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Aerial view of Kawasan Falls

Guide to Kawasan Falls in Cebu: Canyoneering, How to Get There, Nearby Attractions

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Drone shot of Kawasan Falls

Kawasan Falls in the island province of Cebu is one of the best waterfalls in the Philippines. This set of multi-tier waterfalls lies in Barangay Matutinao, Badian, which sits on the southwestern coast of Cebu and is about 103 kilometers from Cebu City. This coastal town is blessed with natural attractions such as rivers, freshwater streams, and massive jungle canyons. Badian is also close to notable towns like Moalboal (18KM away), Alegria ( 17KM away), and Oslob (73 kilometers away).

Kawasan Falls tours have always been popular among international and domestic tourists. This attraction is a photographer’s dream come to life! Visitors are in awe of Kawasan Falls’ clear turquoise water and natural pools. Locals often compare this color to the Gatorade blue drink. Sitting at the foot of the Mantalongon Mountain Range, Kawasan Falls' surroundings consist of gorgeous lush scenery and steep limestone canyon walls.



Another spectacular attribute of Kawasan Fall in Cebu is its multi-tier layout. It has three waterfall levels, all of which feature natural pools where visitors can swim and relax. Kawasan is not only picturesque, but it is also an excellent place to swim in. Visitors often praise the water as cold and refreshing. The water from the top of Kawasan comes from the Kandayvic Spring. It then eventually flows into the Matutinao River and the Tañon Strait. 



Because Badian is accessible from Cebu City, several Cebu tour packages focus on activities and tours around Kawasan Falls. Kawasan canyoneering tours are a favorite among visitors who want to experience the waterfalls in the most adventurous way. 

Best Time to Go to Kawasan Falls

People stand on bamboo raft under Kawasan Falls

The ideal period to visit Kawasan Falls in Badian is dependent on what you want to experience as a visitor. The dry period (late December to early June) is an ideal time to visit because, during this time, Kawasan Falls is a safer place to trek and do some canyoneering tours. However, the dry months are also the busiest as more domestic tourists make their way to Kawasan. 

The rainy season (from late June to early December) makes Kawasan Fall's water flow more abundant and powerful. Thus, if you visit during this time, you will be able to witness the true power of Kawasan. Another advantage of visiting during this time is there are usually fewer visitors. If you plan to visit during the rainy season, make sure to keep track of weather forecasts as typhoons can also occur at this time. Canyoneering under typhoon conditions is very dangerous as trekking spots and rocks are slippery. 

Visiting during the shoulder season (late December to early June) may also be an excellent decision because the water flow is also powerful at this time, but the crowd is smaller. Take note that the waterfalls normally start to get busy again closer to Christmas. 

When it comes to the specific day and time to visit Kawasan, it is better to visit during the weekdays. To beat the crowd, come early in the morning before 9 AM. Weekends in Kawasan are busier compared to weekdays.

Kawasan Falls: How to Get There 

Philippine Airlines aircraft

Photo by Philippine Airlines

Depending on where you’re coming from, this Kawasan Falls travel guide will tell you how to get to this Badian tours attraction. Here are the most common routes:

How to Go to Kawasan Falls from Manila

If you are coming from Manila, the most convenient way to get to Kawasan Falls is to fly from NAIA (Ninoy Aquino International Airport) or Manila Airport to Mactan-Cebu International Airport. Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific are some of the airlines that facilitate this flight route every day. 

When you land in Mactan-Cebu International Airport, you can head first to Cebu City or go straight to Badian. You can take a taxi from the airport to Cebu City. The best way to get to Badian right from the Mactan-Cebu International Airport is to prearrange a private vehicle. The distance between the airport and Badian is around 120KM.

You can also fly to Bohol or Dumaguete from Manila. From either of these places, take a ferry then a bus to reach Badian. Please take note that this route takes longer and requires more transport transits.

How to Go to Kawasan Falls from Cebu

Inside a bus in the Philippines

You can reach Kawasan Falls from different areas on Cebu Island.

Going to Kawasan Falls from Cebu City 

Cebu City is the main jumping point for Kawasan Falls tours and trips. Tourists can book such a tour, which includes the drive from Cebu City to Kawasan Falls. 

Alternatively, you can get to Kawasan Falls by self-driving or taking the bus. If you are taking the bus, make your way to Cebu’s South Bus Terminal. Make sure to ride the bus that goes to Bato via Barili. This bus travels along the western part of Cebu Island. 

Don’t hesitate to ask bus terminal staff if you’re unsure of which bus to take. Buses to Badian run several times every day. 

Going to Kawasan Falls from Moalboal

Moalboal is around 21 kilometers from Kawasan Falls. From here, you can take a bus or tricycle (local three-wheeled transport) to Kawasan if you are not self-driving. 

