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Dao Falls in Cebu – complete travel guide

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Beautiful Dao Falls is a must-visit place for every traveler visiting Cebu Island in the Philippines. It’s also one of the tallest waterfalls in the area! Furthermore, you’ll definitely fall in love with its amazing turquoise pool right under the waterfall.

While Kawasan Falls is the most popular attraction on Cebu, Dau Falls deserves some attention, too! Despite being a known attraction, there are not so many crowds. Even less visited waterfall we recommend visiting is Montpellier Falls.

In this guide, we’d like to share with you all the necessary information to visit the falls. Read about where to find it, how to get there, the entrance fee, and more.

Where is Dao Falls ?

Dao Waterfall is located on the southwest coast of Cebu Island in Samboan village.

If you decide to stay on Cebu Island, we highly recommend booking your accommodation in a small town called Moalboal. You can easily get from Cebu City to Moalboal by public transport or using a private transfer. Moalboal serves as a good base due to amount of restaurants, hotels, and activities.

The waterfall is located only 53 kilometers from Moalboal, and you can get there in 1 hour and 30 minutes on a motorbike.

From Moalboal, you can simply follow the Santander – Barili – Toledo Road along the coast. A few kilometers before Samboan village, turn left. Then keep driving slightly uphill on a road surrounded by palms. The road is rather narrow, with enough space for two motorbikes.

The road is concrete most of the time, however, you will cross a few sections of dirt road. But overall, the ride all the way up to the waterfall area is comfortable. The palm trees all around you make this place look astonishing.

You can also save the location of Dao Falls to your Google Maps.

dao waterfalls
Dao falls cebu

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How to get to Dau Falls

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Parking fee: 20 PHP for a motorbike, 50 PHP for a car

On a motorbike

The easiest way to get to Dao Falls on Cebu Island is to rent a motorbike in Moalboal or anywhere around your accommodation.

The price for a motorbike for one day is around 350 – 400 PHP. In case you’d like to rent a motorbike for a longer period, you should be able to get some discount.

Always wear a helmet. Also, download offline maps, since the signal is often not good. Also, every time you rent a motorbike, take a video and document every single scratch you’ll find. This will help you avoid having to pay for damages not caused by you.

The traffic is calm on the island and the roads are wide and in good condition. Because of that, it feels very safe to drive around. Furthermore, you won’t meet any police most of the time.

Driving around Philippines Cebu on a motorbike

Rent a car

If you don’t feel confident riding a motorbike, you can also rent a car to explore the island. The pick-up point is at Mactan Cebu International Airport. We personally recommend using Discover Cars, since they often have the lowest prices on the market.

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Tip: If you plan to drive abroad, don’t forget to get an international driving license before leaving your home!

Private driver

In case you don’t want to drive in a foreign country, we highly recommend booking a private driver. You might be able to find someone in Moalboal, just ask around the town or at your accommodation. However, this will be the most expensive way to explore Cebu Island.

Siargao coconut palm trees drone, coconut road siargao, coconut palm tree

Where to stay

Even though Moalboal is quite far from Dao Falls, we recommend staying there. From here, you can easily organize a day trip and explore multiple tourist spots on the same day. Moalboal offers the biggest selection of hotels and restaurants in the area.

Optionally, some people stay in Oslob. This area is known for the possibility of snorkeling with whale sharks. However, the way it’s done is not ethical at all. Therefore, we beg you not to support this despite how beautiful it sounds.

Best hotels on Cebu

If you use the links below, you pay the same and we earn a little commission. It helps us run this blog. You can also check more hotels in Moalboal on booking.com.

Ancelle-Cristo-Re

Ancelle Cristo Re

High budget

Pescadores-Suites-Moalboal

Pescadores Suites

Mid budget

Secret-paradise-moalboal

Secret Paradise

High budget

Dao Falls Cebu entrance fee

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Entrance fee: 210 pesos

The entrance fee for one person is 200 PHP. This includes a guide, helmet, and also neoprene shoes. Below you can see where the money goes.

Dao Falls Entrance fee

Do I need a guide?

When visiting many waterfalls on Cebu Island, you will notice that a guide is almost always required. The same rule applies to Dao Falls. While the path is clear and you can’t get lost, a guide is still mandatory.

