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Everything You Need to Know About Kawasan Falls and Canyoneering in Cebu, Philippines

Raymond Bosma via Flickr

One of the most famous waterfalls in the Philippines, Kawasan Falls in Badian, Cebu is a multi-layered waterfall tucked away in the jungles at the foot of the Mantalongon Mountain Range. 

An oasis just a stone’s throw away from the national highway, it has become one of the top attractions in Cebu with people from all over the world flocking to the southern part of the province to witness the beauty of Kawasan. Many domestic and international travelers alike get captivated by the clear water gushing down from the spring at the top. Natural pools of dazzling turquoise waters are cool, clear, and perfect for a refreshing swim. 

 

 

Getting to Kawasan Falls

Kawasan Falls is easily accessible by hiking just up to 30 minutes from the Badian national highway. Travelers who have just hiked Osmeña Peak in Dalaguete, which is one of the highest points on the island of Cebu, can trek to the famous waterfalls in about four hours. 

However, the most famous way of getting to Kawasan is by trooping across the jungle in a canyoneering adventure. If you’re up for squeezing through boulders, leaping off cliffs, and floating in the water through the sublime jungle landscape, this is definitely one of the best things to do in Cebu. 

 

 

Trekpedition.Com via Flickr

 

 

Canyoneering To or From Kawasan

Most tourists go canyoneering downstream the Kanlaob River, which means they start at Alegria and cap off the journey in Kawasan Falls. Others do it the other way around, visiting the waterfall first before going upstream on the canyoneering adventure. Either way is good—although there’s something satisfying about ending the exhilarating journey with a swim at the Kawasan Falls. 

Travelers are required to wear life jackets and helmets for safety. While the journey starts innocently enough with a stroll down the lush jungle, it quickly becomes an extreme adventure involving crawling through caves, climbing, rappelling, and jumping off cliffs up to six meters high. 

Don’t be fooled into thinking that canyoneering through Kanlaob River is just an adrenaline rush, though. In between waterfall jumping are moments of complete tranquility of floating in the shockingly turquoise waters surrounded by the surreal beauty of the jungle. In certain parts of the tour, you’ll be able to catch your breath, take photos, and even swing from ropes like Tarzan. 

The canyoneering adventure lasts for about two to four hours.

 

 

Ryan Mago via Wikimedia Commons

 

 

Three Layers of Waterfalls

A few hours into the canyoneering adventure, you’ll begin to hear the distinct murmur of human activity and Kawasan Falls will appear out of the dense jungle-like mirage. After a dizzying drop about 50 feet high, you’ll be able to relax in the cold, refreshing waters of Kawasan Falls. 

Kawasan Falls actually consists of three separate layers of waterfalls with the first layer being the biggest and by far the most crowded, especially during weekends. Most people who walk off the highway to the waterfalls hang out here, where there are cottages for rent to locals and tourists.

Bamboo rafts are available for rent, so travelers can relax and drift on the waters away from the crowds, or even paddle under the waterfalls to enjoy a unique and natural shower. 

Climb uphill for about 15 minutes to reach the second falls, which is much more peaceful yet no less majestic. More climbing will take you to the third level, where you can spot Kabukalan or the source of the water gushing out of the small cave. 

If you take the downstream canyoneering tour from Alegria to Badian, you’ll reach the upper layers of Kawasan Falls before ending the tour at the first layer. 

 

 

Nicholas Manuel via Flickr

 

 

How to Get There

Fly into Cebu via Mactan-Cebu International Airport. Some travelers who want to stay in Southern Cebu opt to stay in Moalboal, which is only about an hour or two away from Badian and Kawasan Falls. However, most people who visit the province opt to stay in the capital Cebu City, which is highly urbanized and more destinations are accessible.

Enjoy round-trip transfers from Cebu City and a fun guided canyoneering adventure with a Kawasan Falls Day Tour with KKday.

 

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