In less than a 30-minute drive from a side street in the town center of Carmen lies a quiet place that escapists from the big city will truly enjoy. Durano Eco Farm and Spring Resort easily rings a bell for most Cebuanos. It is one of Carmen’s quadruple treat when it comes to cold spring waters, alongside Middle Earth Mountain Resort, Mt. Uragay Spring Resort, and Alhibe Farm.
A natural retreat
Durano Eco Farm and Spring Resort is situated not too far from the main road, but far enough to be considered remote. The place is teeming with lots of trees and plants that will captivate the eyes ─ especially those of plantitas and plantitos. I appreciate how the management try to preserve its natural ecology by limiting the number of structural changes in the resort.
What I found interesting in Durano were their homestays. In this day of skyscraper buildings, the sight of treehouses and nipa huts is a breath of fresh air. They have an option for visitors to pitch their own tents too, but I personally would not recommend it. Not the best camping spot.
James and I opted to stay at Olivia’s ─ yes, they come with names (though I should have asked why the use of maiden names only haha). The nipa huts are air-conditioned, have their own bathrooms and mini veranda for you to chill and eat. For day-time cottage users, they have their own grill area and shared bathroom.
Cooling off them hotheads
Water continuously running from mountain spring fills up the eight pools of Durano Eco Farm. The pools of various depths are made with rocks on the side and tiles on flooring. It is often crowded during weekends, but gladly James and I went on a Thursday. There were only two or three small groups before us so we got to enjoy the cold waters.
At first, I was cautious of my hair because I just recently had it permed and colored, but ladies need not worry since the resort got non-chlorinated, free-flowing, fresh, cold water.
As it is a mountain resort, there will be minute insects and leaves falling down the pool. Though these are not really much of a big issue, right? What we hope they can improve in the future is the management of non-biodegradable wastes. There were plenty of plastics, even glass bottle of a hard drink , stuck in the river bed. We hope that the resort will implement strict no littering policy… and for visitors, just please throw you trashes properly or BRING THEM WITH YOU.
Off the beaten path
Near the pool area are few small trails leading to the adjacent riverbed which you can opt to trek. It is rocky and slippery and the water could be dangerous on rainy days. But knowing James, he would not be content with a trip without an adventure.
So off the beaten path we went.
We hiked deeper into the forest, following an old, shabby footpath. The descending trail was quite steep and upon reaching the bank, we were welcomed by strong current.
We had to “kiss the wall” to get to the other side ─ a venture so worthy because what awaits you looks like a completely different world. There was a huge natural pool of water surrounded by greeneries. Two cascades run up ahead and I’m sure we’d find far bigger waterfall/s had we moved farther.
There was nothing but silence and the occasional sound birds, cicadas and frogs. This immersive feeling cleanses, not just our bodies, but our minds and souls from the toxicities of the world. It’s a well-deserve treat to the wary and tired.
Until then, until next time… 😊
If you ever go and do it for the Gram, take your trash with you — every piece, every gram.