I don’t know why but I just love South Cebu so much.
I couldn’t even count how many times I have been in this part of the island last year (2018). However, in most of those visits, I only ended at Kawasan falls in Badian or Whale Shark Watching in Oslob. Thus, early November last year, I visited the last three towns in the southernmost tip of Cebu; Alegria, GInatilan, and Samboan.
This was one of my unplanned journey again actually. I was supposed to have an appointment at that weekend but in the neck of time it was cancelled. So instead of going out Friday night and wasted my weekend staying late outside drinking and being unproductive, I spent my night digging the net about what to see and do in the southern tip of Cebu.
Google wasn’t that harsh to me as it quickly answered my curiosity and fed my excitement with lots of beautiful waterfalls in each towns of Algeria, Ginatilan, and Samboan. The more I searched the more my excitement level rose. So, when I got everything I needed for my waterfalls hopping, I packed my stuff and hit the sack as I had to wake up at four in the morning to be able to accomplish my one day escapade.
When my alarm clock rung forty five minutes past the hour of three, I pulled myself out of bed and went straight to shower. It was still dark outside and my eyes kept on shutting down but when that beautiful pictures of the waterfalls I saw last night on my laptop screen appeared on my head, I got energized. I then hailed a cab that brought me to Cebu South Bus Terminal. It was just perfect as I was able to catch the departing bus heading to Samboan when I arrived at nearly 4 am at the bus terminal.
I fell asleep during the four hour bus trip and when I woke up, I was already in the town of Algeria. It was ten minutes before eight in the morning when I stepped out from the bus I was taking. Right there at the town’s bus stop, lots of motorbikes offered their service to me asking “Adto ka waterfalls miss” (“Are you going to the waterfalls miss?”). Each drivers proposed different prices so I went to the cheapest (100 peso round trip that includes waiting time).
MONTPELLIER FALLS, Alegria
Alegria is famous for one of the best canyoneering place in the country. Many tourists in different part of the world and even locals too flock in Southern Cebu for this extreme water activity. This town is the home for the famous Cambais Waterfalls, where most of the waterfall chasers go to. It is a natural beauty where most of locals and tourists enjoy swimming in a cold turquoise water. However, I opted to visit the not so famous and not so crowded waterfalls, the MONTPELLIER.
Montpellier Waterfalls is my definition of an untouched beauty of nature. This newly discovered and recognized waterfalls in the town of Alegria, Cebu is a gem of its own. It is located in the uphill part of the town and is surrounded with the lush of greenery. Along the way, you will be greeted with beautiful floras, dogs, cats, chickens, cows, and other animals present in the area saying “Hi!” as you passed by. Hearing the birds joyfully singing made me feel so welcome as I continue my trek . Not to mentioned the very hospitable and smiling kids who were so eager to guide me to the waterfalls. So adorable. And not long, as I and the kids jokingly chit chatting about their daily life in the mountain while we trekked, the sound of the waterfalls got louder and louder, meaning we were so near it. The kids rushed and ran towards the magnificent waterfall. I ran liked a kid and followed them, and then there, right in front of me was a beautiful God’s creation, the Montpellier Waterfalls. Montpellier waterfalls is a single drop waterfalls, with a small plunge pool at its base. The greenish and blueish pool was so inviting so I could not resist but to take a dip in it. I was so blessed to have the waterfalls all by myself in that morning. I jumped and swam in the waterfalls’ pool for a while and enjoyed a water massage from the cascading Montpellier. An hour of nature indulgent, capturing snaps of the beautiful Montpellier, diving, swimming, playing with the local kids, and headed back to the main road.
How to get to Montpellier Falls:
To reach the town of Alegria where Montpellier Falls is situated, head to Cebu South Bus Terminal, Cebu City and take any air conditioned or a non-air conditioned buses that will go BATO/BARILI/SAMBOAN, these busses will pass by the town of Alegria. It is situated 120 kms away from the main city and travel time is about 3-4 hours. So be prepared for a long journey. The bus fare is about 140-160. On the other hand, you may also take a public van (V-Hire) that will go to the town of Alegria, Cebu. Van fare is almost the same. When you reach Alegria, hail a motorbike that will take you to the waterfall or you can also do the 20 minute walk from the main road. Up the hill, on the left side of the road, there is a big “MONTPELLIER FALLS” signage beside a small hut. It is hard to miss. From there, follow the small trail down to the waterfalls for more of less 15 minutes. local houses are along the way, so if you feel lost, don’t hesitate to ask the locals as they are very willing to lead you to their waterfalls.
