Kawasan Falls: DIY Guide Itinerary 2021
From Cebu city to Kawasan falls takes around 4 hours. Take a bus from the South bus terminal in Cebu headed to Badian, which is the area where the falls are located.
The bus will likely be bright yellow from the company “Ceres” and have the destination Bato on the front. Some have air-con; some don’t – we’ve experienced both, and the non-aircon wasn’t as bad as it sounds. The bus station staff and drivers are so friendly so ask anyone for help if you’re unsure.
Busses from Cebu city to Kawasan Falls cost around (230 pesos during pandemic)150 pesos on regular day with the earliest leaving at 5 am. This will mean that even if you take the first bus of the day, you will arrive around 9 am when the falls start to get busy. If you want a crowd-free experience, travelling from Cebu city to Kawasan falls isn’t the best option, instead, stay in Moalboal the night before.
KAWASAN FALLS ENTRANCE FEE
The Kawasan Falls entrance fee is 65 used to be 45 pesos per person. You will spot the entrance desk about halfway to the falls from where the bus drops you off. You will need to sign in with your name and nationality.
On our visit, we were told of people local guides are mandatory for the remaining walk to the falls and a guide of the falls themselves. 200 pesos for the guide, but it’s it’s only upto the second falls, if you wanna go to the number 3 falls you have to pay additional 100 pesos.
As well as the Kawasan Falls entrance fee we paid for life jacket hire which was 50 pesos per person. You could opt to swim without a life jacket, but as we explain in detail below, you will be restricted on where you can actually swim in Kawasan waterfalls without one. We didn’t know if this fee was a money making scheme or genuinely for public safety – perhaps both.
After paying the Kawasan falls entrance fee you’ll cross a bridge before arriving at the falls. You might spot the world famous blue first, or more likely the giant rainbow umbrellas from the surrounding café.
It’s also worth pointing out that whether you hire a life jacket at the office where you pay the Kawasan falls entrance fee or whether you hire it actually at the falls, all vendors charged the same price. We worried we’d be ripped off buying nearer the falls, but this wasn’t the case. To swim under the waterfall, you have to wear them, despite how strong of a swimmer you are.
Before we went in, locals warned us that the falls are really cold and the life jackets are also to help if you in case you experience cramp due to the temperature. To be fair, this may be the reason there were plenty of people at the falls but just us swimming – locals find them too cold in the early morning.
How to Reach The Other Kawasan Waterfalls
When you exit the Kawasan waterfalls head to the steps on the left, these will quickly turn to a steep forest track which will bring you to a beautiful viewpoint of the falls from above. Be extra careful if posing for photos here as there are many tree roots which make excellent trip hazards, not to mention your feet/you will likely be dripping wet from your waterfall swim turning the ground to mud.
The second waterfall had a cliff jump which explicitly said you were not allowed to jump unless you had a helmet or a guide. However, as we were there in the dry season the water was quite low, so it didn’t look the safest to jump off, even with a guide.
The water was equally stunning as the waterfall below, and there were natural waterslides formed in the rocks which looked amazing if you were taking part in the canyoneering at Kawasan falls. There was also a second picnic area and numerous smaller waterfalls which all looked equally inviting to swim in.
Waterfall Number 3: The Dam
The vendor who we hired the life jackets from explained we could not miss waterfall three as not many people can be bothered to make the trek so it would be blissfully quiet. What he didn’t explain was that it was bloody hard work – especially before 9 am and without breakfast.
You will cross a small bamboo bridge (which I didn’t even attempt due to fear of falling off onto the rocks) instead I walked through the water. Following this, it is a tough climb to the 3rd waterfall/dam, but that’s why it’s the most rewarding as only the most determined make it. A further few rock paths and half a rainforest later you will come to the grand finale of the Kawasan waterfalls.
Where to Eat at Kawasan Falls
Food is not allowed near the falls during this pandemic. Table in the second falls are 300 pesos, The cafes near the second falls offers food for a fair price. Comfort room/Rest room is 20 pesos, but you have to only pay once.
As we walked back to the bus, we also saw numerous vendors selling homemade doughnuts, coconuts, banana que and corn which was very reasonably priced.