I love waterfalls! My cravings for visiting them are, oftentimes, stronger than how I feel about beaches.

This is quite surprising since I grew up in the Philippines, and there are A LOT of gorgeous beaches to see here!

The biggest, tallest, and strongest cascades in the Philippines may not come close to the list of the World’s top waterfalls. Even just in Southeast Asia, only a few in the Philippines, if any, would make the list. They may be dwarves among midgets in this context, but sheer size isn’t the only thing that makes waterfalls so special. Bigger is not always better.

Sometimes, the best waterfalls are the ones where you can actually enjoy a rejuvenating natural hydrotherapy session to your hear’s content… the perfect waterfalls with a cascade gentle enough to swim under, at the right comfy cool, not-freeze-your-ass-off temperature.

Also, many waterfalls in the Philippines are closely tied to the culture of the locals living nearby. They are shrouded with interesting folklore and considered sacred by mountain tribes. So, visiting waterfalls is also a fun way of learning about the people and culture in the area.

Ready to go chasing waterfalls? Start a trip to these beautiful waterfalls in the Philippines.

1. Limunsudan Falls

Overlooking Limunsudan Falls from the forest viewpoint in Sitio Limunsudan, Brgy. Rogongon, Iligan City, Lanao del Norte, Philippines

Overlooking Limunsudan Falls from the forest viewpoint

Why go — Limunsudan Falls takes the top spot by sheer size and WOW factor. The title of the Philippines’ tallest may be contested by another waterfall (that’s also on this list), but there’s no denying that Limunsudan, at first glance, is hugely more impressive. For the sake of superlatives, Limunsudan Falls is the tallest 2-tiered waterfall in the Philippines with a total height of 265 meters. It is also the most remote and hardest to reach on this list. It takes at least a 3–4 hour one-way drive on severely awful dirt roads from Cagayan de Oro, the most “convenient” jump-off-point.

How to go — Make sure to click the “Show more” buttons below to see the travel tips.

Limunsudan Falls is located in Brgy. Limunsudan, Iligan City, Lanao del Norte, Philippines. It can be reached via Cagayan de Oro & Iligan City. The nearest airport is Laguindingan-Cagayan de Oro Airport.

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Iligan travel tips

2. Tinago Falls

Close view of the main cascade of Tinago Falls in Iligan City, Lanao del Norte, Philippines

Close view of the main cascade of Tinago Falls

Why go — Tinago Falls, also found in Iligan City, could easily take the top spot if “swimmability” is the deciding factor. It’s impressive because of how utterly gorgeous it is. This curtain-type waterfall  appears as multiple cascades falling gently side-by-side on a deep ravine, hidden in a lush forest. The best part about Tinago Falls is its waterfall lagoon, which is very swimmable and the most alluring on this list. It’s definitely one of the most beautiful waterfalls I’ve seen, anywhere, and well-recommended for travelers looking for enchantingly beautiful places to visit in the Philippines. It’s also quite easy to reach from Iligan City Proper.

How to go.

Tinago Falls is located on the boundary of Barangay Purakan, Linamon, Lanao del Norte and Barangay Ditucalan, Iligan City, Philippines. It can be reached via Iligan City & Cagayan de Oro City. The nearest airport is Laguindingan-Cagayan de Oro Airport.

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Iligan travel tips

3. Asik-Asik Falls

Sprawling view of Asik-asik Falls in Upper Dado, Alamada, North Cotabato, Philippines

Sprawling view of Asik-asik Falls

Why go — Asik-Asik Falls in Alamada, North Cotabato is the latest to be internet-discovered on this list. When I saw pictures of it online, I knew I had to see it for myself. It is closely ranked with #1 & #2 on this list, and could easily take the top spot for its obscure beauty. There’s something magical about how Asik-Asik’s whitewater looks like it appears from nowhere, over the verdant sprawl of a hidden ravine.

Its location is quite remote and takes some effort to reach. Proceed with caution if you do visit, especially if you’re crossing conflict-laden areas in Mindanao.

How to go.

Asik-Asik Falls is located in Brgy. Upper Dado, Alamada, North Cotabato, Philippines. It can be reached via Midsayap, Cotabato City, Iligan City & Davao City. The nearest airport is Cotabato Airport.