You can approach a tricycle driver and discuss taking you straight to Kawasan Falls. Taking a bus is the cheaper option. However, you will need more time and patience to wait for the bus. 

On the main road of Moalboal, wait for any southbound bus. You need to hail one of the buses and inform the bus driver that you are going to Kawasan Falls. The bus driver can drop you off near the entrance of the falls. From this entrance, you must walk for around 15 minutes to get to the first waterfall tier. 

Other options to Kawasan include joining a canyoneering tour or driving a rented scooter from Moalboal.

Going to Kawasan Falls from Oslob

Oslob is another popular town in Southern Cebu. Depending on which road you take, Oslob is about 50 to 81 kilometers from Kawasan Falls. One of the shortest routes to get from Oslob to Kawasan is taking the Santander - Barili - Toledo Road. 

If you’re not self-driving or joining a tour, you can take buses from Oslob to Badian. The journey has two parts. The first part requires you to take a bus bound to Bato from Oslob. Once you reach Bato, you will need to take another bus going to Cebu City or Badian via Barili. 

From Bohol 

Inside a ferry to Cebu City

If you’re coming from Bohol Island, you can get to Kawasan Falls by first taking a 2-hour ferry ride from Tagbilaran City to Cebu City. From Cebu City, you can take a southbound bus to Badian as stated above.

Best Kawasan Falls Tours and Activities 

The beauty of Kawasan Falls can be enjoyed in various ways. Here are some of the best Kawasan Falls tours and activities that we recommend: 

Canyoneering 

Tourists canyoneering in Badian, Cebu

There are many types of  Kawasan Falls tours you can choose from. However, tours that feature canyoneering to Kawasan Falls are arguably the most popular because they are thrilling and adventurous. The objective of canyoneering is to travel down a river or canyon, usually in a group. But instead of simply hiking, canyoneering participants accomplish the journey by doing a mix of activities like climbing, trekking, cliff diving, and swimming. 

Kawasan Falls canyoneering can be nerve-wracking so you shouldn’t do it by yourself without an experienced guide. The offered Kawasan canyoneering tours are usually organized, carried out safely, and led by a qualified guide.

Overall, Canyoneering in Cebu and Badian may sound really fun but it’s not for everyone. Fortunately, you can still enjoy Kawasan Falls in various ways.

Swimming

Man swims in Kawasan Falls

It is very much possible to enjoy Kawasan Falls without canyoneering. A number of tourists are content swimming in one of the natural pools of the falls. Instead of taking the canyoneering route, you can go straight to Kawasan Falls without the challenging hike and jumps.

As mentioned, the water here is clean and refreshing. Once here, you can take your time and relax in the water. You can take as many photos as you want and have some snacks. Just make sure you clean up before you leave!

Cliff diving

Man getting ready to cliff dive in Kawasan Falls

If you want to level up the thrill of your Kawasan Falls adventure, consider cliff diving. Diving from the cliff is actually one component of canyoneering. However, you have the option to just cliff dive on your own.

Cliff diving in Kawasan means jumping from the cliffs surrounding Kawasan Falls and plunging into its cool and deep natural pools. There are several cliffs surrounding the waterfall area and they are of varying heights. The two highest jumping points are around 10 and 12 meters. 

Hiking

Tourists hiking in a tropical forest

Hiking is a natural requirement for visiting Kawasan Falls. Visitors usually need to hike for about 15 minutes from the site entrance in order to reach the first tier of the waterfalls. You have a choice of hiring a guide to show you the way. But the path is clear enough that you may be able to hike by yourself. 

If you would like more hiking opportunities, you can hike to the higher tiers of Kawasan Falls. There are visible stairs that lead up to the second and third waterfalls. 

Kawasan Falls Travel Tips 

Woman on bamboo raft in Kawasan Falls

Safety

As with all outdoor activities, activities offered in Kawasan Falls also come with certain risks. Accidents can happen when doing physical activities like cliff diving and climbing. Before signing up or doing the recommended Kawasan tours and activities, make sure that you are aware of and understand the risks. 

Take note that Kawasan Falls attracts a large crowd. During your visit, always keep an eye on your belongings. The good news is the site has lockers for rent for those who want to store their things extra safely. 

What to Wear

Tourists swinging from tree at Kawasan Falls

Wear light and comfortable clothing during your visit to Kawasan. Even if you plan on not swimming or canyoneering, it is smarter to bring swimwear and extra clothes during your visit to Kawasan. The waterfalls’ turquoise waters have been known to be quite enticing even to those who don’t enjoy swimming. 

If you book a canyoneering tour, the operator typically provides specific gear. However, you will need to wear sturdy outdoor shoes that can handle rocky terrain, and are meant to get soaked in water. 

