Being a tropical country, the Philippines is home to many wondrous attractions; from pristine beaches to majestic waterfalls. And in Cateel, Davao Oriental lies a charming wonder of nature just waiting to be discovered by you—Aliwagwag Falls.
Known for its staircase-like boulders, Aliwagwag Falls has become a top tourist destination in the province. This picturesque 84-tiered falls with more than 130 cascades stands at 1,110 feet making it the highest waterfall in the Philippines.
The Story of Aliwagwag Falls Eco Park
According to some locals, folklore has it that Aliwagwag Falls is a gift of the gods to the Mandaya Tribe of Cateel. It is their source of living and fountain of their lives.
Before it was developed, there were no roads and no trails in the area. The only way to get there was by riding a boat passing the Cateel River.
In 2012, Cateel was greatly hit by Typhoon Pablo and Aliwagwag Falls was not spared. The forest surrounding the river was almost unrecognizable. But through the help of the government and locals, it is now back to its full glory. Lush vegetation can now be seen on both of its sides, adding beauty to the waterfall.
The government of Davao Oriental collects a minimal entrance fee for the maintenance of the Aliwagwag Falls Eco Park. Thanks to social media, Aliwagwag has seen an influx of tourists who also want to witness its natural charm. It has also been included among the 94 National Integrated Protected Areas placed under government protection.
Adult – P50
Children – P10
Table and Chair Rental – P75 to P100
Things to do in Aliwagwag Falls Eco Park
The Aliwagwag Falls Eco Park offers a trail going up and the left side of the falls. Don’t worry, the activity fees are budget-friendly! Here are the top 3 things you can do at Aliwagwag Eco Park.
1. Zipline – P200
For those who want some adrenaline rush and view the waterfall from above, you can enjoy the 680-meter long, 180 feet high zip line strung across the Cateel River.
2. Monkey Bridge – P50
Afraid of heights but still want to feel the thrill? You can opt for the Monkey Bridge instead! The 45-meter long Monkey Bridge that spans the width of the falls, made up of literally three pieces of rope held together by a little more rope, will swing as you cross, and the view of the falls quickly rushing by beneath you will unnerve even the steeliest of you.
If you want to experience both the bridge and the zip line can pay P225 for the two activities, saving you a little money!
What’s a tour to a waterfall without enjoying its water right? Enjoy the best views of Aliwagwag while swimming to its cool and refreshing water. Take also a picture of every cascade you can reach that is totally perfect for your Instagram feed! And when you get hungry, don’t worry. You can either bring food in the area or just buy from the stores there.
How to get there
There are direct flights from Manila going to Davao City and Aliwagwag is seven (7) hours away from Davao City. From Davao, take a bus to Mati City. Then ride a van going to Cateel town proper. From downtown Cateel, ride a habal-habal going to the highway where Aliwagwag is nearest. It’s about a 30-minute ride.
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