Amidst the busy streets of Cebu, the historical landmarks of the city and the unlimited activities the beaches provide, you would wonder if there are any more secret locations this city has to offer. It turns out that there is indeed more. The Kawasan Falls is famous for its river falls that go steeply down the hill above the town of Matutinao, Badian. The area is exotic and wild but refreshing and serene at the same time. It is actually a hierarchy of waterfalls in which the first is the biggest. The scenery gets even wilder the further up you go the ladder of the falls. The first level is the largest but apparently the most crowded of the hierarchy. Every level will take you around 15 minutes to get to from the previous one.
In contrast to the salty water and sandy beaches that Cebu provides, Kawasan offers a totally different water experience. The area is picturesque, offering fresh and cold water for bathing. Indulge in your Tarzan-like fantasies as you climb up beside the waterfall and plunge from a dizzying height and into the water. The higher you go up the valley, the prettier it gets as you swim up the gorge and clamber over rocks. You can rent a bamboo raft for 300 pesos to bring you around the lake and waterfalls to get a refreshing “waterfall massage” right under the falling water. The bottom of the falls is about 38 feet deep, which might require you to rent life vests that cost around 30 pesos each. The additional amount is a small price to pay for your safety, especially if you are not confident in your own swimming skills. Cottages and tables are available for rent and sumptuous meals provided by surrounding resort restaurants can be found as well. If you want to take advantage of the environment and want to be one with nature, overnight cottages can be rented for about Php800-Php2000 depending on the number of people to use the room.
Kawasan is about 115 km south-west of Cebu, a 2.5-3 hour drive from downtown. Try to avoid the weekends when visiting the Kawasan Falls since it is highly popular with the locals as a getaway destination and a once-in-a-lifetime experience for tourists. You might find yourself sharing the place with BBQ stands, screaming children and loud music if you visit during peak days. You’ll also have to pay 10 pesos and walk about a 15-30 minute long rocky and narrow path to get to the site. Did we mention you’ll have to cross three bridges before you reach the falls too? But, mind you, that rocky road is made worth it as you walk along a beautiful river and see the dozens of tropical plants fringing your way. Every angle towards the top provides a picture-perfect spot as you climb up to paradise. Souvenir shops are also located on the way up so you definitely won’t get bored on your trek.
Kawasan Falls provides a very unique experience, with the crystal-clear mountain spring, lush scenery, and tropical forests framing you as you plunge into clear and clean waters. Everything around the area seems so relaxed, simple and serene: just what nature should be.