Upon deciding on a short stopover in Oslob during our tour of Cebu, we took to the internet looking for things to do in the area and came upon Tumalog Falls.
Tumalog Falls is a waterfall situated back from the main road between Oslob Town Centre and the Whale Shark watching location.
We loved visiting Dau Waterfall back in Moalboal, and while we knew this one would be slightly busier due to it’s close proximity to other popular tourist attractions in the area.
We expected the waterfall itself to be much the same. A jaw-dropping cliff face with freshwater pouring down into a crystal clear pool – that’s not actually what we got though…
Tumalog Falls was only found by locals in 2012, and as we came closer towards the location of the waterfall I can easily see why.
While there’s certainly a steep incline to the area, there are no signs of any water up until you reach the waterfall which is situated some 3km from the roadside.
How To Get To Tumalog Falls
Tumalog Falls is located around a 15-minute drive from Oslob Town Centre, and around an 8-minute drive from the Whale Shark viewing location.
There’s a sign on the main highway that clearly demonstrates the turn to make to begin your steep incline to the waterfall location.
We arrived at Tumalog Falls at around 8.30am on a Saturday on a habal-habal which we picked up from Oslob Town Centre for 150 pesos – the drivers hang out opposite the 7/11.
Sadly, the habal-habal couldn’t take us up to the waterfall location itself and only dropped us off by the sign at the highway.
Upon our arrival we were greeted by motorbike drivers who were willing to take us to the waterfall itself for 100 pesos per person.
I’ve witnessed so many horror stories first hard in S.E. Asia that we’ve put off riding scooters until absolutely necessary.
As for today, well for the morning at least. I was sticking to that promise. So, with that in mind, we set off on our 2.5km uphill hike to Tumalog Falls.
If you are confident in riding a scooter when travelling in S.E. Asia then you can hire one from Oslob Town Centre or by the Whale Shark watching area for 200 pesos a day.
From there you’ll be able to add Tumalog Falls straight into Google Maps – pick up a super affordable sim card so you can use real-time navigation.
Alternatively, you may be able to book on a visit to Tumalog Falls alongside your Whale Shark Watching experience if you’ve booked with one of the tour operators in the area.
At the time of writing, I have been unable to find a tour operator online that operates a trip to Tumalog Falls either on its own or as part of a multiple activity adventure in Oslob.
There is no cost to enter Tumalog Falls.
You are, however, required to sign in at a book manned by a person from the government.
Guide To Visiting Tumalog Falls
Our 2.5km hike ended when we got to ‘the landing point’ for the waterfall. From here the waterfall is a sharp descent of around 500m.
However, this is where the drivers for cars and tour buses have to wait, and where you’ll be required to park your scooter if you came on one.
Here you’ll find a couple of food stalls, sari-sari stores, we bought two bottles of water that cost 20 pesos each.
From the landing point, you’ll be able to take the ride on a back of the scooter down the hill for 30 pesos per person.
Alternatively, you can walk, while it’s only 500m or so keep in mind it’s a very sharp descent which can be heavy on the knees.
Upon arriving at the bottom of the hill you’ll find the small check-in point (as shown in the image above) and a comfort room which is free to use but very poorly maintained with zero hooks and no lights.
Once you make your way through the check-in point you’ll likely be greeted by locals who are more than willing to be your personal photographer for a small fee.
Sadly, the waterfall wasn’t quite what we expected.
Well, the waterfall was, but the water pool at the bottom wasn’t. It was unclear and more of a grey colour.
In fact, we were surprised to see that of the 50 or so tourists that were there during our visit less than 5 ventures into the pool to swim.
Others simply took photos from various spots around the waterfall and the surrounding pool – as did we.
Helen has a phobia of not being able to see the bottom of the water and to be honest, it just wasn’t as appealing to swim in compared to the other waterfalls we’ve visited in Cebu – despite how necessary it might have felt after our 2.5km hike to get there.
Speaking of the hike to get there… at the 2km mark, I decided that it was time to at least ride on the back of a motorbike to save my legs for the rest of our adventuring.
I was even more convinced upon our steep descent down the second area to the waterfall.
There was simply no way I was walking back up that!
So, for 30 pesos per person, Helen and I (along with every other visitor to the waterfall during our visit) took a ride on the back of the motorbike to be dropped off at ‘the landing point’.
Of course, from this point, Helen and I needed to get down from the landing point back to the main road.
So, we then arranged with one of the other motorbike riders who are situated at the landing point to take us back down to the main road for 50 pesos per person.
However, this meant the two of us on the back of one scooter. Not exactly the introduction into scooter riding in S.E. Asia you want.
However, the driver (and his friends) we’re all very aware of our fear and were very helpful.
It all almost made me wish we’d have considered taking a ride on the back of a motorbike on the uphill journey earlier.
Where To Eat At Tumalog Falls
No food or drink is permitted at Tumalog Falls.
However, up the hill at the main waterfall station, you’ll find a number of a couple of food stalls, sari-sari stores which are perfect for drinks and snacks.
For something more filling I’d recommend either visiting one of the restaurants in Oslob Town Centre or by the Whale Shark watching dock.