Cebu is one of the most popular islands in the Philippines. There are so many things to do in Cebu such as swimming with Whale Sharks, hikes, free-diving with sardines and island hopping. However, the island of Cebu is waterfall heaven. There are endless waterfalls in Cebu to explore and I’ve made a start at exploring as many as I can. What is unique to Cebu waterfalls is that vibrant blue ‘Gatorade’ colored water and when you combine that with the lush jungle setting, it’s truly incredible.
14 BEST WATERFALLS ON CEBU
There are over 100 waterfalls in Cebu. I’ve started making my way to lots of them and I will update this list as I visit more but for now, these are my favorite waterfalls on Cebu!
Inambakan Falls is known for having a beautiful 100-ft waterfall that plunges into a wide pool of blue water. Surrounded by lush jungle greenery it is indeed an amazing scene. However, what makes Inambakan Falls such a memorable adventure is the multi-level trek to different pools and waterfalls.
Inambakan Falls is a solid four-hour journey from Cebu City. When I visited, I was based in Moalboal and the drive took less than an hour on the motorbike.
The main waterfall is a 100ft flow of water, which crashes down into the blue pool of water. I really love the limestone cliffs behind the waterfall. The orange tinge contrasts so vividly against the strong blue of the pool below.
We swam behind the waterfall into the cave and explored the rocks of the main pool before sending a couple of jumps into the pool below. You could adventure here for hours and it is an adventure in itself. However, there are five levels at Inambakan so this is just part of the experience.
The third level was such an incredible spot. A crystal clear pool, deep enough for cliff jumping, sits in front of a backdrop of idyllic palm trees. It is a slice of paradise right in the middle of the jungle.
Inambakan Falls is a full-day adventure and is easily one of my favorite waterfalls on Cebu!
Read the full blog post: INAMBAKAN FALLS IN GINATILAN
MY 5 FAVORITE CEBU TOURS
- Oslob Whale Sharks & Moalboal Sardine Run Snorkeling – This combo tour is the BEST VALUE way to enjoy a guided and PRIVATE tour of the two most popular activities in Cebu.
- Moalboal Island Hopping & Pescador Island & Turtle Bay Snorkeling: Swim with turtles and the sardine balls on an island-hopping boat trip from Moalboal.
- Bluewater Sumilon Island Day Tour – Visit the crystal clear water of Sumilon Island on this day tour.
- Kawasan Falls Canyoneering Tour (BEST PRICE): The classic tour. Number one most booked activity in Cebu!
- Bohol Day tour from Cebu: Want to visit Bohol but are short of time? See the top sights on this one-day adventure including transport.
Click the orange button below to view all of the top-rated tours on Klook
KAWASAN FALLS CANYONEERING
Canyoneering through the Gatorade blue waters all the way down the canyons into Kawasan Falls is one of the most popular tourist activities on the island.
In Badian/Alegria and even Moalboal there are many tour companies you can book with for your Kawasan Falls canyoneering adventure on Cebu. However, these are often big groups and can range in quality as it’s tough to see the ‘reviews’. I suggest booking in advance with the online tour that has 1000+ positive reviews. There are two main options that I recommened:
- Kawasan Falls Canyoneering Tour: (BEST PRICE): The classic tour including transfers. Number one most booked activity in Cebu, with 1000+ POSITIVE REVIEWS.
- Oslob Whale Sharks & Kawasan Falls Canyoneering – This combo-tour is a great way to enjoy a guided tour of thw two most popular activities in Cebu.
The canyoneering starts in the jungle and you will wear a helmet and a life vest. Accompanied by a guide you will jump into the water and begin floating down the canyon. This goes on for the best part of 2 hours as you float, jump and climb your way down to Kawasan Falls.
The biggest jump was 50ft but it was optional. The biggest jump that was required to continue the journey downstream was only a few meters. Halfway through the floating and swimming comes to an end more or less and you begin to trek through the water and the jungle. It is quite an immersive experience but still quite safe.
