Going up Aguinid Falls was a climb of many thrills: wading in the flow or swimming where the water pools, stepping from rock to rock, climbing alongside that falling sheet of liquid or meeting it head-on, pausing to take a shower.

Cebu has many waterfalls and they’re all, to a varying degree, spectacular, but Aguinid Falls in the southern Cebu town of Samboan gives you a different kind of experience.

Including level zero, Aguinid is made up of six interconnected waterfalls flowing into one another along the mountainside.

You can choose to stay and swim at the first level, go up some, or conquer all by proceeding to the topmost part. At the last level, the falling current is stronger and the pounding water more painful especially if you choose to go up and take your shower on the rock protrusions.

Aguinid Falls Level Zero Samboan Cebu
AGUINID FALLS. Level Zero of Aguinid Falls is closed to swimming because it is muddy and tends to get murky.


Aguinid Falls in Samboan, Cebu
LEVEL ZERO for no swimming. The path leading up Aguinid Falls.


Aguinid Falls Level 1 Samboan Cebu
TO FIRST LEVEL. The section leading to Level One. Starting in this part of Aguinid Falls, people can swim in the waters.


Aguinid Falls exploration

The limestone rocks over which the water of Aguinid Falls flows make navigating to the top possible even on a pair of slippers. The rocks are not slippery since moss does not grow on them.

Still, take a local guide with you because they know the best route to the top. They’re particularly helpful when you reach the second level where the only way up is braving that flowing water. The second waterfalls is high and you are able to climb it by using the shallow notches that the local community carved on the rocky surface.

Aguinid Falls in Samboan, Cebu.
LEVEL ONE. The first of the 5 levels of Aguinid Falls. The solid rock to the right is where you clamber up to go to the upper levels.


CLIMB UP. At level 3, you need to climb up the waterfalls face through notches carved on the solid rock. It only looks scary, it’s really quite easy to go up.
CLIMB. At level 2, you need to climb up the face of the waterfalls through notches carved on the solid rock. It only looks scary, it’s really quite easy to go up.


Aguinid Falls in Samboan, Cebu
GET READY TO CLIMB. This is the section you need to climb to go to levels 3, 4 and 5 of Aguinid. You go up through cavities carved on the waterfalls’ solid rock face.


Aguinid Falls in Samboan, Cebu
BACK DOWN AGAIN. Guides say going down level 2 is so much easier than climbing it. We were skeptical at first but it’s actually easier. This is why you should hire a local guide to show you how to traverse the different levels of Aguinid.


If you listen to the guide and follow their instructions, going up Aguinid Falls is safe enough. As we made our way to the top, we met a group coming down at the third level and they had with them a young boy who was probably not older than 10 years old.

Our guide also took our photos. If you don’t have a waterproof camera, bring your mobile phones but make sure you place them in airtight plastic casings. You can buy ahead or at stores near Aguinid which sells them for P120 to P150.

Remember that there is no way you wouldn’t get soaked in the climb so wear the appropriate outfit. Take into consideration that you will be taking large steps up and down rocks and a bikini might be too revealing. When it comes to footwear, a better alternative to slippers would be water shoes.

Aguinid Falls 4th level in Samboan, Cebu
FOURTH LEVEL. This part is deep enough for diving and guides typically tell you to only stay here if you really know how to swim.


Aguinid Falls in Samboan, Cebu
STILL CLIMBING. You will again need to climb up this part to head to Level 5 of Aguinid. Don’t be a wuss, a kid could do it.


Aguinid Falls in Samboan
TOPMOST SECTION. Level 5 is the topmost level and is the most beautiful and scenic. It is also the best area for swimming and taking a waterfalls shower. You can still climb up but you need special gear and your guide has to be with you at all times.


Entrance, guide rates

Exploring Aguinid and bathing in its cool waters will only cost you P20 in entrance fee and a tip for the guide. When it comes to tipping, please be generous since it’s how the 70 or so community guides earn a living.

The earliest time that visitors are allowed inside the falls is at seven in the morning. Since it gets dark early on, the town has set 5:30 p.m. as the cut-off time for visits.

Aguinid Falls in Samboan, Cebu
NEAR THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY. The entrance to Aguinid Falls is on the national highway leading to Samboan. If you’re driving to the place, this is one of the parking areas near the falls.


Aguinid Falls in Samboan, Cebu
ENTRANCE FEE, GUIDES. This is where you pay your P20 entrance fee and hire a local guide. To get the most out of your Aguinid visit, you must get a local tour guide who can show you how to safely traverse the different levels of the waterfalls.


Aguinid Falls, Samboan, Cebu
WATERPROOF BAG FOR YOUR GADGETS. You will get drenched in Aguinid so make sure you have a waterproof pouch for your phone and other gadgets. If you forgot to bring one, you can buy from the stalls leading to the falls. You can also buy a pair of slippers here, which you will need in going up.


Aguinid Falls is located in Barangay Tangbo, Samboan. The village is just close to the town center. From the coastal highway, Aguinid Falls is an easy 10-minute walk.

There are private parking spaces close to the falls, but they charge P50 per hour. If you’re taking the bus from the South Bus Terminal in N. Bacalso Avenue in Cebu City, ask the driver to drop you off at the spot nearest Aguinid Falls. A big billboard marks the way in.

From the town center, the place is a tricycle or habal-habal (motorcycle-for-hire) ride away.

For more about Samboan, read our previous stories: “19 Samboan attractions that make it a top Cebu destination” or “Samboan is home to natural, heritage attractions.” To get a portable Guide To Samboan, install the Android app Samboan Guide.

Marlen is the editor of MyCebu.ph and co-founder of Cebu-based journalism startup InnoPub Media.

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