Can-umantad Falls

Can-umantad Falls is the most beautiful falls that I have ever seen in Bohol. It looks so majestic! From far off, you will see the falls as one high drop but upon closer look, the falls is in fact in three layers although the 3rd layer is further off and shorter.

The area where the falls is situated is open and can be clearly seen even at a distance. Trees and shrubs at the top and at the side of the falls give a green backdrop to the falls.The ravine looks like a one solid rock with shrubs clinging to dear life at cracks and crags.

The upper falls is 45 meters high (as per local guides), wide and with thick cascading waters. The water drops over a very deep ravine, flows a bit further and then falls a second time over a cliff. Climbing up to the upper fall will pose problems for amateurs.Rock climbers can scale the cliff easily enough with the use of ropes and hooks but they have to traverse the pool at the bottom of the upper fall.

The second falls is two to three times wider yet by far shorter in length in comparison to the upper falls. The flow of water looks thinner compared to the upper falls for the reason that the water from above flows out and is distributed towards a wider area.

Basins are formed below both falls; carved out from solid rock forming natural swimming pools that is very deep near the falls and shallower at the rim. The upper falls being quite inaccessible, adventurers have to content themselves with the lower pool.

The second drop is partly accessible at one side for the solid stone ground slopes gradually towards the stream where the pool overflows. You can slowly walk up the watery slope to sit at the point where the ground starts to slope down from the steep cliff above it, right at the very side of the falls.

One can also climb up at the other side, up to where small trees and shrubs are standing. Up close, the falls look so huge and beautiful; a very good backdrop for any pictures. Here, the roar of the falling water is deafening.

Sprays that burst out when the water hits the foot of the falls form a thick mist at the bottom and spreads far. It seems it is forever raining near the falls and the surrounding area is always wet. So watch your step when you climb up and step over boulders for they are sure to be moss-covered and slippery.

Across the stream is an area which is relatively flat and is an ideal place for camping. The stream flows a bit further and then falls over a sloping contour of rock. The flow is not that strong there and the basin below the falls which forms a natural pool is ideal for swimming. Surrounded by thick vegetation, the area is tranquil and a good place to relax and commune with nature.

Location

Can-umantad Falls is located at barrio Can-umantad, Candijay, Bohol, a tourist destination in the Philippine archipelago. The falls lies 10 kilometers from the town’s main road. Candijay town itself is located 92.2 kilometers from Tagbilaran City at the eastern part of the island.

About Candijay

Candijay is a peaceful town situated along the eastern coast of Bohol. The town was established during the Spanish regime in the year 1879. At present, the town has a land area of 8,687 divided into 21 barangays. The name of the town is said to have come from the words “Kang Dihay”, meaning belonging to Dihay, a very strong and influential man living in the area that have many followers at that time. Eventually, the name was pronounced as one and became “Candijay”.

Candijay is a good place for eco-tours. Aside from the majestic Can-umantad falls, its vast mangrove forest plays host to a steady stream of visitors. The Candijay Mangrove Forest is in Barangay Panadtaran whose mangrove area extends to 1,472 hectares. It is the most diverse in the country and boast of at least 36 mangrove species; the oldest trees being centuries old.

The Can-umantad Trail

The trek to the falls is long and tricky. One walks for 10 kms thru a tangle of trails, cross river beds, scramble up boulders, climb hills and more. The trek is strenuous, especially to the inexperienced, yet very challenging and rewarding at the same time.

The most difficult part of the trail would be the river crossing (which one has to traverse for more than a hundred meters) where in some parts you have to wade thru water, maneuver over moss-covered rocks and clamber up boulders. Dense foliage, vines and large roots of trees by the riverside can pose some problems though sometimes are useful as footholds and handholds.

The trek is not advisable during the rainy season for the river will swell up and the current stronger, rendering wading impossible. For any unexpected event, it is better to be prepared. Bring a sturdy rope on the trip and a sharp bolo will also come in handy in clearing up dense foliage that may bar your way.

And don’t forget to get a guide. Guides are useful, especially for foreigners, in order to facilitate communication with the locals. Guides are available through the BOEX (Bohol Exploration Club) who is based in Tagbilaran City. For foreign visitors, better inform the local authorities that you are in the area in case of any untoward incidents, although the place is peaceful and the inhabitants friendly and accommodating.

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