Remember how you thought you’d never be able to ride the bike because your fear of crashing just takes over? Then you start pedaling, get those wheels running and it was awesome! Throwing myself off a 15 foot waterfall was just about the same jittery experience and the adrenaline rush from my first jump gave me the urge to do it again and again.
Canyoneering or canyoning recently became a popular attraction in Cebu where adventure seekers walk through nature trails, jump waterfalls, swim a river and climb boulders. The most famous route is downstreaming Kanlaob Alegria to Kawasan Falls in Badian. The iLuvCebu team (Reymond & Doyzkie Buenaviaje, Charlene Retalla and Lui Balbuena) together with our friends, Marco of Lamikaayo.com and Jeemah of JeemahVillaverde.com, took the weekend off to experience the thrill ourselves.
If publicly commuting, you can either hop on a bus from Cebu South Bus Terminal or a V-Hire(Van for hire) at the South V-Hire Terminal. Both terminals are located at N. Bacalso St. Cebu City. You can also hire a private van to bring you to Badian which would probably cost around 3,ooophp/70USD one way.
The cheapest way to get there is to take the bus ride from Cebu South Bus Terminal to Matutinao Badian which would cost around 150php (3.5USD). Then riding a habal-habal (motorcycle for hire) at 70php per person to Kanlaob Alegria drop off point.
Driving to Matutinao Badian would take roughly 3.5 hours/130KM. And when doing the downstream canyoneering, It’s best to park your car at the parking lot in front of the Matutinao Chapel since you’ll be exiting there after canyoneering. Parking Fee: 100php
Booking a guide:
Recently (August 16, 2015) went Canyoneering again and this time we booked licensed guide Raymund Sande (highly recommended). Fee’s at 1,200PhP per person (as of September 2015), which included the motorbike ride from Matutinao to Alegria, entrance and exit fees, vest and helmet fee and lunch. You can contact him through 09151392249 or 09326079016.
The guide we booked last May 23, 2015 was licensed guide named Noynoy. We contacted him through 0936 133 5001 and booked at a discounted price of 700 php per person (group of 6, Price as of May 2015). The fee only includes the guide fee and vest and helmet fee.
Walk-ins are also welcome, but we recommend you to book ahead.
The Canyoneering Experience:
Canyoning noobs, my friends and I took the downstream route from Kanlaob Alegria to the majestic Kawasan Falls in Badian. The tour started with a quick safety briefing, then a short walk to Kanlaob river where you’ll be jumping off the first waterfall, entering the Kanlaob canyon.
“Sayon ra man ang downstream. Ug dili sad kaayo hago.” Downstream route is easy and not that exhausting as per our guide Noynoy. The downstream route is perfect for beginners because it’s relatively effortless. (Well, except for jumping off the waterfalls part which require a bit more courage… and time.. Teehee)
The aberrant summer heat Cebu is currently experiencing calls for a cold refreshing dip, and one of the allures of canyoneering is jumping and swimming in a pool of cold fresh water. Refreshing! And the beautiful scenic nature around you is a bonus.
If jumping a 15 foot waterfall doesn’t bother you, then Alegria-Badian downstream canyoneering would be like a walk in the park. For those looking for a higher jump-off point, there’s the 25 foot drop. The plunge is optional though so for those afraid of plummeting down a quarter-hundred foot high fall should not be discouraged from doing this canyoneering route.
Be prepared for a long trek, a bit of swimming and climbing. But it’s relatively easy and is a great experience for newbie adventure seekers.
What to wear on your Cebu Canyoneering adventure :
Wearing something light and comfortable is advised when canyoneering. One may also wear a full body rash guard to prevent possible cuts and scrapes.
Canyoneering shoes are recommended but cross-fit training shoes would very much do. Aqua shoes do give a good grip when climbing on rocks and doesn’t slow you down when swimming, but aren’t comfortable enough when walking on pebbly and rocky paths. Rubber slippers don’t offer a good foot grip and definitely not suitable for canyoning.
The guides have dry bags to store your valuables. But bringing your own doesn’t hurt too.
You can also bring your mobile devices but be sure to have them inside waterproofing cases for safety.
What to bring during Canyoneering:
Bring snacks and at least 500ml water. Store them inside a dry bag. And of course, a waterproof camera or your mobile devices inside a waterproofing case to document the experience.
After 3 hours (we took too many photos that’s why it took us that long. hehe), we finally reached the majestic Kawasan Falls. The unfiltered photo below is taken using my iPhone and yes, it’s naturally beautiful! ^_^
Ending this blog with a sample itinerary and an expense estimate which we hope would be very helpful to aspiring adventure enthusiasts like you. Enjoy!
Have you been downstream canyoneering from Alegria to Badian already? Share with us your experience by commenting below.
Sample Cebu Canyoneering Itinerary with expense estimate per person :
4:00AM —Meet up at South Bus Terminal
4:30AM — Leave South Bus for Matutinao, Badian (Fare: 150Php)
(Bring some take out for breakfast – fast-food take out 100Php)
8:30AM — Arrive at Matutinao Chapel
9:00AM — Start Canyoneering
(Snacks & Water 100php +
Habal habal ride to Alegria 70Php +
Canyoneering Fee: 700Php +
50PhP tip = 920PhP)
12:00Noon — Finish Canyoneering
12:30PM — Lunch at Kawasan Falls (200PhP)
01:30PM — Dip at Kawasan Falls
3:30PM — Stroll back to Matutinao
4:00PM — Wait for a bus/van back to the city/ drive back to the city
8:00PM Back in Cebu City (Fare 150Php)
Canyoneering Expense Estimate Total: 1,520PhP
You have an option to add another day to this itinerary and drive farther south to Samboan to visit some of the municipality’s beautiful waterfalls. You can book your accomodation in Matutinao for a night and head to Samboan the next day. Click here to see sample itinerary + expense estimate: http://www.iluvcebu.com/samboans-beautiful-waterfalls/