The Philippines is a hidden gem for tourists who want to explore nature. The 7,640 islands of the archipelago boast some of the most scenic natural wonders in the world.
From its diversely rich culture, beautiful beaches, majestic mountains, and friendly, lovable people, you’ll never run out of things to visit and explore!
But, out of all the wonders of the Philippines, one attraction that would always capture the heart of tourists is the country’s magnificent waterfalls. Think about pristine, clear water in breathtaking locations!
Interested? We thought so. Here are the most serene and breathtaking waterfalls you should definitely visit.
11 Best Waterfalls in the Philippines
1. Maria Cristina Falls
Starting off our list is Maria Cristina Falls. This is a majestic waterfall in the Northern Mindanao region of the country and the landmark of a city called Iligan.
Maria Cristina is one of the tallest waterfalls in the Philippines. With a height of over 321 feet (a whopping 97 meters), it always brings awe to anyone who visits it.
The waterfall is famous to the locals because of the folk tales attributed to it. They believe that it was named after two maidens, Maria and Cristina, who died for love under the waterfall.
Maria Cristina is also called the “twin falls” because of a rock separating the water flow into two. It’s been the primary energy source for their city since the 1950s.
2. Tinuy-an Falls
Dubbed “Crown Jewel” by the locals, Tinuy-an Falls is one of Surigao Del Sur’s proud tourist destinations. It’s a multi-layered waterfall structure that cascades into three levels.
The captivating water curtain stands tall at 180 feet and spans over 311 feet. Every level of Tinuy-an has its own natural pools you can use to dip and relax.
In addition, the impressive width of Tinuy-an is the widest among all the waterfalls in the country—earning the title “Niagara Falls” of the Philippines.
Like most remarkable bodies of water in the country, Tinuy-an is surrounded by folktales and myths. In fact, the name of the falls is a reference to its most popular origin story.
3. Kawasan Falls
Moving up the archipelago, let’s head over to Kawasan Falls, located in the Visayas islands. Although not as tall nor wide as the others, their natural beauty will leave you in awe.
Kawasan is a primary tourist attraction consisting of three separate tiers of waterfalls. It’s most famous for its gorgeous turquoise water, pooling at the foot of the first tier.
Aside from the scenic beauty of the waterfall, there are other fun activities you can try in Kawasan. The locals offer a canyoneering experience for the adventurous, where you explore the nooks and crannies of the three levels of the falls.
If you’re not up for the thrills of canyoneering, you can just enjoy swimming in the pristine waters along with the whale sharks. Yes, you can swim with whale sharks on a Kawasan Falls tour!
4. Tumalog Falls
Located in the most famous city in the Visayas, Tumalog Falls is the second most popular waterfall in Cebu. It’s known for its beautiful water curtain drizzling from a hundred-meter drop.
Like most waterfalls in this list, Tumalog is enveloped by lush forests and vegetation. At the base of the waterfall is a shallow, clear pool you can relax and dip in.
If you visit these falls, the journey will be as good as the destination. The trip to Tumalog will be full of picturesque, natural sceneries that anyone can appreciate!
5. Tinago Falls
“Tinago” is a Filipino word that means “one that is hidden.” So, if you’re a fan of trekking, then this waterfall would give you exactly that—and it’ll be worth it!
This massive 240 feet waterfall is deeply hidden inside the jungles of Mindanao. Aside from its size, Tinago also boasts a serene, almost mystical beauty.
The pristine water flows wide and curtain-like into a deep basin you can bathe in. Its waters have always been a sanctuary for those who want a break from the noise of city life.
If you’re in for the rush and adrenaline, you can experience the thrill of climbing and diving off the basin’s towering rock walls. How’s that for adventure?
6. Enchanted Kaparkan Falls
Kaparkan Falls is a newly discovered tourist attraction in a secluded area in the province of Abra. The locals consider it the most beautiful and photogenic natural wonder of the Philippines.
What makes Kaparkan special is its unique structure. The waterfall is composed of limestone terraces where crystal-clear water cascades and flows from the mountain.
