As the Philippines is composed of not less than seven thousand islands, one can confidently say that it has a number of undiscovered and unexplored natural wonders.
In Mindanao, the second largest island in the country, there’s a waterfall that remains hidden in a valley in North Cotabato. It is so majestic that visitors cannot fail to marvel at its stunning beauty.
Called the Matigol Falls, it is now one of the trails to conquer for backpackers in the South. Likewise, it is a spot for tourists who are looking for a new place to explore.
Boasting an astonishing 330 feet of height with immaculate water cascading to its water basins, Matigol — a.k.a. Bani Falls — also has five cascading tiers, with water basins in each that serves as natural swimming pools for tourists.
How to get to Matigol Falls
Matigol Falls is a 2-hour drive away from Davao City. To get there, you have the option to take public transportation or rent a car from us.
Let’s say you don’t mind the long queue, wearing a face shield all the time on the entire duration of your trip, not to mention transferring from one vehicle to another, then taking public transportation is for you.
Matigol Falls is specifically located in Sitio Matigol, Barangay Datu Landayan, Arakan Valley, North Cotabato in Mindanao. As with any trip, your first destination is the Davao City Overland Transport Terminal (DCTTO). Once you’re there, you have to take a bus trip bound for Bukidnon or Cagayan De Oro. The drop-off point will be at Campo Uno, Arakan, situated along the highway of Davao-Bukidnon Road. The bus fare is P120.
Upon arrival at Campo Uno, look for a habal-habal or motorcycle that will take you to Sitio Inamong. The habal-habal fare is P100 per person. Once you’re there, you have to register first for P10 and then hire a local guide for P300. It is required by the local government to hire one from the nearby Manobo Tribe Community. Otherwise, you will not be allowed to get inside.
Each guide can accommodate a maximum number of 10 persons. Once everything is settled, then you are now ready for a long trek.
Easiest way to get to Matigol
You can of course avoid all of these by renting a vehicle from us. By doing this, you no longer need to transfer from one mode of transportation to the next. You will also avoid getting in close contact with strangers — something that we all want during this time of a pandemic.
The best part is, you can also get to Matigol much faster, while saving a significant amount of money.
If you are travelling on your own, or with a small group, Car Rental Davao has the sedan units for you: We offer Toyota Vios, Hyundai Accent, Nissan Almera for rental. If you have a company of more than five people, an SUV is the best choice for you. We have Ford Everest and Ford Everest Titanium.
Conquering Matigol Falls
Challenging trails will surely lead you to breathtaking sceneries, and Matigol Falls is not an exception. Sitio Inamong is the starting point of the trek. From here, your guide will accompany you or your group to the falls.
But before that, you’ll pass by a valley of cogon grass that is about half your height, giving saturating yellow and green hues to the mountain ridges accompanied by a refreshing breeze of clean air and revitalizing sunrays.
Eventually, the trail will take you to the first tier of Matigol Falls. There is a natural pool that serves as the water basin of the first tier. You can take a dip here if you want to.
After this, the guide will take you to the other side of the valley. With an uphill slope that is steep, slippery, and cliffy, make sure to catch your breath. And if you are a newbie, taking a pause for a minute or two is not too much to ask for. The people here, especially the local guides, are kind and considerate so don’t be embarrassed to make a quick stop even though it seems too often. Listen to your body. Safety comes first.
And finally you are at the final station. Here you get an overlooking view of the 5-tiered Matigol Falls. I was out of words the moment I saw the spectacular grandeur of the waterfall surrounded by the green mountain ridges and the bright blue sky. It was out of this world.
As you’ve seen here at this very blog, I have wandered around Mindanao and have explored numerous destinations. Matigol is something else, I guarantee you that. Below are some more photos of Matigol.
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