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, fresh water in a stunning watering hole.
The location is before Cambais Falls and only 1 hour 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.
CANCALANOG FALLS: THE BLUE LAGOON
Cancalanog Falls is also known as Cangkalanog Falls and Cangcalanog Falls. In fact, the spelling at the information center of the falls was Cangcalanog but online the popular spelling seems to be Cancalanog so just be aware they are all the same spot.
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
HOW TO GET TO CANCALANOG FALLS
There are several options to arriving at Cancalanog Falls but the easiest is definitely to arrive by motorbike. It is possible to also arrive on a bus or habal-habal (bike transport). I will outline how to get to Cancalanog Falls below and also tell you what you can expect on the journey as well as my tips for the drive. It is important to note that it may be referred to as Cangkalanog by many people including the locals you are trying to ask for directions.
- Motorbike (How I arrived): From Moalboal we drove down to Alegria and in particular at Sangi in Alegria. You will need to turn right on the road after one of the main canyoneering centers. You can put Cambais Falls into google maps and this will give you the correct turn of also. The roads were average. Not great and lots of scattered potholes but nothing too crazy to navigate. Cancalanog Falls is not yet on Google Maps but what you can do is put in Cambais Falls and about 20 minutes before you reach Cambais you will reach Cancalanog. It is signed from the road on the left-hand side so that is probably the simplest way to find it. The other tip is that there is a little restaurant in Mantolongan that has typical Filipino food with rice, vegetables, egg, pork and all other dishes to choose from. There isn’t an abundance of choice up in the mountains.
- Local bus: You can catch the local bus to Alegria from Cebu City and then take a Habal-Habal to the falls.
CANCALANOG FALLS: MY EXPERIENCE
The drive from Moalboal. to Alegria is really chill and the roads are nice. You weave through palms and plantations with the wind in your hair and sun on your face. It’s a great warm up before entering the winding turns and rougher roads of the mountains.
We drove through to Sangi in Alegria and then turned left up the mountain. From here it is about 20 minutes until you hit Cancalanog Falls. Just follow the road to Cambais Falls and you will pass Cancalanog on your left with a big sign out the front of a house. Head down the driveway on the left of the house down the steep hill.
You could actually park at the house under the sign and walk down if you aren’t comfortable going down the hill. It’s only an extra 15 minutes of walking so it could be an option. We drove down until the path really got rocky and then parked them and walked the rest of the way for about 400-meters.
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.
On the walk down to Cancalanog Falls, you will pass the information center. A young girl was inside and asked for 50 pesos each for the entrance fee, which was signed on the information center also. She told us we were the first people there that day, which surprised me because I thought it was a popular place. I was incredibly mistaken! In fact, we were the only people there for the entire afternoon.
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!
From the information center, you only have a couple of minutes further until you reach the falls so it’s only about 5 minutes of walking total. At the base of the trail, you come across a double story hut, which maybe in busier times was bustling with action.
My first impression of Cancalanog Falls was astonishment at the blue, transparent water. It was like a magical watering hole. The sun shone straight through the water, exposing the large boulders beneath the surface, meters below on the floor of the pool.
A small waterfall poured into the pool but it definitely wasn’t the waterfall that was the attraction. The mini canyon that led to the beautiful pool was the star of the show.
Little bridges lead you across the pool and canyon into the jungle on the other side. I found a few different places to cliff jump but because it was summer it was only 2-3 meters deep. This means you needed to be careful where you landed in case of boulders, trees, and debris.
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.
- Built-in stabilization for filming your travels and adventure activities
- 5.3K video and 27MP Photo to capture awesome memories of friends and family
My favorite thing to do at Cancalanog Falls was to throw on the snorkeling mase (Big tip: bring a snorkeling mask!) and swim through the narrow channel. It really is crystal clear and phenomenal snorkeling although you want to find schools of sardines like in Moalboal.
We hung out here for a couple of hours jumping in, taking photos and then finally exploring around the back side of the pool where the river begins to blend into the jungle away from the man-made benches and water diversions of the main pool. I imagine on the weekends this place could be a local hotspot. However, on a Tuesday afternoon, you may just get lucky like us and enjoy this jungle wander land all to yourself.
Other attractions you can visit in the area are Cambais Falls, which is a really impressive waterfall with a big 10-meter cliff jump. Montpellier Waterfall is also nearby and is a really tall waterfall that isn’t popular at all so it will be quiet also. Finally, if you are looking for a hike in the area, I can suggest either Kandungaw Peak or my favorite peak on Cebu, Casino Peak.
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.
WHERE TO STAY IN CEBU?
I really think that if you are going to be exploring Cebu, the best place to stay is in Moalboal. There are a few reasons why!
Cebu City might be where you land at the airport but if you are looking for adventure, you will need to head south as soon as possible. Most of the best waterfalls, whale sharks, snorkeling with sardines and turtles are all down in the south of Cebu. So where do you stay to do all of these adventures? Moalboal!
Moalboal is a cool town, which is the free-diving and scuba capital of Cebu. There are tons of hostels, hotels, and hostels here as well as being close to all the waterfalls and hikes in the region.
Here are my recommendations on where to stay in Moalboal depending on your budget.
- Teobas Homestay – Value: You need to click on that link just to see how rad this place is. It has a staircase down to the ocean into crystal clear water. I can tell you, I have snorkeled out the front of this place with turtles many times. For about $30 USD you get a private room with all of the facilities you need. There is not much better than having ocean access and a bit of a sunset view!
- Dolphin House Resort – Luxury: If you are looking for a nice resort, Dolphin House is a 5-star resort with a huge pool for less than $200 USD per night. It has ocean access, great restaurant, chilling areas and a beautiful garden throughout the property.
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
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 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