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South Cebu Adventure: Aguinid, Bonbon and Dao Waterfalls in Samboan!

I went to Cebu last August 2014 but, it was just a quick visit to Oslob for some whale-shark watching. So I decided to go back and have an adventure in the southern part. First on my list is the waterfalls in Samboan.
A beach resort in Samboan

How to get there

Samboan is a small town on a hill near the coast, around 150 KM from Cebu City. It is the second southernmost town in Cebu where you can also see Dumaguete. Aside from Samboan, you can also check out Ginatilan and Malabuyoc for other waterfalls.
Ceres bus en route to Samboan

From Cebu
  • Ride a Ceres bus bound to Bato via Barili in South Terminal then ask the conductor to drop you off in Samboan town proper.
  • In Samboan town proper, you can hire a motorcycle ("habal-habal") to visit the waterfalls.
  • The bus ride is 4-5 hours long. Earliest trip is at 2 am for non-AC buses while 5 am for AC buses.
  • AC bus leaves every hour and the non-AC leaves for every 30 minutes or as soon as it gets filled.
  • Landmark in the town of Samboan

    From Oslob 
  • Ride a bus bound to Bato then alight in Ceres bus terminal.
  • Ride a bus again bound to Cebu city, then ask the conductor to drop you off in Samboan.
  • There are also Sunrays buses to Samboan from Oslob.

  • From Dumaguete
  • You can either go to Sibulan Wharf for a fast craft to Liloan Wharf then ride a bus going to Bato, or Tampi Wharf for a 2-hour RoRo ride to Samboan Wharf.
  • Dumaguete is seen along the highway

    Where to stay

    If you're planning to stay for the night in Samboan, there are some resorts around the area. We stayed at Villa Isabela near Ponong Lake. We were fetched by the resort's caretaker Expendito. We also got our "habal-habal" ride from the resort. We got an AC room for PhP 1000.00 per night (for 2 pax) for 24 hours. The owner is very kind and gave us a discount when we extended our stay. Alternatively, there are also some places you can stay in Ginatilan. You can check their contact numbers below. 

  • Villa Isabela, Ponong, Samboan - +63 916 370-9104 / +63 921 200-2327
  • Gorion Beach Resort, Ponong, Samboan +63 999 335-7310 / +63 923 603-9238
  • Shiratani Beach Resort, Poblacion, Ginatilan 032 516-1485
  • Candawog Little Resort, San Roque, Ginatilan - 032 478-5729
  • View from Villa Isabela

    Motorcycle rent or "habal-habal" ride

    We rented a motorcycle to give us a lift to all 3 waterfalls. We got ours for PhP 250.00 per motorcycle which can accommodate 2 persons. You can negotiate the price to them especially when you want to include Inambakan and Montaneza falls. You can contact James Gerzon at +63 922 937-90005.
    Kuya James driving me to Dao Falls

    Aguinid Falls

    First on our list is Aguinid Falls in Brgy. Tangbo. This is the most accessible and probably the most adventurous waterfall in Samboan. Our local tour guide also says that this is the most visited one, probably because of its easy access. You need to register first and pay the environmental fee of PhP 20.00 per person, then they will be providing your tour guide. There is no tour guide fee, but a tip is highly appreciated.
    Orientation before going to the falls
    The waterfall has 5 levels starting from level zero. Just a 5 minute walk and you'll reach level zero. Expect to get wet when going to higher levels since you have to climb the limestone walls of each level. There is an area of the waterfall where you can jump. It's around 6-7 feet deep. The last level of the waterfall is the highest one. It's a big rock of limestone and somewhat looks like Tumalog falls in Oslob.
    Level 0 - Very small waterfall with a deep level lagoon 
    Level 1 - Small falls with a shallow river pool
    Level 2 - Limestone waterfall wall that you need to climb
    Level 3 - Rock formation that you can have a water massage
    Level 4 - Area where you can jump
    Awkward pose jump
    Level 5 - Last level, water is waist deep so no jumping allowed

    Bonbon Hidden Falls

    The next waterfall is literally a hidden one. It is located in Brgy, Bonbon just near Brgy. Tangbo. You will hike for 15 to 20 minutes through a path with coconut trees and some farm animals around. Like in Aguinid, you will have to register first and pay the environmental fee of PhP 20.00 per person. There is no charge for tour guide again, but be sure to tip your guide.
    Path going to the waterfall
    Small waterfall along the way
    A closer look to the small waterfall

    You can actually jump here

    Some people call it the Triple Drop Falls. Bonbon Hidden falls stands around 60 meters tall. The water is nice and cold and the deepest part is around 6 feet. This is the area where you can jump.
    There it is, triple drop waterfalls
    Another awkward pose jump
    Bonbon Hidden Waterfalls

    Dao Falls

    It's almost lunch time when we left Bonbon Falls and our tour guide said that we should take our lunch first since Dao Falls will have a 45 to one hour hike. But we skipped going in Dao until the afternoon since we had a side trip in Mainit Spring in Malabuyoc and Inambakan Falls in Ginatilan. Anyways, we reached the registration area around 5 pm. It's almost getting dark, so we need to double time the hike. Like the previous falls, there is an environmental fee of PhP 20.00 and no charge for the guide.
    Hanging bridge
    Hike through small side trails
    Stream of waters from the waterfalls
    Almost there, you can actually see it

    Dao Falls is the highest waterfall in Samboan for around 120 meters. The water coming down is not that strong so it just sticks to the wall. The catch basin is around 6 feet deep.
    There it is, standing around 120 meters high
    The 45 minute hike was surely worth it!
    Majestic Dao Falls!
    Sun shining through the waterfalls before going down

    Other Attractions

    • Tabon Falls - A small waterfall and just recently developed natural spot found between Brgy. Tangbo and Bonbon.
    • Balay‍' g Sawa Falls - Located near Brgy. Poblacion, a small waterfall but has a big lagoon perfect for swimming.
    • Ponong Lake - Located in Brgy. Ponong, a 5 minute walk from the highway. The lake has a floating nipa hut where you can relax.
    • Samboan Town Proper - Have a local tour and see some Heritage buildings like the St. Michael Archangel Church.
    Ponong lake sign along the highway
    Ponong Lake
    Heritage sites in Samboan

    Quick Tips

    • Environment Fees to each waterfall is PhP 20.00.
    • No charge for guides but a tip is very much appreciated.
    • You can rent a "habal-habal" to give you a lift to the waterfalls
    • There are small stores in the registration area of each waterfall.
    • Last trip of buses going back to Cebu is 7 pm
    Cheers from Samboan!


    Hey there, thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed reading my article and helped you out with some travel tips and ideas. Please do leave a comment if you have some comments or suggestions and I'll gladly answer it. Cheers!


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