Niludhan Falls is a jaw-dropping waterfall in Bayawan City, appearing out of nowhere amidst kilometres of sugar cane fields. This towering waterfall is close to 40 metres tall, with 3 streams side-by-side and a huge pool to swim in. It’s a favourite amongst locals and adventurous tourists wanting to get away from nearby Dumaguete for the day, and its sheer size alone makes it the pride of Bayawan City.
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HOW TO GET TO NILUDHAN FALLS BAYAWAN
Niludhan 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. It’s possible to go through Tanjay, or along the west coast and through Bayawan, but Bais really will be the shortest route. Trust us, we’ve tried them all. Some older blogs will tell you the road is patchy and terrible, but it’s since been repaired and it’s a beautiful drive with not a pothole in sight. Miraculous, being the Philippines and all.
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 Niludhan Falls for around $8. It is possible to get another bus from the crossing going to Bayawan City, but they’re few and far between and you may end up waiting a while.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
The entrance fee to Niludhan Falls is only $0.20 per person, but if you want any food while you’re there we recommend bringing a little extra for snacks. There’s a carinderia (eatery) where you can get proper rice meals, as well as drinks and snacks. Rice toppings are $1 each plus $0.20 for one serving of rice.
OUR REVIEW OF NILUDHAN FALLS
Our Niludhan Falls experience actually started before we arrived at the entrance. Just before crossing the bridge, we stopped on the right side of the road in front of a few small houses, and trekked down to the river. We were literally standing on top of Niludhan Falls. Well, Carson was. Zowie’s sh*t scared of heights and played with a water buffalo instead. For safety’s sake, we can’t recommend this, but if you do decide to try it, it’s at your own risk. We dropped a Google pin to make it easier for you to find.
Once you round the bend and cross the bridge, the entrance to Niludhan Falls is immediately to the right. The hike from the parking lot to the base of the falls is no more than 10 minutes, and is a mix of gravel and cement steps. You’ll hardly break a sweat.
At the bottom of the steps, there’s a few picnic tables and a huge grassy area, so it’s the perfect spot for lunch with a view. The river runs alongside it, which is nice for a dip if you don’t fancy the intense water spray coming off the falls, the closer you are.
We weren’t exaggerating when we said Niludhan Falls is huge. Photos hardly do it justice, it’s positively massive when you see it in person. We’ve been twice, the first day was far more tame, the second day was following some rain and it was a force to be reckoned with. The pool area is equally as enormous and a great place to cool off.
Depending on the ferocity of the falls and the size of your… courage… you can swim up to the falls and climb onto the rocks. There’s a little nook in the rock wall where you can crouch and peep out behind a veil of water.
All in all, Niludhan Falls really is epic. It’s an awesome day trip from Dumaguete and definitely not something you should miss if you’ve got a spare day. If you’re short on time and looking to chase waterfalls a bit closer to the city, why not check out the Original Casaroro Falls and Tottyn Falls in the same trip.
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WHERE TO STAY NEAR NILUDHAN 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.