Jun 19

One of 7 Waterfalls at Mambukal, Negros OccidentalJust a daytrip from provincial capital Bacolod on Northern Negros in the middle of the Philippines is an idyllic resort in the mountains.

It’s called Mambukal and offers 7 (!) cascading waterfalls, a nice climb through jungle forest along the waters, treetop climbing in the canopy, a sulfur spring basin to rest your aching bones and much more.

Besides those water and jungle activities, you can also have massage (and manicure/pedicure) here, watch gigantic fruit bats flying around in the area and hanging in the trees.

To get here, just leave Bacolod towards the East, direction to Murcia. It’s one of the main roads leaving Bacolod and hard to miss. From Murcia just follow the signs to Mambukal. You can either stay here at the resort starting at 900 Peso or simply come and use their facilities on a daytrip for a small fee.

Giant Fruitbats hanging in the trees

Fruitbats or Flying Foxes (how they are called as well) are very useful creatures, despite their sometimes scary appearance.

Trees full with Fruitbats at Mambukal Resort Negros OccidentalThey pollinate flowers and disperse seeds which is very important to the environment. Unfortunately, because their homes are being cut down and they are hunted extensively, many species of Fruitbats are now seriously threatened of extinction.

Of the 25 or so fruitbat species found in the Philippines, more than half are found nowhere else in the world!

The ones here at Mambukal are seriously big, I would estimate they have a wing span from 50cm to 1 meter. Their color is mostly reddish-brown to dark brown, there are also some (fewer) very dark or black ones.

It’s moving in the Trees!

Tree Canopy Walking at Mambukal, PhilippinesAt Mambukal, not only the Bats are allowed to use the trees – you are also. And in ways other than you might think of right now.

Treetop Walking is possible via ladders and wooden grates and bridges which are affixed in the trees. They lead from tree to tree and sometimes even across rivers. All in all it looks like a fun activity and a complete different perspective of the surrounding area.

Although you are encouraged to wear a proper helmet and a safety rope, I saw nothing of that provided. The platform are between 3 and 5 meters high in the trees.

Sulfur Spring

In the rocky areas there are several points where sulfuric water is coming out of the ground. So what the managers of the resort did, is collecting it in pipes and leading it to a lovely basin, where people can swim in its hot waters.Hot Sulfur Spring Basin to swim in

It’s really a pleasure, once you get over the foul smell, which only disturbs for a little while.

The waters are said to be good for your skin and the fumes are healthy for your lungs and respiratory system. Besides, when you come here when it’s raining, it’s simply fantastic to swim or float in the hot sulfur water, while listening to the sounds of jungle birds and fruitbats in the trees beside you.

It’s really a wild jungle atmosphere with health aspects, haha!

There are 7 Waterfalls to visit

One of 7 Waterfalls at Mambukal Resort PhilippinesIf you are fit for a walk, you can easily reach the first 3 out of 7 waterfalls.

They are just a short walk in the jungle, simply follow the trail along the waters. The other 4 are a bit harder to reach, although you don’t have to be a pro climber.

The trail will lead a bit higher in the mountains and some parts require some ‘acrobatics’ but nothing you can’t master.

The whole area features a nicely attached hand-rail as a guidance and cleanliness is exceptional due to heavy fines, if you should get the urge to litter. ;-)

In the later waterfalls you can even swim or cool your feet, which can be a welcome feat after the jungle trek.

The first 3 ones are not fit for that, due to rocks under the surface of the shallow waters and difficult accessibility.

The only nuisance near the waterfalls are a bunch of local (homeless?) kids, who try to accompany you and be your travel guide for a few coins. As everything is easy to reach and signs show you where to go and where not; this is simply not necessary. Also their behavior can be somewhat aggressive and invading to your privacy.


Cascading Waterfalls MambukalThe area around Mambukal is definitely worth a visit. Whatever you do, a day trip or planning to stay here for a day or so; make sure you bring enough time.

If you get hungry, there is are a few food stalls also, or you can bring your own food and even use the public BBQ pits here. For people who don’t like natural rivers or springs – a public pool is available also.

