We had been island hopping for two days, and had one day left with nothing in particular scheduled. Getting to El Nido takes about 8 hours from the airport at Puerto Princessa, and it's not a particularly fun ride (crammed in the back of the Lexus van), so everyone I knew suggest staying at least 5 days there, so that's what we did.
Read more about how to get to El Nido, and why the waterfall may not be a great idea.
The van is affordable and relatively comfortable on the way there. On the way back, we went directly to Sabang and had a rest stop in the middle of nowhere where we changed vans. The new van slowly filled up, with seats appearing out of thin air until there were about 14 of us piled in the 9 passenger van. You can also rent a jeepney to Sabang or take the local bus, but a jeepney is quite costly and the bus is extremely uncomfortable and only runs once (maybe twice) a day from El Nido.
Anyway, back to our free day. So for our entire stay we had had a trike driver named Joshua. Not the Joshua, but a different Joshua. He had basically asked to be our driver for our stay so we called him whenever we needed to go into town and he would come out. It was the off season so I assume he needed the business and didn't want to battle the herd of other trike drivers in the small town. Joshua was a great driver and took us around town and would wait for us to come out of wherever we were.
With our free day, we didn't know what to do so we asked his advice. He listed off a handful of things to do, and we decided on a waterfall. Waterfall sounds nice right. My friend bargained for the price (she is a champion bargainer) and eventually we had a great deal to ride 30 minutes out of town and a have a guide to hike to the waterfall. The guide was actually our island hopping boat captain who agreed to do it for free and a beer (because he liked us).
At first we protested we didn't need a guide, but boy were we wrong.
The trail to the waterfall went through a farm and some random jungle. It had rained recently (it was rainy season so it had rained every afternoon) and the thick, orange mud made it quite difficult to move. Not to mention the fact that we had flipflops and were incredibly poorly equipped for the "walk." The "walk" was a long hike following a cow trail through the thick mud of the jungle and ended up taking a couple of hours. When we got to the waterfall, it was unimpressive. Well, it was alright actually, but we hadn't brought swimsuits or anything to sit and do like a snack or something, which Joshua was very surprised about. Had we known it would take so long to get there and could involve swimming, we might have brought something to better enjoy the place.
Instead, we took a look, took some pictures, and began to hike back, hoping to beat the darkness already approaching. We also didn't have flashlights incase you hadn't guessed.
It was a strange journey, including walking right past a water buffalo that had a horn missing and a huge crack in its skull, and it was an adventure, but the waterfall was not exactly worth the journey. If you're braced for underwhelment, then by all means make the trek. A memory will surely be made.
Bottom Line: the waterfall is NOT particularly worth