Kawasan Falls is one of the most famous waterfalls in the Philippines for a good reason. Neither of the two tiers of waterfalls are very tall but both fall into huge pools of limestone colored turquoise water (my photos are bluer than other photos). One of the most popular things to do at Kawasan Falls is jumping from various heights at the 2nd tier of the waterfall. Unfortunately one downside of Kawasan Falls popularity is the development of restaurants and concrete at the edge of these beautiful pools.
Luckily most people stop at the 2nd of the waterfall and there is a shorter 3rd tier of the waterfall 5-10 minutes upstream with another great swimming pool. But my recommendation would be to do the 4+ hour canyoneering trip down stream. There aren’t any large waterfalls upstream but it is a beautiful place with many smaller pools and more cliff jumps.
Rating and length
easy – 4 km (<2 hours round trip at a very relaxed pace) to the 2nd tier
moderately strenuous – 8 km (4 hours round trip) for the full Kawasan Canyoneering Trip (one way)
Accessibility – the entrance is on the main road – concrete paths lead to the 1st and 2nd tier waterfalls
Height – The 1st and 2nd tiers are about 10-12 meters tall (my estimate)
How to get there –It is located on the main road south of Moalboal and it is well signed and well known.
Mass transit options – You can take the bus from the Cebu City south bus station (via Barilli) for about 125-150 pesos (3 hours). Get off the bus at Kawasan Falls.
Option 1 – Kawasan Falls Tier 1 and Tier 2. The hike is really easy from the main entrance to the 2nd tier. It is on a mostly concrete and very wide trail leading straight to the first two tiers. The trail to the 3rd tier is on the right side of Tier 2 and is more of a footpath. It is shortly after a small dam.
Option 2 – Canyoneering at Kawasan Falls – Guides and equipment are required for the canyoneering trip. We were given life jackets and helmets to wear (everyone we saw also had them) and most hiked in running/hiking shoes. Transport from Moalboal to the canyoneering entrance and the entrance fee was included in our trip price. The hike starts with an easy 30-40 minute walk along an exposed ridgeline (IT’S HOT). After that hikers descend into a cooler canyon and are in the water for most of the trip. There is a big jump (8-10 meters) at the start of the canyoneering that we didn’t do and many short jumps (1-2 meters) and water slides. About halfway to the main falls hikers can buy BBQ meats and some snacks (not provided by your tour) and there are jumps of 2-8 meters into a deep blue pool. The walk continues down to the third tier. There is a small (and very cold) waterfall from a side stream and a beautiful pool with a rope swing. After that it is a short walk to the main areas at Tier 1 and Tier 2.
Seasonality – Kawasan Falls should be running year round but likely with reduced flow in Jan-Apr.
Entrance fee – Probably 40 pesos (foreigners) but I only did the canyoneering trip. I paid 2400 pesos for my canyoneering trip but most sites say that it costs 1500 pesos. You will probably get the best price just by showing up at Kawasan Falls and organizing it there.
Guides – Guides are completely unnecessary if just going to the falls but will follow you and expect a tip. Guides are required for the canyoneering trip. Every group had a guide and safety gear.
GPS info – N9.802360 E123.373767
Dates visited – 10/10/2016