If you’re looking for an adventure in Cebu but don’t want the crowds of Kawasan or the mandatory guides of Aguinid, then Inambakan is the place for you. Even getting to this epic waterfall is an adventure as you will be riding up and down steep hills and through rural villages on your motorbike before you even start walking! After completing the short walking trail you’ll be rewarded with several stunning waterfalls, from the huge bright blue falls at the bottom level to the smaller emerald jungle pool at the very top.
No matter what you’re looking for - whether it’s a picturesque location or somewhere to swim - Inambakan will have what you’re looking for.
What to expect at Inambakan Falls
Inambakan Falls is spread across five levels, each with different things to see. There’s a short trail connecting each one and it has the most rural feel of all the Cebu waterfalls, partly due to the fact that guides are not mandatory here so you can explore independently.
You will need to bring shoes as there are stairs and roots to climb up, but the entire walk is only about 1km, so it isn’t a full-on hike. There are a number of spots where you need to walk in the water - often on rocks - so it’s easier if you have shoes with you that you don’t mind getting wet.
You may even get some company like we did - this little cute dog didn’t leave us for the whole trip to the top and back which took us over three hours!
Level 1 - the epic falls
The first level you come to is by far the most grand. This is the biggest waterfall at Inambakan and it creates a bright blue pool at the bottom. Flanking the falls are sandstone cliffs and trees to make this spot feel pretty wild. If you climb the first set of steps just by the falls you will get a fantastic view of the waterfall from above.
Despite its stunning looks, the bottom level is not the best for swimming. Even after a really long dry spell, the waterfall was so powerful that it created strong winds for anyone getting close! Cat tried to swim up to the bottom and found herself being blown away (unlike anywhere else in the Philippines).
Level one is definitely one to admire, but you’ll find better spots for swimming as you start exploring the upper levels.
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Level 2 - a little side trail
The second level sits just above the main falls and is easily missed as you’ll need to take a slightly overgrown track that leads left from the main trail. You could take a dip here but it’s not as good as the levels above in our opinion, though it’s certainly a beautiful and intimate spot.
You can sit on the rocks and take in the views in peace, listening to the distant roar of the waterfall below. Be careful around this area as the rocks are surprisingly slippery in sections.
Level 3 & 4 - the palm lined pools
Level three and four are good spots for swimming as the water is still and relatively deep. It is a beautiful palm fringed area with enough space for everyone if it gets crowded down below (although given we visited in the middle of day and saw no one over three hours you shouldn’t have that problem).
We decided to cross over the river and carry on to the top, but a lot people who visit choose level three as the place where they spend the most time.
The top - jungle paradise
The track to the top of Inambakan is a little rougher with rocks to clamber over and not the best of paths (but still not difficult). You’ll have to walk in the water for quite a bit here but it isn’t slippery.
The top also seemed to be the favourite habitat of mosquitoes who loved nothing more than to bite if you didn’t dive straight into the water! Who said getting to paradise was easy though?!
As soon as you sat in the water the mossies seemed to leave you alone so it’s definitely a place you can linger.
Despite these travails, the top level of Inambakan is beautiful. The emerald pool here is surrounded by jungle and it feels like you’ve found a secret swimming spot in paradise. The water is cool but not freezing so it was perfect in the intense midday heat.
We loved chilling here and taking it all in, occasionally going for a swim, but mainly just sitting and relaxing in the water.
Best time to visit Inambakan
The great news about Inambakan is that you can visit at any time of the day and not have to worry about big crowds. We arrived at 1pm (what we feared would be peak time) and didn’t see anyone the entire time we were there. We wouldn’t advise going on a weekend or public holiday though as we’re sure it would be popular then.
We checked the visitors book where everyone has to sign in and it looked like Inambakan only receives around 15 visitors a day on average (we visited in December). Spread that over the whole day and all the levels and it’s unsurprising that we didn’t see anyone on our visit!
It’s a relief to know there is somewhere you can visit which doesn’t involve starting at sunrise…..
Getting to Inambakan Falls
The hardest part of visiting Inambakan is simply getting there. The road here is incredibly steep and at one point slippery - an unnerving combination for a motorbike. Riding a motorbike is the only way to get there, however we wouldn’t recommend venturing to this waterfall unless you are fairly confident.
It’s the only time I’ve ever thought we were going to fall off the bike as it started running backwards down the steep hill! Any moto taxis will happily take you there if you prefer to be driven.
Getting to Inambakan Falls from Moalboal: It is 52km from Moalboal and will take about 1 hr 30 to get to.
Getting to Inambakan Falls from Kawasan Falls: It will take just over 50 minutes to get from Kawasan to Inambakan.
Getting to Inambakan Falls from Aguinid Falls: The journey will be just over 20 minutes.
Getting to Inambakan Falls from Cebu City: We wouldn’t recommend making this journey which should take around four hours but could end up taking much longer due to the awful city traffic.
Entry Price for Inambakan Falls
The entry fee for Inambakan is 50 pesos per person ($1 USD). You’ll also have to pay the standard parking fee of 10 pesos (20 cents USD) for the motorbike. You will be offered the opportunity to take a guide with you but it isn’t necessary unless you would like the company. It is one of the few waterfalls around Cebu that hasn’t yet made guides mandatory.
Where to stay in Cebu
D’ Gecko - Moalboal
D Gecko has everything you need for a trip to Moalboal, comfy rooms, space and a location right in the middle of the restaurants and by the beach. You can literally hire the cheapest scooters in town right next door to the hotel! It is a little on the pricey side for what it is, but the majority of the time we found it to be quiet and a good place to sleep.
However, be aware that this isn’t a good place to stay on Fridays when the beach party is on (although we aren’t sure there is anywhere that doesn’t get the full brunt on the music). The music is loud and echoes through the corridors until 3am, making you feel like you’re in the middle of the party!
Fantasy Lodge - Samboan
Fantasy Lodge is a quiet guesthouse with epic ocean views and comfortable rooms. The beds here are perfect for resting up after a long day exploring and there’s a restaurant on site so you won’t have to go far for food.
The only downside is that the rooms are right next to the restaurant, meaning you’ll hear the conversations from any of the early risers!
We wanted to stay a few nights and could only get a booking for one night so our best advice is don’t leave it until the last minute! Another thing to note is that they don’t have enough scooters for all the rooms if everyone wants to rent one so if you think you will need one then reserve in advance. If not they will be able to get you a motorbike with gears which we took but didn’t enjoy riding so much.
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Are you planning a trip to Cebu? Is Inambakan on your list? Let us know in the comments below!