I really can’t find the right words to elucidate my appreciation for waterfalls. I constantly find it fascinating whenever I get the chance to gaze at its innate beauty. The brook gurgling sound that runs over the beam like rocks going to the deep and the cold catching basin is something that renders me a true peace and fulfillment. It is something that makes me go back no matter how steep the trail is, as long as I traipse my feet along its stunning beauty.
Truly, right after enjoying the cold and fine cloudy water droplets of Ulan-Ulan Falls, there’s actually another waterfall that has long been waiting for all of us. It is peacefully hiding above the Ulan-Ulan Falls and it has a cold and deep catching basin. I felt like I wasn’t satisfied enough with how I flirted with Ulan-Ulan falls because of the unfavorable leisure time that I should have had. And because of that, I was also thinking that travelling to the Recoletos Falls might fill my delectation.
Recoletos Falls is located just above the Ulan-Ulan Falls and peacefully hiding in the lush scenery green forest of Sampao, Almeria, Biliran. Getting to this waterfall from the jump off area will take you approximately 30 minutes of a smooth trek and a 5 minute walk from the well known Ulan-Ulan Falls. While on your way to this waterfall, it provides you a beautiful scene that would surely mollify you. The stream of water that flows in the mountain of Almeria is somehow creates and hides a mass of amazing waterfalls and an awesome spot for Canyoning and river trekking. No wonder that Biliran is known for a great adventure which will surely unlock your wanderlust soul.
The Recoletos waterfall is estimated approximately 15 meters high. It owns a wide pool with deep cold water that is perfect for swimming and cliff jumping. There’s a wide and flat stone surrounding the catching basin, which is perfect for those that loves to commune with nature and a great spot for picnic. The area is surrounded by green foliage which provides an umbrageous spot to protect you from the clinging heat of the sun. It is said to be one of the reasons why the water is really cold.
While on our way to Recoletos Falls, we were happily greeted by the stream of water freely flowing along the natural flume. The place is truly untouched and the solitary sign of development in the area is the not so narrow bridge which is used by most locals and visitors in order for them to cross to Recoletos Falls.
As shortly as I’ve seen the waterfalls, a wide and greenish water seemed to be so tempting. But before I decided to douse myself in its cold water, I try to capture some photos and it took me sometimes to decide whether I jump in its cold deep water or remain standing on the well designed rocks while watching my friends who have been enjoying the natural pool of Recoletos Falls. I saw how happy they were while swimming in the natural pool and some of them were courageous enough to jump from the high level of the cliff. Yes, there’s a perfect spot for you to jump if you want to make your Recoletos Falls experience awesome, but make sure to be extra careful cause climbing to the higher level is a bit slippery.
The defining moment came, I jump in its cold water and swim. Truly, the water is really cold and appears like a thousand of ice, which is brisk from the fridge has been thrown in the natural pool. I genuinely have enjoyed the whole time I drenched myself in its cold water. What I like about it aside from the cold water that gives me refreshing feeling is how wide the natural pool is and not herded, in fact, it was only our team who truly have enjoyed the waterfalls during our visit. I can truly swim freely without bothering to think about the crowd.
Our guide reminded us about our time, we then quickly set up ourselves for the coming backbreaking trek going to Mt. Tres Marias and dousing ourselves in the frigid water of Recoletos Falls before the first leg of our ascent to Mt. Tres Marias is really a beneficial choice. We may didn’t get the chance to stay that long in the stunning innate beauty of Recoletos Falls, but we all have been satisfied with what it has to offer to all of us. I will certainly be going back soon if I get the chance.
- Ulan Ulan Falls: Enjoying Its Cold and fine Cloudy Water Droplets while gazing to its Natural Beauty
- Mt. Tres Marias: Reaching the summit means overcoming my doubts about my first major climb
- Sambawan Island: A reward after successfully climbing Mt. Tres Marias (Summit to Sea)
- Lake Danao Natural Park: Ormoc City’s Natural Gem that provides a relaxing view to behold
HOW TO GET TO RECOLETOS FALLS
From Naval Town Proper
Ride a motorcycle (habal-habal), or bring your own vehicle to take you to Barangay Sampao. Travel time is about 20-30 minutes going to the drop off area. At the drop off area, you’ll be finding out a signage leading to the waterfalls. You can trek all by yourself if you’re traveling alone going to the waterfalls or you can hire a local guide just near the drop off area.
DIY TRAVEL GUIDE TO RECOLETOS FALLS
Motorcycle from Naval going to the Jump off area of Recoletos Falls and Ulan-Ulan Falls in Sampao is Php 80 to Php 100. Mostly, when you get back to the jump off area after exploring Recoletos Falls and Ulan-Ulan Falls, you probably be struggling to ride a motorcycle going back to Naval. I suggest that you better hire the motorcycle driver for your entire time of visiting Recoletos Falls and Ulan-Ulan Falls since both are just close to each other. The price is around Php 300 or you can haggle the price. If you also decide to hire a local guide, Php 100 is I guess enough.
- Ulan-Ulan Falls and Recoletos Falls (Local and Foreigners) – Php 20
- Climbers (Mt. Tres Marias) – Php 50
Things to do in Recoletos Falls and Ulan-Ulan Falls
- River Trekking
- Be careful with the wet rocks, for they are very slippery.