Finally, you will end up at Kawasan Falls. Here you finish the experience with a big jump from the top of the waterfall. Note that you don’t have to jump you can walk down quite easily but it is the tradition to finish with the jump. Now you can enjoy Kawasan Falls and have a rest!
Read the full blog post: KAWASAN FALLS CEBU CANYONEERING
BEST CAMERA FOR THE PHILIPPINES
The GoPro Hero11 is the BEST camera for traveling around the Philippines.
- Waterproof for snorkeling, island-hopping and canyoneering and beach days.
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- 5.3K video and 27MP Photo to capture awesome memories of friends and family
Cancalanog Falls is one of the most incredible spots on Cebu and it remains off the beaten path. While it isn’t a massive waterfall it boasts some incredibly transparent, freshwater in a stunning watering hole.
The location is before Cambais Falls and only 1-hour drive from Moalboal. I honestly couldn’t believe it when we arrived at this location and there was no-one else there it really topped it off. In fact, no-one else came to this spot for the entire afternoon in which we visited.
Read the full blog post: CANCALANOG FALLS IN ALEGRIA, CEBU
KABUTONGAN WATERFALL TREK
Kabutongan Falls trek is one of the most magical adventures on the island of Cebu. The trail follows the blue waters of a narrow stream up the canyon until you reach Kabutongan Waterfall. Here you will find a hidden cave behind the waterfall and several different cliff-jumps!
The trail is only a short 30-minutes but there are a few sections that require rope (it is installed). It is possible without a guide but the guide is vital to help protect natural areas like this and they will help keep you safe.
The trail crisscrosses the river and includes bouldering and some intermediate difficulty sections. The hardest part is climbing along the edge of the narrow trail but ropes guide you in all of the parts that are slippery or steep. Most people of average physicality will find this trail normal.
The blue water of Cebu is exemplified no better than in the limestone-laden pools of the Kabutongan Waterfall trek. It is just pure crystal clear water with that trademark blue, common in all of the south Cebu waterfalls. From the viewpoint, you can only see half of the waterfall as the rock wall wraps around, concealing the waterfall. Luckily you can get a closer like by swimming down in the pool below.
You can even enter the cave by swimming on the left side, directly underneath the flow of the waterfall. Inside the cave, the water has that beautiful blue tinge and the cave goes back about 20-meters. It was one of my favorite parts about the trek. This is probably one of the best waterfall adventures on Cebu!
The cliff jumps at Kabutongan are pretty awesome. From the viewpoint, you have two levels. One if about 5-meters and the other is about 8-9 meters.
Read full blog post: KABUTONGAN WATERFALL TREK
TOP 3 PLACES TO STAY IN MOALBOAL
Moalboal is the best place to base for all your Cebu adventures. It is central to most waterfalls, canyoneering, snorkeling, beaches and within driving distance of the Whale Sharks!
DAO WATERFALL TREK
Dao Waterfall offers not only an epic waterfall finale but it is the trek in that is truly astounding. For thirty minutes you wade through those trademark Cebu blues, while ferns and palms cover the canyon walls on either side. The trek to Dao Falls itself isn’t hard but it does require you to walk through the water and navigate your way around boulders and rocks. It is a moderate adventure with incredible scenery, which is far away from the crowds at Kawasan Falls.
The vibrant green ferns, palms and jungle plants come at you from all angles and contrast against the blues. The final piece of this incredible natural puzzle is the high canyon walls that slowly close in on you as you make your way up the cascades until you are walking through a narrow trail.
In the final parts of the trail, the locals have built a staircase, which is quite necessary as the waterfall gets fierce and steep. This is a very scenic part of the trail and you can actually get a glimpse of Dao Waterfall from the base of the stairs with the smaller waterfalls below it. This was probably my favorite spot on the trail.
Dao Waterfall is about 40-50m high and pours down into a large pool. You can swim safely in the pool and near the falls when the flow isn’t too crazy but of course be careful depending on the conditions. It was a great pool to refresh in after the short trail hike. I’ve heard that the falls used to be double the width but a landslide impacted the flow and it isn’t quite as impressive these days but it still impressed me!
