Talostos Falls is one of the best waterfalls we almost didn’t go to! We had already been to the Sta Catalina monkey sanctuary and Mantabios Falls and were pretty wiped out by the time we got to the road leading to Talostos Falls. We even flipped a coin, which fell between car seats so we took that as a sign to head home. And then Gaga knocked on our window and convinced us to go. We didn’t know Gaga at all, he was just a happy guy who lived nearby and said we’d be missing out if we didn’t go. He was spot on.
BEST TIME TO VISIT THE PHILIPPINES
HOW TO GET TO TALOSTOS FALLS
Sta Catalina is around 1 hour and 40 minutes from Dumaguete city if you have your own mode of transport. 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.
You can also take a Ceres bus from Dumaguete city to Sta Catalina town proper for $2.60, which will take 2 and a half hours, or a public V-hire (van) for $2 which stops less frequently and will only take 2 hours. From the town, you will then need to take a habal habal (motorbike taxi) to Talostos Falls.
Along the Pamplona cutover road, flags and signage mark the side road leading to Talostos Falls. The road is mostly dirt and rocks, and is being paved further down so you’ll only get so far before you have to park and walk the rest of the way. If you’re reading this well past September 2020, the road might even be finished when you go! But you should prepare for the worst, nonetheless. This intersection is where we sat and debated going the rest of the way, before Gaga met us.
We parked our car and started the hike, with Gaga leading the way on his dirt bike. Not far from where we parked our car was the entrance booth where we registered, however we actually forgot to bring any change so the kind lady let us in without paying. For this reason, we can’t remember how much it was, but it’ll be less than $1.
The hike was around 45 minutes through sugarcane fields and small wooden homes. It was dirt the entire way, with a few magnificent buri palm trees standing tall, and the most local makeshift basketball court we’ve ever seen. It was a steep hike, but beautiful.
OUR EXPERIENCE AT TALOSTOS FALLS
We eventually arrived at Talostos Falls after a steep descent. Our first impression was that it was pretty freaking huge. We hadn’t seen photos of it beforehand, so we really had no idea what to expect. The waterfall cascades down a huge rock face into an enormous pool.
Unfortunately, we visited the day after some pretty heavy rain so the water was brown but still very swimmable. There was even a bamboo raft that the boys used to get close to the waterfall and climb up on the rocks.
While the boys were having fun jumping off the waterfall, Zowie found a great spot to tie up her hammock and relax. This would be an awesome overnight spot for camping with a bunch of friends, provided it doesn’t rain. There’s some bamboo seating areas and plenty of trees for hammocking along the river.
After a few hours at the falls, we took turns on the back of Gaga’s bike going up to the car. It’s a difficult road and you’ll need a proper dirt bike, but it’ll save you the steep hike back. Before heading back to Dumaguete, we took in the view from Gaga’s home and drank a few fresh coconuts. The perfect end to an adventure that almost didn’t happen.
PIN IT FOR LATER
WHERE TO STAY NEAR TALOSTOS 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. You can read our full review of Atmosphere Resorts here.
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.