If you have a lot of questions about the Canyoneering Activity in South Cebu, this post would be helpful as I try to answer all the questions that I had before we did the Canyoneering. In short this is my Cebu Canyoneering Travel Guide.
I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear. – Nelson Mandela @kawasancanyoneering #CebuCanyoneering #Badian #Alegria #SouthCebu #Cebu #Visayas #Philippines #Travel #TravelPh #Adventure #AdventurePh #Courage #BeCourageous
Do note that there are many service providers for the Canyoneering activity in South Cebu but we availed the services of Kawasan Canyoneering since they are a professional group of guides who are based in Badian, Cebu – where the Canyoneering activity is located. You can check out their contact details at the end of this post.
Anyways, here’s the travel guide.
1. Starts at Badian, Cebu
The start and end of the Canyoneering Activity is at the intersection along the highway to Kawasan Falls in Badian, Cebu. Badian is a municipality of the Province of Cebu which is located 3 hours away via bus from the South Bus Terminal of Cebu City. The fare was 120 Pesos/person (one-way).
It is important that you take the Ceres Bus bound for Bato via Barili. Do not take the bus Bato via Oslob as this will not pass by Badian. The earliest trip is at 4 AM. The last Trip is at 6 PM. Bus departure interval is around 30 minutes.
Tell the conductor to drop you off at Kawasan Falls.
A little note, when you go down the bus locals will swarm you but be calm and just walk towards the church and tell them that you need time to think.
You can check out the route in Google Maps here.
Since we availed our Canyoneering activity with Kawasan Canyoneering, our starting point is at Matutinao Beach Resort, which is actually located across the street from the church. We slept here the night before to be sure that we are well rested for the Canyoneering Activity.
If you are doing a day trip you can leave your belongings with Matutinao Beach Resort when you avail the activity with Kawasan Canyoneering.
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2. Priced at 1,500 Pesos/person
This includes the life vest, helmet, 500mL of water, a Fudgee Bar, trained guides, entrance fees, habal-habal ride to the starting point of the Canyoneering and lunch at the end of the activity.
What I liked about this is that once we paid the fee I do not have to think about pulling my wallet again and again for surprise mandatory payments.
The rate is the same for Filipinos and foreigners.
Updated August 31, 2016: Effective September 1, 2016. Previous rate of 1,200 Pesos/person will increase to 1,500 Pesos/person.
3. Lasts about 5-6 hours
We rode the habal-habal at Matutinao Beach Resort at 9:41 AM and got back at 3:38 PM. Which is around 5 hours and 57 minutes.
I consider our group as one slow group as we really wanted to enjoy each place especially when we were in the Kawasan Falls part. And we also took a considerable amount of time on the jumps since we were seriously trying to conquer our fear.
I loved our tour guides for this since they never complained about how slow we were nor did they look impatient with us. They even helped us take photos or just let us be to enjoy the place. Plus to pass the time they also do cliff jumps which we really enjoyed watching.
4. Life vest and Helmet are required
For safety purposes. Both are included in the 1,500 Pesos/person fee. The life vest is for you to float on the water and prevents you from drowning. Helmets protect your head from bumping into rocks, which proved to be really useful during tight maneuvers.
All life vests has a front pocket where they place the complimentary 500 mL water and the Fudgee Bar. But I also placed some candies inside my pocket and some extra money wrapped in ice bag.
To answer most people’s question if it is okay to do the Canyoneering if you do not know how to swim, I could confidently answer yes, you could do the canyoneering even if you do not know how to swim. The life vest will keep you afloat. Just be confident on the things that you will be doing and be sure to follow the instructions of your guides.
5. Shoes are required
Wearing of sandals with straps or shoes was required since you will be doing lots of rock scrambling and swimming. Best is to wear shoes for outdoor activities such as this..
Slippers are no good here, there’s a high chance you will loose these on the jumps.
If you forgot to bring shoes you can rent one for 50 Pesos a pair with Kawasan Canyoneering. One of us did not bring shoes, so we had to rent one.
6. You can bring a dry bag
We brought one drybag. But since I do not have full trust on drybags we decided to leave our phones at Matutinao Beach Resort. Our drybag contains only my extra batteries, snacks and energy drinks.
