Turquoise blue water, 3 stages of waterfalls and canyoneering – there’s really nothing to complain about… except perhaps the crowds. 

Kawasan Falls is one of the most famous waterfalls in the Philippines but it’s difficult to enjoy it in all its glory when you have hundreds of people to share it with. 

We recently visited and were completely blown away despite having high expectations. We almost had all of Kawasan Falls to ourselves which made a huge difference. 

By 2 pm, the place was PACKED and we couldn’t wait to get out of there. So, here’s our guide to visiting Kawasan Falls without the crowds and on a budget!

How to avoid the crowds at Kawasan Falls

Kawasan Falls can be reached very easily by any point on Cebu so weekends are always a lot busier. The best way to beat the crowds is to go on a weekday and early in the morning – we’re talking 7 am early.

If you’re coming from Cebu City, the bus takes 3.5 – 4 hours and buses don’t start running until around 5 am so it’s impossible for you to get here until after 8 or 9 am. Instead, we recommend that you stay in Moalboal the night before.

The bus from Moalboal only takes 30-40 minutes. We arrived at 7:30 am and had it ourselves with the exception of 2 other people.

The restaurants weren’t even open! This meant we could just enjoy the place free of noise and touts and take plenty of photos without a tonne of people everywhere.

TIP: If you plan on going canyoneering, it’s best to visit the waterfalls first. The iconic photos of Kawasan Falls are taken at the first waterfall but the last waterfall is just as beautiful. There is a short uphill walk to the others and we also enjoyed these to ourselves early in the morning.

travel couple standing on plank at Kawasan Falls photography
Pure bliss! Kawasan Falls without the crowds.

How to Get to Kawasan Falls

The cheapest and easiest way to get to Kawasan Falls is by bus. Buses are quite frequent and have no set timetable so you don’t need to book in advance.

Once you’re off the bus, it’s a short walk to the first waterfall (around 15 minutes), just follow the sign.

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Getting Kawasan Falls from Moalboal

To get to Kawasan Falls from Moalboal, just wait on the main road and wave down a bus heading south. Let the driver know you want to go to the main entrance of Kawasan Falls (rather than the canyoneering entrance).

The journey will take around 40 minutes. To return to Moalboal, wait on the same side of the road as the waterfall. The bus should be travelling north towards Cebu City.

  • Price from/to Moalboal: 15-20 pesos ($0.50AUD / $0.35USD) each way (depending on if the bus has air-conditioning)
  • Schedule: every 20 – 30 minutes

Rent a scooter

Alternatively, you could hire a scooter and ride from Moalboal to Kawasan Falls yourself. Scooter hire is around 300 pesos a day ($6 USD) and you’ll be riding along a paved road for 40 minutes.

Watch out for abrupt turns in the road and other traffic driving fast. If you aren’t an experienced rider, we recommend you stick to the bus option!

  • Price: 300 pesos
  • Schedule: your own

Go on a canyoneering tour with transport

A pre-booked canyoneering tour is around 1,500-1,700 pesos and restricts your freedom to explore the falls before starting the canyoneering. Most tours start around 8 am so by the time if you finish your canyoneering trip, the falls will be busy.

  • Price: 1,500 – 1,700 pesos
  • Schedule: Pick up around 7:30 am – 8:30 am

Getting to Kawasan Falls from Cebu City

From Cebu City, go to the South Bus Terminal and hop on any bus bound for Badian (the area where the falls are located). This bus should be heading to Bato via Barili so it will travel along the west side of the island rather than the east.

If you’re unsure of which bus to take, the guards and bus drivers are very helpful and you won’t have any problems getting assistance.

  • Price from/to Cebu City130 – 150 pesos ($4AUD / $3USD) each way (depending on if the bus has air-conditioning)
  • Schedule: every 30 minutes – 1 hour

Getting to Kawasan Falls from Oslob

From Oslob, you will need to take a bus to Bato first and then change buses to one heading to Badian or Cebu City via Barilli.

To return to Oslob, take the bus going to Bato and then change to the bus headed towards Cebu City (just tell the driver you’re going to Oslob).

