TOP 7 WATERFALLS IN SOUTH CEBU (with itinerary and budget)

Summary: This blog covers the top 7 waterfalls in South Cebu based on my 5-day trip. It details a description for each waterfall including operating hours, entrance fee, location and information on how to get there. The blog is intended for DIY budget travelers, either solo or traveling in group.

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SOUTH CEBU TOP WATERFALLS

CEBU is a showground of majestic waterfalls. There are at least 50 waterfalls that spread out within the outskirts of its southern part ready to come rush at you the moment you step out of the bus. Any waterfall lover would feel a state of bewilderment – confuse which to go first as each waterfall brings an A-game of their best properties.

In my round for 5 days to South Cebu, I was able to visit 7 of these stunning waterfalls. Some are near the main road, others would require a long trek. As a dearly loved guest, I found not a single thought of dissatisfaction. Each waterfall was able to perform in their most competitive and intriguing nature.

Here is how some of these top waterfalls in Cebu rank based on my experience:

(Note: A sample budget itinerary for a day or 2 to 3 days covering these stunning and awesome waterfalls in South Cebu is shared at the end of this page.)

7th spot: MANTAYUPAN FALLS

A closer look at the major cascade of Mantayupan falls.
  • Description: A tenured in the field, Mantayupan falls is one of the early discovered waterfalls in South Cebu which brags of its wide basin perfect for swimming and whole day relaxation. The waterfall has two levels:  The first has 3 cascades of waters falling 14 meters to the ground; while the second, which is 5 minutes away, has a one strong cascade reaching 98 meters high. Despite that it’s well known to locals for a decade already, the place has maintained its rugged, unspoiled yet clean atmosphere. The falls has its shallow and deep parts and the water is cold. At times, it may look brownish (especially during December) but still welcoming for guests who would like to go on for a dip. While here, it is advisable to pay attention moving around as rocks become slippery. Guests may eat and rest on rented cottages.
  • Operating Hours: 6:00AM to 5:00PM
  • Entrance fee: P20 for adults, P10 for children
  • Picnic table rent: P200 (P50 corkage for all foods and drinks)
  • Location: Barangay Campangga, Barili, Cebu
  • To get there: Ride a bus plying to Bato/Barili at the South Bus terminal. It will take 2 hours before you reach your drop off at Shamrock stopover in Barili. From there, take a motorcycle-for-hire for P30. Getting there will be an easy-breezy as the path is well-paved and strictly imposes a 30-kph speed. The ride will take 10 minutes before you will be welcomed by a forest canopy leading to the entrance of the waterfalls.
  • Rating: 2.5/5

6th spot: INAMBAKAN FALLS

The Kampael falls which is situated 2 minutes away at the top of Inambakan falls.
  • Description: Inambakan Falls is a generally offbeat, charming pool of turquoise water at the highland of Ginatilan, a municipality of southern Cebu and hometown of the second Filipino saint, St. Pedro Calungsod. Its cascade runs for a hundred feet from the top and the catch basin plunges around eight feet deep. Swimming in its pool requires life vest especially when planning to approach near its strong cascade of water. The waterfall sources out water from another two smaller waterfalls at its top, namely Bugnawan and Kampael falls which can be reached in a 10-minute rocky yet manageable trail.
  • Operating Hours: 6:00AM to 5:00PM
  • Entrance fee: P50
  • Parking Fee: Car P30, Motorcycle P10
  • Cottage rent: P300
  • Location: Brgy. Calabawan, Ginatilan, Cebu
  • To get there: At the South Bus terminal, take a van or bus via Barili/Bato and alight to the town of Ginatilan. Travel time can take 4 hours. Once there, look for a motorcycle-for-hire. The road is not well-paved and a bit tricky. Be sure to agree with the driver on the speed limit to avoid catching any risk. Fare is P30 per person. From the main road, it will take 20 minutes to reach the jump-off point where you will be met by brownie, a friendly dog (in my case) that will escort you to the falls. The path is cemented and drawn out in stairs which will take for about 5 minutes to complete.
  • Rating: 3/5

Note: Hingitaon cave is a grand and developed cave in Ginatilan. Feel free to check it out in your visit.

