Project #Sursuroy: Canyoneering to Kawasan Falls

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Almost everyone wants to try to experience the excitement of Canyoneering. In the Philippines, once you heard of Cebu, canyoneering will always come to your mind. This has been popular to tourists for a while now.

In fact, the first activity that I want to try in Cebu is canyoneering. I had a lot of time to prepare for this activity, but it was only last January when I started to feel scared. I’ve watched all the videos available. The longer I watch it, the harder it is for me to prepare for the j-u-m-p.

To cut this short… I didn’t jump.

To be honest, when I first heard of canyoneering, I didn’t know what kind of activity it is. I just know it’s about doing something in canyons. 

What is canyoneering exactly?

Canyoneering is travelling in canyons using a variety of techniques that may include other outdoor activities such as walking, scrambling, climbing, jumping, abseiling (rappelling), and swimming.

– Wikipedia

Sounds exciting, right? No worries, though, because I assure you that you won’t rappel.

How to get there?

Transportation is already included in our tour package from Happy Juanderer. But, I did research for you if you want to commute to Badian from Cebu city. 🙂

  • From Cebu city, go to Cebu South Bus Terminal
  • Ride Ceres Liner bus (located in Center wing) going to Bato via Barili. Check the schedule here.
  • Traveling from the city to Badian will usually take 3 hours and more. It’s going to be a long ride, so decide whether you want to ride an air-conditioned bus or an ordinary one.
  • Alight at Matutinao Badian church.

How to get a tour guide?

There are a lot of tour agencies that you can find. You can get a tour guide online, or you can find one in the area. I suggest that you review your options and compare the prices.

How to prepare?

  • Rest well before this activity.
  • Eat enough food, but not too much. You can buy food once you’re halfway through the journey.
  • Have a mindset that you’ll need to jump.
  • Exerciseweeks before the activity. You’ll need to be physically fit somehow.

What to wear & what not to wear?

  • Rashguard & leggings. Wear your most comfortable swimming attire. Rashguard and leggings are recommended.
  • Closed shoes. Remember that you will walk, climb, swim and jump. Aqua shoes are better or any closed shoes. Sandals will do, but it should be tight-strapped. In case you forgot or didn’t want to bring your own shoes, you may rent for Php 50 only. However, please do note that your size may be unavailable. The shoes that I rented were one size larger.
  • Life vests and helmets are already provided. For safety precautions, wear it ALL the time.
  • Do not bring any accessories. Remove all your accessories and jewelry since it might be displaced unknowingly because of the activities.

What to bring & what not to bring?

  • Bring money so you can buy your food. (Note: in our case, our tour guide told us we can buy food then we can pay them after the activity. I guess this depends on your tour guide)
  • Bring water.
  • Bring extra batteries for your action cameras.
  • Do not bring your phone unless it has a waterproof case or in a waterproof pouch. Our tour guide suggested that the phones should be wrapped in a towel regardless if you are using a waterproof pouch or bag.
  • Do not bring stuff you don’t need.

What to expect?

  • Expect a lot of jumping, walking, and scrambling. 
  • In some parts, expect that you are required to jump. This means there are no alternative paths.
  • There are lots of jumping. Expect to jump in different jumping positions.
  • Expect a lot of people on weekends or if you went there late. Be there as early as you can.
  • Expect a queue in jumping areas. Not a lot of people can jump off a cliff right away.
  • Expect a cold temperature. The waters are really cold too.
  • Expect that this activity can last up to 6 hours.
  • Lastly, expect a lot of F-U-N.

How to make the most out of the experience?

  • Take your time and enjoy the moment. If there are other people around you, don’t mind them. But be considerate, at least.
  • Be there early. I know I keep on saying this, but the earlier you start, the longer you can stay. The lesser the chance that you’ll meet queues.
  • Pay close attention to the tour guide’s instructions.

