Mambuntan Falls: Enjoying The Innate Beauty Of Nature On The First Day Of 2018

It has forever been my dream to travel on the 1st day of a new year outside of my comfort zone, and I have just unlocked this dream this year. I bought a boat ticket via Cokaliong shipping lines bound for Cagayan De Oro City a day before the 31st of December 2017. I don’t know precisely what kind of adventure I have as I was really sick that night while fighting for the heavy waves sturdily smashing our boat as we bound for Cagayan De Oro City. That night was scary, I couldn’t sleep, but I arrived at the port of Cagayan De Oro City safe and sound.

I had a great home stay experience in Manticao, Misamis Oriental where I had spent my New Year Eve with Miranda’s Family before I can finally begin my first leg of the adventure. Thanking Aloysius for adopting me for 2 nights and 3 days in their home.

The adventure begins in the afternoon, I was with Aloysius and his brothers and friends. We drove from Manticao going to Naawan, which is another Municipality in Misamis Oriental that owns beautiful waterfalls. And one of the many waterfalls we visited was Mambuntan Falls. I have not heard about this waterfall before, and I don’t know how it looks like. I was supposed to ask Aloysius about it, but I preferred not to, so I would be surprised when I get there. Going there from the National Road of Naawan is not easy. The first road leading to the falls is concreted, and after that, you’ll be challenged with jouncy road before you can get to Mambuntan Falls. There are also accessible waterfalls along the road, but we didn’t get there, since I was told that the Mambuntan Falls is the most stunning compare to other waterfalls. After 40 minutes of ride, we finally reached the entrance of the Mabuntan Falls.

The Mambuntan Falls is located in Brgy. Lubilan, Naawan, Misamis Oriental. It is alleged to be one of those less popular natural destinations in the province where you can experience nature at its best. As we arrived at the entryway of the waterfalls, we paid a 20 pesos entrance fee, which goes to the maintenance of the place. And to my surprised, It is actually a resort, where there is a cool and nature friendly accommodation.

Seeing this waterfall from an aerial view reminds me of Mantayupan Falls in Cebu. It is nestled at the foot of Naawan’s sprawling mountains and peacefully situated in the lush scenery green forest. An innate looks that will surely captivate someone’s eye and help someone’s desire to acquire peace and tranquility.

I took photos before we embark on our trek going to Mambuntan Falls. A day before we went there was raining, and as anticipated, the trail going to the falls is very muddy. I was only wearing sleeper that time and so my travel pals. Truly, it was really slippery that I nearly fell off the ground many times. Getting to the falls was actually not that far, it was only a few meters away from the entrance. But what makes it extra challenging during our visit was the muddy trail.

Shortly enough, we arrived at the gushing Mambuntan falls. There were big rocks around, and the catching basin seems deep enough to swim. The water is very enticing since it was very cold, maybe because of big trees that surrounds the place. The falls weren’t really that astonishing compare to other waterfalls that I’ve been to, but it is nonetheless perfect for those that love to commune with nature. The place was really peaceful, it wasn’t touristy at all, in fact, it was only us when get there and we truly have enjoyed the place. I took several pictures, until the rain suddenly poured, and we had no choice, but to leave the beautiful Mambuntan Falls.

As we departed back to the jump off area, from the higher elevation of the trail, the enticing natural pool calls our attention. Yes, you heard it correctly, there was a natural pool that is waiting for us, and who would not be tempted to jump in and swim? It was raining that time and it was perfect. I couldn’t withstand the temptation before my body couldn’t agree. I took off my shirt and swim, it was really cold that I desired to get out of the natural pool the moment I doused my whole body. Truly the place is a perfect haven for those that love to swim in the natural pool. The water that fills in the natural pool is actually from the Mambuntan Falls, where we had seen earlier. What a perfect day to celebrate the first day of 2018. Isn’t it?

And right after we have genuinely enjoyed the place, we decided to leave, since it was already late in the afternoon as we have to get back to Manticao before night time.

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There are daily flights from Manila and Cebu via major Airlines to Cagayan De Oro City. From Laguindingan Airport, Ride a bus from the National Highway bound for Iligan City, and drop by at Poblacion Naawan, travel time is less than an hour. From Naawan Proper, ride a motorcycle going to Mambuntan Falls. The fare is around Php 150-200 back and forth.


