Falls unlike beaches takes an extra effort to reach as usually there are no paved highways near these wonders of nature. If you found a waterfall near a major road, then you are lucky. But those which are truly beautiful Philippine Falls will demand that you will do any or all the following: long hikes, arduous treks, shoot the rapids, hold-on to vines and ropes, climb down and crawl up along cliffs, across valleys, mountains and rainforests.
Discovering Top Philippine Waterfalls will challenge your fitness, many will make your knees quake with utter exhaustion. You’d be sweating profusely and might want to give up before you arrive at your destination.
Malamang pagod ka na before you can gaze and marvel at these cascading waters. But are they worth the troubles?
Yes! Definitely! Waterfalls are paradise waiting to be discovered.
The Philippines is not only about pristine white sand beaches, we have awesome falls too from islands to islands across Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao! Check out the following Philippine Famous Falls. If you have not visited many of them, now is the time to plan, explore and know more about the country’s hidden natural wonders!
No list of the best waterfalls of the country is ever complete without mentioning Iligan City, the City of Majestic Waterfalls in the Philippines. The Iliganons are blessed to be so close to this many popular Philippine falls – 23 in fact according to Wiki! No other place sa Pilipinas is home to such bounty! Ang galing!
MARIA CRISTINA FALLS of Lanao del Norte
Iligan City’s pride and undeniably one of the very first falls that a Filipino grader would come to know (unless the student lives near another falls hehehe).
Teacher – “What is the name of the falls in Mindanao that generates electricity?”
Student – “Maria Cristina Falls”!
I betcha you are remembering the famous postcard picture of this waterfall in Mindanao. 🙂
Quick facts: Maria Cristina is technically not a twin falls but because of the jutted rock a feet or so from the top of the cliff which separates the water into two flows, it would appear to be so. You can check the picture below to see the illusion.
Maria Cristina has a height of 98 meters or 320 feet and is use to generate electricity for the Agus VI Hydroelectric Plant.
Just imagine how powerful and massive the force of the waters of Maria Cristina Falls to generate electricity for the city! I guess even if you are brave enough to go directly under the waterfalls you will not be permitted by authorities because it’s so dangerous.
If you plan to get to Maria Cristina in Iligan worry not as you can still gaze at the magnificence of this falls from the viewing deck. And if the water is very strong during your visit, you’d probably catch some of the mists of this famous Philippine falls.
Maria Cristina Falls – Iligan’s Pride
TINAGO FALLS of Lanao del Norte
Another one of the many waterfalls of Iligan City in Lanao del Norte is the Tinago Falls. The word “tinago” means “hidden” in Tagalog and Bisaya. And yep this falls is hidden natural wonder and you must exert extra effort to reach the falls.
Quick Facts: Tinago Falls plunges 73 meters high or 240 feet into its basin. And just like Pagsanjan, there is a mini cave just behind the falls and visitors can reach this cave. From behind the walls you can listen to the rumbling powers of this waterfall.
Image Source: Wikipedia
PAGSANJAN FALLS of Laguna
What’s unique about Pagsanjan Falls, the famous falls in Laguna, is that instead of trekking or climbing across mountains and jungles, you will be shooting the rapids. Yep you will ride a banca and you will cruise calmly across Pagsanjan River until you get to the rapids when your boatman boating skills will be put to a test.
Boat ride and Bamboo Rafting at Pagsanjan
And the beauty is that you can experience going directly under the falls and braving the power spray. 🙂 I don’t recommend it for those with heart problem. But its sooo awesome!
Pagsanjan Falls – Top Tourist Destination in Laguna
I’ve been to Pagsanjan thrice and each time is a different experience. The first time I experience going under the falls, I thought my heart would break with the pressure lol. It truly felt like a boulder has collapsed on my back hehehe. But on the second and third time I know enough where to sit on the raft lol. Check out where I’m seated on the bamboo rafting pic above and know that is the best part to get lesser spray hehe. (I’m the one nearest the boatman on pink short)
Want to read the whole story? Click this link –>>> Pagsanjan Shooting the Rapids Experience
MAJESTIC 7 FALLS OF LAKE SEBU of South Cotabato
7 Falls of Lake Sebu, South Cotabato – Yes, you’ve read that right, seven falls in the vicinity of South Cotabato’s most famous lake, Lake Sebu. Each waterfall is equal in beauty to the other 6 but unfortunately for tourists like us, only 2 are easily accessible. If you choose, you can still trek to all seven falls but it’s gonna be along hike down to the valley floor and up again in the mountains.
