As I mentioned in Part 2, most of the companies that organize whale shark tours to Oslob also include side trips to Tumalog Falls and Kawasan Falls. Both of these have their own entry fees, but are typically included in the organized tour cost.
After swimming with the whale sharks, we took a short, 10 minute drive to Tumalog Falls to rinse off the seawater. Along the way up to the waterfall you are treated to an incredible view.
However, the van cannot drive down the steep road all the way to the waterfall, so it parks about a 15 minute walk away. You can also elect to take a ride on a motorcycle down to the falls. It’s cheap, 30 pesos one way or 50 round trip. The walk down isn’t bad, but the walk back up can be brutal.
When you arrive, you’re greeted to a truly amazing view of Tumalog Falls. I went during the dry season, so the waterfall is mostly dried up, but I think it’s just as stunning.
The water is only knee deep, and quite cold! But it feels great to wash off the saltwater and cool off by standing right under the falls.
We weren’t at Tumalog more than 30 minutes or so before it was time to walk (or bike) back up the hill. I’ve done both. It’s definitely a decent hike, but even being out of shape I survived without too much trouble. Still, the motorbike ride is well work the $1 or so it costs.
After getting back to the van, we headed back for lunch. Lunch was typical Filipino fare, spicy chicken soup, pork belly, chicken adobo, fish, and rice. I tried everything except the fish (not much of a seafood fan), and it was all very tasty!
After lunch, we headed to Kawasan Falls, which is about an hour’s drive away from Oslob, in a town called Badian. Once you arrive, you again have to walk to reach the waterfalls. As with Tumalog Falls, you can also pay to ride the 1.5 kilometers on a motorbike. I elected to walk, and was treated to some amazing scenery.
Kawasan Falls actually consists of three separate waterfalls. The first is the most popular, with clear, cool water and a spectacular waterfall. There are tables you can reserve for a fee, and you can also order food and drink. There are also rafts you can take around the pool and under the waterfall, for a fee of course. It’s very, very crowded and I would recommend hiking farther up to the 2nd set of falls, which has less tourists.
The hike isn’t easy, and I would highly recommend having water shoes or a good pair of sandals. Flip flops aren’t a wise choice. The second level has similar seating and food options, and a huge pool for swimming. It also has a rope swing, and three different platforms for cliff jumping, ranging in height from 20 to 50 feet.
The biggest reason most people come to this second level is to cliff jump, or canyoneer. The 50 foot jump is accessed by yet another hike, this one steeper than the last. Once at the top, you’re shown by a guide where to jump from to safely land in the water below.
It definitely looks higher than 50 feet once you’re standing looking out over the edge, and a few people in our group elected to move to a slightly lower jump. Some, however, took the plunge.
I was nervous, but I figured the footage with the GoPro would be pretty incredible. So I went to the edge and jumped.
The 50 feet went by quite quickly, and I was going about 25 mph when I hit the water. I was leaning backwards a bit when I hit the water, and bruised my tailbone pretty good. The water was about 30 feet deep, but I still touched bottom. It was definitely an amazing experience.
Over the next couple hours many in our group jumped from various heights, and I gave the 20 foot jump a shot.
Here’s a video showing off some more footage from the snorkeling with the whale sharks, as well as cliff jumping.
Next time I’ll talk about a trip I took to one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, the island of Boracay.