This nine-day trip took me to some of the Philippines most majestic waterfalls including Limunsudan Falls, the tallest two-tiered waterfall in the country, and Asik-asik Falls, a bizarre and incredibly beautiful waterfall that was only recently discovered by tourists.

My journey started in Iligan, touted as the City of Majestic Waterfalls, where I joined the Waterfalling Adventure Tour 3 (WAT3) organized by the Iligan Bloggers Society. It was the first time that I had heard of an organized tour to Limunsudan Falls, so I immediately jumped at the opportunity when they invited me. Previously, getting to Limunsudan needed a two-day hike but due to road improvements, it was possible to access the falls on a day trip, passing by a gruelingly bumpy and dusty dirt road.

We visited Dodiongan Falls, Mimbalut Falls, Tinago Falls, and Maria Cristina Falls, all in Iligan.

After the WAT3 tour, I made plans to visit Asik-asik Falls before flying back to Iloilo. I was lucky that I had ran into awesome travel buddies. Many of the participants and organizers also wanted to extend their waterfalling adventure in Mindanao. We explored a few more waterfalls and did a city tour of Pagadian and Cotabato before finally reaching Asik-asik Falls, which was totally worth the long journey.

9 awesome waterfalls in a span of 9 days!

Itinerary Rundown

DestinationsDetails
Day 1 to 4
  • Iligan
  • Iloilo to Iligan
  • Iligan Hostel Check-in
  • Dodiongan Falls
  • Limunsudan Falls
  • Iligan Tourism Triangle
    • Mimbalut Falls
    • Tinago Falls
    • Maria Cristina Falls
Day 5 to 6
  • Naawan, Misamis Oriental
  • Kapatagan, Lanao del Norte
  • Pagadian, Zamboanga del Sur
  • Canapulan Falls
  • Santa Cruz Falls
  • Cathedral Falls
  • Pagadian City Tour
Day 7 to 9
  • Cotabato City
  • Midsayap, North Cotabato
  • Alamada
  • Davao City
  • Cotabato City Tour
  • Asik-asik Falls

Trip Date — May 2014

Route Map


Itinerary Notes & Tips

Day 1

Iloilo to Iligan

  • 3:15 to 4:00pm – Iloilo to Cagayan de Oro Flight via Cebu Pacific
  • 4:00pm – Arrival at Laguindingan International Airport
  • 4:00 to 6:00pm – Ride from Laguindingan to Iligan via 5J (2 hours including waiting time) – P135
    • Ride van shuttle from the airport to the highway intersection and transferred (5 minutes later) to a bus bound for Iligan.
  • 6:00pm – Arrival at Iligan North Bound Integrated Terminal
  • Ride city-bound jeep to Jasmine Pensionne Home – P8

Iligan Pension House Check-in

  • Check-in at Jasmine Pensionne Home (Andres Bonifacio Ave., Barangay Tibanga, Iligan City; 063 7363; 0932 8889122) – Double rooms from P400
    • Free WIFI at in-house Kopi Luwak
  • Eat at Kopi Luwak
    • Beef Spring Roll
  • Coffee at Brew’s Cafe (located a two buildings away)
    • Capucchino + Blue Berry Muffin – P120

Day 2

  • Breakfast at Kopi Kuwak
    • Chicken Sausage + Capuccino
  • Welcome Reception for Iligan Waterfalling Adventure Tour and Eat at Jacko’s Kan-anan (National Highway, Hinaplanon, Iligan City; http://jackos.com.ph/)
    • The Crispy Squid and Brisket was delicious :)

Dodiongan Falls Day Trip

  • Iligan City to Dodiongan Falls Jump-off Point transport aboard private shuttle (30 minutes)
  • Trek to Dodiongan Falls (30 minutes)
    • Flat trail with a few river crossings.
  • Trek and ride back to Iligan City Proper (around 1 hour)
    • We had to take the longer trail back (without the river crossings) because the river had swelled just as we arrived at the waterfall.
  • Dinner at Tatay’s Grill and Seafoods (National Highway, Hinaplanon, Iligan City)
  • Iligan Night Market Walk
    • The Night Market, which had a nice row of food stalls, was open every night on Fridays and Saturdays.

Day 3

Limunsudan Falls Day Trip

  • 5:00am – Departure from Iligan City Proper
  • Iligan City Proper to Sitio. Limunsudan, Brgy. Rogongon transport abroad military trucks of the Philippine Army (4 hours)
    • Our route crossed parts of Misamis Oriental, Cagayan de Oro, Bukidnon, and Lanao del Sur. It took us around 4 hours including a long stopover at Cagayan de Oro and at a river crossing along the way.
    • It is possible to go to Limunsudan via local commute (mostly on motorcycle taxis) on a day trip. It will take 5 to 6 hours with a couple connections needed. You can read a DIY guide at Pinay Travelista.
    • Very bumpy and dusty road along most parts of the route.
  • Welcome greeting and blessing ritual by the Higaonon Tribe at Sitio Limunsudan.
    • Required as a courtesy to the cultural traditions of the indigenous people living there. We prepared loose change and two live chickens, needed for the ritual.
  • Ride to Limunsudan Falls jump-off point (20 minutes)
  • Trek to Limunsudan Falls High Viewpoint (20 minutes)
  • Return journey to Iligan City Proper ride (5 hours)
  • Arrival at Iligan City Proper
  • Eat at Calda Pizza (The Strip, Gregorio T. Lluch Street, Brgy. Pala-o, Iligan City)

Day 4

  • Breakfast at Jollibee Iligan-Tubod

Iligan Tourism Triangle

Iligan’s most popular waterfalls and are easily accessible by local commute. We used our own private transport for this tour.

