Project #Sursuroy: Canyoneering to Kawasan Falls
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.
Sounds exciting, right? No worries, though, because I assure you that you won't rapel.
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 mind set 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?
- Rash guard & leggings. Wear your most comfortable swimming attire. Rash guard 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 anyaccessories. 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 lotof 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.
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 a 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!
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 in 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?
Check out my Cebu travel guide here.