Mantayupan Falls. Waterfall in Philippines, Asia

Mantayupan Falls

Waterfall in Philippines, Asia

G0262436_1397294937454_high Photo © diakom86

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Mantayupan Falls

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Mantayupan Falls - Mantayupan Falls
Mantayupan Falls - Mantayupan Falls. Photo by Johanna Alexis
Mantayupan Falls is a double-tiered waterfall located in the third class municipality of Barili (Wikipedia
	Article) in Cebu. Among all the other waterfalls in the province, including Kawasan Falls in Badian and Tumalog Falls in Oslob, Mantayupan is the highest with a height of over 321 feet from the peak to the basin. There is also a second set of waterfalls at the first level, which has a height of 46 feet or 46 feet.
The local tourist attraction is situated at the base of Barili’s abundantly forested mountains. The area was developed into a park in order to give convenience to the guests, and also to promote tourism within the area. Despite the man-made installations, Mantayupan Falls still has the wonderful essence of its natural environment.

History and Folklore

Before 1985, the Mantayupan Falls was a secluded area hidden within the forest of Barili. Locals didn't bother to explore nor swim in the area because it was inaccessible, and they were afraid of the popular folklore circulating at that time. The story about a giant creature with octopus-like features called “Mantaga” was said to inhabit the falls. Locals were cautioned that Mantaga will drown those who would venture into the waterfalls. Another popular folklore was about spirits existing in the falls. It is said that Mantayupan Falls is a city of the supernatural and that the ancestors of the locals used to borrow stuff from the spirits living there.
In 1985, the Mantayupan Falls was developed and was used as a source of alternative power by the local barangay (Wikipedia Article). A mini-hydro power plant was built there and is still operational until today. It operates from 5 PM to 5 AM every day to supply electricity to the vicinity.


When visiting Mantayupan Falls, there will be an entrance fee of ₱25 ($0.55) for adults, and ₱10 ($0.22) for children. The fees collected are used for the maintenance and preservation of the park. For tourists who are bringing their own food and snacks, there is a corkage fee of ₱50 ($1.10). There is also a canteen/restaurant within the park so those who forgot to bring their own meals can rest easy.
Upon reaching the first level of the park, there will be a set of three waterfalls with a height of 46 feet. You will need to cross a man-made, hanging bridge to get to the second level, where the tallest waterfalls in Cebu is located. The main waterfalls has a height of over 322 feet, plunging directly to a wide catch basin. Tourists can take a dip in the fresh, cold water of the waterfall's basin. Life jackets are available for only ₱10 ($0.22).

Mantayupan Falls is also know to locals as “Ambakan Falls.” The beautiful roar of the water splashing down can be heard echoing around the area’s lush greens, making it one of the most amazing natural wonder in Cebu.

Getting There

From Manila or any other part of the country, take a domestic flight to Cebu City. Flights from Manila to Cebu are offered everyday by major airline companies such as Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific Air.


From the Cebu airport (Mactan–Cebu International Airport) or your hotel, take a taxi ride to South Bus Terminal located near E-Mall, a few blocks from Colon Street. Upon reaching the bus terminal, take a Ceres bus serving the Bato-Barili route (there are two routes going to “Bato”, one is via Oslob which is on the east, and the other one is via Barili; choose the latter as it passes by the Barili town proper).

Buses usually depart every hour, the earliest bus leaves as early as 2 AM, while air-conditioned buses leaves as early as 5 AM. When you get on, inform the conductor or driver upfront to drop you off at the Shamrock Bakery stopover. The travel time from the terminal to Barili is approximately 2 hours, depending on the traffic. When you get off the stopover, there will be several habal-habal or motorbikes available to take you directly to Mantayupan Falls.

Private Car or Taxi

    If you want to avoid the hassles of commuting to Mantayupan, you can either get a rental car or hire a taxi at a fixed price. Barili is approximately 38 miles from downtown Cebu, and will only take one and a half hour to get there. Upon reaching the town proper, drive straight to Barili’s public market and make a right at the big sign that indicates the road to Mantayupan Falls. There will be a parking fee of ₱20 ($0.44) for private cars.

    Travel Tips

  • There is a fishing village and restaurant just outside the entrance to Mantayupan Falls. Guests can catch their own fish (tilapia) and have it cooked in a variety of ways. Check it out, make your entire trip a unique and fun experience.
  • When swimming in the waterfall's basin, don’t go in barefoot. The rocks under the water are muddy and very slippery, some are even sharp and can easily bruise or cut your feet.

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Author: radiantan. Last updated: Oct 30, 2014

Pictures of Mantayupan Falls

Mantayupan Falls
Mantayupan Falls.

Travel Photography: Cebu 2014 - Mantayupan Falls
Travel Photography: Cebu 2014 - Mantayupan Falls. Photo by Xavier Yun

Mantayupan Falls - Mantayupan Falls
Mantayupan Falls - Photo by Johanna Alexis

At the Rim - Mantayupan Falls
At the Rim - Mantayupan Falls. Photo by Lemuel Leogene Reyes


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