Known for it's crystal clear waters, island paradises and stunning white sandy beaches, The Philippines is at the top of many traveller's bucket lists! But what's not always so well known are the many incredible waterfalls that the island of Cebu is home to - many of which are easily accessible from Moalboal, making it a definite must visit! Here's a bit about our time exploring the best waterfalls near Moalboal, what we thought of each one and how exactly you can get to them yourself!
Getting To Moalboal
Moalboal is located on the west side of Cebu in The Philippines, and about a three hour bus journey away from Cebu City, which is where the island's airport is. Getting from the airport to the bus terminal costs around 250php via taxi, and the bus journey from there to Moalboal costs around 150php - just a portion of what a taxi would cost if you were to go the whole way there in one, which makes the bus the prefered method of transport for most unless you don't mind spending the extra.
To break up the journey a bit, we decided to spend a night in Cebu City... We wouldn't say this is all that necessary if you're arriving early, but it's definitely a good option to be aware of. The hotel we stayed at was called GV Tower and it was pretty nice, fairly cheap and really close to the bus terminal so we could wake up early the following morning and easily make our way down to Moalboal!
The bus terminal was really easy to navigate and, before we knew it, we were all packed onto a big yellow bus to it's capacity and we were well on our way! It was a bit of an adventure really, and certainly an experience considering how cramped we all were bouncing all over the place for the bumpy three hour journey! But through it all, our excitement only grew as the road hugged the coastline and we could see the blue skies and sunshine shimmering off the sea! After getting off the bus at Moalboal, our guest house was then just a short ride away on a tricycle!
Where To Stay
A little further outside of Moalboal at Panagsama Beach, restaurants and hotels line the coast. It's a particularly popular place to stay amongst scuba divers, as scuba diving is another great thing to do in Moalboal! Sadly, it's not something that we would be able to afford to do on this trip, but it is highly recommended by others!
Truthfully, we were only in Moalboal for the waterfalls, so we decided to stay at a guesthouse called The Villa in the main town, which we absolutely loved! It meant that we were a lot closer to the bus stop and could easily get around to the different waterfalls! But in retrospect, we do think that Panagsama Beach is a much better area to stay... We ended up having to go back and forth each night anyway as it's a lot better built for tourists and has a lot more restaurants to choose from... Our favourite was Coconut Restobar!
We had chosen which waterfalls to visit according to which looked the best on Google Images. We debated whether we should hire a scooter for the day so that we could get around to each of the falls, but it was just as easy to get the bus around. Thankfully, our bus journeys to come weren't nearly as uncomfortable as the first bus ride, with a surprisingly small amount of other people on board and even air con!
First on the list for us was Inambakan, which involved getting the bus quite far down the island to Ginatilan - a 75 minute journey costing 55php. From there, we both had to jump on the back of a motorbike, which we were a bit nervous about quite honestly! Our driver was called Philip and, for 800php, we hired him for pretty much half of the day. He took us up and down the hills and right into the jungle, passing locals along the way who would always shout “Hello”.
We were the only people there when we arrived, with the only sounds coming from the singing birds and gushing water. It might not have been the biggest waterfall that we visited, but it was roaring and powerful, and the perfect place for an adventure! We dived straight to the surprisingly warm, turquoise water and swam about for about an hour!
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It was then time to head to our next waterfall of choice - Dau Falls. Philip took us again and the journey was only 15 minutes long from Inambakan. There was a 60php entrance fee, which included a guide to take us on the half hour trek to the falls. Feeling like Bear Grylls, we embarked on the unsteady path, climbing over slippery rocks and walking through waist-deep water. Whilst on the way back, Alex actually slipped into the river from the walkway, but it was the funniest thing that happened all day and it gave the guide a good laugh too!
We trusted in the guide as she followed the cream-coloured canyon walls, that were carved over centuries by the flowing water. Once we had reached the top, we were greeted with tall rock formations and a fairly calm waterfall that filled a turquoise pool. We didn’t stay for long though, because it wasn’t as enjoyable with the guide keeping us company. Nonetheless, we thought that it was a very impressive place and the falls were toweringly tall!
It was finally time to head to Kawasan Falls, so Philip took us back to Ginatilan where we could get the bus back North for 50php. There was another fairly long walk up to the falls but, this time, we didn’t need a guide and the entrance fee was less than we were expecting at 45php each.
We were especially excited to see Kawasan Falls... It's one of the most visited and most Instagram'ed waterfalls in The Philippines, let alone Cebu! However, after getting off the bus there, we quickly got the feeling that this one was going to be different to the last two… Dozens of taxi drivers waited for tourists outside the entrance and we were just two of many making our way up to the falls.
Our plan was to leave Kawasan until last - a little later in the day once the crowds had been and gone, but it was the weekend so we guess it didn't actually matter all that much. The falls themselves seemed to lack some of the same majesty that the last two had, but maybe that was just the crowds and the tourist attraction it had become taking away from it.
On the other hand, it's not like you can't visit Kawasan Falls for an adventure - here they have organised cliff jumping and canyoneering tours, which we didn't get to ourselves as it was late in the day, but we definitely would have loved to! I mean... That's kind of the whole point of Kawasan Falls. Otherwise, you may end up a little unimpressed - like us.
Looking back at our time exploring Moalboal's surrounding waterfalls, we really wish we had planned to spend a lot more time there... Squeezing three waterfalls into a single day also isn't the wisest thing to do - we were knackered by the third because of all the trekking that came with it. Our advice is to travel slow... When you do, it has a strange way of being even more of an adventure, and even more enjoyable... It's not like there isn't tonnes of amazing and exciting things to spend your days doing whilst there!
Other Waterfall Suggestions Near Moalboal
Lusno Falls - 21km North of Moalboal
Mantayupan Falls - 33km North of Moalboal
Cambais Falls - 32km South of Moalboal
Montpellier Falls - 35km South of Moalboal
Kabutongan Falls - 45km South of Moalboal
Binalayan Falls - 55.5km South of Moalboal
Aguinid Falls - 56km South of Moalboal
Tumalog Falls - 67km South of Moalboal
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