  • Price from/to Oslob: approx 100 pesos ($2.50AUD / $0.35USD) each way
  • Schedule: every 20 – 30 minutes
Kawasan Falls photography

Budget for Kawasan Falls

A day trip to Kawasan Falls shouldn’t break your bank and is absolutely doable on a tight budget. We recommend you bring your own water and snacks as food is quite expensive there.

  • Bus from/to Moalboal: 15-20 pesos ($0.50AUD / $0.35USD) each way
  • Kawasan Falls entrance fee: 40 pesos ($1AUD / $0.75USD)
  • Canyoneering: 1,000 pesos ($26AUD / $20USD)
  • Locker: 100 pesos ($2.60AUD / $2USD)

Total per person from Moalboal: 70 pesos ($2AUD / $1.50USD) or 1,070 pesos ($29AUD / $22USD) with canyoneering 

Canyoneering at Kawasan Falls

If you love adventure, then canyoneering is a MUST! Rather than booking a tour company in advance, we picked a guide after we finished exploring the falls for ourselves.

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Mike gave us a great price and we recommend that you get in contact with him on Facebook. A guide is compulsory and there are a couple of different registration points so there is no way to avoid this or get through on your own.

Canyoneering starts at a separate entrance which can only be reached by motorbike. From there, it’s a 30-minute hike to the river.

The great thing about canyoneering at Kawasan Falls is there are many different options to suit your adventure level.

You can go crazy and do every cliff jump varying from 1 – 10 metres (I highly recommend this option, it was a tonne of fun) or navigate around these if you don’t feel comfortable jumping.

Canyoneering starts upstream and you will travel down the river until you reach the third waterfall at Kawasan. For safety, every person is required to wear a life jacket and helmet.

You will be traversing through some pretty slippery and rocky areas so come prepared to get wet and wear good shoes!

Go pro canyoneering Kawasan Falls

What to bring to Kawasan Falls

You won’t need too much with you but will definitely need cash as you can’t pay any other way. We recommend that you bring enough for the day plus a little extra for snacks. Otherwise, you’ll also need:

  • Water and snacks
  • Camera / GoPro
  • Swimsuit
  • Sandals, water shoes or runners if you are canyoneering. Thongs/flip flops if you’re not.
  • Towel
  • Dry bag if you have it but not absolutely necessary

What to know before you go to Kawasan Falls

Is the walk to Kawasan Falls easy?

The path to the first waterfall is fairly easy and though is uphill, is not extremely steep. However, the path isn’t paved so if it has been raining recently, it’s going to be slippery. This walk will take around 15 minutes.

After the first waterfall, the paths to the second and third falls are quite steep and slippery.

Unfortunately this is not a very accessible or wheelchair-friendly destination.

Kawasan Falls woman posing near waterfall photography Philippines

Is there a place to keep stuff at Kawasan Falls?

There are lockers available at the first waterfall. A small locker is 100 pesos ($2.60AUD / $2USD) and will fit a small bag.

We saw some people come to Kawasan with their big backpacks and there are only a few lockers that may be able to fit these.

We don’t recommend you bring your big backpacks unless absolutely necessary.

Should I do canyoneering the same day?

Absolutely! We explored Kawasan Falls on our own for a couple of hours, took all of our photos and then went on the canyoneering tour.

We were out of the area by around 1 pm. The canyoneering tour is around 2 hours depending on how many other groups there are on the day.

Is Kawasan Falls child-friendly?

Yes, but you should bring floaties as there aren’t too many shallow areas.

Are there changing rooms or toilets?


Do I have to book a canyoneering guide in advance?

No, you don’t. Booking in advance with other companies is generally more expensive than arriving and booking on the spot.

In saying that, the guide we found (Mike) has been contacted by a few of our readers and given them a decent price.

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We aren’t affiliated with his business but he was a nice and honest person willing to give us a fair price which is why we’ve linked him. Feel free to contact him or show up on the day and find a guide.

Is there anywhere to eat?

Be prepared to pay! There are restaurants around and some canyoneering tours include this in the price. There are eateries 5 minutes before you get to the falls as well as right at the falls.

