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Dao Falls Hike In Samboan, Cebu: A Complete Guide


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Valene Sherrod



Welcome to the enchanting world of Samboan, Cebu, where nature reigns supreme and adventure awaits at every turn. One of the must-visit attractions in this picturesque town is the Dao Falls hike. Nestled amidst lush greenery and cascading waters, Dao Falls is a hidden gem that offers a refreshing and exhilarating outdoor experience.


As you embark on this journey, you will be captivated by the beauty of the surrounding landscape, with its towering trees, vibrant flora, and the sound of rushing water. The hike to Dao Falls is not only a thrilling adventure but also an opportunity to immerse yourself in the natural wonders of the Philippines.


Located in the heart of Samboan, Dao Falls is a true testament to the country’s stunning biodiversity. The falls are fed by the clear and pristine waters of the Dao River, which originates from the nearby mountains. The sheer beauty and tranquility of this place will leave you in awe.


Whether you are a nature enthusiast, an avid hiker, or simply seeking a break from the hustle and bustle of city life, Dao Falls hike is the perfect escape. It offers a unique blend of adventure, relaxation, and the chance to witness the raw beauty of the Philippine wilderness.


In this complete guide, we will provide you with all the information you need to plan your Dao Falls hike in Samboan, Cebu. You will discover how to get to Samboan, an overview of Dao Falls, details about the hiking trail, what to bring, safety tips, and much more. So, lace up your hiking boots, pack your sense of adventure, and get ready for an unforgettable experience at Dao Falls in Samboan!


Getting to Samboan

Samboan is a municipality located in the province of Cebu, Philippines. While it may seem like a remote destination, getting there is relatively easy. Here are some options for reaching Samboan:

  • By Air: The nearest airport to Samboan is Mactan-Cebu International Airport. Upon arrival, you can take a taxi or private vehicle to Samboan, which is approximately a 3-hour drive.
  • By Ferry: If you are coming from other islands in the Philippines, you can take a ferry to Cebu City. From there, you can hire a private vehicle or take a public bus to Samboan. The journey takes around 3-4 hours, depending on the traffic and weather conditions.
  • By Bus: If you prefer a more budget-friendly option, there are buses available from Cebu City South Bus Terminal that go directly to Samboan. The bus journey takes around 3-4 hours, depending on the traffic.

Once you arrive in Samboan, you can hire a tricycle or habal-habal (a motorcycle taxi) to take you to the starting point of the hike to Dao Falls. These local transportation options are readily available and can be found near the town center or at designated terminals.


It is worth noting that Samboan is a small town with limited infrastructure, so it is advisable to plan your transportation ahead of time, especially during peak tourist seasons. Additionally, it is recommended to have a map or GPS navigation system to ensure you are on the right track.


With its idyllic charm and natural beauty, Samboan is a destination that is well worth the journey. Once you reach this hidden paradise, you will be rewarded with breathtaking views and unforgettable experiences at Dao Falls and the surrounding areas.


Dao Falls Overview

Hidden deep within the mountains of Samboan, Cebu, Dao Falls is a pristine natural wonder that will leave you in awe. This majestic waterfall is a true paradise, characterized by its crystal-clear waters, lush foliage, and tranquil surroundings.


The falls derive its name from the local term “dao,” which means “cave” in the Cebuano language. Dao Falls is believed to have been formed by the erosion of the limestone rocks in the area, resulting in a breathtaking cascade of water that flows into a pool below.


Standing at a height of approximately 90 feet (27 meters), Dao Falls mesmerizes visitors with its sheer beauty and the soothing sound of water crashing against rocks. The area surrounding the falls is rich in natural diversity, with various plant species adorning the landscape, including bamboo, ferns, and moss-covered stones.


The pool at the base of the falls is a refreshing oasis, inviting you to take a dip and cool off from the tropical heat. The water is cool and invigorating, the perfect reward after a challenging hike. The pool’s depth varies, with some areas suitable for swimming, while others are ideal for simply relaxing and soaking in the beauty of the surroundings.


In addition to its natural allure, Dao Falls also holds cultural significance for the local community. The falls are considered sacred by the residents, who believe that the spirit of the falls protects and blesses the land and its people.


As you explore Dao Falls, be prepared to be enchanted by its pristine beauty, serene atmosphere, and the sense of wonder that nature offers. The hike to the falls is an adventure in itself, with magical moments waiting to be discovered at every corner.


