Home » A Guide to Visiting Kawasan Falls on Cebu Island in the Philippines

A Guide to Visiting Kawasan Falls on Cebu Island in the Philippines

Kawasan Falls, located on the beautiful island of Cebu in the Philippines have become one of the most popular attractions in the entire country to visit. In many ways, this rise in popularity is thanks to Instagram. These twinkly turquoise waterfalls are showcased on nearly every Instagram page or travel blog of anyone who has been to the Philippines.

Therefore, having visited a couple of times, I thought I’d put together this detailed blog post on visiting Kawasan Falls. However, I also want to suggest the lesser visited but equally as interesting Mainit Hot Springs. Often missed out in favour of Kawasan Falls, I actually thought the Mainit Hot Springs were delightful and definitely worth including whilst in this area of Cebu.

So here’s my guide to Kawasan Falls and Mainit Hot Springs, including all of the essential information you need ahead of visiting Cebu island. Read on and do let me know if you have any questions.

Visiting Kawasan Falls: Essential things to know

Kawasan Falls, Cebu, Philipines
Kawasan Falls in Cebu

How to get to Kawasan Falls

Kawasan Falls are located in Badian, which is in 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 or via Barili.

An alternative is to travel over by ferry from Dumaguete which will also arrive into Bato.

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

Ask to stop at Kawasan Falls. All bus drivers will know where you mean, of course. You’ll find the bus stop opposite the car park and church, where the path to the falls starts.

This area is worth spending a few nights in, but you can visit Kawasan Falls from Cebu in a day too.

Once you’re here at the entrance, there’s a long path through the jungle towards Kawasan 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 minutes though.

The beautiful waters by Kawasan Falls, Cebu Island

Best time of day to go to Kawasan Falls

Go to Kawasan Falls as early in the day as you can.

We made the terrible decision to go to Kawasan Falls at 2pm, but had to wait until gone 4/5pm to get the water to ourselves. I really couldn’t believe how busy both the water was, and the surrounding picnic areas. It was completely packed and not very nice to spend the afternoon at.

The photos you see may look idyllic but the truth is, I waited for the split second when there would be no people.

Kawasan Falls have become a hugely 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 definitely won’t find it at midday.

Sitting at Kawasan Falls Cebu
Sitting at Kawasan Falls Cebu

Canyoneering in Kawasan Falls

A very popular activity to do at Kawasan Falls is canyoneering. It costs around PHP1500 (£22) 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 a snack. To note, most tours start from 7.30am with the last entries accepted at around 3pm.

I’ve listed some great tour options for canyoneering at Kawasan Falls:

Entry fees and costs inside of Kawasan Falls

One of the most unexpected aspects to our experience at Kawasan Falls, other than the sheer number of people, was that everything cost.

The entrance fee to Kawasan Falls is only PHP45 (70p0. But inside, tables and chairs cost PHP500 (£7.50) to rent, a locker was PHP100 (£1.50) and to go out on the water in a raft, it cost PHP300 (£4.50).

Food was limited and expensive, and it looked like the kitchens were rather dirty too. I’d recommend bringing your own food and drinks 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 tried to relax there.

The pool of Kawasan Falls Cebu
The pool of Kawasan Falls Cebu

Exploring the other waterfalls at Kawasan

Don’t just stay at the main falls at the bottom. It’s the busiest area, and although it is probably the most beautiful to capture, there are other beautiful falls and pools to explore further up too.

If you take the path on the left hand side leading away from the main falls, it will lead you to a maze of other waterfalls and pools to bathe in – without the crowds and way more peaceful. I highly recommend doing this.

You can even climb right up into the jungle and have it all to yourself!

The pool of Kawasan Falls Cebu
The pool of Kawasan Falls Cebu
Exploring Kawasan Falls Cebu
Exploring Kawasan Falls Cebu

Mainit Hot Springs

Often missed out by tourists, this wonderful little spot is at the stop of Malabuyoc on the road leading to Kawasan Falls from Oslob.

The walk to Mainit Hot Springs
The walk to Mainit Hot Springs

Getting to Mainit Hot Springs

To get to the springs, it’s a lovely, winding 1.5km walk from the main road stop. The path leads you up through peaceful villages and lush vegetation before you arrive at the hot springs. There are three pools to choose from, and there were only about 30 locals there relaxing. Some of them were fully submerged into the pools, one of which exceeds 40c!

Exploring the Springs

We continued on to climb up away from main area and found the most gorgeous (cool) pools to jump into and huge boulders to climb on. This was a really lovely spot with no other tourists and a peaceful atmosphere. Do not miss it.

Enjoying Mainit Hot Springs
Enjoying Mainit Hot Springs
Visiting Kawasan Falls
Enjoying Mainit Hot Springs
Locals enjoying Mainit Hot Springs
Locals enjoying Mainit Hot Springs

Places to Stay Near Kawasan Falls and Mainit Hot Springs

The nearby town of Oslob (home to the local whale shark population) can work as a great base for exploring this area.

Here are a couple of suggestions in Oslob:

Exploring Kawasan Falls and Mainit Hot Springs on Cebu

I hope that this guide to visiting Kawasan Falls and the nearby Mainit Hot Springs is useful and informative for your visit to this part of Cebu.

Let me know what you think in the comments. I’d love to hear from you!

You might also find some of my other posts useful, including my 3 week itinerary for the Philippines and my top tips for travelling in the Philippines here.

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Disclaimer: This visit to Cebu was entirely paid for by myself and there was no involvement from the tourism board or a hotel. This is an independent guide.

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  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. Bilyana | OwlOverTheWorld
    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. Eda
    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. Swayam Tiwari
    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. Christine
    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. Katie
    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. Tami
    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. Ada
    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. Hallie
    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. Ilana
    March 28, 2017 / 6:48 am

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

  12. neha
    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. Anita
    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. Bhushavali
    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. Agness of aTukTuk
    June 5, 2017 / 3:35 pm

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

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