Bin Bin Falls is one of the craziest waterfalls we’ve ever been to in the Philippines. This hidden gem in Bayawan is so untouched you won’t find it on Google Maps, visited by only the most dedicated of adventurers. The reason it’s stayed so secret for so long? Its big brother Niludhan Falls sits just 700 metres down the road, stealing all the glory. Bin Bin Falls might not be as tall as Niludhan, but its rough and rugged landscape draws us to it even more. We’ve always preferred secret spots over big tourist destinations.
HOW TO GET TO BIN BIN FALLS
Bin Bin Falls is part of Bayawan City, but sits closer to the Mabinay border than it does Bayawan proper. If you’re travelling from Dumaguete, it’s about a 2 hour drive if you go through Bais City. The best way to get anywhere in the Philippines is with your own motorbike, which you can rent for $8 USD a day or if you’re not comfortable driving a bike, you can rent a car for $40. If you’d rather public transport, you can take a Ceres Bus from Dumaguete City to Mabinay for $3 and get off at the Paniabonan Crossing, then take a habal habal (motorcycle taxi) the rest of the way to the road leading to Bin Bin Falls for around $8.
Bin Bin Falls is so secret, the first local we asked pointed us in the direction of Niludhan Falls. If this happens, just keep asking around. If you need a landmark, head past Niludhan around 500 metres and go to the Dawis Community Primary Hospital then take the side road directly across from it. You’ll run out of paved road real quick, so this is where you park your car/bike and start your hike. Keep in mind this waterfall is completely off the grid, so you might have a little trouble finding it yourself. If you’re looking for a guide, we met the wonderful Ronjoe outside the hospital who we paid $5 to lead the way. You can contact him on 0955 335 6716.
We highly recommend asking Ronjoe or another local to show you the way, but if you insist on figuring it out yourself, pay close attention here. We’ll do our best to guide you with photos, and you should also screenshot these since you won’t have any cell service. Last chance, are you sure you don’t want a guide?
Park your car at the end of the paved road, then start hiking along the dirt road. Motorbikes can make it a little further if you’re a confident driver, but if it’s been raining you should park and walk. It’s only about 5 minutes on this dirt road.
The locals have these sugar cane fields figured out! You might be able to hitch a ride on a bike or a buffalo.
After five minutes, take a small path left into the sugar cane field. It’s not exactly an obvious path, but you’ll know it’s the correct path if you see this little house about 20 metres in.
Continue walking along the dirt path to the sugar cane fields. The path eventually turns to nothing, so just walk through the fields to the tree line. The river is on the other side of those trees, so once you see a break in the trees go down.
Once you cut through the tree line, walk up the river a little way until you find a good spot to cross. The hardest part about this hike was the slippery rocks.
After crossing the river, you’ll end up on this grassy path. Follow the river upstream along this path. You’ll hear the waterfall getting closer.
Somewhere along the river we met a local kid who made our hike all the more fun with his backflips. After 30 minutes or so of hiking, Bin Bin Falls will appear as you round the final bend. There’s a bunch of big boulders to climb over before you get to the pool, but that’s all part of the adventure.
OUR REVIEW OF BIN BIN FALLS
Our first impression of Bin Bin Falls was that it’s a spitting image of Niludhan, only smaller. However, the closer we got, the more we realised it has so much more to offer. Bin Bin Falls is full of adventure. Aside from the obvious curtain waterfall, there’s another impressive sloped waterfall to the left, tucked away behind the trees. There’s a cave on the left side you can swim out to, as well as one on the cliffs along the right side that show a unique perspective of both waterfalls.
If you climb through the jungle on the left side, you’ll end up on a sweet jump spot that you can dive and flip off with no fear of touching the bottom. Hidden away in the trees behind the jump spot is another cave you can crawl through if you don’t mind tight spaces.
Everything about Bin Bin Falls screams adventure. From the hike, to the falls, to the caves. The best part is, it’s so low key there’s barely another soul there compared to Niludhan just down the road. We went on a weekend so there were a handful of locals, but if you were to go on a weekday there would likely be no one else around. This secret spot is right up there as one of our favourite falls in Negros Oriental.
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WHERE TO STAY NEAR BIN BIN FALLS
Most people who visit Negros Oriental are told to stay in Dumaguete, but what they really mean by that is stay around Dumaguete. True, Dumaguete City has plenty of tourist inns and budget hotels, but it’s the surrounding towns of Dauin and Zamboanguita that offer the best spots to stay. There’s not a whole lot to do in the city itself, so when you stay in the nearby municipalities there’s plenty of nature to explore whilst still being nice and close to Dumaguete City. Check out our top picks for accommodation near Dumaguete City.
LUXURY: Atmosphere Resorts & Spa, Dauin
Atmosphere Resorts & Spa in Dauin is the resort to stay at if you’ve got a big budget and fancy the finer things in life. Atmosphere has hosted its fair share of local celebrities and deep pocketed divers looking for the best beachfront luxury in Dauin.
MIDSCALE: Mike’s Dauin Dive Resort, Dauin
If you want to stay by the ocean without breaking the bank, Mike’s Dauin Dive Resort in Dauin is a comfortable midscale accommodation option perfect for diving enthusiasts. If you’ve never dived before, you can get your certification at Mike’s, and divers of all skill sets can enjoy the abundance of macro diving opportunities in and around Dauin.
BUDGET: Bongo Bongo Divers, Dauin
Bongo Bongo Divers is one of the most popular hostels in Dauin for backpackers looking for cheap accommodation in a convenient location. The rooms are simple, without any glitz and glam, but the vibe is fun and welcoming. They have a variety of room styles to choose from, ranging from couples rooms to AC or fan only dorms.
AIRBNB: Villa Amani, Zamboanguita
Villa Amani in Zamboanguita is the perfect holiday home for small families or groups of friends looking for privacy that a traditional resort or hotel can’t offer. The main house sleeps 4 with additional space for 2 in the guest house, or you can book the guest house separately if it’s just the 2 of you and you’re on a budget. The property has a swimming pool, an unbeatable view of Apo Island and kayaks to use whenever you want.