Mindanao is blessed with a lot of natural attractions like beaches, lakes, mountains and of course majestic and enchanting waterfalls. Here’s Escape Manila’s top picks of the must-see waterfalls in Mindanao that you should visit next year.
1. Asik-Asik Falls in Alamada
The falls is located in the remote area of Barangay Upper Dado in Alamada, North Cotabato. Due to its location, only few people have visited the place which make it more charming. It’s the most unique waterfall I have visited so far.
How to Go to Asik Asik Falls?
There are a lot of ways to go to Asik-Asik Falls from various cities/towns. I have listed available options if you are coming from Davao City, General Santos City, Lake Sebu and Cotabato City. Please visit : Asik-Asik Travel Guide to know the details.
2. Tinago Falls in Iligan City
Tinago Falls is one of the most visited waterfalls and the most enchanting of the 23 waterfalls in Iligan. Tinago which means hidden in English best describes its location.
How to go to Tinago Falls?
From the city proper, take a Buru-un route jeepney which will pass by Maria Cristina Falls. Ask the jeepney driver to drop you at the Buruun Market as it will be the jump-off point going to Tinago. Fare for the jeepney is P14. From the highway, cross the road and you’ll find the habal-habal terminal just a few meters away. Ask the driver to bring you to Tinago. The habal habal driver asked me to pay P50 (one-way) since I was alone.
3. Dodiongan Falls in Iligan City
Located about 14 kilometers away from the city proper, Dodiongan Falls is a 24 feet high waterfall situated in Brgy. Bonbonon, Iligan City.
How to go to Dodiongan Falls?
From Iligan City proper, take a jeepney to Barinaut Terminal (P7.50). Travel time is around 10 minutes. From there take a habal-habal to Dodiongan Falls jump off point which will take you around 30 minutes and fare is around P30-40/head. From the jump-off point, just follow the stream and after about 20-30 minutes, you’ll be able to enjoy the beauty of Dodiongan Falls.
4. Maria Cristina Falls in Iligan City
Maria Cristina Falls is the landmark of Iligan City. The falls is located about 10 kilometers away from Iligan City proper. Its waters which come from Lake Lanao plunges into the Agus River.
Maria Cristina Falls
How to go to Maria Cristina Falls?
Take a Buru-un bound jeep and ask to be dropped off at the bridge near the NPC entrance. Just tell the driver that you are going to visit Maria Cristina Falls and he will surely drop you at the right place. Fare is P12 and travel time is around 15-20 minutes. Entrance Fee to the NPC Park is P35 and a shuttle fee of P10 if you do not have a vehicle.
5. Tinuy-an Falls in Bislig City
Dubbed as the “Niagara Falls” of the Philippines, Tinuy-an Falls sets the record as the widest waterfall in the Philippines with 95 meters width. It is both a block and a tiered waterfall located in Barangay Burboanan, Bislig City, an hour away from the city’s commercial district of Mangagoy.
How to Get There?
The nearest commercial airport from Bislig/Mangagoy is Tandag Airport but it only serves flight from Cebu City. So, if you are coming from Manila book a flight to Butuan City instead. You may also book a ticket to Surigao City and Davao City but the travel time will be longer especially for the former. Here’s a complete Tinuy-an Falls Travel Guide for your reference.
6. Cathedral Falls in Kapatagan, Lanao del Norte
One of the most accessible waterfalls in the Philippines, Cathedral Falls is situated in Barangay Waterfalls, Kapatagan, Lanao del Norte. It is well known for its unique and captivating rock formations.
How to get there?
From Iligan, take a bus going to Pagadian and alight at the Kapatagan Bus Terminal. Take a habal-habal going to Cathedral Falls which is located in Barangay Waterfalls. Travel time is around 10-20 mins and fare is P10-P15 each.
7. Aliwagwag Falls in Cateel
Aliwagwag Falls is one of the top tourist destinations in the province of Davao Oriental. It is a multi-tiered waterfall with clear water and surrounded with lush vegetation.
You can either go to Cateel via the Compostela Valley Road (quicker) or the Mati Road (longer time travel but more frequent trips). From Davao City, take a Mallen Express, Lyra Express, Floremel Express or Bachelor Express bus going to Cateel. These buses have daily trips to Cateel.
Barangay Aliwagwag is about 20 minutes away from the Cateel town proper just along the national highway. You can actually pass Aliwagwag Falls when you take the Compostela Valley Road going to Cateel.
8. Awao Falls in Monkayo
The Awao Falls is located in Barangay Awao about 30 minutes skylab (motorcycle) ride from the town proper. It is one of Compostela Valley Province’s hidden gem.
