Kawasan falls are located in the south of the island of Cebu in the Philippines. This series of beautiful waterfalls with a mystical blue / turquoise colour should most certainly be on you itinerary in the Philippines!
Why Is The Water So Blue At Kawasan Falls?
Ok, so it looks pretty Lord of The Rings’y, so you could believe that the falls are a mystical place made blue by some sort of magic. But in fact its easily explained by science. The colour is so blue because of the high amount of limestone deposits in the area and the falls making it one of the bluest waterfalls I have seen in Asia!
Getting To Kawasan Falls
This depends on where you decide to stay. We choose to stay in Cebu City and then take a day trip down to Kawasaki falls. So for us the journey from Cebu City was about 2.5hrs. We booked a day trip online which cost US $50 per person for a driver in a very comfortable car, entry fees and a guide. There was a bit of a mix up on arrival with our guide so in fact we explored Kawasan alone, but having a guide would probably be beneficial (even if just to watch your stuff).
If you are looking for a cheaper option from Cebu City you can take a bus down, which will take around 3 hours (depending on traffic) and cost a few hundred peso’s per person. Alternatively, you could stay in nearby Moalboal and then take a car, bike or bus in the morning. If you want to get to Kawasan before everyone else does this is probably the best option.
When you arrive there is a short 15 minute walk from the car parking area to the main waterfall. I read in many places that this is a hike, its not. Its an easy flat walk on a paved path and certainly does not require any hiking shoes!
Where to Stay
Most people will travel to Moalboal from Cebu City and if you want to explore more of southern Cebu this area makes the most sense. We decided to stay close to the airport Maayo Hotel in Cebu city and whilst this was a great budget friendly hotel I think staying south would make more sense if you want to visit Kawasan Falls and other waterfalls in the area.
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Best Time Of Day To Go To Kawasan Falls
As with any tourist hotspot I would advise to go early and the same is definitely true of Kawasan. If you dream of getting some photos without lots of tourists in the waterfall then being first to arrive will help. We arrived around 9am and it was already very busy. If photos are not that important to you you could arrive later in the day, you won’t get a tourist free photo but the falls are so large and the swimming area is big you will still have plenty of space to swim even if its crowded.
Walk To The Top
I highly recommend going beyond the main waterfall and heading up as there are many more falls and pools to find. There is a walking path to the left hand side of the main waterfall and it’s an easy walk up to the top. The first stop along the way is after just a few minutes where you will get to peer over the edge and look at the view of the main Kawasan waterfall from above. I thought this was an even prettier view than down below and stopped here for a while to try and get some good photos!
If you keep walking you will find lots of series of small pools, mini waterfalls and pretty rivers. There are at least another 3 good sized pools that you can swim in and at the very top another large pool with a big waterfall that is perfect to hang out and a little less crowded than at the bottom of the waterfalls. I would suggest stopping here for a break, bite to eat and to spend some time splashing around in the cool water. You will also be entertained watching all the people canyoneering and jumping off the waterfall edge into the water below.
Canyoneering At Kawasan Falls
A popular activity at Kawasan Falls is canyoneering. My boyfriend mentioned it and I said no thinking it was not actually at the falls. Mistake! I love canyoneering and in hindsight wish I had planned to do it here. Unfortunately we had too many cameras, drones etc to be able to do it on the spur of the moment when we arrived, but I would definitely recommend that you do.
Canyoneering is really popular here and looks great fun as you get to scramble along the rocks and jump into the bright blue water from high up! It’s easy to book in advance or when you arrive there are lots of guides that can take you. Just make sure not to bring too many valuables if you plan to do this as there are only the wooden lockers available to store your stuff.
In The Surrounding Area
There a few other waterfalls close by that you could visit whilst you are in the area, check out Tumalog, Cambais and Bugnawan Falls – I wish I had! You can also go further south to head over to Siquijor island, Pescador Island, stay in Moalboal or go over to Oslob (note: please do not visit Oslob to see whale sharks). There is plenty to do in the area and if I had more time I would have loved to stay down here to explore more, see some beautiful beaches and go to all of the other waterfalls in the area!
- Set your expectations: As someone who posts a lot to social media, I am aware that photos don’t always reflect reality. I knew going in that by not arriving at sunrise it would probably already be busy, but I was still quite shocked at the sheer quantity of people at Kawasan falls when we got there around 9am.
- Prepare yourself for the crowds. I imagine at any time of day this place would be busy, but it really is extremely busy and definitely not a relaxing experience! There are some spots where you can’t even move for the number of people huddled on rafts and sitting at tables around the falls. If you want more space make sure to go beyond the first waterfall to the second and third falls.
- Bring a waterproof dive bag or waterproof container for your phone and other valuables. There are stands selling waterproof cases as you walk into Kawasan, but I am not sure of the quality so bring your own if you can.
- There are lockers available if you want to store you things. We used one for about half an hour as we had so much camera equipment with us and they seem fairly safe. Small lockers are 150 Philippine Pesos and Large locker 200 Philippine Peso, so around US $3-4.
- Leave as many valuables / electronics at home unless you are comfortable leaving them in the lock boxes.
- Wear sensible shoes. The walking paths around Kawasan falls are quite slippery and flip flops were not the best choice. The walk into the falls takes around 10-15 minutes and is flat and paved, so you can easily wear flip flops for this part, but if you plan to go higher up the falls you may want trainers of sandals with a back to them.
- Take your time walking towards the falls and back again, the river that runs from the falls to the mouth of the ocean is absolutely beautiful. I honestly found this part of the walk more magical than the falls themselves. The water is crystal clear and glassy and I felt like I had stepped in to a scene from Lord Of The Rings!
I hope this article has helped you to plan your own trip to Kawasan Falls in the Philippines. These waterfalls are a must do in the Philippines and even though it can be an effort to reach them they are worth it!
I hope this article has inspired you to visit Kawasan Falls. If you have any questions or comments please share in the comments below.
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