The food isn’t that great there and we recommend you bring snacks and eat afterwards.

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72 thoughts on “Kawasan Falls: Complete Guide to Getting There Without the Crowds

  1. Cuneyt says:

    Thank you for this amazing blog on Kawasan Falls. Can you please tell me which specific camera you used for taking your pictures at Kawasan Falls? Thanks in advance

  2. Cuneyt says:

    Hi guys, thanks for this amazing blog. May I ask what specific camera did you use to take your pictures at Kawasan Falls?

  3. Rachel Roberts says:

    This article so far was the most helpful. Thank you for sharing your experience. We will visit Kawasan Falls the way you guys did it. (Roberts FamGang)

  4. Sue says:

    Great info Amanda! Just booked with Mike. πŸ™‚ Thanks!
    As you two love waterfalls so much, you really should get yourselves to Taiwan one day. Check out “follow xiaofei”- he’s the Taiwan waterfall junkie.

  5. Laura says:

    BEAUTIFUL! I want to do the same of you. First of all, I want to explore the kawasan falls on my own but later I want to do canyonering… Did you have the tour booked before the day? Do you remember which company tour? Or maybe, there are guides in kawasan falls and you contact them on the same day…

    Thank you in advance!!

  6. majestic mapute says:

    good morning ma’am, we plan to go to kawasan falls ds weekend and i’m thankful seeing this post of yours. but may i know how much all in all did you spend in kawasan per head? is 2500-3k for 2 person enough? πŸ™‚ i’m really into budget here πŸ™‚

  7. Kate Reynoso says:

    Hi! Great blog and very informative. May I ask for the facebook page of the tour guide you hired?

  8. Dianne Kathreen says:

    Hi! Thank you for this very helpful and informative post. I want to know if getting a tour guide is compulsory even if we’re not going to do the Canyoneering? We just want to stay and chill in the first Kawasan falls. Thank you! πŸ™‚

  9. Ney says:

    Hi! I love your post! ? But can I ask if there’s a bus from kawasan falls that could take you back to the city? I’m planning to have a trip on my own and I don’t want to get lost! HAHAHA Thanks in advance! ??

    • Amanda | LVV Travel says:

      Hi Ney, thank you! Yep, to get back to wherever you want to go, just wait on the other side of the road from where you got off. Buses come pretty regularly and you just have to check that it’s going to where you want. It’s pretty hard to get lost so don’t worry!

  10. J + R says:

    Hi! We enjoyed your post very much! Beautiful photos! Did you use a Neutral Density filter on your camera or used any special camera settings to capture the waterfalls?

  11. Roger and Genie Danley says:

    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you. We were already in Moalboal when we found your blog post about Kawasan, so we followed your suggestions and had a great experience. Up at 4 o’clock and there by 0700. Hardly anyone around. We were the first to park in the church lot! So very beautiful but by noon, when we’d already gone to the top falls and back down to our all-day rented table, the crowds were crazy. It just wouldn’t have been the same without your lead. Thanks again. I’m to be a regular follower from now on!

  12. Annjerli Casabuena says:

    I have literally read this same blog of yours at least 3 times now..over and over..and over its too good! I can’t get over as to how beautiful this place is! I’m planning on shooting my engagement pictures there and obviously want to avoid the crowd as much as possible! May I ask what month did you go and was it a weekday or a weekend trip? Hope to hear from you! πŸ™‚

    • Amanda | LVV Travel says:

      Hey Annjerli, thanks so much! We were there in early April and it was on a weekday. Shooting engagement pictures there would be beautiful but you definitely want to get there early. Perhaps it would be worth reaching out to the owners (I am very sure it’s privately owned) to see if you could book it for a couple of hours for the shoot instead. All the best! Amanda

  13. Tonkin-Travel Vietnam says:

    This is absolutely awesome post! I always want to explore Kawasan Fall and surroundings. Your post is really informative for me and the photos you take look stunning. Thanks for the great post!

  14. Aris Mojica says:

    Thank you for the very informative article. May I ask what fitness level the requirement for the canyoneering tour? Thanks in advance!

