Chasing Waterfalls Part 2: Cambais Falls
We are back in Cebu this time staying in Moalboal. What is there to do in Moalboal? Plenty! There’s drinking, diving, dining, snorkeling, relaxing on beautiful beaches, hiking, mountain biking and of course waterfall chasing! Moalboal has it all! After checking out the Kawasan Falls (Read the full story on that here!) we decided to explore another set of waterfalls - the Cambais Falls, a bit less popular but just as stunning as its famous cousin. Located near Kawasan Falls, Cambais Falls are a bit harder to get to - we rented a scooter so we managed to get there on our own but to be quite honest we are not sure whether or not you can hire a tricycle or other transport. From Moalboal you take the road leading to Kawasan Falls but you continue south for another 2 km before turning onto a smaller, rockier road that weaves through the jungle for quite some time with stunning views around every turn. The dirt road is over 4 km and if you are not an experienced driver with scooters or motorbikes we would NOT suggest you driving on your own - the gravel makes the rocky road pretty slippery and it’s definitely not suitable for a newbie. After that rough patch the road is back to normal..nice and smooth asphalt.
There are not many (if any signs) about the waterfall… We actually passed the “entrance” and had to turn around. There were a few scooters parked near a small sign and a sweet lady, selling sweets and nuts. From the parking lot (which is free so do not pay anything if they ask you for money) we climbed up the hill via a muddy, rocky pathway. We visited the Philippines in August which is during the rainy season so the weather wasn't on our side but it didn't stop us from enjoying ourselves and the beautiful country we were in. Since there weren’t any signs we weren't sure if we were on the right track but we continued walking down the muddy, little pathway ready to get lost if it came down to it. We walked through what seemed to be smaller farms and little huts and houses near the trail. After 15 minutes we arrived at the “Tourist information” hut where we paid the entrance fee of 30 pesos each (a little over 50 cents USD) and a few meters up was the first basin of the waterfall.
A lot less crowded than Kawasan Falls but still popular with locals as there were maybe 20 other people there. Kids were passing around a ball in the water, jumping off the huge rock situated right in the middle of the pool and picnicking on the side of the water pool. The pool itself was maybe 3 meters deep at the deepest end but that was deep enough for everyone jumping off the tall rock. To the left of it was another small waterfall with a cave right underneath it. We were able to swim and sit under the waterfall which was pretty awesome. To the right of the jumping rock was another cave and a little pathway leading up to the second tier - climbing up was pretty easy despite the rapids flushing down. It was pretty rocky so wear flip flops or water shoes if you have them.
The second basin was smaller and much calmer - nice enough to swim in but nothing spectacular. To the left there was a small bamboo step ladder leading up to a small, unstable bamboo bridge which then led us to the actual pool - the water was nice and deep so we went for a quick swim. Again, there are a few rocks on the side that you can jump off and another waterfall to sit near but nothing too extreme up here. At that point it started raining heavily so we had to go back to the first tier and ensure our stuff was safe and dry.
Visiting the Philippines during rainy season has advantages and disadvantages. Since it is slow season you won’t be fighting the big crowds, prices are lower and finding accommodation is easier since everywhere is pretty much empty. However, the weather can be a big issue if rain really bothers you or if you just want to lay on a beach and work on your golden brown tan all day long. It can rain every day, sometimes on and off throughout the day but for us this wasn't too much of an issue.
Of course, we would prefer a nice, sunny day rather than hiking in the mud but sometimes you just have to make the best of what has been offered to you. That being said, playing in the rain, enjoying the waterfalls and the scenery has been one of the highlights of our trip so far. We hope everyone has an opportunity to visit because it is such a fun way to enjoy time in nature.