Cebu never runs out of experiences to offer its visitors, and every single attraction promises to leave guests truly satisfied and wanting for more. Name it, Cebu HAS it. In recent years though, waterfall adventures in the province have caused quite a buzz that every visitor desires to include at least a day trip to a waterfall in the itinerary. According to Pinoy Travel Freak, Cebu has at least 90 ‘discovered’ waterfalls at present, and I’m pretty sure several others are yet to be discovered in the future. Being a waterfall lover myself, I, of course, joined the craze.
Recently, I was invited by my good friend Christian (Bisdak Explorer) on a waterfall adventure with his waterfall-chasing group, the Cebu-based Project Waterfall Squad. It was supposed to be a two-day trip, but I was only able to join during the second day where we got to explore three amazing waterfalls (there’s more, but time was not enough to visit the others) in the town of Alegria, south of Cebu City. Yep, three amazing waterfalls at an amazing cost of just a little over 500 pesos.
After a three-hour dawn trip from the capital, we arrived in Alegria just before sunrise and set out for our trek to the first waterfall on the list, Cancalanog Falls. From the provincial road, we hired a habal-habal and traveled along a winding, uphill road towards the jump-off point. I reached the falls after walking for about 30 minutes (I am pretty slow; I think it’s just 15 minutes on the average). Aside from having a slow pace, the walk took longer because the narrow trail was kind of slippery as a result of the previous night’s rains. Nevertheless, the trail was pretty much safe and easy. We arrived at the falls with most of the squad members already up and have finished eating their breakfast. They actually camped in the area the night before. Yes, camping is allowed, and I think it is a must-try.
Don’t expect too much from Cancalanog’s cascading waters—it’s not like those tall, majestic ones you’ve probably seen before. But the pool where the water flushes out? It’s nothing short of GORGEOUS. It’s got that amazing, picturesque blue-green shade and is deep enough for one adventurous soul to do a cliff jump. The water was cold; I’m just not sure if it warms up during the afternoon. We stayed there until about 9 in the morning and then went back to the jump-off point where everyone took some rest and ate brunch. The locals can prepare a decent and affordable meal for visitors upon request.
Just before noon, we again rode a habal-habal towards our next stop—Kawa-kawa Falls. Unlike Cancalanog Falls which has been visited by the squad members a few times already, the second series of waterfalls was new to everyone. Kawa-kawa Falls was very accessible from the main road and took under three minutes to reach the first cascade. If you’ve been to quite a number of amazing waterfalls, you may find Kawa-kawa Falls not that appealing. But hey, it’s still a waterfall, and a good addition to your list of visited waterfalls. Besides, access to the falls is FREE. We were able to see three levels (not sure if there are more levels above) which kind of looked similar to each other, although the highest level was quite difficult to reach given the steep, yet-to-be-established trail. Cliff jumping is possible, but not really advisable. We didn’t stay long in Kawa-kawa falls as there was not much to see in the area, so we headed towards our third and last destination for the day, Montpeller Falls.
Montpeller Falls is a few minutes away from Kawa-kawa Falls by habal-habal. Upon arriving at the jump-off point, we learned that there was no established tourist information center yet, so everyone did not have so much expectations about the waterfall. But lo and behold, after about 20 minutes of easy trekking, the area was echoing wows and whoas as we were all surprised with the untouched beauty of the tall waterfall. As I described it in my Instagram post, the place was like a movie set. It was so beautiful it looked like it was manicured and scripted. The area surrounding the falls was teeming with foliage, and the main drop located right at the middle of the cliff was mighty at about a hundred feet (or I might be exaggerating haha). The water cascades on the stone wall and eventually trickles freely like a rainshower as it reached the lower portion. The water is collected in a plunge pool which radiates a bright green color and eventually flows down through two smaller cascades at the bottom. Some of the squad members went further downstream to check what other sights can be seen ahead while the remaining guys stayed within the area.
Visiting Montpeller Falls was one of my most pleasant waterfall experiences. To top it all off, access to the falls is FREE! On the other hand, I wouldn’t mind if the local government would charge fees in the future as long as the proceeds would go to maintenance-related expenses and salaries. The waterfall, just like any other natural attraction, deserves to be well-kept and maintained in the first place.
To sum things up, it was an awesome trip because I got to see three beautiful waterfalls in one day, met new people, and spent minimally. If you’re visiting Cebu, consider visiting Alegria to see these falls for yourself.
By the way, here are the trip expenses (in Philippine Pesos) for one person:
|Ordinary bus fare Cebu City-Alegria-Cebu City||
|Habal-habal from Main Road to Cancalanog Falls Jump-off Point||
|Cancalanog Falls Entrance Fee||
|Habal-habal from Cancalanog Jump-off Point to Kawa-kawa Falls||
|Habal-habal from Kawa-Kawa Falls to Montpeller Falls Jump-off Point||
|Habal-habal from Montpeller Falls Jump-off Point to Main Road||
*Habal-habal fares quoted are per person, minimum of 2 persons per trip.
*Meals not included
*An optional tour guide fee in Cancalanog Falls is 100 pesos. Kawa-kawa Falls is very near the main road and doesn’t require a guide. Montpeller Falls has no organized tourist information center at the moment, but residents are willing to serve as guides. Tipping is encouraged.
Been to these falls or planning to visit them? Share your expriences or your thoughts in the comments section below!