Canyoneering Activity

Before the start of the activity, we needed to wear our life vests and helmets, then take a habal-habal ride to the registration area. Don’t worry if you didn’t have proper footwear. Just tell your driver that you need to rent shoes first. He will drop you off to a place where you can choose and rent shoes for Php 50.

After a short habal-habal ride, we finally arrived at the registration area. As usual, we signed on their logbook and gave all our stuff (water, dry bags, cameras) to our tour guides. They all checked if we are wearing the safety gears properly. We have three tour guides, and they’re the coolest!

Here’s a mandatory group photo.

From the registration area, we trekked for about 15 to 30 minutes until we reached the river. I’ve read that some groups took 10 to 20 minutes only, so maybe we trekked on a slow pace. When I saw the water, I started to get nervous because I am definitely not ready to jump.

We didn’t jump immediately. Our travel guides took our pictures in different places first. Maybe it’s their way to prepare us for the big jump.

And now… we jump!

I have read from a blog that the first jump is one of the highest. To be honest, I was already convinced and I am almost ready to jump. But when I looked down, all random and worst thoughts came to my mind.

* spoiler alert *

You can walk all the way down instead of jumping. 

Of course, our tour guide didn’t recommend that as jumping is the most fun part in canyoneering. But what can I do?

It was Sunday when we had this activity. Actually, I was already expecting a lot of tourists because it’s a weekend. Fortunately, we were the first group to arrive! As you can see in the pictures, it seems like we own the entire place.

This activity is the most tiring activity I have ever had. I didn’t feel hungry nor thirsty at all. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or not.

The barbeque area is located midway of the course. It’s just a small area, but at least you could take a break and eat first.

A variety of food is available for you to buy. You can see the typical ihaw-ihaw food such as barbeque, isaw, and hotdog. Aside from that, there are also eggs, biscuits and even kakanin available. Of course, you could buy your drinks too!

By the way, as you travel in canyons, you won’t feel tired at first so just keep on walking, scrambling, swimming and jumping.

Slide all the way down! This is my most favorite part!

The water is clear and very blue. It is way, way, waaaay better than in pictures. The temperature of the water is a bit cold so prepare for it.

We are almost done! We were canyoneering for almost 5 hours already. And… this means time for L-U-N-C-H!

Kawasan Falls

The photo below is the river in Kawasan Falls 3. To go to the other side (where tables are located), we have to swim across. If you didn’t want to swim, you may walk around the area. As you already know, there are 3 levels of Kawasan Falls. The first one is Kawasan Falls 3, then Kawasan Falls 2 and lastly, Kawasan Falls 1.

In Kawasan Falls 3, you can jump off a cliff, rope-swing at the river and slide down the stream. You can do a lot of activities here, so take your time and enjoy each activity! Tables are also available; you can rest if you want to. We didn’t stay long here, we went to Kawasan Falls 2 to have lunch.

In Kawasan Falls 2, you can jump at the highest cliff. One part of the cliff is already closed and you are not allowed to jump there because of the accident that happened last year. This is also where you can have your lunch. I’m not sure about the cost of the food since it is already included in our tour package.

Did you see the stunning photos of Kawasan Falls on Instagram? That’s the Kawasan Falls 1! This is where you can rent a raft for 30 minutes for Php 300 only. Unfortunately, we did not stay in Kawasan Falls 1 and were not able to ride the raft because of the long queue.

Once the activity is finished, you can now walk back to where the van was parked. It was a long walk again, but at least we are done with the activity!

That sums up my first canyoneering experience in Badian, Cebu! To be honest, it is really challenging! This is also my most memorable experience in Cebu; I’ve suggested this to my friends. However, I now regret not jumping off a cliff. But I’ll still not say “maybe next time”.

I’m glad canyoneering ended well without any accidents. Thank you so much to Happy Juanderer for this amazing experience! Yes, we survived this extreme canyoneering!