Food and Drinks

Kawasan Falls in Cebu has a collection of small restaurants and stores around its area. But because of the site’s popularity, the prices of food and drinks sold here are more expensive than the standard prices. If you are on a budget, pack your own food and drinks to save money.  

Other Tips

  • Bring essential items only. Avoid carrying a heavy bag as you will do a fair amount of physical activity especially if you’ve signed up for a canyoneering-in-Cebu tour. 

  • Don’t forget to bring the essentials like a towel, a dry bag, sunscreen, and other sun protection. 

  • Using a waterproof camera may save you a lot of trouble. 

  • Kawasan Falls is a tourist hotspot so expect a lot of visitors. If you want to be in a smaller crowd, visit the waterfalls early in the morning. It usually gets busier at around 9 am.

  • People with reasonable physical fitness can do canyoneering or hiking up the higher levels of Kawasan. However, you need to manage your expectations and understand that these activities need more physical exertion than usual. 

Nearby Attractions 

Kawasan Falls is not the only premier attraction in the southern area of Cebu Island. If you are planning to Kawasan, consider stopping by the other nearby attractions. These natural attractions are spectacular on their own and are popular among tourists who are already on Cebu Island. 

Moalboal

Diver swims near sardines in Moalboal

The town of Moalboal is about 21 kilometers from Kawasan Falls. From the waterfall site, you can go through the Santander - Barili - Toledo Road to reach Moalboal. This ride is quite scenic as you will pass through the southwestern coast of Cebu Island, overlooking Badian Bay.

This coastal town is a highly recommended tourist destination mainly because of its beautiful beaches, islands, and natural attractions. Moalboal is home to some of the most beautiful beaches near Kawasan. Panagsama Beach and White Beach are the two best examples of these white sandy stretches. Diving is also one of the top things to do in Moalboal.



 

Moalboal is the jumping point to Pescador Island, one of the top snorkeling and diving sites in Cebu. In addition, the amazing natural event called sardine run occurs a few meters off the coast of Moalboal. 

One great way to explore both Moalboal and Kawasan is to join a  Kawasan Falls and Moalboal Tour, which highlights activities such as Badian canyoneering, waterfall visit, and island hopping tours around Moalboal. 

Oslob 

A whale shark swims in Oslob

Situated at the southern tip of Cebu Island, Oslob is one of the most popular coastal towns in the region. This coastal town is world-famous as a whale shark watching site. Whale sharks are gentle sea creatures considered to be the largest fish in the world. Watching Whale sharks or Butanding (local name) in Oslob has drawn some controversy because some tourist operators unnaturally draw the whale sharks close to the coast for tourism purposes. 

Aside from whale shark watching, some Cebu tour packages also feature other exciting activities and attractions in Oslob. One of them is the 24-hectare Sumilon Island - home to a gorgeous white sandbar, a resort, and a lagoon. Tumalog Falls, Mainit Springs, and Cuartel Ruins are also examples of notable attractions in Oslob. 

Oslob is about 73 kilometers from Kawasan Falls. Booking an Oslob and Kawasan Falls tour is a convenient way to experience both splendid places while saving time and worry. 

Osmeña Peak

Hikers on a trail in Osmena Peak

Tucked in the Badian mountain region, Osmeña Peak is the highest point on Cebu Island. With a height of 1,013 meters above sea level, this mountain has become the most popular trekking destination in the Cebu region. 

Part of Osmeña Peak’s popularity is its trekking accessibility. The actual trail to the peak is well-marked and can be finished in about 20 to 25 minutes. Thus, anyone with good physical health can do the trekking part. Once you reach the summit, you will get mesmerizing views of the Cebu coastline and the unique collection of hill formations that seemingly stretch across the mountain ranges. 

Access to Osmeña Peak is through Barangay Mantalongon, Dalaguete Municipality. Because this mountain is only about 30 kilometers from Kawasan Falls, it is possible to join a Kawasan Falls and Osmena Peak tour to see both attractions in one day. 

Plan Your Adventure to Cebu's Kawasan Falls

Aerial view of Kawasan Falls

Many Cebu activities and sites can attract the attention of first-time travelers, but Kawasan Falls still manages to stand out. In fact, it has become an iconic landmark not only for Cebu province but for the entire Philippines.



 

Kawasan is one of the Cebu tourist spots that does live up to the hype and reputation. This attraction's turquoise water, intricate cascade levels, towering cliffs, and lush scenery will mesmerize you as it did to thousands of tourists. On top of all these great traits, Kawasan Falls is also reasonably accessible from major cities and towns. 

Kawasan Falls visits and activities are the main highlights for some of the best Cebu tours available in the region.