BEST CLIFF JUMPING SPOTS IN BOHOL, PHILIPPINES
Bohol isn’t known as a cliff jumping hotspot but as I’ve discovered all over the world, where there is water there are jumps. I’ve visited Bohol twice and both times I’ve jumped at multiple locations. I didn’t find any monster jumps, but I’m sure there would be some with the volume of waterfalls on this beautiful island. Most of the jumps ranged from 3-10 meters and they varied in difficulty and level of danger.
Before I go into the details of each location it is important to remember the following when cliff jumping:
- Always do a depth check and a debris check before jumping. Even if you have read online it is safe, the conditions may have changed. Make sure you check for any driftwood, reef, loose rocks and of course the depth of the water.
- Know your limits. Make sure you push yourself but not too far. If you have never done a backflip before, obviously start small not when you get to the edge of a 10-meter cliff.
- Make sure you check the water conditions. If you are jumping into the ocean, be sure to have an exit route planned and be careful of getting stuck out in the ocean waiting for a set to finish if it is in a region of a big swell.
- Just be smart. If your intuition tells you it is a bit risky, just give it a pass. Don’t risk your life for a cliff jump. Plenty of people get hurt or even lose their life around tide pools, rock pools and cliff jumps every year. Play smart.
BEST CLIFF JUMP LOCATIONS IN BOHOL, PHILIPPINES
Alexis Cliff Dive Resort/Molave Cove
The first spot on the list is going to be the easiest to get to and probably the safest jump. Overall it is probably the best and most popular cliff jump in Bohol. It’s in Panglao which is a great star as 99% of tourists are staying in Panglao. There is a diving board set up at Alexis Cliff Dive Resort. There is an entry fee of about $1 but you get to enjoy quite a few attractions for the price of one entry fee. Firstly, you have the sardine balls waiting right here at the reef just like in Moalboal. Secondly, you can enjoy the use of the huts, benches and stairs down to the ocean for a swim. Finally, you have the diving board for cliff jumping. I would say it is about 5-6 meters high and while you need to jump out a few meters for the deep water it seemed pretty safe all day.
Canawa Cold Spring
The Canawa Cold Spring is in the Candijay region (pronounced ‘Candee-high’). I drove my bike up here from Panglao (popular tourist area) and it took about two hours. I was continuing on to Anda after so I made it the stop on the way. If you plan to return to Panglao it will be a long journey of 2-hours driving each way.
The first part of the Canawa Cold Springs is very man-made and not particularly beautiful. It’s like a narrow quarry with benches and table on either side. It is set up for local families to come and swim on the weekends not to be some sort of natural, tropical oasis. However, at the end of the channel, there is a huge swimming hole, surrounded by beautiful trees. ‘Cawa’ means Pan in the local dialect, which perfectly describes the shape of this miniature amphitheater. In windy moments the wind would blow some of the leaves off the trees and they would swirl around in the sunlight, slowly floating down to rest on the surface of the water. As light crept in between the gaps in the foliage, this swimming hole section of the Canawa Cold Spring was beautiful!
On the far side of the natural pool, I spotted a rope. I checked the depth and then swam over to the rope and climbed it all the way up to a branch about 10-meters high. I was there by myself, so there was no-one to capture a photo, but it was a great cliff-jump and a really magical spot. I hope to see a photo from here in the future so let me know if any of you visit and jump. Don’t worry too much about the depth in the middle of the pool. Many of the locals have tried reaching into the depths but no-one has ever touched the bottom.
View the full blog post: CANAWA COLD SPRINGS IN CANDIJAY, BOHOL (CLIFF JUMP)
Tambuko Cave Pool
Hidden away from sight in a Barangay of 300 people deep in the mountains is this incredible cave pool. I arrived in the village and the boys led me down inside the caves and when we emerged at this pool I couldn’t believe my eyes. They had never swum in it but I convinced them to jump in with me and next minute we were sending backflips from the sides. They forgot to tell me to climb out it would be 15 meters of almost vertical rock climbing. Once we made it back to the village we shared a beer and before long, half the village had come to see who the guy with the beard was. We chatted in broken English as cheeky kids tapped my shoulder and hid wondering if I’d chase them down the street or laugh. As I drove off on my bike with 40 kids and locals waving goodbye, I knew that for me this is the Philippines. Beautiful nature but people that outshine even the most magical watering holes.
When we arrived, there was not a soul in sight. Just a large pool of remarkably still, turquoise water. Stalactites hung dramatically, blissfully dripping water into the warm water below. A huge waterfall pouring into the pool was the soundtrack of the day. I could tell this was going to be one of the best cliff jumping spots on Bohol.
We had entered our playground for the day. There was a raft we could use to paddle around the pool and a rope swing hanging from the tallest branch. Almost 12 feet deep, the pool was perfect for cliff jumping, even the waterfall could be climbed. We spent the first 2 hours non-stop exploring, jumping, swinging and just being huge kids as Jammy watched on probably wondering why we are so crazy. We did convince her to jump from a 20 footer so she was in on it too.
