While much of El Nido is baking in the tropical sun, there’s this one spot just 45 minutes away that will definitely cool you off! Located in a tropical forest, the trekking adventure Kuyawyaw Falls comprise of five waterfalls, but only the first three are open to the public. This hidden wonder is located in Brgy. Cataban in Taytay, the town next to El Nido, just a motorbike away!
A Sneak Peek
The Trail to Kuyawyaw Falls
The trail to the three waterfalls is quite established, involving easy trekking and crossing bamboo bridges. The forest in the area is vibrant and cool, especially during the rainy months between June and December. You can spot various wildlife too, from birds and insects, to frogs, lizards, and monkeys! Please note that the trail can be a slippery during the rainy months. Otherwise it’s pretty refreshing!
The First Waterfall
The first waterfall takes about 10 minutes of easy trekking from the entrance. There’s some light breeze, trees rustle, and you can hear birds making noise as they fly from one branch to another.
This waterfall is about 4m high and rushes into a small pool surrounded by bedrocks. This is the shallowest of the three waterfalls and is about waist-deep. The water is cold, a little silted, and there are schools of small fish to see.
You can stay here for maybe 30 minutes because the second one is a lot nicer! You’d rather spend more time there.
The Second Waterfall
From the first waterfall, the second waterfall takes 10 to 15 minutes to reach. The trail is just as easy as the first one, only a bit longer. Before reaching the waterfall, the trail inclines a little steeper and then you’ll find the second bedrock-enclosed waterfall.
This waterfall is quite a sight to behold compared to the first one. The second runs at about 10m high, while the depth of the pool can range from waist-deep to around 5 meters deep, about the height of two people.
You can climb the rocks at the bottom of the waterfall and get a back massage from the pouring water! And if you’re gutsy enough, there are two spots on the left side by the bedrocks where you can do cliff-jumping. We promise, this is so much fun!
The Third Waterfall
The third waterfall is the most breathtaking of the three. Trekking here from the second waterfall takes another 10 to 15 minutes. Unlike the trail of the first two, the trail to the third waterfall is steep and rope-assisted. You’ll definitely need a guide to get here (it’s required if you plan to) and it’s totally worth it!
The third waterfall is a great alternative to the second, especially when you visit on a weekend and there are more guests in the area. The third one is more intimate, walled in by bedrocks, and very well-shaded. While the catch basin isn’t as big as the second, this one feels a lot more close and personal–romantic even.
Because not many people go here, you can often enjoy this place in peace and isolation. You can also float on your back and watch the canopy of trees swaying in the light breeze. The falls is only about 4m high, but you can tell by the ambiance that this waterfall is rather special!
How to get to Kuyawyaw Falls
The easiest and most convenient way to get to Kuyawyaw Falls is by motorbike. You can rent one from El Nido’s Town Proper for about P700 per day. If you’re coming here in a bigger group, we recommend that you rather rent a van. From El Nido, just follow the Taytay-El Nido National Highway going south and in about 40 minutes, you’ll see a signage going to the waterfalls (see map). You’ll drive another 5 minutes over a kilometer of dirt road to reach the waterfalls’ entrance.
Costs & Fees
It’s best to decide whether you’re going to see only the first two or all three waterfalls by the entrance. If you decide to take only the first two, you’ll be paying an environmental fee of P150 per person and an entrance fee of P50 per foreigner and P30 per local. So for about P200 per head, you can see the two waterfalls with your own personal guide. If you plan to go to the third waterfall, you’re have to pay another P200 per person.
The fourth and fifth waterfalls are not yet open to the public, but if you insist on seeing them, you can arrange this with the management and prepare yourself with proper outdoor gear (trek shoes, food, water, insect repellant, mobile phone for emergency, and an extra pair of clothes). This is a thrilling way to spend a whole day in the forest, just trekking, observing wildlife, and then rewarding yourself by dipping in the water.