If you’re going to bring a dry bag, bring a dry bag that has a sling. It’s difficult to do the activity when you do not have both hands free.
7. There are small canteens and stores at the starting point
If you plan to leave early in Cebu to do a daytrip then you may want to know if you can have breakfast in the area and I am happy to let you know that you can. There are two canteens/karinderya near the church where you can eat a small breakfast, they open around 7AM. Sorry, I forgot to take a picture of the karinderya. The breakfast is not included in the 1,500 Pesos/person.
There’s also a store where I bought some energy drinks, some chocolate bars, candies and my ever trusty Imodium (loperamide). Above is a picture of Kawasan Cooperative. I think they open around 6AM.
8. Starts with a Habal-habal ride
It lasts around 20 minutes from Matutinao Beach Resort to the start of the activity. Which also includes one stop at Alegria Tourism for registration. (A habal-habal is a motorcycle taxi.)
Roads will be from cemented to rough road which includes uphill and the downhill part where you will get really close to the driver and to your friend who is riding with you.
9. Start and End Points
Just to be clear the walking will start at Canlaob, Alegria then our group went downstream jumping, rock scrambling, swimming and hiking. The exit point will be at Kawasan Falls at Badian. In short you will be crossing two municipalities.
10. Earliest and Latest you can do the Cebu Canyoneering
As a rule in Alegria Tourism the earliest group can start the activity at 6AM. The latest is at 3PM. Outside those times you cannot start the Canyoneering Activity.
If you arrive around lunch time you can still do the Canyoneering Activity, but please be mindful of the time because there’s only a limited time until the sun goes down.
The best time would be the earlier the better so you could do more in the afternoon.
11. First jump is one of the highest
After a 6 minute walk on the trail from the starting point, the first jump would appear. It’s about 18-20 feet high and if you are on top it’s crazy high. And it’s required!
It’s not the highest but I am glad that we started with this. After I conquered this one I had the courage to face the other small jumps or falls. Until the next high jump.
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There are 3 high jumps that are on the course. 1 is required the other 2 is optional. The first one is the required one.
12. A Technique for the Fear to Jump
If you’re not used to jumping cliffs to deep water pools then you would definitely have the fear of jumping off the cliff. The more you wait looking down, the more fear will conquer you. Here’s a technique that I used to jump the cliffs.
First is to stand from where you will be jumping. See where you need to target for your landing. Then walk away from the cliff. Then create an image in your mind that you are jumping out of the cliff and falling to the water trusting your life vest to keep you afloat. Once you have that image, create the courage that you will do that image and walk to the jumping point. Once at the jumping point see where you need to target and just jump.
The more you spend time at the jumping point the more fear will conquer you.
If you work well with pressure, you can ask your guide to do a countdown for you with a commanding voice for you to jump. This worked with one of my travel buddies.
See the video below to get an idea on how it feels during the jump.
A hint during the jumps be sure not to bend your knees or hit the water on a sitting position so that you would not get hurt when you hit the waters. If you do not know how to do this, ask your guide to demonstrate it for you.
13. There will be a lot of rock scrambling and hikes.
You may have seen the photos and videos of the many jumps and slides but I just would like you to know that there will be many hikes and rock scrambling. But don’t worry, since you are walking along the river there will be many places where you can take a dip and enjoy the water.
I’m just putting it here that you may be mentally ready for the long hikes and rock scrambling.
14. There’s a Barbecue Area half-way
We were surprised that there was a Barbecure Area in the middle of the river and the cliff, which was a very happy surprise since I was hungry.
According to the sellers they would climb down the roots for them to sell the goods.
- Hotdog – 10 Pesos
- Pork Barbecue – 15 Pesos
- Puso (Rice) – 10 Pesos
- Embutido – 20 Pesos
But please do not expect them to always be there as it is challenging to bring their products there.
15. Expect a queue of people
Since the canyoneering activity is booming because of its fun and adventure plus the beautiful sceneries there are a lot of tourists availing the activity. And since there are only a limited amount of trails you can walk and points where you can jump, there is usually a queue. But be patient your time will come.
