Who doesn’t love a waterfall? Negros Oriental, where Atmosphere is situated, is an island with a lot of volcanic history and you’ll find on your arrival in Atmosphere that the sand is brown lava sand and that the resort is shadowed by a large mountain that once used to be a volcano. The perfect environment for thundering waterfalls, lakes and streams.
Casaroro Waterfalls, the most photographed body of water in the province (according to Wikipedia) is a beautiful gem, hidden in a deep ravine at the base of Mount Talinis. It’s one of those places that only the brave discover, due to the effort you have to exert to get there. But once you do, the reward of the chilly dip in the mountain spring water at the base of the falls while gazing at the giant 30ft phenomenon from afar (you don’t want to get too close) is nothing short of fairy tale material.
Once upon a time, Casaroro falls were a lot more accessible with stairs and platforms leading you directly to the falls with scattered picnic areas and viewing decks. Since Typhoon Sendong and various other storms succeeded in washing away most of this and reclaiming the land, adventurers seeking out this stunning wonder of nature have resorted to scrambling over boulders and wading through the fast flowing river itself. Since many people travel all over the world in search of beautiful, untouched excursions such this and as long as you can stomach the 300 plus steps to get down to the river, it’ll be well worth it! Especially when greeted by some beautiful rare butterflies along the way.
Tip 1: Wear your best water shoes with good grip!
Tip 2: Stay hydrated!
Pulangbato Waterfalls and Hot Springs, situated on the other side of Valencia is the kind of place you go to relax with friends. Slightly different to Casaroro, these falls are accessible by road, albeit a slightly bumpy one! Various natural swimming holes have been built adjacent to the falls and the area is also scattered with picnic areas in true Filipino style. Pula meaning red and Bato meaning rocks in the local dialect, has a special appeal to the voyagers who come to see it. There are many different speculations as to why the water has turned the rocks red, locals say the reason is the sulphur in the water coming from the volcanic mountain but the mysterious smell of rust might be a telling sign of the actual cause.
There’s two more factors that make the trip to these beautiful falls really worth it. One is the drive up the Ocoy river valley to the falls which is scenic and vast and you will most probably want to stop for photo’s on several occasions along the way. The other is the trip to the natural hot spring a few hundred feet below the falls. After a day of chilling in the cool waters of the swimming holes the warm healing water of the hot spring is a nice soothing change and even better during early evening when the mountain air drops a few degrees.
Tip 1: Try the locally made organic vegetable chips they sell at the springs.
Tip 2: Don’t wear your favorite light colored swimming suit unless you want to dye it red!