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North Cotabato travel tips

4. Maria Cristina Falls

Maria Cristina Falls full view from the NPC building view deck in Iligan City, Lanao del Norte, Philippines

Maria Cristina Falls full view from the NPC building view deck in Iligan City, Lanao del Norte, Philippines.

Why go — Maria Cristina Falls is the most famous and easiest to reach… well-recommended for the casual sightseer. It’s also found in Iligan City, along with almost half of the waterfalls on this list. Maria Cristina’s twin cascade only appears in its full glory when the dam gates along the Agus River are opened, at around 11 AM on weekends.

How to go.

Maria Cristina Falls is located on the boundaries of Barangays Maria Cristina, Ditucalan, and Buru-un in Iligan City, Philippines. It can be reached via Iligan City & Cagayan de Oro City. The nearest airport is Laguindingan-Cagayan de Oro Airport.

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Iligan travel tips

5. Hikong Bente Falls a.k.a Lake Sebu’s Second Falls

Hikong Bente Waterfall viewed from the trek jump-off point in Lake Sebu, South Cotabato, Philippines

Hikong Bente Waterfall viewed from the trek jump-off point in Lake Sebu, South Cotabato, Philippines.

Why go — #4 is only listed ahead of Hikong Bente Falls due to the former’s sheer size and power. Don’t let that detract you from visiting Lake Sebu’s famous Second Falls. The single cascade is still quite sizable and has something unique that no other waterfall on this list can match — its insanely amazing view from The Seven Falls Zipline.

How to go.

Hikong Bente Falls is located in Barangay Lake Seloton, Lake Sebu, South Cotabato. It can be reached through the cities of Koronadal, General Santos & Davao. The nearest airports are General Santos-Tambler Airport & Davao International Airport.

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General Santos travel tips

6. Aliwagwag Falls

Lower cascades of Aliwagwag Falls in Cateel, Davao Oriental, Philippines

Lower cascades of Aliwagwag Falls in Cateel, Davao Oriental, Philippines.

Why go — At a purported 338-meter height, Aliwagwag Falls in Cateel, Davao Oriental is considered as the tallest waterfalls in the Philippines. That’s not the most impressive thing about it, though. What truly makes this waterfall special is its staggering number of tiers, over 130 smaller cascades. I loved how easy you can have one corner of Aliwagwag all to yourself. There’s too many to choose from and most of them are perfectly swimmable! A nice view of the lower cascades can be seen from a highway bridge built near the base, but you can’t see an entire view of the waterfall because of how sharply the river bends through the lush forest. Getting there from Cateel town proper is quite easy, but it takes a long journey by land to get to Cateel from either Davao City or Butuan.

How to go.

Aliwagwag Falls is located in Barangay Aliwagwag, Cateel, Davao Oriental, Philippines. It can be reached via Davao & Butuan. The nearest airports are Davao International Airport & Butuan Airport.

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Davao travel tips

7. Tinuy-an Falls

Tinuy-an Falls mirrored on the reflection pond, in Bislig City, Surigao del Sur, Philippines

Tinuy-an Falls mirrored on the reflection pond, in Bislig City, Surigao del Sur, Philippines.

Why go — Tinuy-an Falls in Bislig City, Surigao del Sur is known as the little “Niagara Falls of the Philippines.” It is the largest curtain-type waterfall in the country. It may not be as spectacular as others on this list, but it’s still worth a visit if ever you find yourself in this part of Mindanao, perhaps visiting nearby Aliwagwag Falls or the Enchanted River in Hinatuan.

How to go.

Tinuy-an Falls is located in Brgy. Burboanan, Bislig City, Surigao del Sur, Philippines. It can be reached via Davao & Butuan. The nearest airports are Davao International Airport & Butuan Airport.

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Surigao travel tips

You might have noticed that all waterfalls mentioned have one thing in common — they are all located in Mindanao Island, the biggest island in the southern third of the Philippines. Mindanao is definitely THE destination for waterfalls in the country.

It’s not the only place you should keep an eye on, though. There are still a lot of beautiful cascades scattered throughout the islands of Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.

Got places in mind that should be on this list? Share your photos and videos and tag #detourista on Facebook and Instagram.

Don’t stop here

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