- There is no mobile signal in these places. Just make sure your phone or camera is fully charged for picture purposes.
- There are no cottages along the sides of the stream and it is not a place to stay for overnight.
- Don’t ever go River trekking alone. Wrong direction of your feet could lead to bruises or anything that would cause you regret.
- Make sure you stick to your guide’s instruction. Don’t create your own system, then follow.
- Better halt the activities when the sudden rain arrives because the water can create fast currents that would result to dangerous situation.
- Hypothermia can be a real risk. If you’re the person who’s not used of staying long in a cold water for too long, then you better wear wet-suits and pay attention to your body’s response.
- Wear your comfortable trekking shoes.
- Bring enough water, and make certain to have your stomach filled before going to Ulan-Ulan Falls and Recoletos Falls
- Please remember to leave no trace behind. Take good care of our mother nature. Just enjoy and be responsible enough.
- Above all PRAY before going to the waterfalls for God’s guidance and protection.
Note: This is part of our Independence adventure that happened last June 9-12, 2017 from summit to sea. Trekking to Mt. Tres Marias and exploring Sambawan Island and Lake Danao.
POSSIBLE TRAVEL EXPENSES FOR THE WHOLE TRIP
- Boat fare from Cebu to Ormoc via Roble – Php 510
- Cebu Port Terminal Fee – Ph p25
- Ormoc to Naval via Van- Php 130
- Breakfast – Php 60
- Ormoc to jump off area via Van – Php 70
- Lunch – Php 50
- Entrance Fee (Mt. Tres Marias)- Php 50
- Fare from the Drop off area of Tres Marias – Kawayan – Php 100
- Food, Guide Fee and Boat going to Sambawan Island (Food – Php 289, Boat (2,500÷12) = Php 208, Guide (1500÷12) = Php 125) = Php622
- Entrance Fee Sambawan Island – Php 100
- Kawayan to Ormoc City – Php 250
- Snacks – Php 75
- Ormoc to Cebu – Php 420 (sitting)
- Jeep rental from Ormoc to Danao Lake (Php 1,500÷9) = Php 167
- Lunch – Php 115
- Lake Danao Environmental Fee – Php 5
- Lake Danao Entrance Fee- Php 25
- Lake Danao Cottage, mini Boat and Life buoy, (Cottage – Php150, Boat Php 100,Salbabida or Life buoy Php 50 = Php 300 ÷ 9 = Php58) – Php 58
- Dinner in Ormoc – Php 55
- TOTAL – Php 2,987
Note: All expenses are split up into a number of people who joined during the entire trip. We are around 12 excluding our 1 guide to Mt. Tres Marias during this trip.
ITINERARY FOR THE WHOLE TRIP
- 10:00 PM – Boat ride going to Ormoc City
- 04:30 AM – ETA Ormoc City
- 04:40 AM – Depart for Naval, Biliran
- 06:30 AM – ETA Naval, Biliran
- 07:00 AM – Breakfast
- 08:00 AM – Buying food for Lunch
- 08:20 AM – Depart for Tres Marias Drop off area.
- 08:50 AM – ETA Drop off area
- 09:00 AM – Registration and Stretching
- 09:30 AM – Start trek
- 10:00 AM – ETA Ulan Ulan Falls
- 11:00 AM – ETA Recoletos Falls
- 11:40 AM – Depart for Lunch site
- 01:30 PM – Lunch
- 02:30 PM – Depart to Camping site
- 04:30 PM – ETA Camping site
- 05:30 PM – Prepare for dinner
- 07:00 PM – Dinner
- 09:00 PM lights off
- 05:00 AM – Prepare breakfast
- 06:00 AM – Breakfast
- 06:45 AM – Trek to Tres Marias Summit
- 09:00 AM – ETA Mt. Tres Marias Summit
- 09:30 AM – Depart for Camping site
- 11:00 AM – ETA Camping site
- 11:20 AM – Prepare for Lunch
- 12:20 PM – Lunch
- 12:45 PM – Depart from Camping site
- 05:20 PM – ETA Jump Off Area
- 05:30 PM – Depart for Kawayan
- 06:30 PM – ETA Kawayan Port
- 07:00 PM – Depart for Sambawan Island
- 07:45 PM – ETA Sambawan Island
- 08:00 PM – Prepare for dinner
- 09:30 PM – Dinner
- 10:30 PM – Socials and swimming time
- 05:00 AM – Waiting for Sunrise
- 09:00 AM – Breakfast
- 10:00 AM – Depart for Kawayan Port
- 11:00 AM – ETA Kawayan Port
- 11:10 AM – Depart for Ormoc City
- 01:20 PM – ETA Ormoc City
- 02:00 PM – Depart for Lake Danao
- 02:30 PM – ETA Lake Danao
- 05:45 PM – Depart for Ormoc City
- 06:30 PM – ETA Ormoc City
- 07:20 PM – Dinner
- 08:10 PM – Strolling around Ormoc City
- 09:20 PM – Ormoc Port
- 10:00 PM – Depart for Cebu City
- 04:00 AM – ETA Cebu City