Mantayupan Falls, Barili is the tallest waterfall in Cebu, and an easy day trip from Moalboal. Water cascades 98 metres through the jungle into a milky green coloured pool, so if you love chasing waterfalls and want to connect with nature, Mantayupan Falls is one you should definitely add to your list.
Known by locals as Ambakan Falls, Mantayupan Falls is very easy to reach, and one of the awesome things to do in Moalboal. Set in the jungle, the falls are a beautiful area to hang out. Surrounded by nature, it’s a cool and refreshing place to visit if you want to escape the heat of the Philippine sun, but also perfect on a cloudy day as you will be walking amongst tall trees.
Moalboal Eco Lodge share a lovely day trip from Moalboal: Mantayupan Falls in Barili, Cebu.
Entrance Fee: P40
Parking Fee: P10
Toilets on site: Yes
Food/Drinks for sale: Usually Yes, but they may be closed due to coronavirus restrictions. There is a roadside cafe on the main highway about 10 minutes away
Difficulty level: Easy
Footwear: Flip Flops are fine, unless you want to swim in the falls then wear non-slip shoes
Additional Note: Due to COVID-19 restrictions, not all waterfalls allow swimming so check first before you go
Mantayupan Falls is definitely one to visit if you like waterfalls. It’s tall, impressive, set amongst the jungle and a decent amount of water cascades down the mountain. It’s the second most popular waterfall after Kawasan because of it's accolade of being the tallest waterfall in Cebu.
From Moalboal, Mantayupan Falls are located in Barili, about 45 minutes away from our Eco Lodge (directions at the bottom of this post). On our journey we passed fields of corn, mangrove trees, cows grazing, valleys and hills filled with coconut palm trees.
At Mantayupan Falls we parked in the parking lot, paid our entrance fee, walked about a minute along a short path, and voila, we were at the steps to the waterfalls. Out of all the waterfalls in Cebu, Mantayupan Falls is the easiest to reach with minimal walking, so anyone can visit and enjoy them.
We discovered that Mantayupan Falls is also a mini hydro power plant that has been providing hydro-electric power to Barili for over ten years. As we run an Eco Lodge, we were obviously impressed with this renewable source of energy.
We chose to go to the smaller waterfall first which were just a few steps away. I heard there are usually three falls here but despite visiting in rainy season, we saw just the one waterfall.
This 14 metre high waterfall fell into a large milky green rock pool. The water changes colour slightly depending on the time of year, sometimes it can be milky blue/green, after heavy rain it could be brown, but we visited on an overcast day so it was milky green.
We hung around at the small waterfall for a few moments just to soak up the beauty, but through the trees we could see a bridge leading to the main waterfall. It looked pretty impressive so we decided to head towards the sound of the roar.
First we had to cross the swing bridge, and I couldn’t help but be impressed by the beauty of the jungle surrounding us. As we crossed the bridge, looking down we saw part of the rock pool
Walking up the stone lined path, we had the 98 metre tall waterfall in our sights which was directly ahead of us. It was spectacular, and we loved listening to the roar of the water plunging into the large rock pool.
To the left was a stream caused by the falling water, the English would call this a bubbling brook.
The time we visited there was no one else here, just a worker cleaning the algae from the rocks in the waterfall. During high season or certain times of the day, this waterfall is filled with tourists and their orange life jackets. We definitely felt lucky being able to take our time with photographs and enjoy the surroundings in peace.
There is a raft here that you can usually rent for P100 to paddle over to the waterfall, however at the time of our visit, no swimming was allowed so we just sat on the rock and admired the Falls instead.
When it was time to leave, we thought we would take a drive around to see what else was in the area. We stumbled across a small fishing village with stilt-houses built over the mangroves, and a few colourful fishing boats were tied up in the ocean.
We also passed a bright green church set amongst palm trees, it stood out against the cloudy grey sky and caught my eye.
To my wonderful surprise, we came across a wall of street art! I used to love travelling to new places and taking self-guided tours looking for street art, Singapore for example has some wonderful pieces but there are very few in the Philippines.
This street art had an ocean theme, and it may not have been the best we have seen, but I appreciated it and enjoyed taking photos.
Check out our Philippines Street Art post:
Jeepney Street Art in Moalboal
When is the best time to visit Mantayupan Falls?
In the morning on a week day is the best time to visit Mantayupan Falls, as there will be less tourists and locals here. If you want to see how locals having fun, visit on a weekend especially a Sunday.
During the dry season, there may not be as much water flowing, and during the wet season after a heavy rain the colour of the waterfall may be brown.
Please note: Due to COVID-19 restrictions, not all waterfalls are open and if they are, swimming may not be permitted, so check first before you visit. As you will know, the Coronavirus situation changes quickly, and new Executive Orders are issued regularly to ensure people remain safe and healthy during this pandemic.
How to get to Mantayupan Falls:
From Moalboal, head north to Barili. Take a right turning down Felix Paras Street for about 5km, then take a right.
Tip: Download Google Offline Map for the area, and type in Mantayupan Falls which will navigate you to your destination.
Where to eat in Barili
Barili is where buses heading to/from Cebu stop for a toilet break, so there is a Sula’s street side eatery and bakery here. Sula’s is part of a street side eatery chain, there is also one in Moalboal. These roadside café’s or carinderias to give them their real name, sell cheap, authentic Filipino food from silver saucepans.
Similar to canteens serving home-from-home, buffet style, pick-n-mix dishes, you can choose from rice, noodles, soup, veg, beans, pork and chicken in many different ways. Small plates are piled high, the food is rich and dishes cost P20 – P50.
Where to stay in Moalboal
When visiting Moalboal, Moalboal Eco Lodge is the perfect place to stay. Located in the middle of a peaceful field, it’s close enough to amenities, but far away so you can have a good night’s sleep. There is plenty of space to observe physical distancing at the Eco Lodge. Please read our COVID-19 Care page for more information regarding your safety.
Nestled in amongst palm trees, bamboo and coconut trees, Moalboal Eco Lodge have Bamboo Nipa Huts suitable for solo travellers, couples and friends. We have two private rooms and a spacious 4-bed dormitory, a breakfast area, and a beautiful hammock/yoga/sunset deck. Bicycles are for hire if you wish to slow travel in the most environmentally friendly way, or you can rent a scooter. Take a look at our rooms!
For help regarding travel and Visa requirements, visit our Travel Information page
Want More Day Trips from Moalboal?
Montpeller Waterfall, Alegria
Taginis Falls & Budlot Spring
Simala Shrine Castle Church, Sibonga
Basdaku “White Beach”, Moalboal
Lambug Beach, Badian
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