Read the full blog post: DAO WATERFALL IN SAMBOAN
Cambais Falls is an amazing waterhole in the hills of Alegria, Cebu. It’s less than an hour drive from Moalboal and there are several other great waterfalls nearby to make an epic waterfall adventure day. There are several waterfalls and different cliff jumping levels at Cambais as well great spots for swimming.
Cambais Falls has two distinct levels. On the first level, a huge, milky blue pool is surrounded by ferns, boulders, and trees. The waterfall at this level pours over the limestone cliff wall without extreme force, more of a pour! It seems to drip off the limestone in lines, which creates a beautiful scene from below. There is a lot to explore on this level like a few small caves and plenty of rocks to jump off.
On this first level, there is a solid cliff jump. From about 7 meters and then 10 meters you can jump directly from the waterfall. The spot to land it is quite small as it isn’t too deep and you need to hit the right landing area. Make sure you check the depth before jumping.
To get to the second level you clamber up a small cascade using a rope. You then wade your way through the blue water until reaching a bamboo ladder. This takes you to the second level where another beautiful waterfall crashes down into a private pool.
Read the full blog post: CAMBAIS FALLS IN ALEGRIA
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Montpellier isn’t the most popular waterfall on Cebu amongst tourists. In fact, most probably don’t know about it. The locals are happy to share this one. They have painted a big mural and sign near the road, which marks the entrance. It is a great little watering hole without much of a hike and a great way to cool off after exploring Osmena Peak (on the same road).
Once you reach the waterfall you will have to crane your neck to take it in. It’s a tall one. A single flow of water plummets onto a giant boulder below before cascading into the emerald pool.
It’s a great spot for swimming and hanging out with some of the local kids. I can’t imagine having something so epic in my backyard.. let alone my hometown! It’s one of the best waterfalls on Cebu for a relaxed afternoon.
Read the full blog post: MONTPELLIER WATERFALL IN ALEGRIA
BINALAYAN (HIDDEN) WATERFALL
Tucked away in Samboan is a beautiful waterfall at the end of a tranquil jungle trail. It is also the place of one of the most dangerous cliff jumps I’ve ever done in my life. It’s a beautiful but short little adventure, which you can combine with the other waterfalls in the Samboan region of Cebu.
Binalayan Waterfall is also known as ‘Hidden Falls’. Like many ‘hidden’ places around the world, it is not hidden at all. It is advertised with a road from the sign, which directs you to a parking lot and the ticket office.
The trail only takes about 20 minutes from start to finish but provides a beautiful coconut palm-lined path and peaceful scenery. Most of the path is a steady dirt trail, which we traversed in flip-flops. Enormous palm trees cover the land. One of our guides showed off his rapid climbing skills and gathered some coconuts for us, which was super impressive.
Read the full blog post: BINALAYAN FALLS (HIDDEN FALLS)
What are my favorite pieces of gear for waterfall adventures?
There are four pieces of gear that I simply never forget when I go on a waterfall adventure. These are four items that I using right now and this list gets updated every year! Here are my waterfall adventure essentials.
- Arcteryx BETA AR Rain Jacket: This is my go-to rain jacket. It’s super light, folds down into a tiny ball, and protects brilliantly in a storm. This one never leaves my backpack.
- Osprey Ultralight Dry Sack: Waterfalls get wet and wild so having this ultralight dry sack for cameras, phones and valuables means you don’t have to hold back!
- PackTowl Quick-Dry Towel: A quick-dry towel is a must for travelers. It hardly takes up any room and dries in seconds.
- GoPro Hero 10: The best and easiest way to capture your underwater and snorkeling adventures.
Aguinid Falls has become one of the most popular waterfalls on the island of Cebu. While it may never surpass the popularity of Kawasan Falls down the road, the Aguinid Falls trek is a great, adventurous activity for explorers of all levels.