Every layer of the terrace acts like small mini pools you can swim in. Surrounded by tall trees and rich vegetation, it’s like being transported inside the world of a fantasy book.
The length of the terrace is approximately 500 meters, and its width is around 60 meters wide. The locals also call it Mulawin Falls.
The mere sight of Kaparkan is enough to melt hearts. There are no words to encapsulate the extraordinary appearance of this nature’s wonder!
7. Aliwagwag Falls
Considered the highest waterfall in the Philippines, Aliwagwag is a must-visit if you ever find yourself in Davao Oriental. Tourists and locals alike label it the most beautiful waterfall in Mindanao.
Like Abra’s Kaparkan, Aliwagwag is a cascading waterfall with hundreds of terraces. This towering structure is almost double the size of Kaparkan, with a total height of 1,110 feet!
The Davaoeño people call it the “Stairway to Heaven” because of its sheer size. And indeed, standing in the presence of this majestic waterfall would evoke the thought of heaven on Earth.
Even local folklore about the origin of Aliwagwag brings forth the idea of divinity. According to the stories of the Mandaya tribe, the waterfall is a gift given to them by their gods.
8. Cambugahay Falls
Cambugahay Falls is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the central region of Visayas, on an island called Siquijor. This little gem of a waterfall is famous for its mesmerizing blue water.
Once you’re there, you might notice that the water of Cambugahay is warm. The temperature is due to the water source, which is a natural spring flowing down the mountainside.
There are three levels to Cambugahay covering a total length of one mile. Each layer has its natural lagoon where tourists can swim and relax.
In addition to the pools, you can also find a Tarzan swing at the lower tier. The swing directly falls into the deep turquoise water, so tourists usually line up for it.
Finally, you and your friends can rent a bamboo raft to explore the waterfall. After all, who wouldn’t want a unique paradise experience of floating in the blue waters?
9. The Merloquet Falls
If we’re talking about the scenic, the Merloquet Falls of Zamboanga City will capture your heart!
It’s easily the most Instagrammable waterfall on our list.
Because of its hidden location, the waterfall remains pristine and untouched. From a distance, the Merloquet appears like a white curtain sheet pinned against the forest backdrop.
Move closer to the waterfall, and it’ll greet you with its dramatic flowing cascades. The gorgeous rock formations with clear flowing water are like a movie scene!
The best thing about Merloquet is that you can sit and relax under the waterfall. Enjoying the feeling of falling water massaging your back is just pure bliss.
The Merloquet has two tiers you can climb and explore. Because of its beauty, it’s been rising in popularity in recent years.
10. Lulugayan Falls
Lulugayan bears the title “mini-Niagara Falls” in the Philippines. You can find it in a province of Eastern Visayas called Samar.
As you may have guessed, this waterfall is famous for its insane span. The total width of Lulugayan is over 164 feet—that’s like four buses lined up together!
This magnificent feature spawned many legends and stories about its origin. According to popular lore, Lulugayan is once home to a fairy who controls the intensity of the water flow.
This waterfall has always been a popular spot for family bonding. However, as social media bolstered its popularity, it’s become a tourist destination for everyone.
11. Panigan Waterfall and Underground River
If you’re up for a trekking adventure, we recommend this hidden natural treasure in Sultan Kudarat. It’s home to a crystal-clear waterfall and an underground river you can explore.
The Panigan Waterfall and Underground River have been around for a long time. Although, because of its incredibly secluded location, only a few dare to venture into it.
The clear, blue water comes from the orifice of a cave. It graciously flows downwards through steep rock formations, through several tiers until it converges into one river.
If you ever find yourself near the area, it’d be a mistake not to try and visit. It’s a hidden gem that only a few have ever discovered!
What Have We Learned?
That concludes our tour in Asia’s pearl of the Orient, home to countless wonders of nature. Those are some of the best waterfalls in the Philippines, from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.
Not only are the waterfalls some of the most beautiful places to visit here but there are also plenty of amazing resorts and local surfing spots that should be seen to be truly believed.
Did you enjoy the tour? Go and visit!
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