day one hundred and fifteen: january 22, 2015: canyoning at kawasan falls
Our friends, Gerard and Kieu at GQTrippin, visited the Philippines a couple months ago and posted about their canyoning adventure at Kawasan Falls. After seeing their photos, Jonathan was ready to sign up immediately but I still needed a little more convincing. Jumping off a cliff, multiple times (!) just sounds so scary!
Since we decided not to snorkel with the whale sharks in Oslob, we had a free day in Cebu and decided to go for it. Also, I didn't really have a choice, since Jonathan and Jamie wanted to do it and I couldn't be left out!
We decided to book with Cyan Adventures, since Gerard and Kieu had an awesome experience with them. It was super easy to make a reservation and they were even able to arrange transportation for us from Cebu City to Moalboal, which is about a 3 hour drive one way.
We met up with the group - 2 guides: John and JoMare, 2 other guests: Mark and Monica, from the Bay Area - at about 10am, got decked out in our gear -- wetsuit, life-vest, booties, and helmet and off we went! At first, it seemed a little silly to be wearing all this stuff, but I think we were all thankful at the end of the day.
My nerves were already starting to go but after a quick 5 minute walk, it was already time for the first jump. I thought I would have had longer to mentally prepare! A bunch of people were crowded at a ledge and as you peered over, you looked over what seemed like a pretty narrow slot into the canyon below. Eeek!
At every jump, John explained where to exactly put your feet on the rock and where to jump below then he would count, "1, 2, 3, JUMP!". I think he had to count 3 times for me before I actually did it...but the first jump which was about 20 feet was awesome!
I immediately was super happy to be with Cyan Adventures because we saw other groups that were about 15+ people and all they were given were life-vests and a helmet. We were a small group and seemed to be more equipped for the day ahead of us. And, it didn't seem like the other guides weren't doing much explaining or prep, unlike John, with their guests -- they just brought them to the ledge and then told them to jump.
Over the course of the day, John and JoMare, carefully led us through the canyon, where we floated down the river, swam, hiked around some boulders, and jumped in the canyon a handful of other times down to Kawasan Falls. The smallest jump was around 10 feet, with optional jumps ranging from 33 ft - 40 ft. All the jumps always had ways to walk down, if you didn't want to jump. Yes, I took advantage of this. :)
As we made our way down the river, the scenery would vary from hanging vines, cave formations, and stalactites -- then there is the amazing color from the river adding to the view!
Jonathan and Jamie did all the higher jumps, one even requiring them to jump from a tree!
Before we knew it, we had reached the beautiful Kawasan Falls where we stopped for a photo then made our way to lunch.
Overall, we were all really happy with the experience and highly recommend it to anyone visiting the Moalboal area.
Before heading back to Cebu City, we stopped at Panagsama Beach to snorkel with the resident sardines who showed up there about 2 years ago and never left. We rented equipment from Cyan Adventures and swam about 100 feet from the beach and saw thousands, if not millions, of sardines just hanging out. Of course, your natural instinct is to chase after them and they all just swim away in a big bunch together. So beautiful!
Disclaimer: We received a discounted rate with Cyan Adventures. As always, our thoughts and opinions are our own. Thank you Cyan Adventures for an awesome day at Kawasan Falls!
Photos and videos courtesy of Cyan Adventures.