DAU FALLS: JUNGLE HIKE & WATERFALLS IN SAMBOAN, CEBU

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My visit to Dau Falls in Samboan was low-key one of the best adventures I had in South Cebu in the Philippines.

There are countless Cebu waterfalls in the Samboan region that rival one and other so the speak, as each waterfall location is uniquely amazing in its own way.

The most famous waterfall in Cebu (and perhaps in all of the Philippines) is Kawasan Falls which is visited by more than 1000 people on a single day… What most people don’t realise is that right around the corner from Kawasan is a series of other incredible and off-the-beaten-path waterfalls, like Dao Falls, which are equally just as amazing and far fewer tourists.

So what is so unique about Dao Waterfall compared to the rest? Well, to start with, it is recognised as the tallest set of falls in the Samboan region and secondly, the jungle trail trek to get to the main set of falls is an epic adventure in itself. Convinced?!

If you’re up for a day of waterfall hopping, you can make a day of it from Moalboal and combine Dau Waterfall with Aguinid Falls and Binalayan Hidden Falls. All of these falls can be found in the Samboan region just one-hour south of Moalboal.

So without further ado, here is my complete guide to Dau Falls in Cebu including how to get there, how much it costs and what to expect!

 

Have you got travel insurance for Philippines? I know that nobody likes to talk about this stuff but accidents can happen and having World Nomads Insurance can save you thousands of dollars if something goes wrong. 

 

WHERE IS DAU FALLS

Dau Waterfall is located in the Samboan Region in South Cebu, Philippines.

Samboan is 150km southwest of Cebu City and public buses run every hour on a daily basis from Cebu South Bus Terminal to Moalboal. The cost of the bus is around 150 pesos.

Dao Falls is best visited from Moalboal, which is 53km away and the drive takes around one hour and twenty minutes.

HOW TO GET TO DAO FALLS

The best way to reach Dau Waterfalls is to rent a scooter in Moalboal and make the drive south to Samboan. There are many scooter rental stores located in Moalboal where you can get your hands on some wheels for around 400 pesos per day.

Alternatively, you can rent a car for the time you plan to spend in Cebu and travel around the island at your own pace.

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dao falls, dao falls cebu, dao waterfall, dao falls samboan, samboan falls, cebu waterfalls, south cebuBamboo bridge at Dao Falls

DAU FALLS ENTRANCE FEE

The entrance fee to Dao Falls Samboan is 60 pesos which includes a guide and the parking fee is an additional 10 pesos.

The guide, in my opinion, was not really necessary as the trail to Dau Falls is clearly marked but the lady at the ticket counter insisted on it so I wasn’t going to argue the fact.

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TREKKING TO DAO FALLS

Trekking to Dau Falls from the parking lot takes around twenty to thirty minutes including stops for photos. It isn’t a difficult trek by any means though do note that your feet will get wet along this jungle trail. In most parts, it requires walking through knee-deep water and I recommend bringing a pair of slip-on waterproof shoes for these sections.

The first part of the trek to Dao Falls is a concrete staircase with around 200 steps that leads directly down into the valley and once you reach the bottom, this is where the real adventure begins!

An impressive bamboo suspension bridge surrounded by coconut palms stretches across the river and on the other side is the beginning of the jungle trail to Dau Waterfall.

The bamboo bridge seemed a bit sketchy when we crossed it though our guide lead the way so we trusted in his judgment. It wasn’t till later that I found out there is another trail to the right-hand side of the bridge where you can cross the river safely, so this is also an option.

It wasn’t long until we were completely immersed in a dense jungle as we followed the canyon trail upstream which seemed to grow narrower the further we advanced. It was one of the most tranquil trails I have ever hiked along.

Vines cover the canyon walls and blue Gatorade colored waters cascade seamlessly past as we navigated our way towards Dao Waterfall.

The adventurous hike to Dao Falls, in my opinion, is what makes this location so unique. There are many turquoise rock pools along the way that are well worth stopping at for a quick dip and this is where you’ll likely get your best photos.

Must Read → 3 Weeks Philippines Itinerary

dao falls, dao falls cebu, dao waterfall, dao falls samboan, samboan falls, cebu waterfalls, south cebuOn the way to Dao Waterfall Samboan

dao falls, dao falls cebu, dao waterfall, dao falls samboan, samboan falls, cebu waterfalls, south cebuThe jungle trail to Dao Falls

DAU FALLS – THE MAIN FALLS 

Once you’ve passed this blue rock pool as shown in the images above, the main set of falls will soon be in sight as you continue along the stone staircase on the edge of the canyon. There are bamboo handrails to use as an aid because it gets a little steeper through this last stretch of the Dau Falls trail.

There is another tier of cascading falls in this section which forms a natural slide as it cuts its way down the canyon. It’s definitely too dangerous to enter the water here but it’s an epic spot to marvel at.

When you reach the top of the staircase you’ll be graced with the epic sight of Dao Falls which towers 50-meters tall above the large catch basin. The pools at the base of the falls aren’t quite as blue as the ones on the way up but it is still a worthy spot for a swim to cool off after the hike.

