Aguinid Falls in Samboan may not be the largest, most awe-inspiring waterfall in Cebu yet it’s definitely worth seeing especially if you’re already in Oslob, South Cebu. Because of its accessibility from Oslob or Badian, many south-bound travelers take a side trip to this tourist attraction in Samboan.
Aguinid Falls is only a 30-minute motorbike (habal-habal) ride from Tan-awan, Oslob. If you’re coming from Badian or Moal-boal, you may simply take a bus and tell the bus conductor to stop by Aguinid Falls in Brgy. Tangbo. You’ll reach the area in about an hour.
Overcoming the anxiety of endings
It was our last day in the south. Jaira, my cousin from Roxas City, and I were parting ways that day. Though this separation was temporary, I was anxious about giving her a great finale to her South Cebu adventure.
I feel that the best travel souvenirs are memories of our exciting experiences.
As luck would have it, we were done visiting the lackluster Sumilon Island the previous day so on our last day in Oslob, we still had a few hours left for a day trip somewhere else. It happens that there are a lot of wonderful gems within easy reach from Oslob. Our options include Mainit Hot Spring, Tumalog Falls, Oslob Cuartel, Boljoon Church, Binalayan or Hidden Falls, and Aguinid Falls.
Aguinid Falls was the unanimous choice! (I was so glad we were of the same mind because we didn’t have anyone to break the tie if we disagreed on our next move.)
Two buses or a ride on two wheels to Aguinid Falls
The night before our Aguinid Falls trip, Jaira and I decided to commute by bus from Tan-awan to Santander and from Santander to Samboan. The staff at BCD’s Place told us that multi-cab drivers charge a minimum of P1,500 for a round-trip transport from Tan-awan to Tangbo (Samboan). It was too expensive for two travelers so we both agreed to take two bus rides instead.
Our last morning in Oslob came. I was up early (5:30 a.m.) watching the road for buses. We didn’t want to wait too long for a ride to the next town so I was observing the bus schedule. Apparently, most buses bound for Bato (via Oslob) appear every 45 minutes. (This is not absolute as I was only able to see this pattern for two hours in a row.)
After Jaira swam with the gentle giants at 7:30 a.m., we went to a restaurant in front of BCD’s Place. Before reaching the restaurant’s door step, a man approached us, offering a tour to Aguinid Falls for two for P600. I told him we were not interested as we’d already decided to take the bus.
After hearing our plan, he reduced the rate to P500 so I told him I’d consider his offer and let him know after we had our breakfast. While eating, I asked Jaira if she would be comfortable on a two-wheel ride to Aguinid Falls. Always game for anything, she said ‘yes’ so we went with the motorbike option instead of two bus rides to Samboan.
What is it really like to visit Aguinid Falls
A few bloggers I know dubbed Aguinid Falls as a “mystical natural wonder” and a “different kind of thrill” – and they were right. What was not often mentioned, however, was that a trip to this waterfall is an escorted exploration. The trail is short and filled with surprises. Find enticing streams, swim in natural turquoise pools, and feel the force of cascading water hitting the rocks, which created the characteristic look of Aguinid Falls.
I think having a guide here is a good thing because some parts of the trek to the falls can be a little challenging, if not dangerous for those unfamiliar with the area. That’s why every person needs to have a guide. Yes, the ratio is one guide per person. The entrance fee was minimal, only P40 for every visitor. They don’t collect huge entrance fees because they want to encourage visitors to pay the guides a hefty tip (not below P100 per guide).
For Samboan residents, this tourist spot is a source of livelihood. You don’t have to look far to get a proof of this – vendors would greet you on your way to the registration site. They sell or rent out items such as trekking sandals/shoes, dry bags, cellphone plastic covers, and more. The nearer you get to the registration site, the cheaper the items become.
My cousin bought a cellphone cover for a P150 from the first store she saw. Further along the way, we found another vendor selling the same item for P120. And then, the closest store from the registration area charges a P20 rental fee for the cellphone cover. (If you managed to read until this part, you’re welcome!)
Getting to know the 5 levels of Aguinid Falls
Ready to climb upstream, clamber up on to limestone rocks, and get a free massage on the highest level of Aguinid Falls? Listen carefully to your guide. If he or she offers her hand, take it.
The path is clear and your guide is going to help you navigate this waterfall eco-park like a pro. You will rappel to ascend, hop on rocks, learn to trace naturally made footholds, and even jump off a cliff (a really low one). There are plenty of gorgeous photo stops but know that it can get really busy if you’re going during summer season.
Your guides are timed. They don’t tell you that during the orientation yet I believe they have a time limit for each visitor. I overheard other staff reproaching our guides for not returning to the registration site in a timely manner.
On average, people spend about 1.5 hours here so it’s a great side trip from Oslob. We were able to return to our accommodation before 11a.m. so you can definitely squeeze in a visit to Aguinid Falls before check-out.
I hope the residents and local government continue their efforts to protect this gem. I want to bring my family here someday and I hope they could enjoy it as Jaira and I did.
If you like this, you might also want to read my post about my South Cebu Travel Guide based on our recent trip.
P.S. You can extend this trip to Binalayan Hidden Waterfalls as it’s only a few minutes away from Aguinid Falls. Check out the map below. Our guide offered to take us to this waterfall but we decided to skip it because we didn’t want to be late.