Located in South Cotabato, home of the T’Boli tribe, each of the seven falls have a T’Boli name and they are as follows:
Falls 1 – Hikong Alu or ‘Passage’ – Of all seven falls this is one of the first visited as walking to the falls is easy. This falls is also known as Dongon Falls.
Falls 2 – Hikong Bente or ‘Unmeasurable’ – This is the highest falls and the most photograph falls in Lake Sebu’s 7 falls. From Dongon Falls you can go down about 770+ steps to get to Falls Two.
Falls 3 – Hikong B’Lebel or ‘Zigzag’
Falls 4 – Hikong Lowig or ‘Booth’
Falls 5 – Hikong Kefo-I – ‘Wild Flower’
Falls 6 – Hikong K’fo-i or ‘Short’
Falls No 7 – Hikong Tonok or ‘Soil’
The local government is promoting the 7 Falls of Lake Sebu as one of the top tourist destination in South Cotabato. And one of the facilities erected is a zipline that will allow you to zip through falls number 2 to 5. This facility has become a favorite of tourists as it allows anyone interested a chance to see the more hidden wonders of this area in a fast and easy way. Note: There is a fee of P250 for the ride, it’s very affordable though.
Based on countless reviews I’ve read, local and foreign tourists who have taken on the challenge of the the Lake Sebu zipline claims it’s the best zipline ride in the Philippines you will ever experience. And one with the most awesome scenery. I haven’t been there yet but I strongly believe this to be true. I mean how can you not adore zipping through and seeing falls after falls, right?
I can’t wait to get to 7 Falls of Lake Sebu, how about you?
Heyy if you have pics of the waterfalls of Lake Sebu, can I please share it on this blog so many will also see just how amazing Lake Sebu’s falls are. Please send it to email: penfires(/at) gmail.com – I will credit your site. 🙂
KAWASAN FALLS of Cebu
Arguably Cebu’s most famous falls is the Kawasan Falls located in the town of Badian on Cebu South. Kawasan Falls is a 3 tiered falls with also falls no 1, 2 and 3. I have only been to Falls No 1 in Kawasan, blame my fitness slate lol.
It’s relatively easy to get to all falls, though there are steep and slippery path from the main Kawasan falls to the 3rd falls. You just have to be more careful I guess.
Some adventure seekers would even go as far as climbing Cebu’s Highest Peak – the Osmena Peak and then trek to Kawasan Falls. From the highest point in the island of Cebu to this famous falls will only take 6 hours. Are you up for it? 🙂
Kawasan Falls – main waterfall
Just last May 2012, the provincial government of Cebu has dismantled illegal structures built around and near Kawasan Falls. One of the reasons is that these structures mar the beauty of nature; they make the place look cheap. Other reasons are based on legal basis as well as for environmental protection. Anyhow, this I think is a commendable move on the government’s part. Our natural resources if not preserve wisely will go to waste eventually. I would hate to see Kawasan Falls deteriorate and so I’m thankful for this move to ‘clean’ the vicinity of the waterfalls and preserve its beauty.
Update: We were there April 2013 and we still saw most structures lol. I am not sure what structures were removed and dismantled by the Cebu Province.
NOTE: Check this post when we visited Kawasan this Summer 2013!
Kawasan Falls Second Falls
Image Source: Doi of The Travelling Feet for the Kawasan falls images.
BOMOD-OK FALLS of Sagada
A mountainous area like the highland town of Sagada would naturally hide wonderful waterfalls and one of the most visited falls in Mountain Province would be the “Big Falls”, locally known as Bomod-ok Falls.
The uniqueness of this waterfall compared to the other waterfalls in the Philippines is that instead of you trekking across jungles and lush vegetations to get to the waterfalls, you will instead hike through rice terraces. Awesome!!! This experience to be amidst centuries old rice terraces alone is worth the the total 3 hours trek back and forth to get to Bomod-ok.
Mountain Province Bomod-ok Falls
As with every other Philippine waterfalls I’ve been to, the waters of Bomod-ok is really, really cold. Lol. But you will still enjoy it refreshing coldness hehe. And the water is shallow except nearest the rocks – you can swim to your heart’s content or until just before you reach hypothermia level =)
Click this link to check out the rice terraces and the full story on –>> Bomod-ok Falls of Sagada.
