Calling the journey from Cebu City to MoalBoal "an experience" doesn't quite cut it. Public transport might be cheap in The Philippines, but you usually get what you pay for… By chance, we picked a bus that didn’t have air-conditioning, and we were travelling at the hottest time of day! The windows were wide open but that just meant that we were clobbered by car exhaust fumes the whole way. On the bus, we had little space to ourselves with it’s undersized seats for westerners and, after the bumpy three hour journey, we had lost all feeling in our bums.
Where To Stay
We were staying in the main area of Moalboal at an unbelievably nice guesthouse called The Villa. The only trouble was that it was fairly far away from any restaurants, so we found ourselves getting a tricycle to Panagsama Beach for dinner, with our favourite restaurant being Coconut Restobar. When we planned the trip, we debated whether or not to stay closer to Panagsama Beach as it’s a bit more built up for tourists (especially for tourists that want to go diving), but that would've meant that we were further away from all the waterfalls!
Kawasan Falls was on the top of our priority list - it's the reason why we came to Cebu! But, it was a Sunday, so we were told that it was going to be especially busy. We thought that it'd be best to leave it until later and go to Inambakan Falls first instead, which actually ended up being our favourite!
We had chosen which waterfalls to visit according to how they looked on Google Images, and none of them disappointed. We were also going to hire a scooter for the day so that we could get to the falls, but it was just as easy to get the bus again. Thankfully, it wasn't nearly as uncomfortable as the first bus ride, with a surprisingly small amount of other people on board. The journey was very scenic too, and took us right along the coastline.
From Moalboal, it was an 75 minute, 55 peso journey to Ginatilan. From there, we thought we'd be getting a tricycle, but instead had to both jump on the back of a motorbike, as tricycles can't quite handle the hills. Our driver was called Philip and we hired him for pretty much half of the day for 800 peso plus tip. 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. A few more tourists came after a while, but not enough to put us off taking selfies!
It was then time to head to our next waterfall of choice - Dau. Philip took us again and the journey was only 15 minutes long. There was a 60 peso 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 from the falls, 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!
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 our guide keeping an eager eye on us at all times. 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 from for 50 peso each. Then, it was another fairly long walk up to the falls but, this time, we didn’t need a guide and the entrance fee was only 45 peso. We quickly got the feeling that this one was going to be different to the last two… Taxi drivers waited for tourists outside, food stalls were set up along the footpath and the footpath wasn’t exactly treacherous - fairly accessible in fact!
Although the blue water was hypnotising, the waterfall lacked majesty like the last two. Given the amount of tourists that flock to the falls for cliff-jumping and canyoning, the best time to have gone would have definitely been as early as 6:30am - as soon as the sun was up!
From what we saw, the canyoning really did look great and well worth affording yourself an extra day to enjoy fully. We didn’t get to do it ourselves as it was late in the day, but we were just happy to have seen we had come to see!