Southern Cebu is absolutely overflowing (get it?) with turquoise waterfalls, and the tiny town of Samboan alone has half a dozen to its name. The latest waterfall attraction in Samboan is Balaygsawa Falls, a favourite amongst locals but new on the tourist map. A very short hike from the roadside, Balaygsawa Falls is set to become as popular as its neighbouring Binalayan Falls.
HOW TO GET TO BALAYGSAWA FALLS
Balaygsawa Falls can be easily found on Google Maps, however the pin is a little bit off. You need to keep driving inland, up into the mountains, and you’ll see a new restroom being built for visitors. This is where you park your car or bike and start the hike. At the time of writing, there is no entrance fee for Balaygsawa Falls.
WHAT TO BRING TO BALAYGSAWA FALLS
Prepare for your trip to Balaygsawa Falls with our must have travel essentials.
Waterproof backpack & phone case: Earth Pak 35L or 55L Heavy Duty Backpack, IPX8 Waterproof Phone Case Included (click for price)
Quick dry microfiber travel towel: Wise Owl Outfitters Camping Travel Towel (click for price)
Action camera: GoPro HERO9 Black (click for price)
GoPro dome: TELESIN Dome Port Lens for GoPro Hero 9 (click for price)
Drone: DJI Mavic 2 Pro (click for price)
HIKING TO BALAYGSAWA FALLS
The hike is only around 5-10 minutes in total, depending on pace and how many photos you stop to take. You’ll hike uphill for a short while until you reach a little rest stop where you can take in the view.
From there, it’s all downhill to Balaygsawa Falls. It’s concreted the entire way, but it is very steep. Hiking down isn’t so much a problem, but climbing back up to go home required a few stops along the way.
OUR EXPERIENCE AT BALAYGSAWA FALLS
The steps practically spit you out right at the waterfall. We could immediately see how blue the water is, and were pleasantly surprised by the whole experience. We didn’t really know what to expect, so we were more than happy with the outcome. It was bigger, bluer and more natural than we thought! What more can you ask for in a waterfall?
The large pool at the bottom is plenty deep enough for diving and jumping off the rock wall, and the water was clean and refreshing. We were lucky to have the whole place to ourselves, but that was likely due to the pandemic. We’d seen photos later on showing the place absolutely packed with locals, so to avoid overcrowding we recommend visiting on a weekday.
Balaygsawa Falls is a series of cascades, tumbling down from the top level. There’s a particularly deep hole above the main pool that’s a great little spot to hang out. Zowie wasn’t able to stand in it, so it’s safe to say it’s over 5ft 5, we’re just not sure exactly how deep.
The rocks are extremely grippy, so its easy to climb all over them to get from one level to the next. Or, you can take a seat and relax amongst the gentle water flow like our guide Natskie.
Balaygsawa Falls continues up and up, to the very top level and one last little waterfall. The water is blue the entire way, with more than enough spots to swim in.
Balaygsawa actually means “home of the snake” in Bisaya, but thankfully we didn’t meet a single one. We had a lot of fun at Balaygsawa Falls and recommend it to anyone looking for an easy adventure in South Cebu.
CONTINUE THE ADVENTURE AT BINALAYAN FALLS
Right down the road from Balaygsawa Falls is the epic Binalayan Falls. We started our day at Binalayan Falls and ended it at Balaygsawa Falls, which is a great little day trip. You can read our post about Binalayan Falls here to get more of an idea about this cliff diving paradise.
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WHERE TO STAY IN SOUTH CEBU
Southern Cebu is where all the adventure is at, from waterfalls and whale sharks to island hopping and diving. When visiting anywhere in the south, the best place to stay is Moalboal. It has the most accommodation options, and is a fun little town with dozens of cafes, restaurants and bars. Check out our top four picks below for where to stay in Moalboal.
BUDGET/HOSTEL: CHIEF MAU
Right on the main strip of Panagsama Road you’ll find Chief Mau, a fun and social hostel that dubs itself the chillest place in town. Clean, modern and affordable, boasting a restaurant, bar and billiards, Chief Mau is a favourite amongst backpackers
MIDSCALE: ADAM’S VIEW HOTEL
Simple but with all the amenities and facilities you need – including a massive pool – Adam’s View Hotel is our top pick for those looking for a little more luxury than a backpackers. Located in the main town, Adam’s View Hotel is right next to Gaisano Mall, but still close enough to the action of Panagsama Beach to remain convenient.
LUXURY: TURTLE BAY DIVE RESORT
If you have deep pockets and an appreciation for the finer things in life, Turtle Bay Dive Resort is the place for you. Tucked away on a private cove in the quieter part of town, this luxury resort is perfect for couples looking for a little exclusivity.
AIRBNB: LRS APARTMENT
We can personally attest to how great LRS Apartment is, having spent two weeks there. Aside from a beautiful private pool, the apartment itself is modern, well furnished and spacious enough for a couple. (And a cat!) It’s just a 5 minute drive from the hustle and bustle of the restaurants and bars along Panagsama Road, but far enough away to offer a little peace and quiet. We can’t recommend LRS Moalboal enough!
MORE CEBU TRAVEL GUIDES
Bojo River Cruise Aloguinsan
Kawasan Falls Canyoneering
Montpellier Falls Alegria
Cancalanog Falls Alegria
Binalayan Falls Samboan
Balaygsawa Falls Samboan
Sumilon Island Oslob
Oslob Whale Shark Experience
Pescador Island Moalboal
Sardine Run Moalboal
Turtle Bay Moalboal