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.
TINUBDAN FALLS IN CATMON, CEBU
In this blog post, I will give you all the details you need to know such as how to get there, what to expect and share my photos of Tinubdan Falls.
HOW TO GET TO TINUBDAN FALLS IN CATMON, CEBU
Catmon is a province to the north of Cebu City and takes about 1.5 hours to reach. It’s 57km in distance from Cebu City but the traffic can make this a very slow 57km-journey. I’d suggest leaving Cebu City early in the morning and watching the sunrise as you drive up to Catmon. This timing will also mean you have good lighting at Tinubdan Falls because after 10 am it is pretty sunny at the falls and you want that early morning soft light.
So, you will drive all the way to Catmon but then on the left-hand side, there is a sign that says Esoy Hot Spring. Take this road. You can also be following the pin for Tinubdan Falls on Google Maps at this point, but beware the pin is incorrect and I can help you with how to overcome the incorrect pin.
Once you have turned onto the road to Esoy Hot Spring, continue all the way along this road until you reach the Esoy Hot Spring. The road is pretty rocky, bumpy and crazy so be ready for that and drive very slowly and safely.
Now, once you reach Esoy Hot Spring, continue driving but don’t worry about Google Maps now. You will want to continue driving all the way through past the blue Barangay Hall and then until you reach this intersection and sign. It is about 10-15 minutes after the Esoy Hot Spring.
After this sign, you will come across another sign and a small shop. Here it tells you to pay for your ticket/entrance fee which is just $1 USD. Now you will continue all the way until you reach the Tabili School and then just fifty meters past the school you can park in this jungle parking area.
Once you have parked your car and are set to go the trail isn’t really that obvious but there was a small white sign that said ‘T Falls’, it led through a field, past a small house with lots of chickens and eventually onto the path that was then quite well defined and led all the way to the falls. There you will find a yellow gate that takes you into the cottages and setup for the Tinubdan Falls area.
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
MY EXPERIENCE AT TINUBDAN FALLS IN CATMON, CEBU
So, now that you know how to get to Tinubdan Falls after following my directions and photos above, let me share my experience at Tinubdan Falls. I’ll also give you a couple of tips for shooting photos at Tinubdan Falls.
After the initial confusion due to the wrong pin on Google Maps, we made our way along the jungle trail. It was a beautiful little trail that led to the waterfalls with a very wild, jungle feel. Don’t worry the trail into the waterfall is quite short and only takes about 10-minutes of walking without any hills.
When we arrived the yellow gate was closed and instead of just opening it and heading in, we continued up to the top of the falls to explore. It isn’t necessary to do this and to be honest, not all that worth it but I’m always up for an adventure to see what I can find. It is possible to make it all the way up and down without going through the gate but it involves a little bit of bouldering. This is what the top of the falls looks like.
Once we navigated down to the main area of Tinubdan Falls, I was pretty impressed with how epic this little area was. 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. Aside from a rope and a wire, the scene is relatively natural with no huge cement stairs or other implementations commonly seen at waterfalls in the Philippines such as at Kawasan Falls.
There are a couple of cottages and places to hang out to the side of the waterfall and I imagine on a weekend this area is quite busy with locals and visitors alike. However, at 9.30 am on a Tuesday, this was our private waterfall. The sun had well and truly risen but because of the dense foliage and jungle trees, the sun was only just starting to creep in, which was perfect for photos. Once the sun poured in over the top of the trees by 1030 am, it was very hard to photograph due to the harsh light and dark shadows.
Therefore, I suggest arriving early to Tinubdan Falls to avoid the Cebu City traffic, avoid the crowds and enjoy the best lighting. There are three key benefits to leaving Cebu City before sunrise.
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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Down below this main area, you will find more beautiful pools and waterfalls that are not to be missed. There are a few rough trails that lead you down here if you are feeling up for a bit more exploration.
We found a spot down below the main area where the kids were making a bit of noise. It turned out to be a mini waterfall-cliff jumping area. I snapped a few photos before joining them for one jump. It’s super shallow with rocks beneath the surface so not one I would recommend. I had to try it once though.
After enjoying the waterfalls, we headed back to the car and off to our second stop of the day back at Esoy Hot Spring and Ka-Tinggo Falls. It’s a good idea to combine these two adventures as they are both nearby and it is a bit of an effort to drive up the bumpy road so you may aswell experience both while you are up there in the mountains.
I hope you enjoyed this post and had a good time exploring Catmon and the surrounding regions in the north of Cebu.
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.
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
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!
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
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