So last weekend, a couple of friends & I decided to go on a road trip! We initially planned for a weekend adventure and I had a really grand plan that would have us going to all the different waterfalls in the south, but we decided to shorten it and make it a one day trip. We went to Mantayupan Falls in Barili and followed it up with a short trip to the beach in Moalboal before heading home.
Mantayupan Falls is one of the main tourist attractions of Barili and is around a two hour trip from Cebu City. You can either bring your own vehicle or ride a bus to Barili.
If you’re bringing a private car, you can opt to take the SRP road to Talisay all the way up to Carcar City. You can stop by to try their famous lechon and chicharon. Once you get to the rotunda in Carcar, you’ll want to go right as that leads to Barili. It’s about a 30 to 45 minute drive from Carcar and the roads are smooth and paved. Once you arrive at the town of Barili, take note of a 7-11 convenience store on the right side and a public school on the left side. Just go a few meters straight. There will be a sign on the left side that says Mantayupan Falls that will lead you to make a left turn. Continue to go straight, and you should pass by a market place. There’s another sign on the right side that will lead you to make right turn. A few more kilometers straight and you will arrive at the entrance soon enough.
If you’re riding public transport, you can take a Bus (Ceres Liner is recommended) from the South Bus Terminal in Cebu City. Take the Bato via Barili route. I believe their buses depart every hour. They should stop over at Shamrock and from there you can take a tricycle or habal-habal that will bring you to Mantayupan Falls.
My friend brought his Fortuner, so we all just opted to chip in for the gas expense. This is the parking lot. Parking fee is about PHP 10.00 to PHP 20.00 depending on the type of vehicle. I don’t remember us paying the parking fee though. There’s space for about 10 cars and a number of motorcycles.
The entrance fee itself is PHP 20.00 per person. There’s a restaurant, sari-sari store, comfort room and changing room all near the entrance. What first greeted us when we got there were the sounds of karaoke music, which I didn’t like, but it was a good thing that this was a ways off from the actual falls. Still, you can tell that this place has been developed, which is both good and bad.
After you walk straight from the entrance, you will see some steps leading down and up. Mantayupan Falls has two levels, and what’s amazing is that the local government has developed Mantayupan into a hydro-electric source to power up the town while still maintaining the natural look and feel. Of course, there will be some man made steps and bridges, but it’s more on for convenience and access to the falls.
If you go to the steps leading up, it will take you to the constructed bridge and access point to the first level of the falls. It’s a short bridge, but you are treated with a view to the second level of the falls as well as some nice rock formations.
This is the second level of the falls. There’s not much water flowing here, probably because it’s summer time. If you went down from the steps in the picture earlier, this is where you would end up. I didn’t find anyone swimming in the second level.
Continuing all the way up the bridge, after a few meters, you should start to hear the rush and roar of the falls.
This is the first level of Mantayupan Falls. It’s about 100 meters and is the tallest waterfall in Cebu! The sight is gorgeous and you can really feel the power of this magnificent waterfall. We got there around 11:30 AM, and what spoiled the view was because there were so many people around. You can’t have it all, right?
There are lots of tables and chairs situated near the falls, and you can rent a table and four chairs for PHP 150.00. There’s also a bigger table coupled with eight chairs for PHP 250.00. Apparently a friend told me that there’s also a fee for corkage and if you want to grill your food but I don’t know the exact rates they paid. You can also rent a makeshift raft and a life jacket if you want closer access to the falls.
We ate our lunch, chilled, played some cards and took some pictures. The water was cold and inviting, but we decided to just go for a swim somewhere else. I just ended up staring at this magnificent water form for a while and was just truly amazed. If you’re going on a road trip to the south, this is definitely worth going to since it’s easily accessible and convenient. The only downside is that there might be lots of people who might be thinking the same thing. Still worth it though.
After we were done in Mantayupan Falls, we drove out even further south and ended up in Moalboal! There’s a PHP 5.00 government fee and a PHP 10.00 entrance fee for the Public Beach in Basdaku. You can also stay at one of the many private resorts and get a more exclusive experience, but the public beach was still pretty awesome for the price. Basdaku is one long shoreline, so whether you stay at a private resort or camp in a tent by the seashore, you’ll still end up in the same beach.
The sand is white and powdery in feel. The water is clean and clear during the high tide. This is a really nice place to go snorkeling and diving if you’re into that, but even just swimming and enjoying the waves by the shore is a delightful experience in itself! We rented out a table somewhere for PHP 300.00 for day usage. Next time, I’ll just bring a tent so we can chill in the shade and possibly even make it a cheap alternative for an overnight stay.
There’s just something about the sand and the sea that makes you feel calm and forget all your problems. Although I generally prefer waterfalls, it doesn’t take away that the beach experience in Moalboal was definitely stunning. Really, a road trip with your friends will treat you to some awesome beaches, waterfalls and mountains. We have it really good here in Cebu. It doesn’t have to be expensive as long as you all just rough it out and plan ahead.
And as the sun set, we enjoyed the last swim of the day, packed up and headed back to the bustling city. A great start to the summer season and a prelude to one of the many more adventures to come.
Until next time,