You can do a tour that lets you see Aguinid Falls and swim with the Whale Sharks all in one day! That is a great way to see one the best of south Cebu waterfalls and swim with the Whale Sharks on a tight schedule from Cebu City!
Aguinid Falls is split up into multiple levels. The adventure used to take you to eight levels. However, since there were a few accidents and fatalities on the higher levels, you are now required to take a guide and you will only reach level five. Don’t worry this is more than enough adventure!
The adventure to the waterfall is the attraction. You will walk through the water, along with bamboo bridges and at one point scale straight up the waterfall aided by a strong rope. Don’t worry it isn’t vertical. It is more of a 45-degree angle and not slippery at all.
After about half an hour we reached the level 5 waterfall, which pours down over the rounded waterfall. Caves inside can be explored and it is a great place for a refreshing dip. This is definitely one of the best waterfalls on Cebu if you want a big adventure!
Read the full blog post: AGUINID FALLS IN SAMBOAN
Not all of the waterfalls on Cebu are in the south, although that famous blue water tends to be. However, if you find yourself near Cebu City there is a cool little waterfall trek up in the hills called Budlaan Falls. When I went, we did an Adventure Bag Adventure Day and had almost 100 people come too Budlaan Waterfall to clean up the trash. Hopefully, it is in good shape when you visit.
The waterfall itself is pretty big and you can get in behind the flow of the waterfall to the caves. You can also trek up on top of the waterfall and follow the canyon below. There’s lots of exploring to do at this waterfall trek that takes about 1-hour round trip.
Read the full blog post: ADVENTURE BAG ADVENTURE DAY AT BUDLAAN FALLS
Mantayupan Falls in Barili is the highest waterfall in Cebu and one of the most beautiful. Set inside a natural amphitheater of trees, vines, and tropical plants, this is truly one of the most spectacular waterfalls in Cebu. It can get quite busy on the weekends for the entire day but visit on a morning during the weekday and you might just enjoy this waterfall all to yourself like us.
Mantayupan Falls has two levels. On the small level is a 14-meter cascade that flows down into a circular pool. It’s the warm-up. On the top level, you will find Cebu’s highest waterfall at 98-meters, which flows down into a huge pool below.
Read the full blog post: MANTAYUPAN FALLS IN BARILI, CEBU
Lusno Falls is a bit of a hidden gem on Cebu as it isn’t located next to the main road and is a little bit more low key than some of the other waterfall hotspots on the island. Because of this, it has local charm and a relaxed atmosphere. There is no entrance fee, no cottages, no cement path. It’s just a tranquil waterfall amidst the palms halfway between Argao and Ronda in the middle of Cebu.
The falls are quite beautiful with rounded sandstone that the water flows down over like a vase water feature. With no crowds, it will be a relaxing, off-the-beaten-path adventure.
Read the full blog post: LUSNO FALLS IN CEBU: HIDDEN WATERFALL
TINUBDAN FALLS IN CATMON
Tinubdan Falls is a beautiful waterfall in the province of Catmon, which is about 1.5 hours’ drive north from Cebu City. It’s a bit of a hidden gem because it is in the north and most tourists head south to visit popular waterfalls. However, Tinubdan Falls is truly incredible with multiple cascades flowing into a natural swimming pool in the middle of the jungle.
There are multiple waterfalls, which all stream into a big natural swimming pool that sits beneath them all. Throughout the are you can find lots of little places to soak in a fresh-water spa beneath one of the cascades.
View the full blog post: TINUBDAN FALLS IN CATMON CEBU: A HIDDEN GEM
13. KA-TINGGO WATERFALL
Ka-Tinggo Falls is an incredible waterfall located inside a canyon in the Catmon region. It is a 4-meter high cascade that flows down into a large chasm below. It reminded me a lot of another waterfall in the south of Cebu called Kabutongan Falls.
The canyon is incredible with how it has been smoothly shaped over time. There are lots of little crevasses to explore here and even a few caves throughout the pool.