The clear pool basin of Bomod-ok Falls
Note though: The Sagadans follow religious ritual piously and going to the falls is prohibited when they are conducting tribal rituals in the village at the foot of the valley to Bomod-ok Falls. These rituals usually last for 3 days. Let us all respect traditions and customs so if your visit is ill-timed, please don’t fret and don’t complain. Do your research ahead so you will know what dates to avoid.
LIMUNSUNDAN FALLS of Lanao del Norte
We can’t get enough of Iligan falls! Limunsundan is yep again located in Iligan City. Many consider this two-tiered waterfall as one of the highest Philippine falls. It’s height of 870 feet towers and delights tourists and nature lovers.
Beautiful Limunsundan Falls
Image Source: Wikipedia
The Philippines is really blessed, hope we can preserve these gifts of nature.
ALIWAGWAG FALLS of Davao Oriental
Rapids and cascading waters rolled into one is what awaits you if you visit Aliwagwag Falls. This amazing waterfall is located in the town of Cateel in Davao Oriental. Just think about 84 cascading waterfalls that flow into each other harmoniously. The individual cascade may not be astounding but when you see all 84 cascading waterfalls from a distance, it will blow you away!
All 84 falls is measured approximately at 1100 feet or roughly 340 of pulsing power and energy. Each tier is unique, with different heights and rock formations. If you love waterfalls, there is no doubt you will love Aliwagwag Falls of Mindanao.
Cascading waters of Aliwagwag Falls
Source: For more awesome pics of Aliwagwag Falls, please visit phy6smartsim’s website.
TINUY-AN FALLS of Surigao del Sur
Who wouldn’t be amazed with a 3 tiered, 55 meters tall or 95 meters wide water curtains in the middle of a rainforest?! I definitely would! Ladies and gents, this is the Tinuy-an Falls located in Bislig, Surigao City, this falls is dubbed “Little Niagara in the Philippines”.
I visited this Philippine Waterfall decade ago, 2001 to be exact. It’s so long ago that I want to visit Tinuy-an again. At that time, this falls was unheard of in mainstream Philippine travel especially among tourists not from Mindanao. The good thing is that this ‘hidden falls’ is becoming very popular today, thanks in part to Filipinos love for social media like Facebook, Twitter and blogs. These social platforms has made it easy and fast to share pictures of the BEAUTIFUL Tinuy-an Falls, encouraging and enticing more local and foreign tourists to visit Tinuy-an too! Hope you’ll get to Bislig and visit this amazing falls.
As a side trip, you can also include going to Enchanted River after your trip to this falls.
White water curtains of Tinuy-an Falls
Image Source: dschoeboy of Lakbay Pinoy
Falls are always wondrous to see, it rewards adventure seekers with sites and sceneries far different from your everydays. Tucked in the middle of wilderness, you hear not the honking of horns or the humdrum of a busy city. You hear sounds far more beautiful, relaxing, and more appealing to the senses. It invites you to be still. Hear the thunderous roar of waters; listen to the call of birds and the soothing sound of the rainforest. Take delight in the mists that reach you, breathe in the fresh air and marvel at the lush greens surrounding you. Experience nature. Delight in paradise. Enjoy our waterfalls.
Other Popular and Majestic Falls from the Philippines:
Cambuhagay Falls of Siquijor
One of the top eco-tourism destination in the Mystical Island of Siquijor. PLEASE CLICK HERE to go to the post dedicated to the Cambuhagay Falls and see pics of all the three levels of this waterfall.
Eco Tourism Destination in Siquijor – Cambuhagay Falls!
Asik – asik Falls of North Cotabato
Hinulugang Taktak of Rizal
Mantayupan Falls of Cebu
Tamaraw Falls of Mindoro
Casaroro Falls of Negros Oriental
Busay Falls of Albay
Taytay Falls of Laguna
I will be updating this post on Top Philippine Waterfalls with info on the other famous falls of the country once I have more time. If you have more suggestions of falls that should be part of this List of the Best Waterfalls of the Philippines, please leave a comment and share your love of our country’s waterfalls.
I hope you enjoyed reading this blog post and hope you will get to the road and go travel to these amazing destinations in the Philippines!
Please Share this post to your friends and family, let’s encourage local travels. Click on Facebook like or Tweet this. Let’s get to know the Philippines hidden treasures and natural wonders! Go, visit a waterfall on your next vacation. 🙂