If you want to get your heart rate pumping, there’s no better way to do it than canyoneering in Alegria. This is an absolutely unreal experience for adrenaline junkies and anyone looking to push themselves a little. Not to be confused with the canyoneering in Badian that leads to the famous Kawasan Falls, the canyoneering in Alegria is a different stretch of that same river, with its own beautiful sights, obstacles and challenges.
WHERE IS THE CANYONEERING IN ALEGRIA
Alegria is on the west coast of South Cebu, about 40 minutes from Moalboal or 3 hours from Cebu City. It’s best to do canyoneering early as it takes around 3-4 hours to complete the course. We met our guides at the Alegria Tourism Office located within the Municipal Hall, and from there we followed them to the jump off point up in the mountains.
CANYONEERING IN ALEGRIA DOES NOT INCLUDE KAWASAN FALLS
The canyoneering course in Alegria is further south from Badian and does eventually meet up with the Badian course, however you can’t just continue downriver all the way to Kawasan Falls. Back in the day you could simply start in Alegria and keep going until you reached Kawasan, but these days there are restrictions in place that make this impossible.
In saying that, you can still do both courses in one day, but you’ll need to exit the river at the end of the Alegria course and hike up the canyon back to the starting point. That was honestly the most tiring part – it’s steep. From there you drive to the Badian briefing centre before going back down into the canyon with all new gear and guides. You’ll also need to book two separate tours with Alegria and Badian authorities. It’s a lot of hassle and we really wish they could find a way to make this easier for people like it used to be, as the swap takes up so much time.
HOW TO BOOK CANYONEERING IN ALEGRIA
2021 has brought a lot of changes to the way tourism activities are conducted in Cebu. You aren’t able to just walk in and book your Alegria canyoneering tour. You’ll have to book ahead online through the government portal, Discover Cebu. It’s USD $30 or ₱1500 per person and includes your guides, helmet, life vest and shoes.
WHAT TO BRING CANYONEERING IN ALEGRIA
Prepare for canyoneering in Alegria with our must have travel essentials.
Waterproof backpack & phone case: Earth Pak 35L or 55L Heavy Duty Backpack, IPX8 Waterproof Phone Case Included (click for price)
Water shoes: DOUSSPRT Men’s Water Shoes (click for pice), DOUSSPRT Women’s Water Shoes (click for price)
Quick dry microfiber travel towel: Wise Owl Outfitters Camping Travel Towel (click for price)
Action camera: GoPro HERO9 Black (click for price)
We do not recommend bringing camera gear that isn’t waterproof, not even in a dry bag. There is too much action to guarantee a dry bag won’t burst or get punctured.
OUR EXPERIENCE CANYONEERING IN ALEGRIA
After hiking a short way down into the canyon, we didn’t waste any time jumping into the water. On days when the water isn’t as strong, you can actually start just above the first waterfall. But there had been some very heavy rain the day before, so the water was super strong. Instead, we climbed down the stairs and jumped into a safer spot. If you’re familiar with canyoneering in Alegria, this is where the 50 ft jump is, but the government has since banned any jumps higher than 30 ft.
We had a pretty big crew, made up mostly of guides! It’s usually 2 guides to a group of 5, but we knew a lot of these guys and wanted to bring them along for fun. If you think you can do the canyoneering in Alegria without a guide, you’re dead wrong. They’re not just there to show you the way, they keep you safe, stop you from drowning and can read the river so well they know what is and isn’t safe.
If we’re going to compare Alegria to Badian canyoneering, we’d say Alegria involves more jumping. They’re not always huge jumps, but there’s just a lot of jumps along the way.
In saying that, if any jump is too high for you, there’s always a way around it by hiking. But your guides are going to encourage you to face your fears and jump! They might even gently Sparta kick you in the chest so you land flat on your back in white wash.
After 3 hours of trekking, swimming, jumping and floating downriver, we finally made it to the end of the Alegria course. Now, having done both the Alegria and Badian canyoneering, we’d have to say Alegria is more action packed, but of course Badian ends with Kawasan Falls which is really the main attraction. If you have the time, we recommend you do both courses in a day so you can get the full canyoneering experience!
CONTINUE THE ADVENTURE TO KAWASAN FALLS
If you have the energy and time to complete another 3 hour course, check out our guide to Badian canyoneering to Kawasan falls here. Your trip to South Cebu wouldn’t be complete without visiting these famous falls.
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WHERE TO STAY IN SOUTH CEBU
Southern Cebu is where all the adventure is at, from waterfalls and whale sharks to island hopping and diving. When visiting anywhere in the south, the best place to stay is Moalboal. It has the most accommodation options, and is a fun little town with dozens of cafes, restaurants and bars. Check out our top four picks below for where to stay in Moalboal.
BUDGET/HOSTEL: CHIEF MAU
Right on the main strip of Panagsama Road you’ll find Chief Mau, a fun and social hostel that dubs itself the chillest place in town. Clean, modern and affordable, boasting a restaurant, bar and billiards, Chief Mau is a favourite amongst backpackers
MIDSCALE: ADAM’S VIEW HOTEL
Simple but with all the amenities and facilities you need – including a massive pool – Adam’s View Hotel is our top pick for those looking for a little more luxury than a backpackers. Located in the main town, Adam’s View Hotel is right next to Gaisano Mall, but still close enough to the action of Panagsama Beach to remain convenient.
LUXURY: TURTLE BAY DIVE RESORT
If you have deep pockets and an appreciation for the finer things in life, Turtle Bay Dive Resort is the place for you. Tucked away on a private cove in the quieter part of town, this luxury resort is perfect for couples looking for a little exclusivity.
AIRBNB: LRS APARTMENT
We can personally attest to how great LRS Apartment is, having spent two weeks there. Aside from a beautiful private pool, the apartment itself is modern, well furnished and spacious enough for a couple. (And a cat!) It’s just a 5 minute drive from the hustle and bustle of the restaurants and bars along Panagsama Road, but far enough away to offer a little peace and quiet. We can’t recommend LRS Moalboal enough!
MORE CEBU TRAVEL GUIDES
Kawasan Falls Badian
Montpellier Falls Alegria
Cancalanog Falls Alegria
Binalayan Falls Samboan
Balaygsawa Falls Samboan
Oslob Whale Shark Experience
Osmeña Peak Dalaguete
Casino Peak Dalaguete
Pescador Island Moalboal
Sardine Run Moalboal