Cantalina Falls in Amlan is a small but fun little waterfall in the dense jungle above the centre of Amlan. We actually ended up at Cantalina Falls by accident, thinking we were going to the more popular Pasalan Falls. It might not be the waterfall we intended, but it was still an awesome day trip with a lot of adventure to be found. Read on to find out everything about Cantalina Falls and our very honest review of this waterfall.
HOW TO GET TO CANTALINA FALLS AMLAN
The best way to get around in Negros Oriental is via scooter or motorbike, which you can rent for $8 USD a day but if you’re not comfortable driving a scooter, you can rent a car for $40. Alternatively, you can get a public Ceres bus going to Amlan and get off at Amlan proper, then take a habal habal (motorcycle taxi) to Brgy. Silab, just tell the driver you want to go to Cantalina Falls.
Just follow the directions all the way to Cantalina Falls, where you’ll park your car or motorbike before trekking for less than 10 minutes down to the river below. When you first get down the ridge, you’ll actually end up on top of Naparil Falls. At first, we thought this was the only waterfall, but we heard voices up ahead and figured there must be something worth checking out further along. Naparil Falls is just a bonus waterfall on your way to Cantalina Falls!
Keep walking upstream another 5 minutes and you’ll reach Cantalina Falls. There’s a couple swimming holes along the way which are worth a stop and a swim.
The hike to Cantalina Falls was totally natural, and if it was just the river and swimming holes we would’ve been happy with that! But the main attraction was just up around the corner.
OUR EXPERIENCE AT CANTALINA FALLS AMLAN
This is where we burst your bubble a little. First impression? Why the heck did we go on a Sunday. We know better. If there’s one day of the week when you’re guaranteed crowds of local tourists, it’s Sunday. This waterfall just isn’t big enough to share with more than 10 people, and when we arrived there were around 20, so we actually went back to the swimming holes until the crowds cleared up.
The other thing that really upset us was how much trash had been left behind. Glass bottles of alcohol, chip packets, plastic bottles of soft drink. Zowie even tried to swim a little downstream and was told to stay out of the water because there was a lot of broken glass there. It was honestly so upsetting, so we beg of you, if you visit Cantalina Falls (or any waterfall, anywhere) please take your trash home with you.
Now that we’ve gotten that off our chests again, we can tell you how beautiful the waterfall is! The crowds eventually went home so we had the whole place to ourselves to explore and swim. The bottom level has the biggest pool and is even jumpable, although it’s not very high. The water then flows into another swimming hole, but apparently that’s the one with glass so be careful.
We climbed up the rocks and onto the next level where we (Zowie) had way too much fun living her best Tarzan and Jane life, swinging from vines.
It’s such a beautiful jungle with major Garden of Eden vibes, with big trees and blue pools of water. The main waterfall is nice, but the upper levels really add to the whole experience.
It goes even further upstream to another big swimming hole. This area above the waterfall is definitely the most fun, with so much more to explore. There were also far fewer signs of past visitors so that improved Zowie’s mood, along with the swings.
To get back down, you can either climb the rocks the same way you got up, or jump into the pool below. Make sure you aim for the middle since the rock wall comes out on the right side.
After swimming, swinging and jumping around for a while, it was time to head back home. Despite our negative first impression, Cantalina Falls turned out to be pretty fun if you can look past the litter. We’d love to see the local government do something about the trash without taking away from the natural charm of the area, but until then we have to rely on visitors to do the right thing. Unfortunately, easier said than done for some people.
On your way in and out of Cantalina Falls, you’ll pass by Naparil Falls so be sure to read our review of that waterfall here. Keep scrolling to find the best places to stay around the area and don’t forget to save this article to your Pinterest so you can find it easily later on!
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WHERE TO STAY NEAR CANTALINA FALLS AMLAN
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.