Canyoneering to Kawasan Falls in Badian is one of the most popular activities, if not the most popular activity to do in South Cebu. We’ve been lucky enough to go canyoneering to Kawasan 3 times since 2016, but there’s been some major changes recently that you should be aware of before going. Despite these changes, you shouldn’t pass up the opportunity to experience canyoneering in Cebu without crowds of tourists. We’ve put together this ultimate guide to the Kawasan Falls Canyoneering for anyone wanting to tick this off their bucket list 2021!
BEST TIME TO VISIT THE PHILIPPINES
WHERE IS THE BADIAN CEBU CANYONEERING
Kawasan Falls is right near the highway in Badian, South Cebu, but canyoneering to Kawasan Falls will take you up into the mountains. We started our Cebu canyoneering adventure at the Association of Kawasan Canyoneering Operators in Badian (AKCOB) which is where we had our briefing, got our safety gear and hopped into a truck to take us up the mountain. From the drop off point, we then hiked down to the river which is where the real adventure began.
HOW MUCH DOES CEBU CANYONEERING COST & HOW TO BOOK IN 2021
One of the biggest changes in 2021 is the way you book the Badian Cebu canyoneering tour. Back in the day you could show up to any tour company and they would arrange your package on the spot, but these days you have to book online in advance. The government has done this to limit the amount of people visiting Kawasan on a daily basis. You can book your canyoneering tour online via the the government tourism portal, Discover Cebu (click here for more info). It’s ₱1500 or $30USD per person for the Badian Cebu canyoneering tour.
WHAT TO BRING CANYONEERING
Prepare for Cebu canyoneering 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.
BADIAN CEBU CANYONEERING TO KAWASAN FALLS
This is where it gets really fun! Life jackets, helmets and guides at the ready, we jumped straight in. If you think this is the kind of thing you can DIY without a guide, you will likely DIE. We’re the kind of people who hate unnecessary tour guides, but when it comes to canyoneering in Cebu, there is nothing unnecessary about your guides.
They do this every day and are so familiar with the river they know where to jump, where not to jump, where to put your hands and feet, and are there in case of any unforeseen emergencies. We jumped, trekked and swam down river for 3 hours and it was equally exciting and exhausting. You don’t need to be in the best physical shape of your life to complete the Cebu canyoneering, but you do need to be able to carry yourself up rocks and know how to swim.
Cliff jumping comes part and parcel with canyoneering, so if you’re a thrill seeker looking to send it off great heights, you’ll have ample opportunity. If you’re not so inclined to throw yourself off a cliff, don’t worry, they’re all optional. One of the big changes in 2021, however, is the maximum height you can jump from. Back in the day the biggest jump was around 50ft, but the government has recently put in place a 30ft limit.
Aside from cliff jumping, there are slides, bamboo bridges and beautiful views every which way. One of the most popular spots was a rope swing, but unfortunately this has been tied up to stop locals coming down to this spot on the river and hanging out amidst the pandemic. And no, you can’t climb the tree and untie it. We tried. It’s been padlocked.
The entire Cebu canyoneering trek is photogenic, but one of the most popular spots to snap a pic is this manmade dam and lagoon. Just be careful as it’s really slippery and one wrong move can send you sliding off the edge, smacking into the concrete below.
Before reaching the Kawasan Falls finale, there’s actually an upper level waterfall. This used to be one of the highest jumps and even had a platform made for safer take offs, but unfortunately it exceeds 30ft so all it’s good for now is photos. The upper level waterfall is incredibly beautiful, and if it weren’t for the bigger Kawasan Falls below, this would surely be a main attraction in its own right. In fact, our friend thought we were at Kawasan Falls.
ENDING CANYONEERING AT KAWASAN FALLS
Our Cebu canyoneering adventure finally came to an end at the mighty Kawasan Falls. If you’ve ever been to Kawasan before the pandemic, you’d know just how crowded it usually is. We had the entire place to ourselves the whole time which was truly magical. The changes to the Cebu canyoneering operations in 2021 can be a bit limiting, but on the bright side, it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to see Kawasan Falls without crowds.
If you want to know more about Kawasan Falls specifically in 2021, you can read our complete guide to the falls here and check out even more photos.
PIN IT FOR LATER
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
Turtle Bay Moalboal