Kawasan Falls Without the Crowds and On A Budget

Kawasan Falls Without the Crowds and On A Budget

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 our high expectations. Having the entire place pretty much to ourselves made a huge difference. When we arrived, the falls were empty but at 2pm, it 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

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 7am early. If you’re coming from Cebu City, the bus takes 3.5 – 4 hours and buses don’t start running until around 5am 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 7:30am and had the whole place to 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.

If you plan on going canyoneering, it’s best to visit the waterfalls first. The iconic photos of Kawasan Falls is 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.

Planning a trip to the Philippines? Kawasan Falls is a must visit but is best without the crowds and done on a budget. Check out this awesome post for great tips and ideas!

Pure bliss! Kawasan Falls without the crowds

The cheapest way to get to Kawasan Falls

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 8am so by the time if you finish your canyoneering trip, the falls will be busy. The cheapest and easiest way to get to Kawasan Falls is by bus. From Cebu City, go to the South Bus Terminal and hop on any bus bound for Badian. From anywhere else, 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) and from there, it’s a 20 minute easy walk to the main the waterfall. Buses are quite frequent and have no set timetable so you don’t need to book in advance.

Bus from/to Moalboal: 15-20 pesos ($0.50AUD / $0.35USD) each way (depending on if the bus has air-conditioning)

Bus from/to Cebu City: 130 – 150 pesos ($4AUD / $3USD) each way (depending on if the bus has air-conditioning)

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 

Planning a trip to the Philippines? Kawasan Falls is a must visit but is best without the crowds and done on a budget. Check out this awesome post for great tips and ideas!

Canyoneering: is it worth it?

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.

The canyoneering starts at a 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. But come on, you’re already here, so give it a crack! The 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!

Planning a trip to the Philippines? Kawasan Falls is a must visit but is best without the crowds and done on a budget. Check out this awesome post for great tips and ideas!

The third waterfall you can cliff jump from if you’re game!

What to bring

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

Do you have any other tips for Kawasan Falls that you think we should share? Let us know in the comments below!

11 Comments

  1. April 19, 2017 / 10:35 am

    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!

  2. April 19, 2017 / 10:39 am

    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.

  3. April 19, 2017 / 2:04 pm

    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!

  4. April 19, 2017 / 2:42 pm

    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.

  5. April 19, 2017 / 6:29 pm

    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

  6. April 19, 2017 / 8:33 pm

    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 🙂

  7. April 19, 2017 / 11:36 pm

    I can’t believe that the water is that blue. It’s gorgeous! I would definitely enjoy the canyoneering! Great tips and details on how to enjoy this trip too.

  8. rhiydwi
    April 21, 2017 / 7:03 am

    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 🙂

  9. travellingslacker
    April 21, 2017 / 11:06 pm

    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?

  10. July 13, 2017 / 12:22 am

    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!

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