. Click on the links below to learn more about each waterfall and feast your eyes on more gorgeous photos!

 

See epic drone footage of these falls in our Cebu, Philippines drone video!

What are your favorite waterfalls in Cebu? Did we miss your favorite? Let us know in the comments below (we will just have to come back to see them!).

If you’re visiting the Philippines and are in the market for more recommendations, feel free to comment with any questions you have below!

 

 

 

 

 

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