Sit at the river and relax, float in sulfur water or dip your feet into a real water fall, watch the fruitbats or just the impressive surrounding jungle – Mambukal offers a spectacular trip for you, your partner or for the whole family.

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written by Chris

26 Responses to “Mambukal Waterfalls and Sulfur Spring near Bacolod, Negros Occidental”

  1. dodong floresNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    I wish I can visit this place as well. I’d been to Bacolod, Kabankalan, and several towns in Negros but never get the chance to visit Mambukal. Thank you for sharing, Chris…

  2. ChrisNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Dodong, it’s really a nice place! I’ve been to dozen of waterfalls and hot springs in my life (after all I like them a lot) – this one really stands out. I will post something in a few days about another one (Anini-y on Panay), which could only loose for all the wrong reasons. ;-)

  3. PutlieNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Have you been to Hoga Island in Indonesia?

  4. ChrisNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    No Putlie, never been there. Where is Hoga Island exactly and what can be seen there? :-/

  5. PutlieNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Hoga island in wakatobi, SE Sulawesi, Indonesia. Many foreigner tourist visited Hoga island. my American’s friend told me that Hoga island is very famous in America. But many Indonesians don’t know where is Hoga, so funny hehehee. Hoga is almost like Bali, but Hoga island is more natural. You should go to Hoga island if you come to Indonesia. If You wondering what’s in Hoga island, you may search in google hehehehe

    nice to know you Chris…

  6. ChrisNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Putlie, sounds like one of my next travel destinations then! Almost like Bali sounds interesting already. So far I only made it to North Sulawesi; Manado, Bunaken, Gangga Island – but it’s really beautiful up there. Next time I’m gonna check out the south then…thanks for the tip. ;-)

  7. jamzNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    hi there! thanks for featuring Mambukal..it can help boost our tourism here in Bacolod. By the way i like your travel adventures very much and your blog..i would definitely follow through! Good luck!

  8. ChrisNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Thanks for the friendly words, jamz! It’s easy to promote Mambukal, as it really *is* a special place. And I’ve visited dozens of waterfalls and Hot Springs over the last couple of years in Asia…

  9. don carlosNo Gravatar UNITED ARAB EMIRATES Says:

    hi chris i been reading about your travel around the philippines that is cool i did too back in 1996-97 for almost 11 months there but now i,m in a wheelchair but still i want to go back and do it again ,keep it up maybe 1 day we will meet on the road . :D

  10. ChrisNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    don carlos, never give up traveling! Hope to see you some day on the road, buddy! :D

  11. xingNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    hi chris!
    i’m planning to go to mambukay this coming february but as i surf the net about this place, i’ve read a lot of negative feedbacks..like the place is not well-maintained and the staff are not that good, etc.:(
    but reading your article made me still want to go there despite all of the bad stuff I’ve read about it.:D i have a question though, since we’ll be going there on a tight budget,is it advisable to stay there overnight or is it better to go back to bacolod city to spend the night?
    thanks lots! i’m glad you seem to be enjoying the philippines. lots of luck on your future travels! :) :D

  12. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    xing, Mambukal Waterfalls and Hot Springs is a nice place – period. Sure, the facilities there could be better maintained and use a bit of renovation, the staff could be friendlier – but ask yourself: why are you going there in the first place? To see nature in its best form, right?

    I would say: f…forget the staff and the facilities and enjoy your stay when exploring the waterfalls, dipping in and floating in the sulfur springs – it’s pure nature and definitely worth it. The trip back to Bacolod is less than 2 hours, so you might as well book one of the many cheap hotels in the city and most of your worries are gone already. :D

  13. xingNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    you’ve got a point there!

    thanks a lot!!have fun on your travels!reading your articles makes me feel like I’ve been there myself! good job! :D

  14. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Thanks xing for the friendly compliment – have lot’s of fun on your travels also! :D

  15. cheniiNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    mambukal resort is one of the philippines main tourist attraction. i’ve been there and yes, i love the place. i wish i could visit mambukal again. :)

  16. michaelNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    hi chris,

    nice blog. i see that you are really the adventurous type. i suggest you visit nagsasa cove in zambales. there are no facilities there except for a few beach huts. there’s no electricity though there is a water source. no decent bathroom either. but i assure you, the place is a paradise! a small community of aetas (the local tribe) lives there.


