The top waterfalls in Mindanao promise an unforgettable adventure of wonder and marvel.
Mindanao, the southernmost island in the Philippines, boasts an abundance of natural wonders, and its waterfalls are no exception. It is home of Iligan, a city nicknamed “City of Majestic Waterfalls” due to about 23 waterfalls within its area. Outside Iligan, there are several other breathtaking waterfalls awaiting nature lovers and adventure seekers alike.
Here, we explore some of the top waterfalls in Mindanao, each offering a unique and unforgettable experience for everyone.
1 | Aliwagwag Falls
Location: Cateel, Davao Oriental
Renowned for its unique and captivating appearance, Aliwagwag Falls consists of over 84 small cascades, each varying in size and height, set against a backdrop of lush tropical foliage. The grandeur of Aliwagwag Falls earned it the title of the “Curtain Waterfall” and stands as one of the tallest waterfalls in the Philippines with a total height of more than 1,000 feet.
2 | Tinago Falls
Location: Iligan City, Lanao del Norte
Hiding within a deep ravine in Iligan City, Lanao del Norte, Tinago Falls lives up to its name, which means “hidden” in Filipino. It is about 73 meters (240 feet) high and has multiple cascades that fall into a basin-like pool where people can enjoy the refreshing cool water. Reaching the falls requires a 10-minute trek and descending a concrete winding staircase with more than 300 steps. But despite the effort to get there, it is definitely worth it as the sight is breathtaking and the experience is something you will never forget.
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3 | Tinuy-an Falls
Location: Bislig City, Surigao del Sur
It may not be as tall as several other waterfalls in the country, but Tinuy-an Falls is the widest measuring 95 meters. It is even nicknamed the “Little Niagara Falls of the Philippines” because of its curtain-type appearance. It is also amazing to know that a rainbow appears in the area almost every morning between 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM.
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4 | Maria Cristina Falls
Maria Cristina Falls
Location: Iligan City, Lanao del Norte
With a height of 98 meters (321 feet), Maria Cristina Falls is the second-highest waterfall in the country. It is also referred to as the twin falls because of the rock at the brink of the waterfall that separates the flow of the water. This natural creation is not just pleasing to the eye, it also serves as the primary source of electric power for the city. The power plant operates in harmony with nature, allowing visitors to witness scheduled water releases, creating a mesmerizing display of raw power and beauty.
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5 | Asik Asik Falls
Asik Asik Falls
Location: Alamada, North Cotabato
Asik-Asik Falls is unique and probably mysterious as there is no evident source of water from above the wall or elsewhere. Instead, the frothy water sprouts from a wall covered by lush vegetation, creating a mesmerizing sight. The waterfall’s source is actually a subterranean river (a river under the earth’s surface).
6 | Cathedral Falls
Location: Kapatagan, Lanao del Norte
Cathedral Falls is conveniently located along the access road, just 10-15 kilometers from the town center of Kapatagan. The waterfall features rock formations, some resembling like church pillars and pipe organ found in cathedrals, thus earning its evocative name.
7 | Merloquet Falls
Location: Zamboanga City
Merloquet Falls is a multi-tiered falls with a combined height of about 10 meters (32.80 feet) and width of about 25 meters (82 feet). As the water cascades down a multi-tiered rock formation, it creates a beautiful display of white foamy streams against a backdrop of verdant foliage.
8 | Seven Falls
Location: Lake Sebu, South Cotabato
As the name suggests, this awe-inspiring attraction features seven stunning waterfalls cascading gracefully down a lush mountainous landscape. The waterfalls vary in height and intensity, with some gently flowing down in veils of mist, while others thunder down in powerful torrents, creating a symphony of water and sound. Out of the seven waterfalls, only two are accessible to the public while the others can only be seen when you take the zipline found in the second waterfall.
9 | Limunsudan Falls
Location: Barangay Rogongon, Iligan City, Lanao del Norte
Limunsudan Falls is the tallest two-tiered waterfall in the country, with its two drops having almost the same height. To reach this hidden gem, adventurers must embark on a challenging and rewarding three to four-hour ride on dirt roads. The Higaonon people who inhabit the surrounding areas consider the falls a sacred site, rich with cultural and spiritual significance. To anyone who wants to visit the falls, make it a point to ask permission from the Higaonon Tribe.
10 | Alalum Falls
Location: Sumilao, Bukidnon
Alalum is derived from the local word “madalum” which means deep, in reference to its deep circular catch basin. Alalum Falls is a single layer waterfall that is about 45 meters in height. It is located beside a gorge along the highway hence the easiest falls to access.
Honorable Mention: Dodiongan Falls
Location: Barangay Bonbonon, Iligan City, Lanao del Norte
Dodiongan Falls is known for its twin drops and rock formation that resembled two folded wings thus the nickname “Angel-winged Dodiongan Falls”. The waterfall is about 20 meters (65 feet) high and drops to a natural pool surrounded by giant rocks.
In addition to the breathtaking waterfalls mentioned on top, other waterfalls you may want to visit in Mindanao include Mimbalot Falls, Awao Falls, Daday Falls, Pulacan Falls, and Campawan Curtain Falls.