From the beautiful city of Cebu there is a 3 hour ride that leads to a town called Badian, where an adventure like no other has been the talk of locals and travelers alike this past few years.
Canyoning (known as canyoneering in the U.S.) is traveling in canyons using a variety of techniques that may include other outdoor activities such as walking, scrambling, climbing, jumping, abseiling (rappelling), and swimming.
Founded by adrenaline junkie tourists who searched for other means to enjoy Cebu other than the majestic beaches back in early year 2000s was the Matutinao River Canyoneering.
How to get there:
From Cebu City, you can ride a bus going to Bato via Barili that costs around 130+php and asked to be dropped off at Matutinao, Badian just infront of Kawasan Church.
It was the first extreme adventure on our itinerary during the 4 day trip in the Queen City of the south. At 5am, myself and 4 more friends from manila met with a couple of other friends who are residing in Cebu. One of them has a Rent a Van business so it was easier for us to drive down south with a few stop overs to enjoy along the way.
We arrived at Kawasan church at 8am, there we met with my friend John’s contact for the Canyoneering experience. The usual price was 1500php – 2500php / pax, but since John already did it before and there was 11 of us we got to haggle our way down to 750php each (exclusive of meal). From Kawasan Church, you will have to register and get your gears at one of the resorts upfront. After which you will then have to ride a motorcycle for 15 minutes to get to the drop off point where you’ll be oriented with a few tips and rules before heading out to Kanla-Ob where the real experience begins. A few steps away from the drop off point, you can already hear the sound of water gushing down the stream.
If you think that once you get there it’s just going to be a walk in the park, well you got it all wrong. The first thing you’re going to do is jump from a 15-20 foot cliff down the turquoise rapid cold waters of the Matutinao River or if you are too scared you can still head down by jumping from the top of a small waterfall just up the stream. The river leads all the way down from the town of Badian to Alegria, which is a tough but fun experience where you’ll have to swim/trek/rock climb and jump some more for a total of 4 hours depending on your pace. It took us a total of almost 6 hours to finish since we really took our time admiring the canyon and kept on repeating a couple of jumps since it was really fun.
What to wear:
Rubber Shoes/Sandals/Aqua Shoes
Helmet/Life Jacket (Comes with any tour package)
What to bring:
Water proof bag
Since we didn’t really expect that it would take us 6 hours, we didn’t bring much food and water before heading to the drop off point. Thankfully some of us brought a couple of bottled water and a few chocolate bars that the 11 of us had to share.
I can’t really explain how beautiful the canyon is and how ecstatic the experience was. All I can do is show you a couple of pictures.
The end point of the Canyoning experience was the majestic 65 foot Kawasan Waterfall. There you can go swimming or rafting. It was the usual stop for people who just came down from the stream to grab their meals, swim or rest. But before that, there are two more waterfalls you can enjoy along the way.
This experience was really a milestone for me because it combined all of the extreme adventures I really like to do. Will definitely come back and do it again, but next time it will be upstream .