INAMBAKAN FALLS, Ginatilan
Next on my list was the cascade of Ginatilan, Cebu, Inambakan Falls. This waterfall is known for its wide blue water pool at the base of a powerful plunge cascade. Inambakan Falls is actually a multi-layer waterfall, but due to my tight schedule, I just went to its main falls and the widest pool among the rest..
With the same motorbike I hailed for my Montpellier falls adventure, my habal-habal asked me another 100 peso fare and took me to the town of Ginatilan, Cebu to see the magnificent Inambakan Falls. Ginatilan is not really far from Alegria, it took us about 20 minutes motorbike ride to reach the town proper and another 10 minutes to the waterfalls from the main road. The walk to the waterfall is a smooth 5 minute trail. And upon arrival at the entrance, I paid the 50 peso entrance fee. After paying, you will also be handed with a life jacket for safety purposes. Meaning to say that the pool of the Inambakan falls is deep and wild.
There are couple of makeshift huts around the basin of the main falls and I think they are free of charge. I was there for an hour or so, appreciating the beauty of this tall waterfall. And I stayed in the hut, rested, kept my things not being soaked by the plunging waterfalls. And they did not ask any additional fee for my stay. If you are planning on staying longer in the main waterfall, I suggest you bring food as they dont sell any.
Though Inambakan Falls is known as one of the grandest and a multi-layered falls, I just stayed in its main falls. The wide pool of blue water, the wild trees surrounding the falls, the blue sky above it, are an incredible sight. I could just stay there for a day but sadly I have to leave to explore another beauty of nature. So I made the best of my time in there, swam behind the waterfall, climb the huge rocks and jump into the blue pool of water below and just in awe of this amazing sight in front of my eyes.
If you have all the time, please do visit and explore the other stages of Inambakan falls. You can hire a local as your guide and please be generous to them. Think about the effort and time they spent for you. In fact, they are the one who take care of this natural beauty so we can experience and enjoy it.
How to get to Inambakan Falls:
From Cebu City, head to Cebu South Bus Terminal, Cebu City and take any air conditioned or a non-air conditioned buses that will go BATO/BARILI/SAMBOAN, these busses will pass by the town of Ginatilan. Travel time is about 4-5 hours depending on traffic. So be prepared for a long journey. The bus fare is about 150-160. On the other hand, you may also take a public van (V-Hire) that will go to the same direction.
From the nearby town, like Badian or Alegria, you can take a bus that will cost you 40-50 peso or you can hire a motorbike and negotiate the prize. Again, be generous and don’t abuse your driver. In my case, I went to Ginatilan from the town of Alegria, so I just gave my driver an additional 100peso.
DAO FALLS, Samboan
Ended my One-Day Waterfall Adventure with Samboan’s Dao Falls. For me, Dao Falls is truly a breathtaking sight to behold. It is the tallest among the waterfalls I had been to, towering at about 120 meter tall. The not so strong water of Dao Falls is cascading down a huge rock wall which reminds me of a water dam scenery. Though the teal color pool of water is not that wide compared to falls I visited earlier that day, I couldn’t resist but take a dip to the refreshing pool surrounded with palms, wild jungle plants in the middle of the woods.
The trail down the waterfall is quite an adventure. It requires a 20-30 minute hike down into a plant kingdom along the boulders stones. Be prepared as the trail requires you to walk through the water. The lower half of your body will surely get soaked as there are parts where you need to walk a waist-deep water. It is quite an adventure with a picturesque scenery. So please navigate the waterfall with extra care. Locals and the encharge requires everyone to have a guide, and it’s a MUST! They have a “No Guide, No Entry” policy. Though they have no fix amount for the guide aside from the 40 peso entrance fee. Just give back to the local, generously.
My Dao Falls adventure is one of those escapade I will never forget. It may not be as grand as the ones I have in my hometown but everything is very picturesque! The astonishing and impressive Dao falls, the teal pool water, the trail towards the falls, and the likes. I don’t mind going back there again.
How to get to Dao Falls:
From main city of Cebu, take a Ceres Bus heading down to Barili at Cebu South Bus Terminal. Inform the bus conductor or bus driver that you are taking off in Samboan. It is a 4-5 hour drive. From the municipality of Samboan, you can hire a motorbike for 50-100 per person to get you to the jump off point of Dao Falls. Don’t forget to negotiate and arrange for pick up as well or else you gonna walk the 20-30 minute walk down to the main road.