Along with white sand beaches and volcanic islands, waterfalls are the most iconic feature of the Philippines. Practically anywhere you'll go, you can find jaw dropping waterfalls that are worth a visit. The great thing about having a day at waterfall is how they provide a perfect mix of adventure and relaxation.
You could swim at the cool waters, or take a thrilling cliff jump or a canyoneering trail. No matter what, a visit to a waterfalls guarantees a fun day for the whole family. Since each site is unique and different, i've created this list of the best waterfalls to visit in the Philippines to help you make your choice.
The locations are listed in no particular order, as choosing between them is mostly a matter of personal taste. Some are harder to reach, and booking a tour package is recommended. More often than not, you can combine several waterfalls in a single day, to make your trip even more fun.
Undoubtedly one of the most famous waterfalls in the country, and the pinnacle of any holiday at Cebu Island. Kawasan falls are truly impressive, and provide a great place for families to picnic and swim in the pool below.
What's really great about this place is how many different ways there are to reach it. The waterfalls are very easy to reach by just taking a tricycle or a taxi, but there are other, more exciting routes if you're up for it. You could take the canyoneering tour, one of the most thrilling adventures you'll ever have. Another great option is hiking from Osmeña Peak – a beautiful trek that will fill your whole day.
Maria Cristina Falls
The 2nd highest waterfall in the Philippines, and certainly one of the most impressive ones. When you visit this place, you'll be blown away by the noise and sheer power emanating from it. The falls are used to power the Iligan hydro plant – providing electricity to the entire Northern Mindanao.
Due to the strong currents and deep waters, swimming is prohibited at the Maria Cristina Falls. You can only come and watch them from the view deck nearby at the NPC building. Don't worry, it still makes for a great visit – marveling at the beauty of nature. There's a small canteen and an ice cream shop nearby, so it's also a very nice opportunity to take a seat and relax a bit if you are hiking through Iligan's waterfalls.
Iligan's 2nd entry to this list, and just as impressive and special as the first. This hidden gem is a great alternative to Maria Cristina, since here you can swim and hang around for as long as you please. Since it's hard to compare the two, the best idea is to just visit both on the same day – they are only 4 kilometers apart!
Keep in mind though that the trail to the falls consists of no less than 500 stairways. It might seem pretty easy when you make your way down to the Falls, but don't forget you'll have to climb back up later on. If you are traveling with elderly people, that might prove a challenge. Food and drinks are also quite hard to come by, so bring them with you if you plan to spend some time there.
There are plenty of great waterfalls in the Laguna province, but Pagsanjan is probably the most famous of them all. This waterfall is the perfect escape from Manila – for people who wish to spend a day or 2 in nature. You will quickly forget all the noise and dirt of the city, as you embrace the beauty all around you.
The falls themselves are very impressive, especially during the rainy season when the current is stronger. It's possible to take a wooden raft, sail under the pouring water and into a small cove behind it. You'll then have some time to swim in the deep waters over there, before making your way back to town.
The most special thing about Pagsanjan Falls is that the trail to them is just as amazing as the falls themselves. You'll be amazed by the scenery around you as you make your way through the narrow canyons on a kayak. The boat ride takes over an hour, but time really flies by when you are at one of the most beautiful places in the Philippines.
This is another great option not far from Manila. Tamaraw Falls are located in Mindoro, just 25 minutes away from Puerto Galera. While there are certainly more impressive waterfalls in the country, these offer a great location and can easily be combined into a larger Puerto Galera tour package. Tamaraw Falls provide a great change of scenery from the typical attraction of this fabulous town – its amazing beaches and diving spots.
Tamaraw Falls are actually a series of smaller streams and waterfalls, joined together to create a nice pool area at the bottom. The waters are cool and refreshing, and there's also a nice and quiet picnic area nearby. Tamaraw are the most beautiful and impressive, but there are at least 3 other waterfalls near Puerto Galera that are also worth a visit.
Talipanan, Aninuan and Tukuran Falls are all additional great places for a stop during your day tour. They each have their own special charm, and different attractions nearby. If you have to pick just one, I recommend going to Talipanan Falls. That way, you can first visit the Mangyan Village nearby, then take a 20 minutes walk to the falls.