Spending the afternoon at Kawasan Falls, Cebu Island

When I took a ride up to Moalboal a while past, I made a detour in to check out Kawasan Falls.  The falls area is located near Badian in the barangay of Matutinao.  As is par for course for me by now, I was spacing out on the gorgeous scenery along the western national Cebu road and totally missed the falls entrance.  Pulling over, I asked a local in my horrible bisaya “Uh, asa dapit ang Kasawan Falls?” (Uh, where is Kasawan Falls located?)   The helpful Filipino got my back on course with a purse of the lips, and I headed back a few miles south to find the entry road.

This is the approach road to the falls – VERY nice!

The entire area is powered by a little hydroelectric dam.

It was a bit warm about then, so the well-shaded entry road was a welcome relief.  Just a short way in, the road began to parallel a gorgeous blue-green river that turned out to be the outflow from the falls.  I pulled the bike over, took off my sneakers, and waded out into the stream to a nice rock to enjoy the cool peace and quiet of that isolated little spot.  Once there, I pulled out my trusty GoPro and shot a short video on my first six months in the Philippines.  It has actually become my most watched video on Youtube:

Since it was a weekday and school was back in session, I had the entire falls area basically to myself.  There were only two other small groups visiting that day, and we didn’t cross paths that often as Kawasan is spread out quite a bit.

In my opinion, the most endearing thing about Kawasan Falls isn’t actually the falls themselves but the unique color of the water which is a light turquoise – something you would see just off the shore of a white sand beach.  This has to have something to do with the color of the sediments, sand and rock that has been swept down from higher in the hills of the island.  Then again, I could be wrong  (and probably am)  – I ain’t no geologist and it could just be the color of the actual water itself.

The water is a beautiful shade of turquoise – and very, very cold!

Anyhoo, after a short 1.5 KM walk you arrive at the first waterfall area.  Bordered by a hotel, the light blue water rushes down from to separate falls.  Docked to the sides of the pool are two bamboo rafts, where, for 350 pesos, the attendant will row you so you can get a nice, refreshing pressure wash courtesy of the plunging water.  I am too cheap for such touristy fancies, so I changed into my bathing suit, slapped the camera in its waterproof case and dived into the water (like a tourist).  It was cold – very cold – but also very refreshing.  I swam out into the main falls and discovered rather quickly that water falling from a great height directly on my head actually hurts.  A lot.  I also floundered around a bit as the falling water made for some interesting current flow in the deeper water.  Having successfully not drowned, I finally pulled my carcass out of the water and rested on one of the bamboo rafts like a giant pinkish-white seal.

Nearly drowning under the main falls – the smile was a grimace of pain.

I then got changed and ventured up a rather steep path to the fall areas that lie behind the main waterfall.  There were a few areas where you pass some squatter nipa huts (whose families enjoyed rather stunning views) and there were some other huts and rooms that you could rent for the night.  Again, being the off season, the rental places were empty and only the staff were around – most of them taking naps in the mid day heat.

I got a bunch of other footage, rested and breathed for a bit, and then headed back out to continue on my way to Moalboal. 

Ye olde swimmin hole.

Pretty magical place….

Kawasan Falls is pretty stunning, and a short Google search will find it to be listed on many sites as one of the top waterfalls in the world.  Overnight accommodations are about 1500-3000 pesos, and there are also some cool hotels along the beach just outside the entrance to the falls area.  I really enjoyed it, and if you are ever in the neighborhood, swing by – I think you will, too.


    1. Sheesh – nowadays it is VERY hard to avoid the vans full of Chinese and Korean tourists that pour into Kawasan everyday. You are better off going to Aguinid and Tumolog falls. (Just make sure there isn’t a water shortage on Cebu!)

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