Canyoneering in Kawasan Falls Cebu was the most extreme adventure we did in the Philippines.
FINDING OUR CANYONEERING GUIDES
Huddled together in a village of Alegria we were waiting for locals to decide who wanted to be our guide. Surrounded by huts and coconut trees, we handed over 1500 pesos or $30 USD. It would turn out to be the best money we spent all trip. The entire trip lasted over five hours and our guides were with us for 3.5 hours and then sent us on our way to Kawasan Falls Cebu for the last part of the journey.
The adventure started with a walk down a jungle path as we got to know our guides. Five different guys came with us and allowed us to go without lifejackets and helmets. I got to know our guide Jerome who was actually spiderman and did the entire canyon in jeans and flip-flops without slipping once.
ALEGRIA TO KAWASAN FALLS
As soon as we saw the river for the first time, the turquoise blue shocked me. I had never seen water looking so dense and rich in color. Our guides yelled out to jump in. I was a bit nervous about how deep it was and how lax the guides were but Jerome casually backflipped into the river so from that moment forward it was on.
The current was strong but even without lifejackets it was never overwhelming. I would call myself a good swimmer and definitely had no issues but a lifejacket would have been more relaxing for the floating parts of the tour.
Each section of the canyon went for 10 or so minute before we would arrive at a big jump or a natural water slide. Our guides had no issues waiting around for everyone to climb the canyons and make their jump or to re-do their failed backflip to get a better photo. Our crew was really chilled out and it made the experience much more fun knowing that our guides were just in on the fun too.
The biggest jump of the day came early on and wasn’t a necessary part of the adventure. Only those who chose to climb the canyon and make the leap had to do it. I jumped feet first but snapped a photo on my GoPro of this crazy head first dive from 50-60 feet. A GoPro and a small amount of cash was all I brought along as there was some food sold halfway through the adventure. It would be smart to bring a spare 200 pesos that will get you a drink and a snack and some cash for the tricycle home.
OUR GUIDES LET US LOOSE
After the halfway point our guides told us they would be going home! No problem it was a 1.5 hour walk through the canyon without any more swimming. Along this section of the canyoneering we were able to cruise at our own pace and take some cool photos.
There was a huge dam wall and a rope swing that we spent some time checking out. The jungle was such an amazing setting for our journey and around each corner was another magical scene.
We were starting to wonder if we would ever reach Badian Kawasan Falls when all of a sudden a small group of people huddled over a huge drop. We were at the second falls, which was about a 50 foot drop. I watched someone jump and decided this was a great way to cap off an amazing day!
FINALLY AT KAWASAN FALLS CEBU
After hanging out in the pool below the second falls for about half an hour we decided to finally check out Kawasan Falls Cebu. Arriving at the falls we saw the 60ft+ jump and decided to give it a miss because of all the ropes below.
This pool was much more crowded because many people just walk in off the road and pay Kawasan Falls entrance fee of 20 Pesos or 40 cents USD. We took in the moment and reflected on our amazing half-day journey before finally heading home.
A 10 minute walk out to the road before a short tricycle journey home and our amazing day was complete.
MY TIPS FOR CANYONEERING IN KAWASAN FALLS CEBU
- Do the Canyoneering from Alegria to Kawasan Falls. Just seeing Kawasan Falls at the end was not nearly as awesome as the entire experience and for only $30 USD it is amazing value.
- Don’t try and do canyoneering alone. I am the first one to try and ditch the guide but this is a tour where you really do rely on their knowledge with your safety. The guides tell you where to jump, land, step and what areas are safe. They help you hold on in the current and guide you safely. Our guides were happy for us to do risky climbing and high jumps but were on hand to point to us where to land and give us helpful advice.
- Only bring a GoPro. We were given a dry bag, which leaked. There is too much impact, scraping on rocks and big drops to feel entirely confident in a dry bag. Bring a GoPro but definitely no DSLR. If you only visit Kawasan Falls from the road without canyoneering you can bring a DSLR as you don’t need to swim or jump.
- Wear grippy closed shoes. I wore a pair of Nike’s and had no problems. There are lots of slippery rocks and climbing made much easier with a decent pair of sneakers.
- Try not to pay more than 1500 Pesos. You can always find cheaper and you can definitely find more expensive but it seemed like 1500 Pesos was about the average price going around. At first the tour guide tried to have us pay 1500 for a random tour of some waterfalls but we made it clear we wanted to do canyoneering from Alegria down through the canyons and end at Kawasan Falls.
While you are in the region make sure you get down to Oslob. What to do in Oslob? Swim with whale sharks of course!