If you like jumping into, swimming in and basking under waterfalls, then visiting Cambugahay Falls on the island of Siquijor, the Philippines is probably right up your street. The Cambugahay Falls are one of the best waterfalls in the Philippines, and for that reason, one of the most touristy on an otherwise quiet island. It is still worth a visit though if (like me) you like chasing waterfalls.
Siquijor is a beautiful island situated in the Central Visayas region of the Philippines. During the Spanish colonial period, the Spaniards referred to the island as Isla del Fuego (“island of fire”) and the island is still associated with mysticism. It is off the beaten path for most Philippines itineraries as people often opt for the beaches of Boracay or Palawan over this small island.
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Cambugahay Falls is a three-tiered waterfall and swimming hole, blessed with crystal clear turquoise waters that have come to be associated with the Philippines. There are rope swings, which you can pay for and dangle from like a monkey and swing into the water. The locals who do this are very daring and do all sorts of somersaults and jumps. At the top waterfall there is a raft which you can pay to sit on for photos – I even saw a fully-dressed girl come to the waterfall. The boys swam out and got the raft for her and brought it over so she could sit on it and be ferried across towards the waterfall for her Instagram photo, like a princess.
How to get to Cambugahay Falls
If you are staying by Paliton Beach, as we were, then it is only a 40 minute drive to Cambugahay Falls. You head south along the coast on the main road and when you get to the town of Lazi there is a left turn up towards the waterfall, but there is a sign.
I would suggest that you rent scooters for around 350 pesos per day to explore this waterfall and the island. Remember to barter the price of your scooter and take photos of it whilst you are at the rental place.
Tips for visiting the waterfall
To get the place to yourself, as my friends did, then head up there for when they open.
The stairs down are very steep so take your time and wear good shoes. They would be very difficult for people with limited mobility on the way back up.
Opening Hours: 7am – 5:30pm
Entrance Fee: 10 pesos
You can pay 50 pesos for unlimited use of the swings!
There are small vendors there that sell snacks and drinks – I got some grilled bananas with sugar on!
The best time to visit the Philippines is during the dry season from the end of October until May. The best time to visit the island of Siquijor with the least likely chance of rain is March to May.
Please take any rubbish with you and do not litter.
There are three different tiers to the waterfall so take your time!