Kawasan Falls in Matutinao, Badian
Kawasan Falls is known for being a top freshwater swimming and canyoneering destination in Cebu for locals and tourists alike. It is located inside the mountains of Barangay Matutinao, Badian. From Moalboal, Kawasan Falls can be reached after around a 20 kilometer ride usually via motorbike or tricycle. The track is easy as there is a concrete road going to Barangay Matutinao from Moalboal. Upon arriving at Matutinao Church (the only landmark to know if you are on the right track), just follow the billboards and signage that says “Turn to Kawasan Falls here” along the areas near the church. From there, travellers have to trek for about 15-30 minutes to reach Kawasan Falls. The trek is pretty much easy and pleasant as the view just gets better and better as you trail along the Kawasan River. There is also a small village in the jungle which is less populated than those found in Moalboal and Malapascua. The cold freshwater that rush down from the mountains to the falls is so clean and fresh that some locals utilize it for drinking. Along the way, there are small bridges that let you cross the river.
Upon arrival at Kawasan Falls you will immediately be at awe of its majestic features that include the crystal clear turquoise freshwaters coming from the mountains (people often describe the color as “gatorade blue”), unspoiled lush tropical scenery, stone vaults, and of course the waterfalls that are basically divided into three tiers.
The waterfalls are picturesque with a full-flowing waterfall surrounded by a verdant forest. You get the vibe of the perfect view of a waterfalls which is usually seen on postcards and advertisements; truly a delightful view to admire. The trail from the first falls to the second one is easy for anyone, plus the view is equally breathtaking. On the other side of both the first and second falls, there are restaurants, small hotels, dining tables and cottages where visitors can relax and take a break after trekking and swimming. There are bamboo rafts for rent too. The rafts can take you around the falls’ basin or under the waterfalls itself where you can have a nice shower massage. The second waterfalls is less crowded than the first one. But due to their accessibility and amenities, both tiers can have heavy tourist volume, especially on weekends and holidays. On the other hand, the third waterfalls is smaller and with a more challenging trail. It is better recommended for those who are physically equipped and who are up for a good adventure; as visitors have to go through a jungle of a path to reach it. Nonetheless, it is considered to have the best scenery if you prefer few people and a more natural sight without the development like in the first two.
Aside from the waterfalls, there are other areas you can visit while at Kawasan River. There are hidden lagoons that are waiting for you to be discovered. These lagoons have calmer and cooler waters. The best thing about them is that they are never crowded; in fact, you can be alone in these areas. Perfect for those who like to be one with nature. There are no prohibitions in the usage of the river so you can basically swim anywhere.