There were two parts of the Ka-Tinggo Falls that I really loved. First was the optional cliff jump. If you are up for it, your guide will take you on a little climb up and around the side of the canyon. It wasn’t hard but I wouldn’t go on this little trek if you aren’t up for an adventure.
You will emerge at the top of the falls and then you can jump down into the pool below. You can see my jump below!
The second part I loved was finding all of the little caves and coves throughout the pool. I took my proper camera on the trek in but used my waterproof action camera to swim around and take a few photos in the caves like the one below.
View the full blog post: ESOY HOT SPRING AND KA-TINGGO FALLS IN CATMON, CEBU
The Himbabawud Falls is an incredible series of waterfalls in Busay, Cebu just a 40-minute drive from Cebu City. To reach the falls you first need to drive to Lava Mountain River Farm and then trek for 45-minutes through the river to reach the Himbabawud Falls.
This is one of the wildest waterfall treks on Cebu as you are often completely surrounded by a wall of green as you wade through the water of the river, following it all the way to the waterfall. I really loved this one and it’s super close to Cebu City.
View the full blog post: HIMBABAWUD FALLS IN BUSAY, CEBU: HIDDEN WATERFALL
Tumalog Falls, located in Oslob, Cebu, is a remarkable destination that I’ve had the pleasure to visit. After a short trek down a steep road, the first sight of the falls is truly stunning. Water flows down a wide, moss-covered cliff, creating a thin curtain of cascades that gently flow into a shallow pool at the base.
The water is cool and clear, offering a refreshing escape from the tropical heat. The area around the falls is filled with lush vegetation, giving the whole place a tranquil and serene atmosphere.
As you swim in the pool or stand under the rain-like drizzle of the falls, you can’t help but feel connected with the raw beauty of nature. Whether you’re seeking adventure or tranquility, a visit to Tumalog Falls leaves a lasting impression.
THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT CEBU WATERFALLS
Cebu is home to numerous stunning waterfalls, each offering a unique experience and a glimpse into the island’s natural beauty. Here are some things to know about Cebu’s waterfalls:
- Variety: There’s a wide variety of waterfalls on the island, from towering cascades like Mantayupan Falls to multi-tiered ones like Aguinid Falls. Some, like Kawasan Falls, are quite popular and can get crowded, while others, like Dao Falls, are more off-the-beaten-path.
- Accessibility: Access to the waterfalls varies. Some, like Tumalog Falls, are relatively easy to reach, while others require a bit of a hike. It’s advisable to wear sturdy shoes and bring water and snacks.
- Activities: Apart from swimming and enjoying the views, many waterfalls offer additional activities. For instance, you can cliff-jump at Kawasan Falls, trek along the river at Aguinid Falls, or go canyoneering in Badian.
- Safety: It’s essential to prioritize safety when visiting the waterfalls. Follow local guidelines, be careful on slippery surfaces, and avoid going into the water when the current is strong, especially during or after heavy rains.
- Guides: In some cases, you might be required to hire a local guide for safety reasons. Guides are typically available at the entrance and can be helpful in navigating the trails and informing you about the local flora and fauna.
- Conservation: It’s important to respect the natural environment when visiting the waterfalls. Stick to marked trails, don’t litter, and avoid using harmful chemicals like sunscreen or soap in the water.
TRANSPORT OPTIONS FOR CEBU
There’s lots of different transport options to get around Cebu depending on the size of your group, travel style and length of your journey. Here’s a quick overview of what to expect.
Moped: The best way to get around Cebu Island is through moped/scooter rentals. A moped can be rented for about $8 a day but that price may come down if your rental is more than a week long. The roads aren’t always great to and from the waterfalls and hikes so drive safely. You will need your regular drivers license from your home country and a helmet to avoid any issues. Below are the other main transport options for Cebu.
- Tricycles: the most common means of private transportation in the Philippines, accommodating 2-4 passengers, more than a motorcycle. This allows you to hire a driver to transport you to various attractions and things to do in Cebu.
- The Habal Habal: essentially a “scooter taxi,” is an economical option for single passengers who don’t wish to rent their own vehicle.