    • Amanda | LVV Travel says:

      Hi Aris. No worries and thanks for your question. I think a reasonable level of fitness is adequate. You actually have to hike uphill at the start of the tour (around 20 minutes) but then after that, it’s mostly walking through water and then jumping into the water. Let me know if you have any other questions. Amanda

      • Lars Arvidsson says:

        Hi Amanda. I did go to Moalboal and Kawasan Falls in my very young age back in 1992 and of course there were no crowds at all there at that time. Im going back there next year and since I got a bit senile since then I don’t remember how far it was to walk up to the falls from the bus stop at the main road. Please help me to remember since I’m going there with an elderly but quite fit person so it’s good to know if it’s a long and hard walk. Was it much uphills?
        We’re planning to be there around 3.00 – 4.00 pm, is it still crowded at that time?
        Thank you in advance.

        • Amanda | LVV Travel says:

          Hi Lars, thanks for your comment. I think you’re in for a BIG surprise now that the Philippines is a very popular destination. The walk up to falls from the bus stop will take around 20 – 30 minutes depending on pace. Since you are going with elderly people, I recommend that they wear sturdy shoes as the ground gets slippery when wet. I don’t think the walk will be too difficult to the first waterfall. It’s uphill but a steady incline so you can take your time. The walk up to the other falls is a lot more steep and difficult though much shorter in distance. Unfortunately, we left at around 2 pm when it was still busy so I can’t say how busy it will be around 3 – 4 pm, sorry. Thanks. Amanda

    • Amanda | LVV Travel says:

      Hi Steven, it really depends on where you’re staying and what’s available in the area. For example, if you’re staying in Moalboal there are a lot of dive shops around so they might have GoPro hire options. Best to get it from wherever you’re staying so that you can take it there for photos then come back and upload the photos immediately before returning the GoPro. Best of luck. Amanda

  15. Viola says:

    OMG I so needed this tip! Came at the perfect time. I’m going to Cebu next month and am looking at how to best do the Kawasan Falls. I will look into staying in Maolbaol now if it will help us avoid the tourists haha.

  16. Katie says:

    A gorgeous place! I am desperate to visit the Philippines so will pin this and use for our planning! Love your pics too!

  17. Evy says:

    Hi ! Thank you sooooo much for sharing your experience ! There were some great tips (vsiting hours, transportation etc) that we will use for our to Moaboal trip in May. Also we will definitely contact Mike for canyoneering.
    However I found on the internet that the Kawasan falls officially open at 9 am, how did you manage to climb to the first waterfall before this time ?

    • LVV Travel says:

      Hi Evy! No worries, thanks for reading. I just checked with Mike and he confirmed that you can still get in early. The waterfalls aren’t gated or anything like that so it shouldn’t be a problem getting through. I do know that canyoneering tours don’t commence earlier though so perhaps that’s why the official time is 9am. Hope that helps! Amanda

      • Evy says:

        Hi Amanda. Thanks for your reply ! We will follow your advice for the Kawasan falls and we also booked a canyoneering tour with Mike. Your blog is so helpful and I’m actually checking all your other trips <3 have a blessed day

  18. QuickieTwaveller says:

    My family wanted me to plan a trip to Cebu. Little did I know, we’re already leaving later at 0400H! Good thing I stumble upon your blog! Thanks for the tips!

    Anyhow, few questions just to ensure all is set since i’m travelling with kids.
    -Are there nearby changing area/comfort room, lockers, eateries?
    -How to go back to the city from Kawasan?

    • LVV Travel says:

      Hi Trisha! Glad to help πŸ™‚ There are eateries (quite expensive and not that great) and lockers available – please see above for how much we paid. The lockers are small though (enough to fit a small bag and belongings but not a big backpack). There are toilets but I’m not sure about changing rooms as we didn’t use them. To get back from Kawasan you take the bus from the opposite side of the road going back in that direction. Hope that helps! Amanda

  19. Sarah Nolan says:

    Did you use your go pro for canyoneering pictures? For the pictures by the falls, did you have someone take your picture for you?