Anda Cave Pools
In the north of Bohol, in a world away from Panglao is the beautiful town of Anda. Here the main attractions is the great sunset beaches and the peculiar cave pools. Anda has multiple cave pools, which are quite unique to the region. Seemingly in the middle of nowhere, pools of water are found in sinkholes all throughout Anda. The most popular cave pool is Cabagnow Cave Pool. When I visited they were having some ownership/tourism licensing issues so they had removed the ladder and fenced it off. However, normally they have a ladder inside so you can jump in and out. With no ladder, you will be stuck in the pool for eternity. Trust me, I considered it!
The walk down to the falls takes about 10-15 minutes and is really beautiful. Along the way, we passed some carabao and there were lots of birds playing in the thick forest. It is quite steep but very short so most people are capable of making it down to the base of the falls. You can get a good look of the falls if you stay at the top but only if you own a drone. Otherwise, there is no great vantage point from above that I know of due to the thick trees surrounding the canyon rim.
We set our belongings to the right of the waterfall where we found a group of young boys. They were a cheeky bunch sharing cigarettes, some rum and coke and taking turns to jump into the pool of water. I joined them and they loved when we sent a few backflips into the pool. As a reward, they offered me some Tanduay rum in a half-cut soda bottle. Welcome to the Philippines. I always love when the locals are hanging out in the nature of their neighborhood and it isn’t just overrun by gawking tourists.
I’d never heard of this waterfall so I was unsure what to expect, which is a great way to enter an adventure. We paid the $1 entrance fee and then began the walk down to the falls. The cement stairs wound through the beautiful dense forest of trees. Despite the man-made stairs it truly was a beautiful walk down to the falls. It set the tone for the adventure as we immersed in the jungle!
The stairs down take about ten minutes and they are relatively easy. Most levels of fitness will have no issue at all reaching the Mag-Aso Falls. At the base, we first reached a little viewpoint that looked out over the falls. It became very clear, very quickly that this was a local hangout on the weekends so if you prefer it to be quiet I would visit during the early morning on a weekday. We visited on a Sunday and there were many families hanging out and having shared lunches. This didn’t bother us but I know some people want empty natural attractions for photos, videos or just a bit more peace and quiet.
From the viewpoint we stood on, some of the kids actually cliff-jump into the water. To be honest it looked super shallow and I couldn’t believe they were doing it. Try that one at your own risk. There is another cliff jump across the pool, which isn’t incredibly safe but much, much safer than the viewpoint. I’ve placed a photo of the viewpoint where the boys where jumping below.
The waterfall itself comes from quite a beautiful little canyon. Depending on the rainfall, it can be quite a powerful waterfall but on this day in February, it was a mid-strength. You could walk up onto the falls with ease. In the past, I have seen videos of Mag-Aso where it is raging with force. That’s why you always have to approach a location with caution and appreciate that it can be more or less dangerous on different days. on our visit, Mag-Aso was very calm and everybody was swimming without worry. If you visit in the rainy season please explore with caution. The jump spot is on the right-hand side of the photo below although the locals jumped from where I took this photo and the viewpoint in the second photo.
Stay safe and enjoy guys and remember to clean up at any of the waterfalls you visit!
WHERE TO STAY ON BOHOL
Read my full blog post: BEST AREA TO STAY IN BOHOL
Bohol Beach Club – Luxury: It’s everything you would expect from a luxury resort in a tropical location. It’s beachside with amazing pools, bars, and chill-out areas. Right near the restaurants, bars, and action of Alona Beach but hidden away so that you can relax after a day of island-hopping or adventures.
Venezia Suites – Value: The Venezia Suits present the best value on Bohol. If you are looking for luxury but only want to spend mid-range often you need to get lucky. Venezia will hook you up with a beautiful suite that comes with a pool and living space. It’s a damn good deal and located right near all the action of Panglao so you are in a good spot.
HM & B Backpackers Inn: As a backpacker generally you check the price, location, and cleanliness. HM & B ticks all those boxes as one of the cheapest hostels near Alona Beach but also maintains good reviews, cleanliness and is pretty cheap compared to everything else near Alona Beach.
ARE YOU KEEPING UP WITH MY BOHOL SERIES
I’ve been to Bohol twice and both times I explored extensively on my motorbike to the popular tourist spots and to locations many people have never heard of. I document it all in my BOHOL TRAVEL GUIDE: 27 Awesome Things To Do
Are you a waterfall chaser? I’ve put together a list of My Favorite Waterfalls and Cave Pools on Bohol with detailed directions and photos.
Maybe you are an adrenaline junkie like me and want to find out the Best Cliff Jumping spots on Bohol.
The popular tourist area where most people stay is Panglao Island. I’ve put together a blog post guide about the Best Things to do on Panglao Island
If you aren’t quite sure whether you want to stay on Panglao Island or venture north to Anda, I’ve written a blog post about the Best Places to Stay on Bohol, which helps you decide what region is best for you depending on your preferences.
One of the best activities on Bohol is the island-hopping to Balicasag and Virgin Island. I’ve put together a guide with everything you need to know about the adventure here: Virgin Island and Balicasag Island Hopping Tour Review