You can take the Cokaliong Shipping Lines at 7:00 PM then you will arrive at Cagayan De Oro City port the next day at 6 AM or 7AM. From the port area, ride a tricycle going to the bus terminal. From there ride a Bus bound for Iligan and drop by in Poblacion, Naawan, travel time is more than an hour. From Naawan Proper, ride a motorcycle going to Mambuntan Falls. The fare is around Php 150-200 back and forth.


  • Always check the weather when you go there for there is always a possible flash flood when it rains.
  • Be careful with the wet rocks, for they are very slippery.
  • Bring enough water, and make certain to have your stomach filled before going to Mambuntan 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.



DAY 1 New Year Eve’s Preparation

07:00 AM ETA Cagayan De Oro City
08:00 AM Breakfast
10:00 AM Depart for Manticao
11:30 AM ETA Manticao
12:30 PM Rest (Sleep)
03:00 PM Prepare for New Year’s Eve
07:00 PM Dinner
12:01 AM New Year’s Celebration

DAY 2 Mambuntan Falls & Rito Farm

01:00 PM Depart for Naawan
01:30 PM ETA Naawan
01:35 PM Depart for Mambuntan Falls
02:25 PM ETA Mambuntan Jump Off area
02:30 PM Trek to Mambuntan Falls
02:40 PM ETA Mambuntan Falls (Picture taking & Swimming)
03:30 PM Natural Pool (Picture taking & Swimming)
04:30 PM Depart for Rito Farm
05:10 PM ETA Rito Farm
05:15 PM Fish Spa
05:45 PM Depart for Manticao
06:00 PM ETA Manticao
08:00 PM Dinner
10:00 PM Lights off (Sleep)

DAY 3 Tinago Falls & Maria Cristina Falls

08:00 AM Depart for Tinago Falls
09:30 AM ETA Tinago Falls (Swimming & Picture taking)
10:40 AM Depart for Maria Cristina Falls
11:10 AM ETA Maria Cristina Falls (Swimming & Picture taking)
11:50 AM Depart for Iligan Proper
12:10 PM Iligan City
12:30 PM Buying Pastel for take out & Pasalubong
01:00 PM Depart for Manticao
02:00 PM ETA Manticao
02:30 PM Late Lunch
03:00 PM Depart for Cagayan De Oro City
05:00 PM ETA Cagayan De Oro City
06:00 PM Dinner
07:00 PM Depart for Tagbilaran, Bohol

DAY 4 Tagbilaran City, Bohol

05:00 AM ETA Tagbilaran City, Bohol
07:00 AM Breakfast
09:00 AM Ambling around Tagbilaran City
02:00 PM Late Lunch
03:30 PM Depart for Cebu
05:30 PM ETA Cebu
06:30 PM Home sweet Home
10:00 PM Rest (Sleep)


  1. What a great way to start the year! I kicked off my year in NYC, but waterfalls (and warm weather!) sound pretty excellent. Your pictures are absolutely stunning


  2. Mambuntan falls looks amazing. It is incredible how many waterfalls you have visited in the Philippines, I’m impressed. I have definitely not seen that many. The color of Mambuntan looks amazing, so unique, hope I get to see it one day. Thank you for sharing 😀


  3. Wow these falls looks chill! Like the fact that you can swim in the pool in front of it and that there are different stages to go. Will definitely put this on my list of places to go. Thank you for the recommendation!


  4. Looks like a place of great natural beauty. Sounds like you need some good non-slip shoes to stay on your feet if its wet


  5. Mambuntan Falls are absolutely spectacular. They remind me a lot about the waterfalls on Kauai Island, in Hawaii. I am never happy to travel outside my comfort zone. Sometimes I have no choice, but I don’t like it. I’m sure you had a great time there.


  6. This place looks absolutely stunning. We love waterfalls having explored many in Iceland and Australia. Seems like no-slip waterproof boots are needed if it’s been raining


  7. Sounds like Mambutan Falls is a local gem that is still out of reach by tourists. I like visiting places like that, so it’s not crowded. Maybe when visiting between June-August the natural pool is warm. But, hey, you also got to do your first swim of the year!


  8. These Manbuntan Falls are absolutely gorgeous, and I feel so peaceful after reading your post. You’re so lucky you got to spend the first day of 2018 here, what a way to begin the year! I can only imagine how warm the waters are. Being around nature really boosts the soul, and I will remember this place if I ever visit here one day.


  9. Kuya Lai, I am from CDO but I haven’t been to all the falls you mentioned. But I will try to look that up and wish I could explore those places too.. I will just rely on your blogs on where to go next. 🙂


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