Esoy Hot Spring & Katinggo Falls – Catmon, Cebu, Philippines

For March 1, 2015, the group decided to explore the natural beauty of North Cebu. This time, we were bound to Catmon, a fifth class municipality in Cebu. It’s next to Danao and is a 43+ km ride from Cebu City (estimated of 1-2 hours on private vehicle ride). Here, take a look at the map below:


Cebu City to Catmon

If you are travelling via public transportation, you can ride a bus at the North Bus terminal (near Park Mall) and choose the one that is bound to Catmon. You can ask to be dropped off at Barangay Duyan, right in the corner where JM poultry is located. From there, you can ride a motorcycle (locals called it habal2x) and ask to take you to Esoy Hot Spring. It’s about a 10-15-minute-ride from the main road.

Note: There is little to no mobile cell reception at Esoy Hot Spring so better inform your loved ones that you can’t be reached.

Esoy Hot Spring – Arrival

You’ll know that you are already in Esoy once you see a white gate with the Esoy Hot Spring sign:


Trivia: Esoy Hot Spring was named after the nickname of the owner Mr. Celso Bustamante. 

Upon arrival, we were welcomed by Mr. Esoy’s wife. We actually arrived by batch because some of our companions went to the market to buy some food. No worries, there are no corkage fees at Esoy. So, the wife discussed a little overview of how Esoy Hot Spring come into fruition. It was initially called as the Mainit Spring (Filipinos have the habit of naming a place based on a particular characteristic, in this case “mainit” because it’s a hot spring). The source of the hot spring is not volcanic in nature. It originates from the Earth’s underground heat.

We were asked to sign up at the guest book and pay 350 pesos each. This includes the cottage fee, tour guide, and life vest, which will be needed for our trek to Kantinggo Falls.

So from the gate, you have to take the stairs (about 100 steps) down to the cottages. There’s also a small sari-sari store selling water, drinks, and chips, which are costly (so yeah, bringing your own drinks and food will save you a lot of money). A bottled mineral water, which you can buy at 10-15pesos in the city, is actually sold here at 25 pesos. IKR! There is also a grilling area near the store. You can also see lots of vest hanging at the ceiling.
We ate our lunch and did some chitchats when Mr. Esoy visited the cottage and further discuss about Esoy Hot Spring and Kantinggo Falls.

First off:


River trekking to Katinggo Falls

We put our life vest on and trek to Katinggo Falls, which is actually a 10-minutes hike from the hot spring. It actually took longer for us to get there since there are a lot of photo ops along the way. You can’t resist the beauty of the rock formation on the way to the falls.

First obstacle is to cross a hanging bridge to get to the other side and start the trek to the falls. Note: Cross one at a time please.


Under this hanging bridge, there are cat fishes, which will come out once you feed them.

Make sure you wear your vest since there are uneven deepness of the river – you thought it was shallow but in fact it isn’t. Sink holes as they say it. A few of us actually fell on those spots, luckily we wore our vest and we knew how to swim. Here’s that moment (we actually laugh at ourselves because we didn’t see it coming haha)

Some pics during the trek:



Trivia: The water from the falls is from Mount Tabayag, the second highest mountain in Cebu, next to Osmeña Peak in Dalaguete. 

… then behold the Katinggo Falls! It’s actually 30-100+ feet deep on the falls’ catch basin.

The boys have their adrenaline pumpin’ and jumped off at the Katinggo Falls.

Note: You need to climb up to the top. There are no ropes but only the roots of the trees. So, get your Tarzan-skills ready and be careful. Here are some pics:



… and then here’s the view from the top of Katinggo falls:

Katinggo Falls, Catmon, Cebu


Final stop:

the Hot Spring!

So to wear off our fatigue, we head back and dip into the hot spring.

There are lots of benefits of the hot spring. It’s a natural scrub and it can really give you a relaxing feeling. However, for those who have hypertension, it’s advised not to stay too long in the hot spring.

Here’s a video of our trek to Kantinggo Falls:



Esoy Hot Spring/Kantinggo Falls Official FB Page –

Verdict: The experience is great, however, 350 pesos is too expensive. The tour guide is also unprofessional. It feels like we don’t have a guide at all. We’ve been to Aguinid Falls in Samboan and we only pay 20 pesos for the entrance (it’s inclusive of the tour guide). The guide was really professional and he keeps on reminding to stick with the safe route. So, we gave him a tip. Unluckily, this is not the case for Katinggo Falls’ guide. So long!


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