Finally, we were able to visit this awesome water falls which we have been planning for months. We’ve been in Cebu for 7 months now, since we moved from Dubai. But we only got the chance to visit this month which is good as the summer officially ended. We first visited the Mantayupan Falls in Barili last April. I haven’t got the time yet to share it on my blog. But soon as we are planning to chase the waterfalls here in Cebu. I will share our experience on our recent trip to Kawasan including the things to remember when visiting this place.
Kawasan Falls is a must see tourist attraction in Cebu, it’s a three-layered waterfall system located in Barangay Matutinao, Badian Cebu. I think this is the most visited water falls in Cebu(or in the whole Philippines) because of its popularity in Social Media. A popular attraction both among locals and foreign tourists. When looking at Kawasan pictures in Social Media, it’s easy to dream about a quite and serene paradise, but lower your expectations as there are restaurants, table and chairs, sellers and other people enjoying the waterfalls which can spoil the tranquility of the water falls.
When to visit?
It is best to visit when there are less people which is usually during weekdays. However, it can also be crowded during summer season. So make sure to plan your vacation ahead to enjoy the beauty of the falls. It is also worth mentioning to start the trip from the South Bus Terminal as early as 3:00 to 4:00AM so that you’ll arrive at around 6:00 – 7:00 AM. Around that time is a perfect time to wander and explore the serene atmosphere of Kawasan. We traveled to Kawasan on a Sunday but there are less people since it was June and the summer has already ended.
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How to get there?
Going to Kawasan Falls is very cheap and easy. If you are staying in Cebu City, hop in a cab and go to South Bus Terminal. From the terminal, look for the bus going to Bato via Barili. This bus will travel all the way to Bato which is on the South part of Cebu and will pass through Moalboal and Kawasan. You can ask the driver or a bus conductor to drop you off Kawasan Falls. The bus fare is around 160 PHP per person. You’ll know you’re in Kawasan when you see the Matutinao Church and beside it you will see a signage telling you the way to Kawasan Falls.
Walk your way to the Falls
You can reach the Kawasan falls by foot. The trail to the falls is nice and easy to follow. Make sure not to give in to locals offering a guided tour telling you its hard to find the waterfalls. Believe me, it is very easy. Unless, you’re going for the canyoneering experience, then of course you need a guide. You will not get lost as long as you follow the trail. There are a few signage that will guide you to Kawasan Falls. The entrance fee to the falls is 45 PHP per person. I believe it is for maintenance of the area. Good thing there is a receipt which means that the fee is going into the government. Also, the trail is well maintained as there are people cleaning the road/trail to Kawasan. There are even trash bins too.
You will not only enjoy the falls at the end of the trail. Walking to the trail will make you stop from time to time. You’ll get to witness the tranquility of the place and how the locals are living along the path that runs along the Kawasan river through the village. It takes 20-40 minutes, depending on how fast you walk. But I suggest to take your time as there are a lot of things that you can see along the trail. Also, don’t forget to drink a fresh buko juice(Coconut) to quench your thirst in walking the trail.
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The Three Water Falls of Kawasan
The first waterfall is the largest and most famous waterfall. This is the waterfall that most people refer to as Kawasan Falls, and it’s very beautiful. The water is just as turquoise as the pictures, but to be honest, you shouldn’t expect a quiet paradise. Unless you’ll follow my tips on when to visit to avoid the flock of tourist.
At the end of the first waterfall, on the left side, you will see a small stairs going into the second water fall. If the first water fall is full of tourist, you might want to try this second water fall. It has a smaller waterfall with crystal clear turquoise water same as the first. But it’s more quite up there compared to the first water fall. You can also get to try the rope to swing over the water(if you have the courage).
Going into the third waterfall is the hardest as the trail is quite steep. Make sure you are wearing a comfortable shoes when planning to go up to this waterfall. But I strongly recommend you to visit this waterfall as well as it is much different from the two waterfalls. You get to see the tip of the Kawasan dam which is where the waterfall is flowing down to the first and second waterfalls. The pictures below can help you decide to visit the third waterfall.
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Things to remember
There are a few things to remember when going to Kawasan. Make sure to bring your own food during your day trip as the cost of food there is quite expensive. You can bring extra clothes since there are changing rooms and shower rooms available for a minimal charge of 20-40 PHP. Life jacket is not required unless you will try the Canyoneering or will try to dive in the turquoise water. Wear comfortable shoes especially if you are planning to visit all the three water falls. Leave as early as possible to avoid the crowd like what you can see on our photos. It’s like we rented the whole forest.
The trek was somewhat exhausting but when the sound of a rushing water comes nearer, your Adrenalin will start to pump. It excites us the more we come closer to the falls. It’s like you found a gem on a jungle. There are several spots to sit down to enjoy the cool refreshing water along the trail. Also, there are a few little natural pool before the main falls that I think is ideal as long as it is not crowded. Just make sure to visit Kawasan at the right time. You can feel the nature as you go along except the houses and accommodation built near the falls. You can hear the water flowing, the water splashing and falling from the top.
The whole experience of trekking through the Kawasan river and jungle, swimming into turquoise water, hearing the bustling flow of spring water and being with the surreal beautiful environment will stay with us for a long time. 😀