The queue is especially long when one jumper is overcomed by fear and took his time before jumping. So be sure to use the technique on this list on how to jump.
If you want to avoid the crowd go there during weekdays just like we did but we still encountered a crowd.
16. The Highest Jump is optional
The highest jump would be around the end of the Canyoneering. It’s located at the 2nd level of Kawasan Falls and it’s optional. The jump is around 30-35 feet.
There’s an alternative route if you want to go down slowly walking.
17. GoPro Battery will not last
If you are thinking if a single GoPro battery will do the job you are wrong. I went all out on taking videos and photos and a single GoPro battery only lasted around 1/3 of the activity. It was a good thing the I brought 2 extra GoPro batteries from SmaTree.
To bring the extra batteries I placed each inside an ice bag, then placed them inside a small waterproof plastic container (BioKip). I also placed a handkerchief in the plastic container to remove the wetness on my hand and the GoPro casing. Then we placed them inside a drybag.
My 32GB SD Card did not last too. When we were at Kawasan Falls I was already looking for footages that I could delete. Unfortunately, selecting a footage to delete with a GoPro is really difficult but necessary. Next time I do this I’ll be more selective with what I am taking a video or photo with.
18. Be steady when taking photos with an Action Camera
Most of my pictures were blurry because I kept on moving the GoPro when we were taking photos and videos. Since there’s very few sunlight in the canyoneering because sunlight is being blocked by trees and cliffs the camera needs more time for the shutter to get a good photo. Moving the GoPro while the shutter is still open will make a blurry picture.
19. Droplets on the Action Camera
Most of the times there will be droplets on the lens of the GoPro Camera. You can treat your lens with an anti-droplet solution to help solve this.
If you are like who did not have the time to do this you can bring a toothpaste and apply it, rinse it on your lens. Unfortunately, the toothpaste method will not work after a few minutes. It was a hassle pulling out a toothpaste and applying it too. So in the end, I used saliva to remove the droplets. It was faster to apply and readily available. 😛
Best solution will still be to treat your lens with a anti-droplet solution.
20. There are stores when you arrive at the Kawasan Falls area
Upon arrival at the third level of Kawasan Falls there are already stalls where you can buy some sweets and chips.
There are more established stores at the second level and first level of Kawasan Falls.
21. Habal-habal at Kawasan Falls
There are habal-habals that you can hire at the first level of Kawasan Falls to Matutinao Beach Resort. A ride costs 50 Pesos/person. This is not included in the 1,500 Pesos/person fee.
We asked our guides on how long the walk was they told us it was around 1.5kms to which we all decided to walk since we still have the strength and patience to walk that far. (18 minutes walk)
22. There’s food at the end
At the end of the Canyoneering Activity there’s food!!! And it’s included in the 1,500 Pesos/person fee. 🙂
23. Freshen Up and Change of Clothes
Since we were renting a room at Matutinao Beach Resort we had a place to take a shower and to change clothes but if you are not staying here do not worry. Matutinao Beach Resort has an outside shower room and bathroom that you can use.
24. Where to next
What we did after our Canyoneering was stay overnight at Matutinao Beach Resort and early in the morning we rode a habal-habal to Osmeña Peak, then to Dalaguete which cost us 700 Pesos/person. At Dalaguete we rode a bus to Oslob.
If you want to avail of the habal-habal ride from Badian to Osmeña Peak and back the rate would be 500 Pesos/person (roundtrip)
You can also visit Lambug Beach in Badian for the sunset. The rate for the habal-habal is 50 Pesos/person (one-way)
You can also ride a bus to Bato, then from Bato ride another bus to Oslob. In Oslob you can visit Tumalog Falls. Sorry, we I was not able to know how much each bus fare is and the schedule.
I hope the above information helps you
If you want to avail of the activity you can book with Kawasan Canyoneering.
Kawasan Canyoneering Details
- +63-905-333-2623 (Globe)
- +63-918-654-4111 (Smart)
E-mail: [email protected]
If you have any questions that are still not answered by this post, please feel free to ask them on the comments below and I’ll try to answer them as best as I could.
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