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5th spot: BINALAYAN FALLS

The first layer drop of Binalayan falls.
Excuse my flabs. Having the entire basin to myself.
A small cavern at the top part of Binalayan falls.
  • Description: The Binalayan falls is a unique entertainer that curtails its market most to those seekers of adventure. It’s a climb-up-and-jump fun on its wall where a triple-drop of adrenaline romance teases all the way up to a small cave 50 feet away on its top. The catch basin of the falls is cold and crystal that sinks few meters deep making it a natural diving platform. The falls has also a first layer drop which streams to three shallow basins as can be seen halfway on the trail.
  • Operating Hours: 6:00AM to 5:00PM
  • Entrance fee: P30
  • Location: Brgy. Bonbon, Samboan, Cebu
  • To get there: Take a bus at the South Bus terminal that goes to Bato/Barili. Tell the driver to drop off at Binalayan falls in Samboan. Travel time will take 6 hours and fare would cost for about P160. The jump off is near the main road which has a “Binalayan falls” signage. Go to the registration area and start trekking with a guide for 15 minutes in a plain terrain. The first waterfall layer will guise as the Inambakan falls but the real one is hidden in a rock. Climb up the cemented stairs and be prepared to get the adrenaline rush going!
  • Rating: 3.5/5

4th spot: Dao Falls

Top Waterfalls - Dao Falls
The grand Dao falls.
Taking a moment after a good dip in the catch basin of the falls.
  • Description: Dao or Dau falls entices its visitors in a reverse approach. It will let you cross a bridge, a trail of forest and dodgy canyon before showing its grand scale of limestone that assists a long stretch of mesmerizing cascade of waters.
  • Operating Hours: 6:00AM to 5:00PM
  • Entrance fee: P20
  • Location: Brgy. Suba, Samboan, Cebu
  • To get there: Ride a bus via Bato/Barili at the South Bus terminal. Travel time to Samboan will take for about 6 hours. Estimated fare is P160. Tell the driver to drop off at the main road for Dao falls or at Samboan town proper. At your stop, charter a motorcycle for hire to take you to the falls which will cover for about 20 minutes. Fare is roughly P50. Once at the jump-off –  register, get a guide and take a 20-minute hike under the shade of trees. The trail is challenging and would require a certain amount of caution.
  • Rating: 3.7/5

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3rd spot: TUMALOG FALLS

A closer look at the majestic Tumalog falls.
Chasing Waterfalls - Tumalog falls
A closer look at the majestic Tumalog falls, with its horsetail cascade.
  • Description: Tumalog is a huge waterfall that can’t be contained by a single shot from a non-wide angle camera. This immensity is well put to use as it waves at visitors even at a hundred meters away from its jump-off point. The falls cascades strongly in a horsetail and never misses to contact with its wall as it descends to the ground. Its spray when catches by a light creates a well-defined rainbow ornamenting an already breathtaking waterfall. The catch basin is shallow and wide which can accommodate a multitude of visitors.
  • Operating Hours: 7:00AM to 5:00PM
  • Entrance fee: P20
  • Location: Cebu South Rd, Oslob, Cebu
  • To get there: Ride a bus at the South Bus terminal that goes to Bato via Oslob. Fare is P167. Travel time is 5-6 hours. Drop off at “MB Sunrise View Resort” where you can find a signage for “Tumalog falls”. Charter a motorcycle-for-hire which would cost for P50 per person. Travel time is 15 minutes. Start hiking down from the jump-off point for 10 minutes or ride another motorcycle-for-hire to the falls which will cost for P50.
  • Rating: 3.9/5

2nd spot: AGUINID FALLS

The first level of the 8-tier Aguinid falls.
The second level, a non-slippery rock formation. Visitors will be required to climb up with the rope in order to proceed to the next level.
The third level, a beautifully carved rock formation which drips off water from its top.
The fourth level, the blackish rock between the cascades is where visitors prepare to jump off to the catch basin below.
The fifth level which gives off a shallow catch basin and a small cavern on its center where you can freely climb up for a photo opportunity.
Posing on a background of a dreamy waterfall at the fifth level. As per guide, the 6th to 8th level are dangerous without proper harness. It will not be made available to the public until they have the proper equipment.
  • Description: Aguinid is challenging but never intimidating. That’s how it packages itself to the adventurous spirits who are willing to undergo their first mini-canyoneering experience. The waterfall is multi-tiered, each layer giving enough dose of fun, thrill and excitement. It prides of beautifully refreshing cascades of water, a shallow pool between its layers and non-slippery formation of limestone which can make trekking easy, safe and bearable. Aguinid is building up an image to mainstream, and with proper regulation, it might soon give Kawasan falls a run for its money.
  • Operating Hours: 6:00AM to 5:00PM
  • Entrance fee: P30
  • Location: Brgy. Tangbo, Samboan, Cebu
  • To get there: At South Bus terminal, take a bus via Barili/Bato. Fare is P160. Travel time is 6 hours. Drop off at “Aguinid falls” stop where you will see a welcome signage. Take a walk to the registration area which is only 5 minutes away. Get a guide and start the mini-canyoneering experience.
  • Rating: 4/5

