Tumalog Falls is a must see if you are visiting Oslob to swim with whale sharks.
The falls are located 10 minutes from Oslob Whale centre and can easily be visited on the same morning after your whale shark experience.
Tumalog Falls Oslob Cebu
We decided to enjoy the falls in their full glory, without anyone else around, by dedicating a whole morning to our visit. We rose early – by our standards – and made it to the falls just after they opened at 6:30am.
We hired a motorbike and rode to the entrance marked on our map below. From here, it’s possible to take a motorcycle ride with authorised riders down hill for 50 pesos.
We chose to walk as it’s not far – less than 10 minutes all downhill. We were glad we did because the motorbikes aren’t for the faint of heart. The experienced riders (I assume) zoom down the hill at a lightening pace which didn’t seem entirely safe, though it certainly would get the adrenaline going.
At the bottom of the hill is a makeshift stand where they collect the entrance fee of 50 pesos. No guide is necessary.
The falls are a 2 minute walk up a short incline from the ticket area. As we hiked the footpath we could hear the sound of the cascading waterfall.
When we reached the large pools we found hundreds of tiny birds frolicking in the water, darting backwards and forwards across the surface presumably trying to catch little insects.
This lovely scene of nature was the foreground to the mightily impressive waterfall which stretched 30 metres across. The waterfalls themselves appeared to be covered with mossy plants which seemed to grip onto the falls for dear life.
The water collected at the bottom into a large pool of emerald blue brackish water – a feature of many jaw dropping natural bodies of water in the Philippines.
The water itself is fresh and frigid! At 6:30am in the morning it’s quite brisk!
The water cascades gently from these falls compared to some of the powerful waterfalls in Cebu. The experience is really quite relaxing and worth a visit.
Best time to visit Tumalog Falls
For us, the best time to visit is before 7am (if you want the pools to yourself). After 8am lots of tour groups arrived after the whale sharks.
The crowds create a fun atmosphere, but the serenity (and birds) are long gone.
To give you an idea, the first picture is taken at 7am and the second at 8am – you can really see what a difference an hour makes to the serenity of the falls!
How to get to Tumalog Falls from Oslob, Cebu
We personally love getting around ourselves by motorbike, so we hired a scooter for 250 Pesos for half a day (500 pesos full day). This was plenty of time to get to the falls, swim around a bit, relax and get back.
If you can drag yourself out of bed around sunrise, you will be rewarded with a stunning vista as you ride along the ocean and then start riding through the mountains to the falls.
The falls are about 15 minutes from Oslob town proper. Even before reaching the parking lot, the road can be a bit steep and sometimes have potholes or are not well paved. If you don’t have experience riding a scooter, it’s probably best to learn on a different route.
Tumalog Falls and Whale Sharks
Rickshaw drivers happily detour after taking you to the whale sharks. Expect to pay 100 – 200 pesos per person for the diversion.
In our opinion, Tumalog Falls is a well while addition to the Oslob Whale Sharks.
Swimming with the Whale Sharks is a controversial activity in Cebu. Why? In order to lure the Whale Sharks to the tourists fisherman feed them. This has been argued to disrupt their natural feeding patterns.
While we can see how this could be the case, we wished to experience the Whale Sharks & come to our own opinion on the experience.
What we have determined while is that it is a magical experience swimming with Whale Sharks, it is a bit of a circus. It is a extremely touristic activity and does not feel very natural. We would prefer to experience the Whale Sharks in the wild without a circus of tourists.
In saying this, we are very glad to have had the experience and the Whale Sharks are not harmed by the activity. They are free to come and go as they please.
If you would like to have a Whale Shark experience in Cebu it will cost foreigners 1000 pesos per person for 30 minutes with the sharks. You can also book your tours in advance using this website.
When you arrive you are required to go through a safety briefing to ensure the safety and conservation of the Whale Sharks. Sunscreen and touching the Whale Sharks is not allowed and can result in big fines.
If you are wondering, we did not have an underwater camera. We hired one directly from the Oslob Whale Sharks. The picture quality of the cameras is just passable so we would recommend bringing a GoPro with you for the experience.
Note: You can swim with the whale sharks until 12 noon daily. The centre closes at midday so you wont be able to swim with them after this time.
From Oslob Whale Shark Watching Centre to Tumalog Falls the journey is 10 – 15 minutes.
If you don’t agree with swimming with the Whale Sharks, Tumalog Falls alone would be a great place to go.
We also visited El Nido, Dumaguete & Coron while in the Philippines. Here are some other guides you may be interested in: