With a fascinating history, diverse geography, delicious food, and friendly people, the Philippines are in many ways an island paradise to the tourists from around the world who are lucky enough to visit.
Though beachgoers, food junkies and history buffs don’t usually seek out waterfalls, perhaps they should, because the Philippines is full of them, and many of them are near to places they’ll be anyway.
Below is a list of 15 amazing waterfalls in the Philippines.
1. Limunsudan Falls
If 900 feet sounds like a massive waterfall by your demanding standards, then a trip to Limunsudan Falls in the waterfall-rich Iligan City area should be on your itinerary.
Some claim that Limunsudan Falls are the largest, while others claim there are even bigger falls. Whatever the case, they’re grand enough to impress either way.
The falls comprise of two distinct tiers, and due to their remote and difficult to access location, they’re not on most tourist’s radar.
If you want to go, spend a little time asking around in town, as many of the locals aren’t even aware of them.
2. Aliwagwag Falls
Another of the Philippines’ falls vying for the contentious and disputed king of waterfalls is Aliwagwag Falls in Cateel, Davao Oriental.
At nearly 1,000 feet, it’s big by any standards. As if that weren’t enough, it’s comprised of over 120 individual drops or falls that, when seen together, are truly magnificent.
Don’t worry about seeing them all; one is just as marvelous as the next. So, once you’ve seen a handful, find one that’s just perfect for you and take a dip or snap a few photos.
There’s a bridge across the road near the bottom that will take you directly to the falls.
From Cateel, the falls are an easy journey, though getting to Cateel in the first place will be the trickiest part of.
3. Tinuy-an Falls
Nicknamed the ‘Little Niagara Falls of the Philippines,’ Tinuy-an Falls in Bislig City, Surigao del Sur are among the widest in the country.
Though not as tall as many other Philippine falls, once you see the scale of them you won’t care.
They’re nearly 300 feet wide and 180 feet high. Due to the many drops, they look like a sheet of white water and make a rainbow nearly every morning from 9 to 11 as the sun’s rays penetrate the fall’s mist.
The falls are managed by a partnership between the indigenous people and the local government, so be sure to leave the area just as you found it.
4. Tamaraw Waterfalls
For those who live in the congested chaos of Manila, Tamaraw Waterfalls are a weekend escape destination to restore one’s sanity.
At just a tick over 400 feet tall, the falls are a majestic monument to nature’s beauty and power. They are just a few minutes from Puerto Galera, making them pretty convenient, too.
The falls are comprised of many smaller drops that meet in the pool at the bottom, which is a great place to swim.
But that convenience and splendor come at a cost: the falls can be maddeningly packed during peak times.
If you’re looking to avoid crowds altogether, try to visit during the week or in low-season.
5. Tinago Falls
Iligan City is famous for its waterfalls and among all the competition, Tinago Falls is one of the most scenic and often visited.
Located on the Agust River in the island of Mindanao in the southern Philippines, Tinago Falls consists of five individual falls — or tiers — and reaches skyward 240 feet into the surrounding jungle canopy, making them seem like an undiscovered relic from an age long past.
Tinago Falls is steeped in macabre local lore, but when you see the shimmering pool beckoning below the wispy falls, you won’t care a bit.
There’s a loop trail leading from the main trail that is suitable for all ages.
6. Alalum Falls
The hike to Alalum Falls near Sumilao in the country’s northwest will make you feel like you’re blazing an uncharted trail through the Amazon Rainforest or interior of Africa.
At about 150 feet, the falls are hidden amongst the green foliage of the surrounding forest and flow in a steady stream to the pool below.
There’s a manmade viewing area where visitors can get a good look at the falls and surrounding landscape. For those who want a closer look and don’t mind working up a good lather, there is a relatively new and easy set of steps that lead down to the fall’s base.
7. Maria Cristina Falls
Iligan City is known as The City of Majestic Falls for good reason. If you’ve been paying attention, it’s a name that should ring a bell, as it’s home to most of the Philippines falls.
Towering over 300 feet above the forest canopy and Agus River below, the falls are often referred to as Twin Falls, because a rock near the base divides the falling water into two distinct streams.
Located 20 minutes outside the city, the falls are a source of electricity for the region.
