A Complete Guide For Visiting Kawasan Falls In Cebu

 

Kawasan Falls in Cebu, the Philippines has become one of the biggest hotspots for travelers because *ahem* isn’t it obvious? Just look at that water. When most people travel through Cebu, this waterfall tops the list of must-sees, right above the canyoneering adventure that is an incredible pairing with this one. Kawasan Falls was the first site in the Philippines that I witnessed after seeing it pop up on my Instagram feed for years, and I couldn’t help but have a huge smile painted across my face upon diving in here and swimming in this ethereal, turquoise water. If you’re planning a trip to Cebu, especially if you’re using my own crafted itinerary for the Philippines, do not miss out on Kawasan Falls.

 

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General Information For Kawasan Falls

  • When To Get There: Plan to arrive at around 7:30 am. Most of the crowds are going to arrive after 8:00 am. I ended up having around 20-30 minutes to myself before people started pouring in so I could grab some photos and enjoy the waterfall to myself, and I recommend the same for you if you don’t like crowds.

  • How To Get There From CEBU CITY: Head to the Cebu South Bus Terminal and board the next one headed to Bato (via Barili) It’s important that you board the bus via Barili instead of via Oslob because the Oslob bus will stop on the East side of the island where Kawasan Falls is located on the West side. The full drive is around 3 hours one way and costs around 150 PHP ($2.50 USD). However, I recommend booking a stay in Moalboal the night before it’ll give you time to rest and you’ll have a shorter drive (20 minutes one way as opposed to 3 hours).

  • How To Get There From MOALBOAL: There are a couple of ways to get from Moalboal to Kawasan Falls. You can rent your own scooter for around 200-300 PHP, pop Kawasan Falls into Google Maps and navigate to the falls yourself (it’s really easy). Another option is to hire a tricycle and they will take you to Kawasan Falls and back for around 400 PHP. Lastly, the cheapest option is to take the bus going South to Bato for 20 PHP and they will drop you off at the entrance to the waterfall.

  • How To Get There From OSLOB: From Oslob, you’re able to rent your own scooter and drive to the falls (200-300 PHP), take a taxi (which I don’t recommend as they can be extremely expensive), and finally, you can take the bus for the cheapest option. If you opt-in for the bus ride, you’re going to board the bus headed to Bato, and then change buses and head to Badian for around 100 PHP. I don’t recommend staying in Oslob since their whale shark tours are entirely unethical, I wrote more about it here, and if you’re looking for an extremely off the beaten path adventure, I highly recommend going to Southern Leyte.

  • Estimated Time Spent: (30 minutes – 1 Hour+) This really depends on you and what your interests are. Some people arrive, get some photos, take a dip, and leave, but you could easily spend a couple hours here exploring the other waterfalls after Kawasan Falls.

  • Entrance Fee: 40 PHP for tourists and 20 PHP for locals.

  • Walking Time + Overview: It’s roughly 15 minutes to Kawasan. Once you arrive at the entrance point, you’re going to follow the walking trail to Kawasan Falls, the first waterfall on this tour. I recommend taking your photos and swimming once you arrive early because it will be packed if you wait until after the other two sites. If you follow the stairs to the left, it will take you to two more waterfalls that will be a little less crowded than Kawasan and it has a larger swimming area. If you follow the path further, you’ll find the source of water that flows into all three waterfalls, and there is even a slide and some cliff jumping that you can do at the very top.

  • Walking Difficulty: Easy

  • Waterfall height: ~40 meters (130 feet)

  • What To Wear: You can easily survive this little adventure in a swimsuit, a cover-up, and some flip-flops, but if you’re planning on going canyoneering after you visit the falls, then bring a pair of tennis shoes that you don’t mind getting wet, running shorts, and a t-shirt.

  • What To Bring: Spare cash for the entrance fees, sunscreen, camera (if needed), GoPRO (if canyoneering), snacks and lunch (you can purchase food at Kawasan, but it is expensive).

  • NOTE: Rafting is now banned by the Filippino government at Kawasan Falls, so you can no longer rent them. I have also read now that you are required to wear a life jacket if you want to go swimming, however, when I arrived with my guide, we swam with no lifejackets.



My Experience At Kawasan Falls

I was determined to be extremely early to see Kawasan Falls, so I woke up around 5:30 am to begin preparing my camera, GoPro, and my backpack. I can get pretty overwhelmed when there are masses of people in a tiny location, and I wanted to ensure that I arrived early enough to where I had time for myself to enjoy the stillness of the waterfall, so I planned to arrive at Kawasan Falls at around 7:30 am, roughly.

