Just about everyone who’s visited Dumaguete City has heard of Casaroro Falls, but on the same Banica River you’ll find the hidden gem known as Tottyn Falls. It’s a favourite amongst locals and those looking for a little privacy away from the tourists that flock to Casaroro Falls, since it’s so close to the city and not a long hike.
BEST TIME TO VISIT THE PHILIPPINES
GETTING TO TOTTYN FALLS
Tottyn Falls is found along the Banica River in Valencia, just 20 minutes from Dumaguete City, along the same road as Casaroro Falls but not quite as far. The easiest way to get there is via scooter, which you can rent for $8 USD a day. If you don’t want to drive a scooter, you can rent a car for $40 a day or hail a tricycle from town, but make sure to barter for a reasonable price since it’s a “special ride” to the falls. Tottyn Falls is on Google Maps, but you’re better off using our pin below which will take you to the car park where you’ll begin your hike.
You may have read our guide to the Original Casaroro Falls (if you haven’t, here’s your chance), so the entrance to Tottyn Falls is the same as the Original Casaroro Falls. You start the hike in the same place, but as you descend the mountain, instead of going right at the fork, you go left.
It’s a really steep hike but the path down the mountain has been cleared and steps have been made using rice sacks filled with dirt. It’s about 20-30 minutes down until you reach the river and from there you follow the path left. A helpful local has painted arrows on rocks to guide you to the falls, but as long as you head downriver you’ll find it. You’ll have to cross the river on bamboo bridges a few times, but it’s an easy and beautiful hike.
After a short 20 minute walk down river, you’ll come out on top of Tottyn Falls, so after one last bamboo bridge and a couple ladders, you’ll be at the base of the falls. What Tottyn lacks in height, she makes up for in a huge deep pool to swim in, tyres to swing on and the rock wall to jump off. Tottyn Falls is seriously a playground and we could’ve spent all day there just hanging out.
Tottyn Falls is an awesome little waterfall for adventure seekers and anyone who appreciates local gems. While you’re there, you should also check out the Original Casaroro Falls, another underrated waterfall, just upriver about 20 minutes. If you’ve got even more time to explore, continue your drive up the road and swing by the popular Casaroro Falls and tick three falls off your list in one day!
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WHERE TO STAY NEAR TOTTYN 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.