Just like with many other waterfalls, we think it’s unnecessary. However, it’s impossible to hike the trail without a guide. Locals often get too aggressive, so if you don’t like the idea of paying for a guide, visit some other places instead.

We personally didn’t have a good experience with the guide here. He kept walking in front of us all the time and didn’t say a word. Additionally, he didn’t even speak English at all.

In the end, he kept asking for a tip claiming that he doesn’t get any salary here. Based on Google Reviews, some guides even kept requesting tips right from the start of the hike.

dau falls

Dao Falls opening hours

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Opening hours: 6 am – 3 pm

The official opening hours are from 6 am till 3 pm. We don’t recommend coming later than that, since there won’t be any more sunshine at the waterfall.

About Dao Falls

The waterfall is situated in a Barangay Suba near Samboan village. Its height is approximately 36 meters. There used to be a long natural waterslide, however, it was damaged in 2012 due to an earthquake.

Tucked away in a deep canyon, the waterfall is surrounded by tall limestone cliffs from each side. The water slowly cascades down the canyon. To see more water flow, visit this place during or after the rainy season.

The natural pool is perfect for swimming, with most sections not being too deep. So you can certainly come here with your kids without any worries! But to get to the waterfall, you will have to hike through a stunning canyon, which we describe below.

dau falls cebu

Hike to Dau Falls

The trek itself is easy, and anyone can do it. You have to be ready to get your feet wet because you’ll have to cross a river a few times. It takes around 30-40 minutes one way to reach the waterfall, including stops for photos.

dao falls

The first part consists of around 200 steps that will take you down into the valley. You’ll cross a beautiful bamboo bridge, which is a great photo spot. You’re surrounded by lush green jungle all the time.

dao falls bridge

Soon, you will find yourself standing in a canyon. From here, you will simply follow the stream. We were really amazed by nature in this section since it’s incredibly scenic. You will be walking through water so prepare to get wet. However, the water is usually only ankle-deep.

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Read next: Are you looking for another incredible hike on Cebu Island? You should certainly visit Osmeña Peak and enjoy lovely views during sunrise or sunset from the top.

dao falls canyon

Water in the canyon has a beautiful turquoise color and pleasant temperature. You’ll encounter numerous rock pools along the path leading to Dao Falls, each inviting you for a quick dip, which you’ll need during a hot tropical day. These picturesque spots are great for capturing your best photos.

dao falls pools
dao falls trekking

End of the trail

Towards the end of the trail, locals have constructed a staircase, which is essential as the waterfall becomes too powerful and steep. Without the staircase, it would not be possible to reach Dao Falls.

This section offers breathtaking views, allowing you to see a part of Dau Falls from the stairs, with smaller waterfalls cascading below. It was undeniably my favorite and most adventurous spot along the trail. Just look at the photos we took there.

dau falls hiking

Once you reach the top of the staircase, which is also the end of the trail, you’ll be rewarded with a stunning view of Dao Falls. It’s surrounded by huge limestone walls, which are unfortunately not possible to climb.

dao falls cebu philippines

We couldn’t resist, and we spent some time in the natural pool cooling down our bodies after the hike. After that, we decided to fly our drone. If you would also like to fly a drone here, just be careful since you might lose a signal in this area and crash.

Be careful when coming after rain since the trail might be slippery.

dao falls cebu

Travel Insurance

One of the worst things you could do is travel without insurance. We never go on a trip without travel insurance. Anything can happen during your adventures.

Our go-to company is SafetyWing. They will save you hundreds or thousands of dollars if something goes wrong.

If you purchase the insurance through our link, you still pay the same, and we will earn a small commission. This helps us run our blog. Thank you ❤️

Best time to visit Dao Falls

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Dry season: December – April

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Rainy season: May – November

Generally speaking, the dry season, which runs from December to April, is considered the best time to visit Cebu as well as Dao Falls. During the dry season, you’ll have enough sunny days with minimal to zero rainfall.

It’s ideal for outdoor adventures, enjoying all beaches, and exploring the most popular attractions on the island.

