Most of the beautiful waterfalls we’ve visited over the years are located a good distance off the nearest paved road or highway. Many require a hefty amount of trekking to reach. Not this waterfall – or so we thought – as we made our way from where our rented trike was parked and crossed the road towards the entrance to Cambugahay Falls on the opposite side. It was only after passing through the entrance did we realize we still had to descend a total of 135 precipitous steps to get to the waterfalls. It was almost as if Cambugahay Falls were telling us, “you’re not getting away with this so easily.”
Cambugahay Falls is located in the town of Lazi in the province of Siquijor and is one of the more famous attractions in the province. It is just two kilometers away from the town proper and was our next destination after we visited the San Isidro Labrador Parish Church and Convent on our first day tour of Siquijor Island and province. The falls are fed by springs up in the hills in the central part of the island that continue on down towards Lazi Bay.
Located in a ravine, Cambugahay Falls consists of three major tiers or levels. Each tier is shallow in height but is several meters wide. All catch basins have clear and swimmable turquoise waters. The catch basin at the first tier is the largest and apparently the deepest of all three. Several local children had turned it into their swimming pool and were using a low-hanging vine from one of the trees as a swing to propel themselves into the water like kid Tarzans and Janes.
The second and third tiers can be reached via a short and easy accent from the first tier. The second tier falls down into a catch basin that includes a number of smaller, beautiful shallow pools. There were plenty of trees around, providing a good shade from the sweltering afternoon sun. The water was refreshingly cool providing relief in the middle of a hot and humid day. Despite the presence of a few kids playing around the whole scene conveyed a refreshing sense of tranquility.
Cambugahay Falls is just 2 kilometers away from the town center of Lazi. The falls are normally included on the itinerary of a whole day island tour by tricycle. (In our case we did a two-day tour of the island so we could visit more destinations.) You can also rent a motorbike to get here. There are road signs along the way and the entrance to the falls is right along the road. You can leave your vehicle at a parking lot on the side of the road for a minimal fee, walk across the road towards the entrance to Cambugahay and descend 135 steps to the first level of the falls. There are no entrance fees but we did leave a tip for a guy who helped us with our camera equipment.