In the next sections of this guide, we will delve deeper into the hiking trail to Dao Falls, safety tips, and what to bring on your journey, ensuring that you are well-prepared to embark on this unforgettable adventure.


Hiking Trail to Dao Falls

The hiking trail to Dao Falls is an exciting and scenic journey that takes you through the rugged terrain and lush forests of Samboan. This trail is suitable for both beginner and experienced hikers, offering a moderate level of difficulty.


The trailhead is located near the center of Samboan, and you can easily reach it by hiring a tricycle or habal-habal from town. The hike to Dao Falls typically takes around 30 to 45 minutes, depending on your pace and the weather conditions.


As you begin your hike, you will be surrounded by towering trees and a diverse range of plant life. The path is well-marked, with signage pointing the way to Dao Falls, ensuring that you stay on track and don’t get lost. Along the way, you will also encounter small streams and picturesque viewpoints that offer glimpses of the stunning natural beauty that awaits you.


As you make your way deeper into the forest, the sounds of nature will envelop you, creating a serene and peaceful atmosphere. The trail meanders through rocky sections and gentle slopes, providing a moderate challenge that is suitable for hikers of different fitness levels.


One of the highlights of the hike is crossing bamboo footbridges that span over flowing streams. These bridges not only add to the adventure but also provide a unique and memorable experience as you navigate your way towards the falls.


Upon reaching Dao Falls, you will be greeted by the awe-inspiring sight of the cascading waters and the refreshing mist that fills the air. Take a moment to immerse yourself in the beauty of the falls, marvel at the natural surroundings, and enjoy the serenity of this hidden paradise.


It is important to note that the trail can be slippery, especially during the rainy season or after heavy rainfall. Wearing sturdy hiking shoes or sandals with good traction is highly recommended to ensure your safety and stability while navigating the trail.


Overall, the hiking trail to Dao Falls is a journey of discovery and wonder. It offers a harmonious blend of adventure, natural beauty, and tranquility that will leave you with lasting memories of your time in Samboan, Cebu.


What to Bring

Preparing for your hike to Dao Falls in Samboan requires careful consideration of the essentials you need to bring. Here’s a comprehensive list of items that will ensure you have a comfortable and enjoyable experience:

  1. Proper Footwear: Wear comfortable and sturdy hiking shoes or sandals with good traction to navigate the sometimes slippery trail.
  2. Appropriate Clothing: Dress in lightweight and breathable clothing that will keep you cool and protect you from the sun. Consider wearing quick-drying materials, as you may get wet during the hike or while swimming in the pool near the falls.
  3. Swimwear: Pack your swimwear if you plan to take a refreshing dip in the pool at the base of the falls.
  4. Water and Snacks: Stay hydrated by bringing an ample supply of water and some energy-boosting snacks to keep you fueled along the way.
  5. Insect Repellent: Protect yourself from pesky mosquito bites by applying insect repellent before and during the hike.
  6. Sun Protection: Wear a hat, sunglasses, and apply sunscreen to shield yourself from the sun’s rays during the hike.
  7. Towel and Change of Clothes: Pack a towel to dry off after swimming and bring a change of clothes, especially if you plan to explore other attractions in the area after visiting Dao Falls.
  8. Small Backpack: Carry a small backpack to store your belongings and keep your hands free during the hike.
  9. Camera or Smartphone: Capture the stunning scenery and memorable moments during your hike to Dao Falls.
  10. Cash: Bring some cash for any entrance fees, transportation, or purchases you may need to make during your visit.

It is important to note that while Dao Falls is a popular tourist attraction, the facilities in the area are limited. Therefore, it is advisable to bring all the necessary items with you to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable experience.


By packing the essentials mentioned above, you will be well-prepared for your hiking adventure to Dao Falls and create unforgettable memories in the breathtaking natural surroundings of Samboan, Cebu.


