|The Aliwagwag Falls – the tallest in the Philippines – as seen from the Aliwagwag Bridge.|
|A closer look at the majestic cascades of Aliwagwag Falls|
The area is surrounded by some of densest jungles I've seen in the Philippines, home to endemic wildlife. However, these forests are being threatened by illegal logging and gold mining; and wild animals are being illegally captured for food or pet trade. Along the way to the falls, children sell endemic Colasisis or Philippine Hanging Parrots (Loriculus philippensis) as pets.
The majestic multi-tiered waterfalls makes for an amazing, lesser known stopover on a trip along Mindanao's Pacific coast, before venturing farther north to the more popular Tinuy-an Falls in Bislig City and Enchanted River in Hinatuan, both in Surigao del Sur.
|An Colasisi or Philippine Hanging Parrot illegally sold as a pet|
Bachelor Express at the Ecoland Terminal has more frequent trips, but they pass the longer route via Mati, Davao Oriental, which can take up to 8 hours.
On the Compostela-Cateel route, you will pass by Aliwagwag Falls, some 25 km before the town center. You can alight here during daytime, though you might have trouble finding a ride to town after. Alternatively, from Cateel town, you can negotiate with a tricycle driver to take you back to Aliwagwag Falls (PHP 200 return, 30 minutes each way).
WHERE TO STAY: If you need to spend the night in Cateel, stay at Oar Inn (Mobile: +63921 2343730 at Brgy. Poblacion along the national highway, where single rooms are at PHP 250.