Have you tried canyoneering before? What are the best and worst experiences you’ve ever had in canyoneering?
Credit: All photos are not mine. I got these from my friend’s album.
    1. I hope this guide helped you! Feel free to send me a message if you have some questions 🙂 I’m looking forward to your adventure in November. Enjoy!

  1. My boyfriend and I actually included this in our itinerary last year BUT I had a “minor” condition with my back (#scolioproblems) that we just decided not to go to avoid worsening my pain. 🙁 I’m so glad you had fun though! And as I said before, sobrang cute ng thumbnails moooo

    1. Oh no! Sayang naman you were not able to go there. ? I hope your back is okay na! I read something about your scolio in Twitter last week ata.
      Canyoneering can be part of a bucket list, I guess, because it’s really an amazing experience. And thank you, Mel! ? though the photos are not in good quality because I grabbed it lang on my friend’s Facebook account. Hahaha!

  2. Always wanted to try this when it started to be popular. I’m no good swimmer and not afraid of heights, but I’m scared to jump. Haven’t tried cliff jumping too! It got scary for me when I’ve heard that many have died because of this activity or bc of the jumping. Anyway, will still try this when I visit Cebu!

    1. It’s okay if you’re no good swimmer. You’ll be floating most of the time naman. Our tour guide recommended us to wear our life vests all the time.
      Same, same! Or when I saw videos where they accidentally fall on something after jumping. That freaking scared the most out of me! I can’t wait for you to try canyoneering! 🙂

  3. I was planning this whole Badian thing but never did we pursue it haha. I thought this was already closed. Someone informed me but I see they got the wrong information. It looks like you really enjoyed this trip. Wishing I could go there someday but afraid of all those jumping hahaha

    1. It was closed last year because of the accident, I think? Or it’s the Kawasan Falls only that’s closed. I’m not really sure! I really enjoyed it, even though I’m afraid of jumping. I just had so much fun with my friends. ? I hope you’ll go there soon and try canyoneering!

  4. Been here xx years ago! I didn’t jump before too as I was so afraid to jump huhu lol I’m glad you survived! It’s one of the things to tick off on your bucket list 😀

    1. It’s okay! Would you like to try canyoneering again? Haha. I’m not sure if I want to experience it again. But, I had so much fun!! I’m just really scared on the jumping part.
      Honestly, when I heard the news last year that someone died in Kawasan Falls, I was kinda hesitant to do this activity. But good thing is it’s safer there now.

      Thanks for dropping by, Kai! 🙂

  5. I want to try canyoneering but scared AF due to the jumping parts. Hahaha. But you said you didn’t jump, right? So it means I can get through the whole canyoneering activity without jumping? Tama ba ‘ko ng pagkakaintindi? Hehe. Thanks for this guide, by the way! So persuasive that I wanna go to Cebu already.

    1. I didn’t jump on the first one – yung considered na highest sa mga required. Hindi ko kaya! ? but there are still parts where you need to jump, I jumped there since mababa lang naman. ?
      Pinaka fun na part dun is ung pag slide down! Haha. I hope you’ll visit Cebu someday, then try canyoneering! ?

  6. Waahhhhh!! I really want to experience everything but I’m not sure bc I might chicken out at the last minute– but I hope not! Haha. I have no certain plans on coming to Cebu anytime soon but I promise I will someday!

    1. I hope not! I think one of the techniques (lalo na sa pag jump) is to try not to overthink. It ruined everything. Hahaha! And try not to look down. Alam mo ung feeling na I know the techniques pero I still didn’t jump? Hahaha. Nkaka-disappoint. Excited na ako when you go to Cebu!

  7. Despite being afraid to jump (I can’t even do it in swimming pools LOLS who am I kidding?) I still want to try. At least try once on my life!

    1. Hahaha! I only tried jumping off a cliff ONCE and that’s it. It was only 5ft high and there are no “obstacles” that’s why I didn’t hesitate. I was scared when I thought I’ll hit the rock at the bottom. I guess that’s the disadvantage of a crystal clear water. But I’m happy to hear that you still want to try it! ?

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