How to get to Awao Falls?
From Davao City, take a van or bus going to the town of Monkayo in Compostela Province. Fare for the van is P140 and travel time is a little over 3 hours. Alight at the Monkayo Bus Terminal, ask around for the habal-habal/skylab terminal to Awao – it is located near the gymnasium. Negotiate with the driver if you are planning to charter a ride. We paid ours for P600 (back and forth). You may opt to take a shared transportation to Awao for P80 each and charter a ride from Barangay Awao proper to the Awao Falls.
9. Seven Falls in Lake Sebu
It’s a series of seven waterfalls in the Municipality of Lake Sebu, South Cotabato. So far only two waterfalls have been developed – Hikong Alu and Hikong Bente. Both are very accessible for tourists to experience.
The Path to Hikong Bente
How to get there?
From General Santos City, take a bus to Koronadal City. From Koronadal, take another bus to Surallah, from the bus terminal you can take a van to Lake Sebu. ALternatively, from Koronadal, there are also vans going directly to Lake Sebu.
From the town proper of Lake Sebu, you may take a habal-habal to go to the Seven Falls.
10. Sta. Cruz Falls in Kapatagan, Lanao del Norte
Located in the town of Kapatagan, Lanao del Norte, Sta Cruz Falls is one of the town’s prominent tourist destinations. It is approximately two kilometers from the national highway and is surrounded with lush vegetation.
Sta. Cruz Falls
How to get there?
From Iligan City, take a bus going to Pagadian and alight at Kapatagan Bus Terminal. Trave time is over 2 hours and the fare for the non-airconditioned bus is P110. From the bus terminal, take a habal-habal going to the jump-off point at Barangay Sta. Cruz. Travel time is around 20-30 minutes and fare is around P30-50 depending on your bargaining skills. It is recommended that you hire a guide because the trail is kinda confusing and also for your own safety. Do not go there when it’s raining because the level of the water in the river rises up and it will be dangerous for you to cross.
11. Limunsudan Falls in Iligan City
Limunsudan Falls is a two-tiered waterfall located at Sitio Limunsudan, Barangay Rogongon, Iligan City. It is considered as the second highest waterfall in the Philippines.
My travel blogger friend Lisa Mirasol has came up with a detailed guide on how to go to Limunsudan Falls. Please refer to this article : How to get to Limunsudan Falls.
12. Hagimit Falls in Samal
Hagimit Falls is one of the many natural attractions in Samal. It is a relatively small but picturesque tiered waterfall covered in lush vegetation. It is located about two kilometers away from Poblacion Peñaplata, the city’s capital district.
From Davao City proper, take a jeepney to Magsaysay Park then ride an Island City Express Bus to Samal. Alight at Penaplata Bus Terminal, then ride a habal-habal going to Hagimit Falls.
13. Merloquet Falls in Zamboanga City
Merloquet Falls is one of Zamboanga City’s hidden and unspoiled natural attractions located at Sitio Merloquet, Barangay Sibulao in the east coast of the city.
Merloquet Falls | Photo by @Jepepips
How to get there?
From Zamboanga City, take a Pagadian-bound bus and alight in Barangay Vitali (about 63 kilometers). From there, take a 15-minute habal-habal ride to the drop off point.
14. Panas Falls in New Corella
The Panas Waterfalls is a multi-tiered falls located about 30 minutes from the town proper. It is one of the most visited eco-tourism sites in the province of Davao del Norte. It is really nice to see and dip into its turquoise basin. The water is cold and clear.
How to get to Panas Waterfalls?
Panas Waterfalls is located in Barangay Carcor which is about 30 minutes away from the town proper. Half of the road going to Panas waterfalls is cemented while the other half is a little rough. The site is accessible to any two or four-wheel vehicles.
Fare for the habal-habal ride is P30 one way if you are alone. Should be cheaper per person if you have a companion. If you are coming from Davao City or Tagum City please read here for the instructions how to go to New Corella : How to get to New Corella?
15. Tudaya Falls in Kapatagan, Davao del Sur
Located at Barangay Sibulan, Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur, Tudaya Falls is considered as one of the top 5 highest waterfalls in the country.
From Davao City, take a Digos-bound bus. From Digos City, take a van to Kapatagan and from there hire a habal-habal to take you to Brgy. Tudaya.To reach the waterfall, you will have to trek for about an hour.
So there you go, plan your vacation next year and visit these enchanting and majestic waterfalls in Mindanao.
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