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
- How to Get to Kawasan Falls
- Go on a canyoneering tour with transport
- Budget for Kawasan Falls
- Canyoneering at Kawasan Falls
- What to bring to Kawasan Falls
- What to know before you go to Kawasan Falls
- Is the walk to Kawasan Falls easy?
- Is there a place to keep stuff at Kawasan Falls?
- Should I do canyoneering the same day?
- Is Kawasan Falls child-friendly?
- Are there changing rooms or toilets?
- Do I have to book a canyoneering guide in advance?
- Is there anywhere to eat?
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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.
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.
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 City: 130 – 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
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.
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!
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
- Sandals, water shoes or runners if you are canyoneering. Thongs/flip flops if you’re not.
- 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.
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.
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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