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1st spot: KAWASAN FALLS

The first level of Kawasan falls. As of January 2018, the rafts which are supposed to take guests near the cascades are prohibited due to the abuse of its operators.
A closer look of Kawasan falls cascades and its small cavern.
A top view of Kawasan falls.
The fourth level of Kawasan falls where the “graduation jump” happens after each canyoneering. The jump is 50 feet high.
  • Description: Kawasan falls easily comes top of my list. It’s mainstream, crowded but never overrated. The most famous among all falls in Cebu that has continuously drawn flocks of visitors for a decade and counting for its clean, long water stream, a great work of rock formation and canyoneering properties which make experience fun and memorable.
  • Schedule: 6:00AM-5:00PM
  • Entrance fee: P50
  • Location: Badian, Cebu
  • To get there: Take a bus bound for Bato via Barili at the South Bus terminal. The jump-off point to Kawasan is at the main road. It will take 5 hours to get there from the terminal. Fare is P140. From the jump-off point, take a walk in a well-paved path where you can enjoy a moment with nature for 15 minutes. Go to the registration area and take another walk for 5 minutes to reach the first level of Kawasan falls.
  • Note: If you are planning for Kawasan Falls Canyoneering, you can go directly at Matutinao Beach Resort and avail their package.
  • Rating: 4.5/5

TIPS FOR TRAVELERS

You can visit the seven waterfalls in two days. On the first day, start with Tumalog falls in Oslob, then to the three waterfalls in Samboan: Aguinid, Dao and Binalayan. On the second day, kick off with Inambakan falls in Ginatilan, then proceed to Kawasan falls, and finally, head off to Mantayupan falls. All jump-off points can be reached by a bus or a motorcycle-for-hire. A bus is cheaper while a motorcycle is faster if you are trying to save some time.

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SOUTH CEBU CHASING WATERFALLS ITINERARY

Here’s a sample DIY itinerary for “chasing waterfalls” in South Cebu.

ActivityPrice
Bus Fare (Round trip: Cebu City-South Cebu)Php300.00
Tumalog Falls (Transpo and Entrance Fee)Php140.00
Bus Fare from Badian to SamboanPhp30.00
Samboan Waterfalls (Aguinid, Dau and Binalayan)Php400.00
AccommodationPhp500.00
Bus Fare from Samboan to GinatilanPhp50.00
Inambakan Falls (Transpo and Entrance Fee)Php110.00
Bus Fare from Ginatilan to BadianPhp30.00
Kawasan Falls (Entrance Fee only)Php50.00
Bus Fare from Badian to BariliPhp60.00
Mantayupan Falls (Transpo and Entrance Fee)Php90.00
FoodPhp200.00
TotalPhp1,960.00

MORE TIPS

  1. Coming to waterfalls is a chance to get wet. Bring a dry bag and always waterproof your gadgets.
  2. Hire a guide whenever necessary. Tips for them are mostly regulated. If you feel generous, share some more. It’s a way of paying back to the community.
  3. Most of the waterfalls do not have changing cubicles. Better be ready and come in your swimwear.
  4. Visit the waterfalls early in the morning to get a chance of lesser crowd. You might even have the entire place to yourself.
  5. Wear a comfortable trekking or aqua shoes.
  6. Bring a bottle of water and fill your stomach with enough food.
  7. The waterfall is best enjoyed with your family and friends.
  8. Take extra caution when it rains. Some trails like that of Dao and Inambakan falls can be tricky and dangerous.

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WHERE TO STAY IN SOUTH CEBU

Accommodations in South Cebu are walk-in ready. But, it is highly suggested to book your stay ahead of time. Below is a list of mid-range to luxury accommodations from the key areas around South Cebu.

MOALBOAL

ZEN Rooms Basic Gerty’s Place Moalboal. Rated 9 in Agoda out of 59 reviews.

SAMBOAN

Fantasy Lodge at Samboan, Cebu. The place has its own pool and a kawa bath for a more unique experience. Click the photo for room rate and availability.

OSLOB

Susada’s Inn at Oslob, rated 9.3 in Agoda out of 63 reviews. Click the photo for room rate and availability.

BADIAN

Quite a splurge but Cuestas Beach Resort has its own beach and pool that you surely going to love. Click the photo for room rate and availability.

USEFUL PHRASES

Like in any parts of the Philippines, the locals can speak English in South Cebu. However, here are some good phrases that might prove useful when you find yourself endearing with them.

English to Cebuano (the most prevalent language among the locals in South Cebu)
Thank you – Salamat
Good morning – Maayong buntag
Good afternoon – Maayong hapon
Good evening – Maayong gabii
How much is… – Pila ang…
Where is… – Asa ang…

MORE OF CEBU

Osmeña peak
After chasing waterfalls, how about going on a mountain trek? Check out my blog about Osmeña, Casino and Candongao peak in this link.

EXTEND YOUR TRIP

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