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 Dau 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!
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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.
Dau 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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Bamboo bridge at Dao Falls
DAU FALLS ENTRANCE FEE
The entrance fee to Dau 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 Dau 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
On the way to Dao Waterfall Samboan
The jungle trail to Dau 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 Dau 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:
Stone 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, luxury travelers and everyone in between.
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.
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.
Budget: Chief Mau Hostel
The best budget accommodation in Moalboal! Centrally located just minutes from the beach and one hours drive to Osmena Peak, 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.
FOR ALL OTHER PLACES TO STAY IN MOALBOAL, SEARCH ON AGODA OR SEARCH ON BOOKING.COM
BEST TOURS IN CEBU
Another option for accommodation on Cebu is to stay at an Airbnb, which generally has some great deals.
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LONELY PLANET – PHILIPPINES
One of the best books to take on your trip is the Lonely Planet Philippines Travel Guide!
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MORE PHILIPPINES TRAVEL GUIDES
- Philippines Guide: 3 Weeks Philippines Itinerary
- Cebu: 15 Things To Do In Cebu
- Bohol: 31 Epic Things To Do In Bohol
- Siargao: 15 Things To Do In Siargao
- El Nido: El Nido Island Hopping
- Coron: Coron Island Hopping
- Boracay: 15 Things To Do In Boracay
- Siquijor: 3 Day Siquijor Itinerary
- Bantayan: 15 Things To Do In Bantayan
- Malapascua: 11 Things To Do In Malapascua
- Camiguin: 13 Best Camiguin Tourist Spots
- Romblon: 12 Epic Things To Do In Romblon
- Tablas: 10 Things To Do In Tablas
- Carabao: 7 Best Things To Do In Carabao
- Dumaguete: Best Dumaguete Tourist Spots
- Sumilon Island: Sumilon Island Itinerary
WHAT TO PACK FOR DAU FALLS
Everyday Backpack: One of the best backpacks on the market! The Nomatic 20L Backpack is perfect for on the go adventures. Featuring multiple storage spaces for valuables, drink bottles, chargers, notebooks and more. This sleek backpack was designed for you.
Universal Power Adapter: Don’t leave home without one! I highly recommend getting this Universal Power Adapter so that you are able to charge all of your electronics when you’re on the road. Compatible in Asia, UK, Europe, Africa, USA, SA and Australia.
Hidden Money Belt: I never go on a trip without one! The best thing is they are always out of sight, hidden beneath your clothing. With RFID blocking, they are perfectly designed to keep your credit cards, cash and other valuables safe when you’re out adventuring!
Waterproof Phone Case: A waterproof phone case is a must-have item! This universal case will keep your phone safe from water damage, sand and scratches during your adventures. Suitable for all smartphone models.
Portable Charger: One of the best portable chargers on the market! The Anker Power Bank keeps your phone and accessories charged on those longer adventures. Featuring 2 USB charging ports, rechargeable battery, works with iPhone, iPad, Samsung, Oppo and Android.
Microfibre Travel Towel: To pack a towel or not to pack a towel? A standard bathroom towel can take up a lot of space in your travel bag. Get your hands on a quick-dry Microfibre Travel Towel which is perfect for the beach, backpacking, camping and general traveling.
Rain Jacket: A light-weight rain jacket is an absolute must when traveling! North Face waterproof rain jackets come in both men and women sizes, featuring a breathable mesh lining and adjustable hood that can be tucked away inside the collar.
Kindle: The best alternative for books! Kindle e-readers are perfect for long haul flights, reading on the beach or a quiet evening away from the bars. Kindle’s are waterproof with rechargeable batteries and adjustable light settings to suit indoor/outdoor conditions.
Packing Cubes: My favorite item in my backpack! Perfect for organizing your shirts, pants, jackets, socks, underwear and more. This 5 Set Packing Cubes makes packing easier and more efficient, adding extra space in your bag for your next trip.
Activated Charcoal Tablets: Want to avoid food poisoning? Most of us have been a victim of travelers diarrhea from eating street food. Organic Activated Charcoal Tablets are fast-acting and will rid your system of the bad bacteria that causes stomach upset.
MY CAMERA GEAR
Everyday Camera: The most affordable mirrorless camera on the market! I personally use the Sony A7ii Mirrorless Camera on all of my adventures. It’s compact, lightweight and super easy to use for all levels of photography. A 28-70mm Sony lens is also included.
Drone Camera: Take your photography to new heights! The DJI Mavic Pro 2 Drone is at the top of the game when it comes to high-quality images and video, easy to control functions and traveler-friendly capabilities. I guarantee you won’t regret purchasing one.
GoPro Hero 8: One of the most popular cameras on the planet! I love using the GoPro Hero 8 for all of my underwater shots and fast-paced adventures. The GoPro Hero 8 captures the best moments with its wide range of functions that are very simple to use!
Camera Bag: My favorite camera bag I have ever owned! The Lowepro Protactic 450 AW II Camera Bag features a waterproof rain cover, drink bottle holder, padded compartments for cameras, drones, lenses, accessories and it also has a laptop pocket.
Selfie Stick: Everyone loves a good selfie, right!? The Sandmarc Metal Edition Selfie Stick is sleek, stylish and can extend to 1.2m. I find it much easier to take photos and videos with the GoPro when it is mounted to the Sandmarc Selfie Stick!
Camera Tripod: The Joby GorillaPod is suitable for all cameras. This tripod is easy to use and perfect for setting up a time-lapse video or even using it as a selfie stick. The legs are flexible so you can wrap it around a tree or a pole to get creative with your shot.
GoPro Dome: Have you ever wanted to capture those under/over water shots with the GoPro? This epic underwater GoPro dome housing is the best camera accessory to have to create the perfect 50/50 shot. I use mine every time I am in the ocean!
Memory Card: The best thing about SanDisk Extreme Pro is that it delivers maximum speed for images and videos. Having 64GB of storage means that you can store hundreds of files on this SD card for 2-3 days and not have to worry about running out of space.
External Hard Drive: As a photographer, my images and video files take up a lot of space on my MacBook so I use the WD Elements External Hard Drive to store everything. With 4TB worth of storage space, this is more than enough for 1 year worth of content.
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I’ve got a wide range of digital products for sale and I’m sure you’ll find something that will come in handy during your travels!
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FINAL THOUGHTS OF DAU FALLS
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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