- Jeepneys: vibrant buses used by locals for transportation in the Philippines. Operating on fixed routes, they provide a shared riding experience and offer a unique opportunity to interact with the local community. Expect to be crammed in like sardines but it’s the authentic transport mode for locals.
- Vans: available for transportation, typically offered by resorts, hotels, and private transportation companies. This option will be the most expensive, it can be a worthwhile choice during rainy weather or for larger groups.
BEST TIME OF YEAR TO VISIT CEBU
When considering the weather, the best time to visit Cebu, Philippines, is generally during the dry season which runs from December to May. During this period, the weather is more predictable, with less chance of rain disrupting outdoor activities. Here’s a more detailed breakdown:
- Dry Season (December – May): This period is characterized by less rainfall and more sunshine. Among these months, February to May are especially good as they tend to be hot and dry, making them perfect for beach-related activities.
- Cool Months (December – February): The months of December to February are part of the dry season but are slightly cooler compared to other months. This makes it a good time to visit if you prefer more moderate temperatures.
- Hot Months (March – May): These months can get quite hot, but if you’re planning on spending time at the beach or by the pool, this could be the ideal time for you.
- Rainy Season (June – November): These months have more rainfall, which can disrupt outdoor activities. However, the rain can also bring cooler temperatures and fewer tourists, which some visitors might prefer.
MORE CEBU TRAVEL GUIDES
- Ultimate Cebu Bucketlist: 26 AWESOME THINGS TO DO ON CEBU
- Canyoneering Guide: KAWASAN FALLS CEBU CANYONEERING
- Ultimate Oslob Guide: WHAT TO DO IN OSLOB CEBU
- Digital Nomad Guide to Moalboal: THE DIGITAL NOMAD GUIDE TO MOALBOAL, CEBU
- Waterfall Chasing: 14 BEST WATERFALLS IN CEBU
- Moalboal Guide: 20 BEST THINGS TO DO IN MOALBOAL
- Alegria Guide: 13 BEST THINGS TO DO IN ALEGRIA
- Hiking Osmena Peak: OSMEÑA PEAK IN CEBU – A BEAUTIFUL SUNRISE HIKE
MORE OF MY PHILIPPINES GUIDES
- The Ultimate Philippines Itinerary: 3-4 WEEK PHILIPPINES ITINERARY
- Best Island Hopping Trip: BIG DREAM BOAT MAN IN CORON
- The Backpacker’s Guide to the Philippines: 1 MONTH FOR $800
- Ultimate Guide to Coron: 22 AWESOME THINGS TO DO IN CORON
- Ultimate Guide to Siargao: 40 AWESOME THINGS TO DO IN SIARGAO
- Ultimate Guide to Romblon: 17 AWESOME THINGS TO DO IN ROMBLON
- Ultimate Guide to El Nido: 20 AWESOME THINGS TO DO IN EL NIDO
- Ultimate Guide to Bohol: 27 AWESOME THINGS TO DO IN BOHOL
- Ultimate Guide to Sibuyan: 9 AWESOME THINGS TO DO IN SIBUYAN
MY ACCOMMODATION GUIDES FOR THE PHILIPPINES
- Luxury in South Cebu: 18 BEST SOUTH CEBU RESORTS
- Bucketlist: 13 BEST PHILIPPINES OVERWATER BUNGALOWS
- Beach Resorts in North Cebu: BEST RESORTS IN CEBU
- El Nido Resorts: 12 BEST RESORTS IN EL NIDO
- Moalboal Accommodation: WHERE TO STAY IN MOALBOAL
- Panglao Resorts: 13 BEST LUXURY RESORTS IN PANGLAO
- Siargao Accommodation: WHERE TO STAY IN SIARGAO
- Hostels in Cebu: 10 BEST HOSTELS IN CEBU
- Sustainable Resorts: 12 BEST ECO RESORTS IN THE PHILIPPINES
- Coron Accommodation: WHERE TO STAY IN CORON