NEGROS ORIENTAL | Casaroro Falls of Valencia, Negros Oriental — "She's magical" (A Travel Guide)

Two hours of wallowing in the quietude of Balinsasayao Twin Lakes jump-started the day of nature wandering. Visiting the next town's attractions follows and the habal-habal drivers who transported us to the lakes were aware of the itinerary from the onset. Bargaining came in when we're about to leave the park. Considering the time left, scant difference in commuting expenses, and comfort of taking us back right at the door steps of Grand Pensione Hotel in Dumaguete, those guys in motorbike turned into road trip companions.

Despite the shift from fine to uncooperative weather, we hit the road bound for the quiet town of Valencia by all means — we're already dressed to get drenched, after all.

READ ALSO: Balinsasayao, Danao — the Twin Lakes of Sibulan

Arrived at Casaroro trekking jump-off

From Sibulan, passing the outskirts of Dumaguete and some junctures of Valencia that confused our drivers, an hour and a half of leg-numbing ride ended at the terminus of a paved road. We reached Casaroro Falls; at a shack where visitors need to settle a minimal fee before an arduous trekking begins.

Cemented staircase down to Casaroro Falls

Without knowing then, the soothing vibe of the lakes was a preparation for the harsh trail en route to the enchanting cascade. Descending the 300-plus steps of cemented staircase was good enough to make our knees turn to jelly; and just as I was looking around for Casaroro while approaching the last notch, a verdant trail prompted the outset of a twenty-minute trek across huge rocks and river streams of varying depth. The worst (or best) part of, was going up the same steep flight of stairs — it was not that exhausting, it was fatal.

Casaroro's verdant trail
River crossing

The beaten track nonetheless was enthralling; reminiscent to that of Aurora province's Ditumabo Falls for its deep-seated boulders, cemented paths, and free-flowing stream nestled in harmony within a lush forest. Trekking would've been easier if Typhoon Sendong, considered as world's deadliest storm back in 2011, had not turn those man-made footpaths into ruins. Destroyed trails were left untouched since then according to locals due to (guess what) lack of funds. It felt like nature eventually reclaimed the remnants of the catastrophe. Traces look strange yet beautiful, especially when marveled during a rainy afternoon.

READ ALSO: Chasing Ditumabo Falls, the Mother Falls of Aurora

Man-made footpath in ruins
Man-made view deck in ruins

Stream surged a little more violent, smooth-surfaced rocks seem more perilous to step on when Casaroro finally showed herself. My wife's newly purchased slipper slipped away while getting near the torrent, pressing her to shriek inadvertently, disrupting the serene surroundings in turn. Heroic, I must describe, how our new-found friend moved to rescue her footwear. Without him on the trip, I would have gone home barefooted against my will.

Manong to the rescue of my wife's slipper
Casaroro showed herself

We're all left in awe. Casaroro soars high, cascading its waters on a small, bouldery basin prohibited to dive into. How high she is, none of us knew to my surprise. Even the habal-habal guys turned into tourists for a moment as it was also their first time to witness the marvel. I could see their astonishment as they aim their camera phones into the majestic waterfalls. I captured some souvenirs as they did and spent the rest of the moment soaking in her mist and grandeur.

Casaroro Falls of Valencia, Negros Oriental

She's magical and truly breathtaking. I used to have this reflexive reaction when places put me into a great amount of amazement — suddenly uttering an adjective describing the wonder. That moment, it's "magical". Casaroro Falls of Valencia, Negros Oriental put me, or us maybe, under her magic spell.

How to Get to Casaroro Falls (from Dumaguete)

  • Hop on a PUJ bound for Valencia and alight at the terminal. Fare: Around PHP 15; Travel time:  15-20 minutes;
  • Ride a habal-habal (motorcycle) going to the trekking jump-off. Fare: PHP 200, round trip; Travel time: 15-20 minutes
  • Alternative: Rent a habal-habal in Dumaguete downtown and motorcycle it your way. Fee: PHP 450 for motorcycle rental and gas; [source:]
  • Yet another alternative (how we made it): Visit Balinsasayao Twin Lakes prior to Casaroro and charter the same habal-habal that would take you to the lakes. Haggle skillfully yet with a heart. Fare: PHP 800 per motorcycle, good for two persons; Inclusions: Casaroro Falls, Pulangbato Falls, Red Rock Hot Spring and your hotel in Dumaguete; Pros: Saves commuting time, gives enough moment enjoying the marvels of Valencia; added comfort since they would bring you back to your hostel; chance to befriend your local drivers.

Boulders and stream surge

Trip Notes

  • Entrance fee: PHP 10
  • Should you be taking the motorbike ride in Valencia, your driver will be the trail guide as well.
  • Should you be chartering your habal-habal in Balinsasayao going to Casaroro like we did, chances are you'll go without a guide but with friends that will share the "wow!" moments with you.
  • No stores around except the shack where you will pay the entrance fee. It sells light snacks and small bottled waters.
  • Boulders are slippery but stepping upon them is a must — keep your cameras and gadgets safe. (and your head perhaps?)
  • It would be better to wear appropriate trekking footwear to lessen the risk of untoward incident. I wore slippers that day, by the way.
  • Casaroro Falls has a raging torrent. Swimming on its narrow pool was not allowed since the last drowning incident happened.
  • Chasing Casaroro is not a walk in the park but finally seeing her worth all the trouble and exhaustion you will endure. That, I promise.

Casaroro Falls

Itinerary: Casaroro Falls

  • 8:00 AM : Breakfast at Dumaguete Market — those bodbod and puto maya are a must-try!
  • 8:30 AM : Shop for some snacks
  • 9:00 AM : Bound for twin lakes; travel via easyride to San Jose — we had to wait until it gets full
  • 10:00 AM : Habal-habal ride to Balinsasayao twin lakes
  • 11:00 AM : Lake activities
  • 1:00 PM : En route to Valencia — we hired the same habal-habal guys in twin lakes for a special trip
  • 2:30 PM : Arduous trek to see Casaroro Falls
  • 3:45 PM : En route to Pulangbato Falls — yet another twins
  • 4:30 PM : Marvel at the twin falls of Pulangbato
  • 5:00 PM : Cap off the day at Red Rock Hot Springs
  • 5:45 PM : Back to Dumaguete

READ ALSO: Local Delights : Dumaguete's Must-try Dishes and Restaurants

Sibulan and Valencia (Negros Oriental) series: 
Balinsasayao, Danao — the Twin Lakes of Sibulan
Casaroro Falls of Valencia, Negros Oriental - "She's magical"
Pulangbato Falls, Red Rock Hot Spring — a Warm and Cool Treat From Valencia

Dumaguete Travel Guide:
Dumaguete City: Trip Guide and 5-Day Itinerary


DJ Rivera is an I.T. professional, entrepreneur, travel blogger, writer and the online publisher of based in Rizal province, Philippines. Click here to know more.

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