After a short swim here, we made tracks back to the parking lot and we tipped our guide 50 pesos for his company on our Dau Falls adventure.

If you plan on visiting a lot of waterfalls in the Philippines, I recommend purchasing these three items:

Waterproof Phone Case

Waterproof Dry Bag

Slip-On Waterproof Shoes

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dau falls, dau falls samboan, dau waterfall, dau falls cebu, dao falls, dao falls cebu, dao waterfall, dao falls samboan, samboan falls, cebu waterfalls, south cebuStone staircase to Dau Falls Cebu

PIN LOCATION OF DAU FALLS

 

WHERE TO STAY IN MOALBOAL

Moalboal has hundreds of accommodation options to choose from, so I have narrowed it down to a few of the best places to stay in Moalboal to fit the needs of budget backpackers and luxury travelers. See the list of accommodations below that I personally recommend:

Luxury: Dolphin House Resort Moalboal

Dolphin House is the best luxury accommodation in Moalboal. A stone’s throw away from the ocean, this accommodation offers a swimming pool, restaurant and bar, free wifi and ocean views. There are double rooms, triple rooms, family rooms and bungalows available at Dolphin House Resort. Snorkeling, diving, activities and bike rental can also be organised at reception. Best place to stay for families, friends and couples.

Check prices on Agoda | Check prices on Booking.com

Mid Range: Pescadores Seaview Suites

One of the most recommended places to stay in Moalboal. For less than $40 a night, Pescadores Suites offers double rooms, twin rooms and a garden villa. There is an outdoor swimming pool and sun terrace, restaurant, mini-market, table tennis, billiards, board games, karaoke room and wellness spa. Great place to stay for friends and couples.

Check prices on Agoda | Check prices on Booking.com

Budget: Chief Mau Hostel

The best budget accommodation in Moalboal! Centrally located just minutes from the beach, Chief Mau hostel offers dorm rooms and private rooms for as little as $8. There owner Trish is super lovely and goes out of her way to make all of her guests feel welcome and comfortable. There is a shared lounge with hammocks, billiards table and an in-house restaurant and bar serving up the best western food in Moalboal. There is free wifi throughout the property. Perfect for solo travelers and friends.

Check prices on Agoda | Check prices on Booking.com

FOR ALL OTHER PLACES TO STAY IN MOALBOAL, SEARCH ON AGODA OR SEARCH ON BOOKING.COM

 

BEST TOURS IN CEBU

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AIRBNB CEBU

Another option for accommodation in Cebu is to stay at an Airbnb, which generally has some great deals in Cebu.

Get your $40 Airbnb discount here!

 

MORE PHILIPPINES TRAVEL GUIDES

Philippines Travel Guide: 3 Weeks Philippines Itinerary

Cebu Travel Guide: 15 Things To Do In Cebu

Bohol Travel Guide: 31 Epic Things To Do In Bohol

Siargao Travel Guide: 15 Things To Do In Siargao

El Nido Travel Guide: El Nido Island Hopping

Coron Travel Guide: Coron Island Hopping

Boracay Travel Guide: 15 Things To Do In Boracay

Siquijor Travel Guide: 3 Day Siquijor Itinerary

Bantayan Island Guide: 15 Things To Do In Bantayan

Malapascua Island Guide: 11 Things To Do In Malapascua

Camiguin Travel Guide: 13 Best Camiguin Tourist Spots

Romblon Travel Guide: 12 Epic Things To Do In Romblon

Tablas Travel Guide: 10 Things To Do In Tablas

Carabao Travel Guide: 7 Best Things To Do In Carabao

Dumaguete City Guide: Best Dumaguete Tourist Spots

Sumilon Island Guide: Sumilon Island Itinerary

 

MY CAMERA GEAR

• DSLR Mirrorless Camera: Sony A7ii 

• Drone Camera: DJI Mavic Pro 2

• GoPro: GoPro Hero 8 Black

• Everyday Lens: Sony F2.8 24/70mm

• Camera Bag: Lowepro Protactic 31L

• Selfie Stick: Sandmarc Metal Edition 1.2m 

• Tripod: Joby Flexible GorillaPod

• GoPro Dome: Underwater GoPro Dome

• Power Bank: Anker Powerbank

• External Hardrive: WD Elements 4TB

 

WHAT TO PACK FOR PHILIPPINES?

• Waterproof Phone Case: Universal Waterproof Case

• Reusable Water Bottle: Hydro Flask Water Bottle

• Rain Jacket: North Face Rain Jacket

• Water Shoes: Slip-on Water Shoes

• Day Bag: Nomatic 20L Day Bag

• Power Adapter: Universal Power Adapter

• Packing Cubes: 4 Set Packing Cubes

• Microfibre Towel: Quick Dry Travel Towel

• Travel Insurance: World Nomads Travel Insurance

• Money Belt: Hidden Money Belt

 

I hope you enjoyed reading this article and if you have any questions at all about Dau Falls, please leave me a comment below and I will get back to you as soon as I can.

Happy Adventuring! 😃

 

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