A side-trip to Siquijor is recommended if you’re visiting Dumaguete. For more details on HOW TO GET THERE, WHERE TO STAY and our full SIQUIJOR ITINERARY (Read: Top Things to do in Siquijor and Travel Guide)
Casaroro Falls is a must-visit for adventure seekers in Dumaguete. Tucked in a dense forest, this beauty is not for the weak-kneed because you’ll take 300+ steps down (and back up!) plus a couple of river crossing and rock scrambling, just to reach the falls. Add to that the fact that the world’s deadliest storm in 2011, Typhoon Sendong, destroyed the concrete walkway and hanging bridge from the bottom of the stairs to the falls, which mean you’ll have to climb boulders, rocks and debris. It’s definitely not a walk in the park. But no doubt, it’s worth it.
- From Dumaguete City jeepney terminal, ride a jeep to Valencia. Schedules are not cast in stone so ask around the terminal where you can ride the earliest trip to Valencia. Travel time is around 20-30 minutes.
- Upon reaching Valencia, tricycle and habal-habal drivers are waiting where you’ll be dropped-off. Buy your food, water and other supplies here. Note, however, that the tricycles can’t go up the unpaved part of the road which means you’ll have to trek going up. We recommend riding the habal-habal.
- Habal-habal ride to the jump-off point will take around 20-30 minutes. Make sure to get the number of your driver in case he leaves the jump-off point. You can also make arrangements to go to Pulangbato Falls, around 30-45 minutes away from Casaroro Falls.
Dumaguete was named one of the best places to retire in the world by Forbes Magazine, and we certainly agree upon going around the town. But beyond its laid back charm, quaint restaurants and gentle people, adventurers can find two unique and picturesque waterfalls just outside Dumaguete City. Here’s a list of hotels in Dumaguete.
- 0900 Ride tricycle going to Dumaguete City jeepney terminal
- 0930 Departure of jeep from Dumaguete City to Valencia. Travel time is 30 minutes.
- 1000 Arrival in Valencia. Buy food, water and other supplies you’ll need.
- 1030 Ride a habal-habal going to the jump-off of Casaroro Falls
- 1100 Arrival in jump-off point. Pay the P10 entrance fee and register names. Start descent.
- 1200 Reach Casaroro Falls. Hang-out, eat, relax, appreciate its beauty.
- 1400 Start ascend back to the jump-off point.
- 1500 Departure of habal-habal to Pulangbato Falls
- 1600 Arrival in Pulangbato Falls. Pay for the entrance fee of P20. Swim and hang-out by the falls. (Also Read: Pulangbato Falls Negros: Unique Waterfalls)
- 1700 Ride habal-habal to Valencia market to ride the jeep going back to Dumaguete City.
- 1800 Arrive in Dumaguete City.
Casaroro Falls is one of those hidden gems rewarded only to those who work hard to see it. At least it has been this way since Typhoon Sendong in 2011, when the concrete walkway leading to falls was destroyed. What’s left now, aside from the 300+ flight of stairs, are huge rocks and debris you’ll need to trek to get to the falls.
While doing our research prior to going, we’ve read different accounts on how difficult it is to go down and up. It wasn’t as long and as bad as we expected, thanks to our experience in hiking. Though we chanced upon two tourists, around 50+ years old, having a difficult time maneuvering the big boulders.
The stairway starts with concrete steps in the middle of Negros’ lush forest. The steps can be muddy and wet with light rain. You can start counting the steps since going down is relatively easier than going up. The latter part of the stairway is made of steel – a sign that you’re almost there.
After the scenic flight of stairs, the trail begins with what’s left of the concrete pathway. Afterwards, it will be a mix of huge rocks, concrete rubble of what once was the walkway and rocks by the river that you’ll cross at least thrice.
Because of multiple curves, the first peek of the narrow waterfalls will be 30-45 minutes into the trail. The glimpse will give you the boost you need to finish the trail. You can hang-out at the foot of the falls or meters away. Swimming near the falls is strictly prohibited because of several incidents of tourist drowning when the waterfalls’ pressure pushed them deep down the falls’ basin.
According to our habal-habal driver, there are plans to rebuild the walkway soon and move the stairway by a cliff closer to the falls. From our experience, rehabilitation is badly needed.
- Transportation: P13 jeep from Dumaguete City to Valencia. P500 habal-habal to Casaroro Falls and Pulangbato Falls. P13 jeep going back to Dumaguete City.
- P10 entrance fee at the jump-off
- Take the habal-habal instead of the tricycle. The tricycle can’t make it all the way up to the jump-off point.
- Bring water. You’ll need it going down, and more so going up.
- It is tiring. But if you’re focused on how difficult it is, you’ll just feel worse. Take your time and count the steps going up, take a rest every 50 steps and exceed 50 on your next set. We only had 4 breaks.
- Wear comfortable hiking clothes and expect to get wet.
- Check the weather. Don’t risk going when it’s raining hard. Water easily rises, and the valley where the river flows is prone to flash floods.