Safety Tips

While exploring the beauty of Dao Falls in Samboan, it is essential to prioritize safety to ensure a smooth and enjoyable hiking experience. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind:

  1. Research and Plan: Familiarize yourself with the trail, weather conditions, and any potential hazards or challenges you may encounter along the way. Planning ahead will help you make informed decisions and prepare accordingly.
  2. Inform Others: Let someone know about your hiking plans, including the expected duration of your hike and when you plan to return. This is crucial in case of any unexpected circumstances.
  3. Stay on the Trail: Stick to the designated hiking trail to avoid getting lost or wandering into unsafe areas. Following the marked path will also help protect the natural habitat and preserve the ecosystem.
  4. Use Proper Footwear: Wear sturdy hiking shoes or sandals with good traction to prevent slips and falls, especially on uneven or slippery surfaces.
  5. Protect Yourself from the Sun: Apply sunscreen, wear a hat, and use sunglasses to shield your skin and eyes from harmful UV rays. This is particularly important as you will be exposed to the sun during the hike.
  6. Stay Hydrated: Carry an ample amount of water and stay hydrated throughout the hike. It is essential to drink regularly, especially in the tropical climate.
  7. Be Mindful of Wildlife: Respect the natural habitat and wildlife you encounter along the way. Avoid feeding, approaching, or disturbing animals to ensure your safety and their well-being.
  8. Be Cautious in Wet Conditions: Be extra cautious if the trail is wet or slippery. Slow down your pace and take extra care to maintain your balance and stability.
  9. Follow Local Guidelines: Respect any rules or guidelines set by the local authorities or park management. These regulations are in place to ensure the safety of visitors and the preservation of the natural environment.
  10. Trust Your Instincts: If you encounter a situation that feels unsafe or beyond your capabilities, it’s better to turn back or seek assistance rather than taking unnecessary risks.

By adhering to these safety tips, you can have a smooth and secure hiking experience to Dao Falls in Samboan, Cebu. Embrace the beauty of nature while prioritizing your well-being and the preservation of this natural paradise.


Hiking Difficulty Level

The hiking trail to Dao Falls in Samboan, Cebu is considered to have a moderate difficulty level. While it is suitable for hikers of various fitness levels, it is important to be aware of the challenges and prepare accordingly.


The trail consists of rugged terrain, slopes, and some rocky sections, which require a certain level of physical fitness and endurance. There are also areas where the trail can be slippery, especially during the rainy season or after heavy rainfall. Wearing sturdy hiking shoes or sandals with good traction is essential to ensure stability and safety while navigating these conditions.


The hike to Dao Falls typically takes around 30 to 45 minutes, depending on your pace and the weather conditions. It is important to pace yourself and take breaks when needed, especially if you are not accustomed to hiking or physical exertion.


While the difficulty level of the hike is moderate, it is always recommended to have a basic level of fitness before embarking on any hiking adventure. Engaging in regular physical activity and incorporating exercises that improve strength, endurance, and balance will help prepare your body for the hike.


Additionally, being prepared with the right equipment and essentials, such as proper footwear, adequate hydration, and a small backpack, will contribute to a more comfortable and enjoyable hiking experience.


If you are a beginner hiker or have concerns about the difficulty level, it can be helpful to hire a local guide who is familiar with the trail and can provide additional assistance and knowledge along the way.


Remember, hiking should be a fun and rewarding experience, but it is important to listen to your body, trust your instincts, and not push yourself beyond your limits. Take the time to appreciate the beauty of the surroundings, enjoy the journey, and embrace the adventure that awaits you as you hike to Dao Falls in Samboan, Cebu.


Exploring Dao Falls

Once you reach Dao Falls in Samboan, Cebu, you will be rewarded with a breathtaking natural wonder that invites exploration and immersion in its stunning surroundings. Here are some highlights and activities to enjoy while exploring Dao Falls:


Marvel at the Falls: Take a moment to soak in the beauty of Dao Falls. The mesmerizing cascade of water and the lush green surroundings create a picturesque setting that will leave you in awe. Snap some photos, breathe in the fresh air, and appreciate the wonder of nature.


Swim in the Pool: The pool at the base of Dao Falls is an inviting oasis, perfect for a refreshing swim. The cool and clear waters provide a welcome respite, especially after the hike. Whether you choose to take a dip or simply wade in the shallows, the experience is sure to rejuvenate your senses.


Cliff Jumping: For thrill-seekers, Dao Falls offers the opportunity for cliff jumping. Jumping from the rocks into the deep pool below can be an exhilarating experience. However, exercise caution and ensure that the depth of the water is suitable before attempting any jumps. Always prioritize safety and follow any guidelines or warnings posted in the area.


Enjoy a Picnic: Dao Falls provides an ideal setting for a scenic picnic amidst nature. Bring along some snacks or a packed lunch to enjoy with your companions. Find a comfortable spot near the falls, spread out a mat, and savor your meal amidst the peaceful ambiance.


