Tumalog Falls: one of the Philippines' most Instagrammable places

Tumalog Falls is the second most popular waterfall in Cebu and is usually added onto a day trip whilst seeing the whale sharks at Oslob. This epic waterfall is one to see for its stunning scenery and setting, rather than adventure or a swim.

If you’re nearby it is well worth checking out, it has a different feel to all the other falls we visited in Cebu, it’s a truly beautiful spot and popular on Instagram.


Tumalog Falls

Tumalog Falls is characterised by a huge, rugged cliff where several waterfalls cascade into one large but shallow pool. It is too shallow to swim but you can definitely sit and cool off or have a wade. Even after a spell of very dry weather the falls provide a pretty powerful shower too.

It’s a beautiful, lush setting that felt like it should have been deep in the jungle but was actually incredibly easy to get to. As with so many waterfalls in the Philippines the water colour has to be seen to be believed.

There isn’t much to Tumalog Falls, just the cliff backing onto the pool. A lot of people rock up, have a very quick look and then head back after realising it isn’t deep enough for a swim. We enjoyed taking in the view and slowing down for a while.

If you’ve never had a fish pedicure this is a spot where you can try one for free! The fish will gently nibble at your feet and legs as you wander around the pool, if you stop and sit by the edge lots more will come in for a feast!

Read next: Cambugahay Falls - Paradise on Siquijor and How to island hop in El Nido


Best time to visit Tumalog Falls

Tumalog Falls is firmly on the tour group circuit, so if you’re determined to go here without the crowds, we’d recommend going early or late in the day. We found that after 4.30pm most people chose to leave, meaning we had the last half hour at the falls to ourselves.

Technically the falls close at 5pm and at around 4.45pm someone will come and start to try and hurry you out. The reality is that they go home at 5pm and there are no gates, so if you wanted to stay later no one would stop you.

If you go very early in the morning it is likely there won’t be anyone around collecting the entry fee so you can just pay when you go out again.

Read next: Siquijor Island - why we love this hidden gem


Getting to Tumalog Falls

Getting to Tumalog may look like you’re going deep into the jungle, but it is one of the easiest falls in Cebu to get to as the roads all the way are in good condition. If you have a motorbike, you can get within a 5-10 minute walk of the entrance, but you’ll be driving up and down some of the steepest hills in Cebu.

Alternatively if you don’t have your own motorbike you can hop on a moto driver’s bike at the turn off from the main road and let them do the work for 50 pesos (just over $1 USD). If you choose to go this way, you’ll be able to take in the hill top views on the way up.

Tricycles cannot make the final part of this journey so they will drop you at the turn off by the main road and you will have to transfer to the back of a motorbike for the final few kilometres. You can walk it but it’s a steep 6km round trip.

The short walk from where you drop the motorbike off is extremely steep. It’s ok going down but more than a little puff inducing on the way back up. It’s really short though so suitable for anyone who can manage a 5-10 minute steep walk.

The nearest town to the falls is Oslob, which is 10km away.

Otherwise you can go from the following towns:

  • Santander: 14km, 26 minutes

  • Samboan: 24km, 35 minutes

  • Moalboal: 82km, 2 hours

Read next: How to visit paradise beaches in El Nido without a tour and Kayangan Lake - what to know before you visit


Getting to Tumalog Falls from Kawasan Falls

Almost everyone who visits Cebu will visit Kawasan Falls and it is possible to make a long day trip combining both waterfalls. They are around one and a half hours apart, approx 64 km.

The road is in great condition, but the final stretch from the main road to Tumalog is incredibly steep. If you’re happy to spend that long on a bike (and drive up a really steep road) then it is doable to drive yourself to both.

It is possible to do most of the journey by bus too but it will require a few changes.

Getting to Tumalog Falls by bus

If you don’t fancy hopping on a scooter, you can get to Tumalog Falls by public transport. There are buses that run regularly around the main road that acts like a ring road around Cebu. If you are coming from Moalboal, you’ll have to change at Bato (this is the end of the line for some reason) but you should be able to get a bus onwards pretty quickly.

Once you get to the turn off, you’ll see motorbike drivers. You can either pay them 50 pesos ($1 USD) to take you to the top and pick you up after. Otherwise you can do the steep and long hike to the falls from the bottom. The walk would be around 3km each way and trust us it’s steep!

 

Tumalog Falls Entrance Fee

Entry to Tumalog Falls is as cheap as it gets at 20 pesos per person (50c USD). You may have to pay a motorbike parking fee as well, but it is only 10 pesos per bike.


Where to stay near Tumalog Falls

We stayed just a few kilometres from the falls (by the whale shark watching area, though we didn’t go whale shark watching for ethical reasons) but we can’t recommend the place. It was insanely noisy and not in a handy location for picking up a motorbike or even public transport.

If we did it again we would stay in Oslob for ease. It’s the only town nearby where you can rent a motorbike from.

An alternative is doing a longer motorbike ride from Moalboal, Santander or Fantasy Lodge in Samboan (near the southern waterfalls)

Melronz Inn - Oslob.

Currently one of the best reviewed guest house in Oslob is Melronz Inn. The rooms look decent if basic and the views look great.

Booking.com

Fantasy Lodge - Samboan

Fantasy Lodge is further away from Tumalog Falls than Melronz, but it is closer to several of the other waterfalls in the area.

Set off the main road, Fantasy Lodge is built around a large pool with a stunning view to the ocean. The rooms are pretty good with a comfy bed and a decent bathroom. The rooms are spotlessly clean and you’ll have everything you need.

The only drawback is that all the rooms are next to the dining area, which means you’ll hear conversations early in the morning! There’s a decent restaurant onsite which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Booking.com
Booking.com

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Are you planning a trip to Cebu? What are your favourite waterfalls on this beautiful island? Let us know in the comments below!


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