Exploring Kawasan Falls and Badian in the Philippines

Thanks to Instagram, the twinkly turquoise waterfalls on Cebu Island are firmly on any traveller’s itinerary to the Philippines. And for good reason – but that’s not to say they were idyllic.. So if you’re considering a visit to Badian, I also want to firmly suggest a visit to Mainit Hot Springs in the area so read on my guide to the region!

kawasan falls
Kawasan Falls

Getting There

Badian is the Southern portion of Cebu Island. To get here from Cebu City, jump on a bus from the South Bus Terminal where the end destination is Bato. It will either go via Oslob where you can swim with whale sharks (read my guide to that here) or via Barili.

If you arrive on ferry from Dumaguete, you will arrive into Bato.

To get to Kawasan Falls, if you’re coming from Bato, you need a bus in the direction of Moalboal. And vice versa if you’re coming from Moalboal.

Ask to stop at Kawasan – all bus drivers will know what you mean. You’ll find the bus stop opposite the car park and church.

Once you’re here, there’s a long path through the jungle towards the falls but it’s fairly easy to walk on and you’ll see lots of locals pushing along cooler boxes with picnics. This walk takes as long as 30 ninutes though!

kawasan falls

When should I go?

We made the terrible decision to go to Kawasan Falls at 2pm. We ending up having to wait until gone 4/5pm to get the Falls to ourselves.

Either go very early, or later in the day. Because honestly? The falls are BUSY. My pics look idyllic but the truth is that I waited out for the split second when there would be no people..  It’s a very popular spot with locals too, not just tourists. There are lots of kids playing about too, so if you’re looking for peace and zen, you won’t find it midday.

kawasan falls

Canyoneering

A very popular activity to do here is canyoneering. It costs around PHP1500 and you’ll spend around 3 hours jumping in and out of the falls and the Matutinao river that flows through. This price covers you for all your equipment, a guide and even a snack! To note, most tours start from 7.30am with the last entries accepted at around 3pm.

kawasan falls

Everything Costs

One of the most shocking things to our experience there, other than the sheer number of people, was that everything cost. Whilst the entrance cost was only PHP40, inside tables and chairs cost PHP500 to rent, a locker was PHP100 and to go out on the water in a raft, it cost PHP300. Food was limited and expensive, and looked like very dirty kitchens too, so bring your own like the locals do. I hate money-grabbing places like this, so as to make a point, we didn’t pay for any of it but instead found a rock and relaxed there.

kawasan falls

Other advice for the falls

 Don’t just stay at the main falls at the bottom. It’s the busiest and the most photogenic, but climbing up back behind the falls leads you to a maze of other waterfalls and pools to bathe in – without the crowds and way more peaceful. I highly advise! You can even climb right up into the jungle and have it all to yourself!

kawasan falls

kawasan falls

kawasan falls

kawasan falls

kawasan falls

kawasan falls

kawasan falls

kawasan falls

kawasan falls

Mainit Hot Springs

Often missed out by tourists, this wonderful little spot is at the stop of Malabuyoc. A lovely, winding 1.5km walk from the main road leads you up through peaceful villages and lush vegetation before you arrive at the (very) Hot Springs. There are three pools to choose from, and there were only about 30 locals there relaxing. Some were fully submerged into the pools, one of which exceeds 40c! We continued on to climb up away from the Hot Springs and found the most gorgeous (cool) pools to jump into and huge boulders to climb in. This was a really lovely spot with no other tourists and a peaceful atmosphere. Do not miss it out! J

See below for my photos on the experience!

kawasan falls

kawasan falls

kawasan falls

kawasan falls

kawasan falls
kawasan falls

kawasan falls

kawasan falls

kawasan falls

kawasan falls

kawasan falls

I hope that this guide has been useful and informative for your visit to this region of Cebu. Let me know what you think in the comments. I’d love to hear from you 🙂 x

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15 Comments

  1. Michele
    March 27, 2017 / 2:29 pm

    Thanks for the handy trips on Kawasan Falls…it looks as though its well worth the 30 minute hike which I imagine is pretty steamy hot. Good advice on taking your own food – nothing is quite a turnoff as a dirty kitchen

  2. March 27, 2017 / 3:21 pm

    Woohoo! This place looks awesome. I’m hearing it for the first time. I definitely would love to visit it. The post is very informative, thanks for sharing.

  3. March 27, 2017 / 3:28 pm

    Very touristy places like these scare me due to all the money grabbing like you mentioned and the crowds. I get so frustrated and tend to let it ruin the experience for me 🙁 but you seemed to manage it, so thank you for the tips!!

  4. March 27, 2017 / 4:37 pm

    That ios a lot of greenery around there. I am sure you and your companion would have liked your stay. The photos are generally brilliant. What is the theme of your blog?

  5. March 27, 2017 / 6:29 pm

    Awesome pictures!! Definitely will be adding this to my bucket list.. Such a beautiful country

  6. Chiara
    March 27, 2017 / 7:02 pm

    Incredible photography, I’ve always wanted to see the Philippines and I love waterfalls so I found this post awesome!

  7. March 27, 2017 / 7:51 pm

    The falls look excellent! The turquoise water and your jaunt to the hot springs sounds fantastic. Thanks for the tips, especially the one about bringing your own food because the kitchen was limited and dirty. Good to know!

  8. March 27, 2017 / 8:28 pm

    Good tips for avoiding the busy times, and I liked the idea of hiking up and around the top of the falls to see more secluded spots without all the tourists/locals. It’s always too bad when people take advance of commercializing an attraction, but at least you avoided most of that. Gorgeous photos!

  9. March 27, 2017 / 9:13 pm

    This place looks like paradise! I am definelty adding it to my bucket list ! I wouldn’t mind wait there all day to have it for myself. It is a shame that you have to pay for everything tho! Heaven like that should be free to give everyone the option to see it ! I cant stop looking for your wonderful photos !

  10. March 28, 2017 / 2:01 am

    Great tip about climbing up behind the falls. Always good to know where to go to get a little peace in a highly touristy spot. Can’t fall the Instagrammers for showing off this beauty though!

  11. March 28, 2017 / 6:48 am

    I will definitely visit this place when I’ll visit the Philippines! Looks like a paradise!

  12. March 28, 2017 / 3:54 pm

    Beautiful. It seems like a piece of paradise left on the earth for us to enjoy. Seriously, that waterfall looks like so tailor made – so perfect. And the color of water below it..simply so beautiful. And so clean. I want to head to kawasan falls as soon as possible.

  13. March 29, 2017 / 6:42 pm

    I loved the Philippines but not visited this place yet. Thanks for detailed explanation and tips. Your photos make me want to visit these falls. Thanks for sharing.

  14. March 30, 2017 / 4:40 am

    Philippines is so blessed with Mother Nature! The natural beauty there is so incredible that I could spend several days or months together there! Hope to make it there some day! The hot springs look beautiful! Thanks for that tip about going behind the main falls which has less tourists…

  15. June 5, 2017 / 3:35 pm

    The Kawasan Falls seems spectacular, Claire! I am adding them to my bucket list!

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