Take a Nature Walk: Explore the area around Dao Falls on foot and discover the natural wonders that surround it. Wander along the trails, keeping an eye out for unique plant species and wildlife that call this place home. Immerse yourself in the sights, sounds, and scents of the forest.


It is important to practice responsible tourism and leave the area as you found it. Respect the natural environment, refrain from littering, and follow any guidelines or regulations to ensure the preservation of Dao Falls for future generations to enjoy.


Remember to bring a towel and a change of clothes, as you may get wet during your time at the falls. Keep in mind that the rocks near Dao Falls can be slippery, so exercise caution when exploring or moving around the area.


Exploring Dao Falls is an opportunity to connect with nature and experience the sheer beauty of this hidden gem in Samboan, Cebu. Whether you choose to swim, cliff jump, enjoy a picnic, or simply bask in the serenity of the surroundings, Dao Falls promises an unforgettable adventure for all who venture there.


Swimming at Dao Falls

One of the most enticing aspects of visiting Dao Falls in Samboan, Cebu is the opportunity to take a dip in the invigorating pool at the base of the falls. Here’s what you need to know about swimming at Dao Falls:


The pool at Dao Falls offers a serene and picturesque setting for swimming. The water is crystal clear, cool, and refreshing, making it the perfect respite from the tropical heat. Whether you are a seasoned swimmer or simply looking to enjoy a leisurely swim, the pool at Dao Falls provides a tranquil and natural environment to take a dip.


The depth of the pool can vary, so it is important to exercise caution, especially if you are not a strong swimmer. Some areas may be shallow enough to stand comfortably, while other parts may be deeper, requiring swimming skills. Take your time to assess the depth and ease into the water accordingly.


While swimming at Dao Falls is a delightful experience, it is important to prioritize safety. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind:

  1. Know your swimming ability: Be aware of your swimming skills and only venture into the water if you feel confident and comfortable.
  2. Swim in designated areas: Stick to the areas where swimming is allowed and safe. Pay attention to any warnings or markers provided by local authorities.
  3. Be cautious of submerged rocks: Take care when swimming near or around rocks, as they can be slippery. Avoid diving or jumping in areas where rocks may be submerged.
  4. Respect the natural environment: Do not disturb or remove any natural elements from the falls or its surroundings. Preserve the beauty of Dao Falls for future visitors to enjoy.
  5. Supervise children: If you are visiting with children, keep a watchful eye on them at all times to ensure their safety in the water.
  6. Stay hydrated: Although the water is tempting, remember to keep hydrated by drinking plenty of water while swimming and during your time at Dao Falls.

Lastly, remember to respect the privacy of fellow visitors and maintain cleanliness by properly disposing of any trash. Leave nothing but footprints and take nothing but memories as you enjoy your time swimming at Dao Falls.


Swimming at Dao Falls offers a unique and rejuvenating experience. Whether you choose to plunge into the cool waters or simply dip your toes in, this natural oasis promises a refreshing and memorable adventure in the heart of Samboan, Cebu.


Camping and Picnic Facilities

If you are looking to extend your time at Dao Falls in Samboan, Cebu and immerse yourself in nature, there are camping and picnic facilities available in the area. Here’s what you need to know about camping and enjoying a picnic at Dao Falls:




Dao Falls offers a unique opportunity for outdoor enthusiasts to camp amidst the beauty of the surrounding wilderness. The camping area is located near the falls, providing a tranquil setting for an overnight stay under the stars.


While camping facilities are limited, you can pitch a tent on designated camping spots. It is recommended to bring your own camping gear, including a tent, sleeping bags, and camping essentials. Be prepared with warm clothing, as nights can get cooler in the mountains.


It is important to note that camping at Dao Falls is a rustic experience, as there are no formal amenities available. Make sure to bring enough food and water for your stay, as well as cooking equipment if you plan to prepare your meals. Properly dispose of trash and leave the camping area as you found it to preserve the natural beauty of the surroundings.


Picnic Facilities:


If you prefer a day trip to Dao Falls, taking advantage of the picnic facilities is a great way to enjoy a meal in a scenic environment. There are designated picnic areas where you can set up and enjoy a delicious meal amidst nature’s splendor.


