#chasingwaterfalls – Kawasan and Cambais Falls, Cebu Philipines
There are over a 1000 waterfalls on the beautiful island of Cebu and waterfall hopping is one of the things I wanted to do during my 4-day stay in Moalbaol, Cebu. I was able to visit five of these waterfalls in one and a half days. I am glad I started my hopping with the two waterfalls mentioned below. I will share the rest of the falls in a subsequent post.
- Kawasan Falls, Badian
Kawasan falls is a must visit if you are in Cebu and I recommend that you take up the full experience of Canyoneering bit you are an adrenaline junkie or not. Canyoneering is an adventure sport that involves exploring a canyon through activities like climbing, rafting, and waterfall jumping. The jumping is optional so you can do all the other activities without jumping if you don’t feel like being adventurous. Depending on the level you choose the whole adventure should take 2-4 hours and would cost you approximately 30 USD. I only did the moderate canyoneering that involved trekking, using the water slides, the rope swing, and a 15ft water jump (this was my highest water cliff jump throughout my entire trip) that was as much adrenaline rush as I could handle in one day.
Kawasan falls are the busiest falls in Cebu, attracting approximately 800 – 1000 people daily. I would advise anyone to probably go there early in the morning when it is less crowded. There have been some fatal cases at the falls in the past couple of months; therefore, the rules have become stricter. You can not cliff jump unless you have a tour guide and should have the right gear on; a life jacket and helmet. Also, Kawasan falls are right on the road, so if all you wanna do is just go take a swim in the falls, then you can definitely do this on your own without a guide.
The walk to the falls is surrounded by trees and vegetation, and if you are lucky, you might be able to spot a few monkeys. We closed off the day with fresh coconut sold right at the entrance of the falls. So remember to carry some money for some street food and fruits.
2. Cambais Falls, Alegria
This was the first falls I visited, there are three waterfalls with three levels of cliff jumps for those interested in canyoneering. I paid 1000 peso for the canyoneering, that came with a guide, life vest, helmet, bike transport to the falls and a local meal at the end of the tour. We started the canyoneering with a 10-15 minutes hike to the waterfalls, followed by the cliff jumps. I only managed to do level 2 (twice) since I was still scared to death of jumping off the cliff. Thanks to my tour guide for the patience, after what seemed like an eternity, I took the leap. I, however, enjoyed the two water slides, despite being scared at the beginning.
Most people will only stop at the last level of the falls since they do not know about the other levels. This is where the importance of a tour guide comes in. I met a couple that had been at the falls several times but had never been to the last part of the falls. Cambais has the perfect crystal blue waters surrounded by rocks and vegetation. After the first waterfall, we trekked through water and bridge to get to the second waterfall. The second waterfall is calmer and less crowded than the first one making an ideal place for a swim.
Travel Tips; What to bring or Wear
- Bring a waterproof bag with you to store all your valuables
- Have the right shoes on, water shoes will make your life much easier
- Sunscreen, even though you might spend most of your time in the water, the heat in the Philippines is pretty intense. I didn’t use sunscreen during my trip, it took me days to treat my burned skin after the trip
- Waterbottle, save on buying plastic bottled water by bringing your own water bottle
- Although you can visit these falls on your own, you will have an enriching experience with a tour guide plus some places will not allow you in unless you have a guide.
- Don’t forget snacks, you will need the energy after all the trekking, swimming and cliff jumping.
If you are interested in visiting all these waterfalls, I highly recommend you use personalized tours by www.moalboaladventures.com. FYI this is a free recommendation. He is a credible tour guide who knows all the hidden places that are not so visited by foreigners.