Like the lyrics to a TLC song that says “Don’t go chasing waterfalls. Please stick to the rivers and the lakes that you’re used to. I know that you’re going to have it your way or nothing at all,” we are going in a different direction this time around.
We’ve toured you to the most scenic beaches and wondrous lakes in Mindanao so it’s high time that we share with you our experience in January of this year visiting what is considered to be the highest waterfall in the Philippines: the Aliwagwag Falls.
Dubbed as the “Stairway to Heaven,” because of its picturesque and gorgeous staircase-like rock slabs, the Aliwagwag Falls is nestled at Barangay Aliwagwag within the Aliwagwag Protected Landscape in Cateel, Davao Oriental.
It stands proudly at the height of about 1,110 ft or 333 meters and has a cascade of 13 rapids — rapids that can be crossed by adventurers.
Over the years, it has become a favorite attraction of both local and foreign travelers, becoming one of the main prides of the province and of the region, aside from Lake Carolina and Mati, which we already featured here on our Car Rental Davao blog.
If you are wondering what you can do and try at Aliwagwag Falls, allow this blog post to serve as your ultimate travel guide. Take a look below.
Things to do and try at Aliwagwag Falls
Photo: Larry Wayne
Nature has a way of healing our souls. Just being there and living for the moment, while enjoying the majestic lowland forest view and sound of cascading waters, is therapeutic enough. If you are looking for a moment of tranquillity and relaxation, then a trip to Aliwagwag Falls is perfect for you.
Take a dip to the falls and experience how refreshing it is, all while having a panoramic view of the entire site. A designated swimming area is available for adults, and there’s also one for kids, so take note of that as they are very particular here. Never go beyond the designated area as it could be very dangerous because of the rapids. We don’t want any hassle, right?
Practice your photography skills
Few locations can inspire you to capture stunning images and photographs — that is what Aliwagwag Falls can surely provide you. Bring your photography skills to the next level by capturing the spectacles of nature no other spots can provide. And the good part is, it is free.
If you are looking for an adrenaline-fueled activity then zip-lining is a good choice for you. Have a 360 degree view of the Aliwagwag Falls and its surrounding mossy forest by taking this 680-meter long, 55-meter high zip line, available for only P200.
Photo: Jose B
Crossing the Monkey Bridge
Zip-lining is not enough? Then try crossing the 45-meter long Monkey Bridge. This entire obstacle, which requires thrill-seekers to crawl over a thin rope, is definitely something worth considering.
Just a tip: Make sure you have your trekking shorts and sandals/shoes with you to fully enjoy the activity. Also, you may choose to have this and zip-lining together and take advantage of their discount. Just buy both tickets in one go for P225, instead of buying them separately.
Nothing beats picnicking out on a breathtaking spot where you are surrounded by greenery and nature everywhere. There are picnic cottages around the area that you are free to use for a very minimal fee. And in case you forgot to bring food or snacks with you, you can always head over to the canteen in Aliwagwag Falls Eco Park.
Photo: Erwin Baloro
Trying their food offerings
Speaking of food, you should never miss a chance to try “sawugnun,” a fish paksiw dish prepared and cooked by the locals. Then there’s also “banagan,” a humongous lobster that has a maximum length of 30 cm and a weight of about 950 grams or nearly a kilo. You have two options to eat this, either plain or spiced. Whichever you choose, I guarantee this is a seafood treat unlike any other.
What do you need to bring?
Clothes, swimwear, towels and other essentials such as soap and bottled water are some of the items you must bring. Make sure to also add some snacks and basic medicines, as well as sunblock lotion.
Photo: Oar Inn
How long to spend at Aliwagwag Falls?
Two days is enough to really explore Aliwagwag Falls. Normally, visitors flock here every weekend, but it is still not as crowded as you’d expect it to be. If you prefer to stay overnight, one of the places you can check in is at the nearby Barangay Poblacion called Oar Inn.
It is easy to find as it is located along the highway and right in front of the bus terminal. A single non-air conditioned room is available for P500 a night, P600 if you prefer one with an air condition unit. Both already include basic toiletries, common bathrooms and parking space.
Contact Number: +63920-806-0930
Facebook: Page: https://www.facebook.com/OARLOVESCATEEL/
How to get to Aliwagwag Falls
Like most destinations in Mindanao, travellers to Aliwagwag Falls have two choices: taking the public transport or renting a vehicle.
If you choose to commute, a bus ride from the city airport heading to Cateel is available for you. There is only a single trip daily so you have to arrive there early to secure a seat. Getting there will take you at least 7 hours and another 30-minute “habal-habal” or motorcycle ride to reach Aliwagwag from the town proper.
Renting a car, of course, will cut the travel time and you can drive at any time of your choosing through Compostela Valley Road or Matti Road, which will take you to Aliwagwag much faster.
Whether you plan on going on the trip alone or with the company of friends or family, Car Rental Davao has all the available units for you. Everything you need — whether it’s a sedan, SUV or van — we have it for you and we promise them to be high-quality but cheap rental cars.
We can also make a special arrangement for you such as delivering your chosen unit to your preferred location or have it delivered to the airport upon your arrival.
Also, if you’re thinking about staying longer and reserving our unit, we can also offer you a special car rental deal. Feel free to discuss this with us.
Photo: Jose B
How to contact the Aliwagwag Falls Eco Park
Telephone: +852 5518 2379
Table and chair rental: P75 to P100
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