While there are no specific picnic tables provided, you can bring your own picnic blanket or mat to spread out and relax. The grassy areas or rocks near the falls make for perfect spots to enjoy a picnic with family and friends.


Remember to bring your own food, beverages, and necessary utensils for your picnic. It is also important to practice responsible tourism by properly disposing of any trash and leaving the area clean for others to enjoy.


Please note that the camping and picnic facilities at Dao Falls are basic, allowing you to connect with nature in a minimalistic setting. If you choose to camp or have a picnic, be prepared with all the necessary equipment and provisions to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable experience.


Whether you opt for camping or a picnic, Dao Falls offers a serene and picturesque backdrop for spending quality time with loved ones, savoring a delicious meal, and creating cherished memories amidst the natural wonders of Samboan, Cebu.


Nearby Attractions

While Dao Falls in Samboan, Cebu is a captivating destination on its own, there are several other nearby attractions that you can explore to further enrich your visit. Here are some notable attractions near Dao Falls:


Aguinid Falls: Located in nearby Barangay Tangbo, Aguinid Falls is another enchanting waterfall that is worth a visit. It features a multi-tiered cascade with beautiful rock formations. What makes Aguinid Falls unique is that you can climb alongside the waterfall, passing through natural rock formations and experiencing the thrill of the rushing water.


Binalayan Falls (Hidden Falls): Just a short distance from Dao Falls, Binalayan Falls, also known as Hidden Falls, is a hidden gem tucked away in a lush forest. This serene waterfall boasts crystal-clear waters and a tranquil atmosphere. The journey to Binalayan Falls involves a short hike, crossing bamboo bridges and wading through streams, adding to the sense of adventure.


Samboan Church: The St. Michael the Archangel Church in Samboan is a cultural and historical landmark. Built in the late 17th century, it showcases Spanish colonial architecture and serves as a reminder of the town’s rich heritage. The church is a peaceful and picturesque site, offering a glimpse into the local history and religious traditions of the region.


Aguinid Falls Eco Adventure Park: Apart from Aguinid Falls, the eco-adventure park offers various activities such as canyoneering, river trekking, and spelunking. It’s an ideal spot for adrenaline junkies and outdoor enthusiasts to experience the thrill of exploring natural wonders in a guided and safe environment.


Kawasan Falls: Although a bit farther from Samboan, a visit to Kawasan Falls is highly recommended. Located in Badian, Cebu, Kawasan Falls is renowned for its stunning turquoise waters and beautiful cascades. You can enjoy swimming, bamboo rafting, or even try canyoneering along the captivating canyons and waterways.


These nearby attractions offer a diverse range of natural wonders and cultural experiences, allowing you to further immerse yourself in the beauty and charm of the Samboan region. Whether you decide to explore the neighboring waterfalls, visit the historic church, or embark on thrilling adventures, these attractions will enhance your overall visit to Dao Falls and create an unforgettable journey in Samboan, Cebu.



Embarking on a hiking adventure to Dao Falls in Samboan, Cebu is an experience that combines the allure of nature, thrilling exploration, and a sense of tranquility. This hidden gem offers a perfect retreat for nature enthusiasts, adventure seekers, and those looking for a break from the hustle and bustle of city life.


From the moment you set foot on the hiking trail, you will be captivated by the beauty of the surrounding landscape. The journey to Dao Falls takes you through lush forests, over bamboo bridges, and amidst the soothing sounds of nature. It is an opportunity to immerse yourself in the raw and untamed beauty of the Philippines.


Once you reach Dao Falls, you will be greeted by the breathtaking sight of the cascading waters and the serene pool at its base. The chance to swim in the crystal-clear waters or simply bask in the beauty of the falls is truly rejuvenating.


As you explore Dao Falls and the nearby attractions, it is important to prioritize safety, respect the environment, and be mindful of your impact on the surroundings. By adhering to safety guidelines, practicing responsible tourism, and leaving no trace, you can help preserve the natural beauty of this remarkable place for generations to come.


Whether you choose to camp, have a picnic, or simply spend a few hours enjoying the falls, Dao Falls promises an unforgettable adventure in Samboan, Cebu. The peace and serenity that envelops this hidden paradise will leave you with lasting memories and a renewed appreciation for the wonders of the Philippines.


So, lace up your hiking boots, pack your sense of adventure, and prepare to embark on a journey to Dao Falls – a place where nature’s beauty knows no bounds and where you can find solace and amazement in the heart of Samboan.