  17. ChrisNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    michael, sounds interesting and pretty much like a Robinsonade. I’m slowly getting too old for this kind of adventures. I want my comfort with running hot water and even aircon these days. Beach huts, bamboo and wooden structures give me the creeps due to the termites or dust mites. But it surely sounds like a backpacker heaven! :D

  18. Teresa OrlandoNo Gravatar CANADA Says:

    Wow this place looks heavenly. I would love to go there. I took a trip to the Dominican Republic last summer and they had some serious waterfalls. You would spend hours with the guides who would help you up the falls. There was a nice little cove at the top where we chilled for a bit, and then it took us like 20 minutes to get down, because we would slide down the falls. Really cool day trip. Next time your in Latin America, I highly suggest you check it out.

  19. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Yeah, Latin America sounds nice on paper, but I found that for me, it’s somehow not my region. I can’t really explain it, but I visited Mexico, Honduras, the Dominican Republic as well as Argentina and Brazil on shorter trips a couple of years back and never really got warm with those places. Don’t get me wrong, they are nice countries and have a lot to offer, just for me, I could not imagine living there. Although Maccu Piccu in Peru is still on my list of places to visit before I die.

  20. Teresa OrlandoNo Gravatar CANADA Says:

    I hear you. That good vibe you get when visiting a place that fits, is very important. You probably have a good sense for underlying stigmas of the locals when visiting a foreign destination.

    DR was a trip I took to volunteer building homes in a small village. There is obviously a huge gap between the rich and the poor like many 3rd world countries, but we really saw the two extremes as we were staying in a five star resort for security, and going to the poor village during the day to help build. Check out Build a House Change a Life for the 2010 effort.

    I just Wiki searched Maccu Piccu, and it looks like an awesome place to visit. I really like the old ruins, fascinating.

  21. peanutzNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    ei Chris..

    Nice blog..ive been to mambukal october of 2009. me, my family and my friends.. it’s a nice place we do have a lots of fun there although a bit tiring to go up to the 7thfalls but it’s really worth it… :) i want to travel in different places as well..can i go with you??hehehe :D

  22. ChrisNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    peanutz, sure…catch me if you can. I’m currently in Coron/Busuanga, Palawan. Glad you enjoyed Mambukal. It’s really a magic place for me and the climb to the 7th fall well worth the effort, although it can be torture especially when its hot and humid. ;-)

  23. MelvinNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    Mambukal was once a mysterious place and always is, a little creepy because of wild animals, especially those bats. I remember growing up looking at the peak of the mountain, smoke billows from atop. You need a skilled driver to cross a very precarious bridge, overlooking a river. After 30 years, I had the chance to bring my family with me to this place, still mystifies my ever curious mind how it turned out to be an exceptional resort. Loved it! Lots of memories and fun of course. You have chosen a perfect spot to appreciate nature Chris, have more fun on your Negros adventure. Any plan on staying in Bacolod for good?

  24. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Melvin, thanks for confirming my observations. Bacolod for good wouldn’t be for me, but I will surely always return to Pinas. Currently still Bali again, but New Year might bring some change. ;-)

  25. dragonNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    wow.. it sure brings back memories. :) it has been years since i’ve been to mambukal. we have our own house there, just outside mambukal. if i could have a vacation from work, i would definitely visit my family and the resort again. thanks for sharing your wonderful blog. :)

  26. mishaNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Hello there…Nice post, I’ve stayed in Bacolod for at least four yeears but I haven’t been to mambucal and I don’t know why I didn’t. I guess I missed a lor. Some of the places I’ve been in negros are the ruins in Talisay and the old houses in Silay which are nice and rode on a bus to San Carlos via Don Salvador and the road is awesome because it’s built in the mountains and defintely can be a good place for nature tripping. But my sister and I are planning to go there, probably next year or during the holidays, it depends…
    Bacolod and Negros is a nice place and full of friendly and warm people. I would really love to go back there.

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