Fun fact: It is a small province, but you can find a total of 30 waterfalls in Biliran. Only several of them are visited by tourists, and you can see most in a whole day. I think this means that the rest are either too small or undeveloped.
I’m not a waterfalls person to be honest. I’m not into long treks or cool water. Instead, I prefer hot springs and beaches. Hali is though, and he was happy with our day tour here.
As far as I know, the most famous waterfalls in Biliran are Tinago Falls in Caibiran and Ulan-Ulan Falls in Almeria.
Ulan-Ulan Falls, Almeria
Ulan-Ulan Falls is the most beautiful waterfalls I’ve seen. It might be comparable in aesthetics to Tinago Falls in Iligan, although I haven’t been to the latter yet. Ulan-Ulan Falls is bigger than what it looks here.
What sets Ulan-Ulan Falls apart from other waterfalls in the country is that it has remained undeveloped. No part of the trail or the basin has been changed. Normally what LGUs do is create a man-made pool to replace the natural basin of waterfalls, like that in Tumalog Falls in Cebu. A man-made pool is better for swimming, better for tourism. But natural beauty is still incomparable.
When you look at it from afar, it looks like a summer wonderland… high cascade of water surrounded by greenery, in a place so quiet the only thing you can hear is the rush of the water.
Ulan-Ulan can be reached by about 30 minutes of trekking from the jump-off point.
Recoletos Falls, Almeria
Recoletos Falls is located above Ulan-Ulan Falls. I wonder why it’s considered another waterfall because it seems to me that both are part of a single waterfall system.
This falls has a wider, dark-green basin. People can cliff dive from the tree besides the falls.
Pondol Falls, Almeria
We were initially reluctant to visit Pondol Falls because Hali has read of roaming thieves in the area, but since it’s near we decided to give it a go.
There were small kids and families having a picnic when we arrived. Pondol Falls looks small in photos, but it’s really about medium height. Hali and I both liked it better for swimming. The pool at the bottom of Pondol Falls is wide, and water seems to be cooler, fresher. Families would sink bottles of soft drinks in the water to cool.
Pondol Falls is about 15-20 minutes from the registration area for Ulan-Ulan and Recoletos Falls. We passed by the better part of Iyusan rice terraces on the way here. It takes another 15 minutes of walking to reach the main stream.
Tinago Falls, Caibiran
Tinago Falls isn’t hidden as its name suggests. Maybe at some point it was, but today “tinago” is a misnomer. Of the waterfalls we’d visited that day, it’s the most developed. But not in a bad way. Thankfully, the LGU has spared the main drop from any developments.
There’s a proper set of stairs to Tinago Falls and a shed has been constructed beside the bottom pools.
There were other groups of tourists when we arrived, but few actually swam in the main basin of Tinago Falls because of the strong current and huge boulders. It’s easy to get swept away.
All in all, it’s one of the better-managed waterfalls in the country.
Practical Guide: Chasing waterfalls in Biliran
Other waterfalls and attractions in the area
There are other waterfalls that seem worth visiting in Biliran. There’s the needle-like Kasabangan Falls and Casiawan Falls in Cabucgayan, the latter considered the highest waterfalls in the province at 40 meters high. There’s the Tomalistis Falls in Caibiran, which is reported to have the sweetest-tasting water by Guinness (I couldn’t find a direct source for this though).
There’s also Mainit Hotspring. We skipped this one because a local we’d talked with said it has become dirty and neglected, and similar reviews from TripAdvisor say the same thing.
Exploring Biliran via habal-habal
Fellow bloggers suggest spending a whole day in Biliran to chase waterfalls, instead of just a few hours as some tourists do, so you can see as much as you could.
There are lots of habal-habal drivers that can tour you around Biliran to see the waterfalls. If you’re staying overnight in a resort or inn, the reception staff can probably point you to someone. I highly suggest getting a reliable contact beforehand or at least know the rates for the tour so you won’t get duped.
A fellow traveler I’d talked with paid P500 for the tour. Others pay P800. There doesn’t seem to be a standard rate and it all comes down to haggling. As for us, we paid P1000.
We talked to another driver who said rates are P1000 to P2000. I haven’t heard of anyone who actually paid beyond a thousand.
- Kuya Fernando, habal-habal guide (recommended by another), 0907-328-3676
Anything you’d like to add in this guide to the waterfalls in Biliran? 🙂
P.S. Don’t forget to read our travel guide to Biliran and Leyte here. You might also be interested in:
- Biliran and Leyte: Sorry, we didn’t really hit it off
- Island hopping in Biliran and discovering the majestic, underrated Sambawan Island