My guide met me at 6:30 am, and our first stop for the morning was over at the local market to grab some breakfast before we got on the road. I grabbed a bundle of bananas and a couple apples to hold me over until lunch and he grabbed some soup and noodles from one of the stalls there. Normally, I would take advantage of the free breakfast at my homestay, but it started at 7:00 am, and I wasn’t about to arrive at the waterfall at the same time as everyone else, so we had a quick lunch and then we departed onto the main road.

It was around a 25-30 minute drive to the falls and the views of the first morning sun rays over Badian were a beautiful start to the morning. Another great plus to leaving early is that you don’t have harsh sunlight beating down on your shoulders and legs for the long drives, and you actually get a cool morning breeze. Once we arrived at the church beside the trail, we paid our parking fee and set out onto the trail to the falls.

 

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The trek there is definitely doable for anyone, the stairs are minimal and there is plenty of eye candy along the way. Also, if you get hungry, they have various stalls that have anything from packaged snacks to my personal favorite, fresh boku (coconuts).

The trail to the waterfall was actually more stunning than I thought it would be and I found myself stopping more and more to snap photos along our route. We passed by many smells, sites, and villagers, and eventually, we could hear the faint sounds of the waterfall.

I think that social media has made some destinations, like this one, seem a lot less special when you have seen it hundreds of times on your Instagram feed, but nothing really compares to the moment that all the photos and the feelings of seeing those photos, morph into the real thing. I remember the first time I saw a glimpse of the water and my heart started beating a bit faster and the excitement filled me to the brim of finally getting to see a place that I have always dreamed of visiting. The feeling of seeing a photo vs. in real life are drastically different, and I am glad that the “overdoneness” of this place didn’t keep me from visiting.

 

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While this place is set up to be touristy with the restaurant and picnic tables surrounding the falls, once you dive in and express gratitude for being able to be in a place like this, in solitude, all of the negativity washes away and your left with an experience that is entirely unique to you, and no photo can ever replicate that.

Speaking of photos, that was the first thing that I had to check off my list before plunging into the water. I am so glad that my guide was patient with me and made sure that I got the exact photos that I wanted and needed. It took like almost a hundred photos to get one good one, but we both persevered through moderately broken English and *drumroll* we shot one of my favorite photos from this trip (top left).

Once we finished up with the photo-op, we were both equally stoked to plunge into the water. The water wasn’t too frigid, but it was one of those temperatures where you dip your toe in to test it out, second guess yourself, and then you end up doing a cannonball into the water anyway. We splashed around and explored for around 20-30 minutes, then the tourists started to pile in, so we packed our things and headed up a staircase to see two more waterfalls.

To my surprise, Kawasan Falls isn’t the only waterfall in this area, and I was stoked to find out that there were two more magical blue waterfalls to explore before we got to the final stop: the source of all the blue water.

This part of the trail has a little restaurant where you can buy various rice dishes and things, but I wasn’t too hungry, so I purchased a liter of water to keep myself hydrated, (now I always make sure I have my Hydro Flask so I avoid using plastic), then swam a bit, and headed to the top tier.

 

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There were only some locals here when we arrived, so it was nice to have the whole place to ourselves. There is a little man-made slide here that you can go down, or if you like a little bit of an adventure, you can climb up one of the rock walls past the gazebos and jump into the water. While the water at Kawasan Falls is the classic blue gatorade color, this water was completely clear and still, making it seem like a mystical, far off land. We ventured around here and enjoyed the final part of this little tour with no technology and just our eyes and minds for memories.

After hanging out and taking in the view, we descended back down through the bottom two tiers and arrived at an extremely packed Kawasan Falls. I distinctly remember saying “thank goodness I didn’t arrive here later in the day” as we were passing through people coming in. It makes the entire journey completely different when you’re there alone with yourself and I can’t recommend it enough to maximize your time here.

 


 

Is Kawasan Falls Worth It?

I think the question everyone is asking themselves at this point is, “is Kawasan Falls worth it”? In my opinion, slightly, no. It depends on what experience you have. If you’re planning to arrive later in the day with tons of other people, no. If you plan on heading out early to have the entire thing to yourself, yes. The waterfall is way smaller than it seems in photos, which I am not sure really was I was expecting anyway, but I didn’t mind because I have still never seen water as blue as that under a waterfall anywhere else in the world. Would I go to Kawasan Falls again? Probably not since there are other waterfalls that took my breath away, like Casaroro Falls, but I enjoyed my time spent there and being alone when I arrived made it more special for me since it’s known to be overly crowded.

 


 

Have you ever been to Kawasan Falls? Share with me your adventure in the comments below!

This post may contain affiliate links for the products I mentioned, but as always, all opinions are my own. I make a small commission, at no extra cost to you, when you make a purchase or booking through these links. This helps to support this space and keep me blogging, which I am so extremely thankful for.

Aaren

 

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