  • Mimbalut Falls
    • No entrance fee if you go on the trail outside the “resort.”
  • Tinago Falls
    • Trek to/from jump-off point (15 to 30 minutes per way; Steep downhill steps going to the waterfall). Ate picnic lunch at one of the cottages
    • Entrance fee – P10; Bamboo raft ride to the main cascade – P10 per person.
  • Maria Cristina Falls
    • Entrance fee – P10

Day 5

  • Eat at Tita Fannies Liempo and Chicken Haus (Along the narrow road beside Gaisano Iligan)

Canapulan Falls Tour

  • Jeepney ride from Iligan City Proper to Iligan North-bound Integrated Terminal – P8
  • Bus ride from Iligan to Naawan Public Market – around P30
  • Habal-habal (motorcycle taxi) ride from Naawan Public Market to Canapulan Falls jump-off point – P40 per way per motorcycle (P20 per person)
    • Habal-habal driver – Oliver Cavanilla (+63.910.274.3031). He also offered to guide us to Canapulan Falls.
  • Trek to all three tiers of Canapulan/Kanapulan Falls
    • We spent around 3 hours in total. The trek between each tier took around 15 minutes.
  • Return journey to Iligan
    • Stopover at Iligan’s Centennial Park (along the coastal highway a few kilometers north of Iligan City Proper) to watch the sunset.

Day 6

Kapatagan Waterfalls Tour

  • 8am – Jeepney ride to Iligan South-bound Terminal (Camague) – P8
  • Ride Pagadian-bound bus from Iligan to Kapatagan, Lanao del Norte – P110. Dropped off at Kapatagan Town Center.
  • Ride sidecar (tricycle) to Brgy. Santa Cruz (15 minutes) – P10. Dropped off at Barangay Captain’s house.
  • Hike to Santa Cruz Falls jump-off point (20 minutes from the highway)
  • Hike to Santa Cruz Falls (30 minutes)
    • Trekking guide – P150
  • Ride tricycle back to town center
  • Ride habal-habal to Cathedral Falls (P60 roundtrip per motorcycle)

Kapatagan (Lanao del Norte) to Pagadian

  • Ride bus from Kapatagan to Pagadian (1 hour and 30 minutes) – P90 + P4 terminal fee
  • Ride multicab from Pagadian Terminal to City Center – P10
  • Ride tricycle to Minnie’s Cakes and Pastries – P10
  • Eat at Minnie’s
    • Moist chocolate cake (their specialty), butterscotch bars, soda – P107
  • Spend the rest of the night at Dunkin Donuts to wait for the next scheduled departure of Cotabato City-bound vans at 12 midnight.
  • 11pm – Ride tricycle to Pagadian Terminal – P100 per tricycle

Day 7

Pagadian to Cotabato City

  • 12am – Ride van from Pagadian to Cotabato City (5 hours) – P350
    • We were strongly discouraged later by the Cotabato City Tourism Office when we told them that we traveled to Cotabato City at night. They told us that it could potentially be dangerous and was unwise. Day time travel, on the other hand, should be generally safe.
  • Arrival at van terminal in Cotabato City Center

Cotabato City Tour

  • Eat at carinderia (local eatery near the terminal)
    • Patel (rice with beef rendang wrapped in banana leaf)
  • Ride jeep to Cotabato City Plaza
    • Old City Hall building
  • Ride jeep to New Cotabato City Hall
  • Visit Cotabato City Tourism Office
  • Ride jeep to Weena Bus Terminal
  • Ride chartered multicab to Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah Masjid (Golden Mosque of Cotabato City) – P200 roundtrip chartered rate per multicab
  • Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah Masjid
  • Eat at Cotabato City Center

Overnight at Midsayap, North Cotabato

  • Ride jeepney to Weena Bus Terminal
  • Ride bus from Cotabato City to Midsayap (45 minutes). Drop off at Midsayap Bus Terminal
  • Ride tricycle to White Hut Inn and Resort
  • Check-in at White Hut Inn and Resort (https://www.facebook.com/WhiteHutInn.Resort)
    • Tripe Room (Aircon; Private TB) – P1,200 per room per night
  • Eat at Midsayap town Center

Day 8

Asik-asik Falls Tour

  • Check-out and leave big bags at White Hut
  • Ride tricycle to Libungan Public Market – P25
  • Eat at Libungan Public Market
  • Ride habal-habal to Brgy. Dado, Alamada – P1,000 round trip per habal-habal (seemed awfully overpriced)
  • Ride habal-habal to Asik-asik Falls jump-off point at Upper Dado – P150 round trip per habal-habal (one person per habal-habal recommended).
    • Travel time from Libungan to Asik-Asik jump-off point – around 3 hours
  • Downhill hike from jump-off point to Asik-Asik Falls (30 minutes).
  • Return journey back to Midsayap. It was a steep downhill trail to the waterfalls, so it took longer to finish the uphill trail back to the jump-off point.

Midsayap to Davao City Bus

  • Ride bus from Midsayap to Davao City (5 to 6 hours)
  • Stayed with a friend in Davao

Day 9

Davao to Iloilo Flight

  • Ride taxi to Davao Airport – P138
  • Check-in for Davao to Iloilo Flight via Cebu Pacific – P200 terminal fee.
  • Davao to Iloilo Flight

Budget and Expenses

  • Total expenses excluding flights and expenses for accommodation, and transportation, some meals in Iligan (Day 1 to 4) – P5,300