Due to strong currents and the nearby hydroelectric plant, swimming is off-limits. The falls are at their most magnificent when the operators allow the water to flow freely.
8. Mimbalot Falls
Iligan City and the surrounding area in Mindanao are like magnets to adventurers and eco-tourists looking to commune with nature and get off the beaten path.
Mimbalot Falls are just one of many falls in the area and are found inside the Iligan Paradise Resort.
The private resort offers tours of the falls as well as zip-lining and a regular swimming pool if that’s more your speed.
Hiking around the falls is okay, but the rocks can be slippery and a bit treacherous, so it’s not recommended for children or the elderly.
9. Kabigan Waterfalls
The town of Pagudpud is renowned for having one of the best snow-white beaches in the Philippines, but it’s not just a one-trick pony.
Sporting an amazing waterfall that’s nearly 100 feet tall, it is another natural wonder that shouldn’t be missed when you’re in the area.
The pool at the fall’s base is a relaxing oasis suitable for swimming, a picnic, or just a relaxing afternoon reading a book.
Combine the falls and beach to make a day you won’t likely forget.
10. Pagsanjan Falls
Another popular cascade is Pagsanjan Falls, near Cavitini in the Laguna Province
One of the region’s major attractions, the three-tiered falls can be reached by indigenous dugout canoe, or, if that sounds a bit extreme, it’s possible to hike in and out from Cavitini.
If you decide to go with the former option, take your time to ask for recommendations, as you’ll want an experienced guide who’ll be able to take you in and out safely.
The tallest section of the fall is nearly 400 feet. The falls, canyon, and the surrounding areas were made a national park in the ‘70s.
11. Kawasan Falls
Kawasan Falls in Badian, Cebu are a favorite among locals and are gaining traction as a must-see place for tourists as well.
Tucked away in a tropical forest, the falls are just a 30-minute hike from Badian. The walk is relatively easy and the reward at the end will be well worth the effort.
The falls are comprised of three separate and unique levels; the last of the three is accessible by bamboo rafts.
Once near the falls, the fit and fearless can climb the tricky trails to the other two sections.
12. Seven Falls
If you guessed that Seven Falls is actually seven falls in one, then you get extra points.
Located in Lake Sebu, Seven Falls are a magnet for those looking to make a quick excursion into nature without getting too far off the beaten path.
The entire area is chock full of fascinating history and native culture and the hike into the falls isn’t too difficult.
Not all the falls’ sections are reachable, due to impassable forest and rocks, but you’ll at least be able to see them all and the ones you can access will give you ample area to swim, relax and take it all in.
13. Asik-Asik Falls
Despite the effort required to get to Asik-Asik Falls, it’s become a relative hotspot in recent years and is often ranked among the most spectacular falls in the country.
Located in Alamada, North Cotabato, the powerful falls are famous for their frothy water cascading down the rock face that seems to protrude from nowhere from the surrounding forest.
At nearly 200 feet tall, and wider even still, the falls source is a subterranean river.
Getting to the falls takes a bone-jarring motorcycle ride and hefty hike, so it’s not for everybody, but if you go, it’ll be well worth it.
14. T’daan Kini Falls
Another of Lake Sebu’s hidden gems is the slightly out-of-the-way T’Daan Kini Falls.
Like most hidden gems, this one requires calories to be burned, so make sure you start off the day with a good breakfast and stretch.
Starting at Sitio Talibu, the trip to the falls will take about an hour and isn’t advised for young children or the elderly.
It’s best to go with a local guide, especially one who’s been recommended by someone you trust.
The hike in will take you through mesmerizingly beautiful terraced rice fields and across ancient bamboo bridges over clear, gurgling springs.
Be sure to check out the village before you leave the area; it’ll give you a glimpse into local culture and you may be able to try some tasty snacks and refreshments too.
15. Inambakan Falls
In South Cebu near the town of Ginatilan are the often overlooked Inambakan Falls.
In an area most commonly known for its marine activities like diving, swimming, and whale watching, not many tourists are aware of this gem right around the corner.
From a height of 100 feet, the aquamarine waters plunge down into a pool plenty deep enough for a good swim.
The falls are in a park, so there’s a nominal entry fee; once there, the falls are an easy 10-minute walk from the park entrance.