    • LVV Travel says:

      Hi Sarah, yep we used a GoPro for all canyoneering photos. I wouldn’t really recommend bringing a non-waterproof camera as you spend most of the tour in the water. We take all of our own photos using a tripod. Hope that helps. Amanda

  20. The Fun-Sized Traveller says:

    I would love to come here early in the morning for a lesser crowd. Great experience you got there! Kawasan falls is on top of my list for 7 waterfalls in South Cebu. The place has a lot to offer and truly a gem.

  21. Candice says:

    Awesome, incredibly informative! What did you do with all your belongings while canyoneering? Was there a safe dry area to store them so they don’t get banged up/wet?

  22. Marek says:

    Hello guys .great blog and very handy. I think we’ll try and do the same thing but coming from Oslob instead. I did send a message to mike but he said it would be 1500 per person. Did you have a different tour than he normally offers? Thank you:)

    • LVV Travel says:

      Hi Marek. No, we didn’t but also, I think he did give us a very discounted price. I think 1500 is very reasonable for the tour. Perhaps if you get a bit of a bigger group together, you may get more of a discount.

  23. Nkr says:

    Im going alone. So would I be able to get a guide all for myself. Or is it only for groups?
    Because most of the Kawasan falls tour offers package for group or minimum of 2.

    • LVV Travel says:

      Hi there, I’m sure you can tag along with a group. It’s unlikely that they’ll let you you have a guide to yourself without paying a little extra.

  24. Cebu Tour says:

    Beautiful multi level of falls. A popular and most visited falls in Cebu Island. It is also a great site to do the adrenaline-rising activity – Canyoneering or Canyoning.. πŸ™‚ If you’re planning to get there we can be your professional guide.

  25. Katrina Bituin says:

    This article is so nice and informative. Just wondering how long it will take to do the canyoneering? I am travelling with an older crowd and they might not be up for it so I might have to go canyoneering by myself (I won’t miss it for the world). I look forward to your reply! Thanks!

  26. travellingslacker says:

    Mind-blowing location! Just the sheer colour of the water is so delightful! Also, I must ask, did you get these perfect couple photos with timer or somebody was there to click?

  27. rhiydwi says:

    Your photos are amazing – I bet with the crowds there it’d be hard to get any with just you guys in it!

    I went canyoneering in Ecuador and thought I’d absolutely love it as I’m a bit of an adrenaline junkie! It ended up being one of my worst experiences ever – I think I was the complete wrong height so all the falls just kept getting me straight in the face, it felt like being water-boarded or something!
    I’d love to try again somewhere new though – maybe Kawasan πŸ™‚

  28. Daisy says:

    The water is absolutely beautiful! A super informative post, I’ll definitely keep in mind these tactics if I ever do visit. I also adore your bathing suit, it’s gorgeous πŸ™‚

  29. Gareth says:

    This was a really great account of your time at Kawasan Falls and having been there myself, I can very much emphasise with what you said. Certainly, everything about the place is paradisaical but yup, the crowds can be a problems. Unfortunately my time there was spent battling swathes of Chinese tourists but will definitely keep this advice in mind if I’m ever lucky enough to find myself back there

  30. Jean says:

    Oh well worth an early wake up call. I’m so jealous that I didn’t get to Cebu on either of my Philippines trips. Seeing how peaceful this looks I’m desperate to go back with my boyfriend. I too love the freedom of travelling without a tour company.

  31. Bhushavali says:

    OMG! The place looks like a paradise! The 3rd waterfall looks just too good to be true! I hate those organized tours as well as we can’t really pause where we wanna stop & enjoy! Thanks for the FB contact of the guide!

  32. Anita says:

    Wow…just like the previous comment. Your photos are breathtaking, talk about beauty. i keep seeing how beautiful the Philippines is and I cannot wait to go. I hope one day I get to visit.

  33. Ticking the Bucketlist says:

    Wow… the place looks so pristine. We have been to only plitvice waterfalls and since then, would love to explore more of such beautiful wonders. I had never heard of Kawasan until your post … thanks for sharing how to get there!

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