If you come right after the rainy season ends, you will witness the waterfall with more power and stronger water flow.

When it comes to the best time of the day to visit Dao Falls, we highly recommend coming early in the morning to avoid people and enjoy this place alone. But we came around the lunch, and there were just a few people with us.

dao falls trek

Best Restaurants around Dao falls

You won’t find any restaurants directly ad Dao Falls or in the parking area. You can only buy afew snacks and drinks here.

If you’re looking for a proper restaurant, head back to the main road. You’ll find a few local restaurants there. We personally recommend Happy Bowl + Cafe. We stopped there for lunch and coffee, and we were amazed at how good the food and coffee were. The selection is not big, but it’s tasty.

Other great reviewed places are Lucky 9ers Unlimited and Tuslob Buwa sa Samboan. The former is famous for its chicken wings and pizza. You’ll get satisfying food for good prices here. The latter is a place with lovely atmosphere, tasty food and good prices.

Other places to visit nearby

Inambakan Falls

I have to admit that Inambakan Falls is my number one of all the waterfalls I have ever visited in my life. There’s something magical about this place. As you can see in the photo below, the waterfall has multiple levels and natural pools. You can visit each of them!

We recommend coming right before the sunset, and you’re likely going to be completely alone here. It feels like you’re living a dream and you just found yourself in a romantic tropical movie! Additionally, the color of the water here is astonishing!

We were offered a guide and locals claimed that it’s not possible to visit all the levels without one. However, that’s not true at all! You’ll notice there’s a path leading through the jungle which is very easy to follow.

But I must say that once we politely declined the guide offered, we had no troubles at all. I believe a guide is useful here if you want to go cliff jumping and you’re not sure where you can jump from and where you’ll have a safe landing.

Inambakan Falls Cebu Island Philippines drone sunset photo

Lambug Beach

Lambug Beach might be one of the most beautiful beaches on Cebu Island. Expect incredibly white sand, turquoise water, and snorkeling possibilities. While the marine life can’t be compared to that in Moalboal, it’s still incredible.

When we visited it was mostly locals hanging around here, which makes me believe not many tourists visit this beach. A friend of ours told us that if you swim all the way to the left, you’ll stumble upon incredible underwater life.

The beach is best enjoyed during high tide. It’s still possible to swim when low tide comes, but the water gets very warm.

Lambug Beach Cebu Island Philippines drone 3

Binalayan Falls

This might be one of the best waterfalls for adrenaline lovers! On the cliff around the falls, you’ll find various spots from which you can jump. Each varies in height. However, keep in mind that you’re landing in not-so-deep water.

But even if you don’t like cliff jumping you’ll certainly have a good time at Binalayan Falls. You’ll pass multiple natural pools where you can swim, a lovely swing, and after 15-20 minutes of walking you arrive in paradise.

Binalyan Falls on Cebu Island cliff jumping

Best guided tours on Cebu

  • 3-Day Cebu Highlights tour – Great if you’re looking for a hassle-free trip around the best Cebu attractions. Visit Cebu City, different waterfalls, go snorkelling with whale sharks and sardine run.
  • Sumilon Island tour – Visit Sumilon Island, explore its idyllic beaches and go snorkeling with whale sharks, the largest fish in the world.
  • Mactan Island hopping day trip – great if you’re staying in Cebu City or Mactan Island. This tour takes you around different islands and you can also combine it with scuba diving.

Cebu Highlights

Klook.com

Sumilon Island

Klook.com

Mactan Island hopping

Klook.com

Dao Falls Cebu – conclusion

In conclusion, Dao Falls Cebu offers an adventurous experience you should not miss. The journey through lush green jungle and limestone canyon leads to a breathtaking waterfall. It’s perfect for adventurers and nature lovers alike.

Hope you enjoyed reading our guide, and in case you have any questions about Dao Falls, just drop us a comment bellow. Thank you for reading!

Plan with us

Ready to start planning your next trip? If you use our referral links, you pay the same and we earn a little commision. It helps us run this blog. Thank you! ❤️

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Car rental: Discover cars

Insurance: Safety Wings

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Bus, train: 12.Go Asia

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Tours: Viator

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Visa: iVisa

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