Canyoneering: Taking the Leap

I wanted to eat the mangoes in Guimaras. My friend wanted to try canyoneering. So we compromised – we’ll drop in Iloilo to go to Guimaras, then go to Cebu for the canyoneering. And since I wanted this to be my first itinerary-less trip, I’ve only researched the name of the guide and went from there. So, to help others who also need the guidance of the internet peeps on finding their way in an unfamiliar land, here’s what you  need to know about canyoneering in Cebu.

First off, what is canyoneering. A canyon is a deep ravine between pairs of escarpments or cliffs. Canyoneering is, quite simply, passing through a canyon. There are other canyons in Cebu, but they are not conducive for swimming. The one I went to is the one with deep pockets of water that people can jump off 50 feet heights as part of the adventure.

How to Get There

Go to Cebu South Bus Terminal, ride the bus going to Bato via Barili. There are a couple of ways to go the far south of Cebu so the via part is important. 

You have a choice here. You can go upstream or downstream. If you have the energy to go against the streams, climb up rocks (and if you jump to the river, you’ll have to do this twice per jump) and encounter a big number of people going down, then upstream’s for you. For upstream, go down Badian (pronounced as bad-yan). For downstream, go down Alegria. Since me and my friend preferred to not tax ourselves too much, we chose downstream.

Where to Stay

My friend and I would rather stay in Alegria than wake up at 4am from Cebu and travel down. We stayed at a cheap, government owned facility, Batong Malunhaw (contact: Ms. Peachy 63905 902 4632).

Rate as follows:

2pax Standard Room – Php800

4pax Family Room – Php1,500

4pax Duplex Room – Php1,800

You’ll see the sign for Batong Malunhaw on the right side of the road while riding the bus.

The Activity

Call time: 7:30am

Most tours start at 9am so that’s when the crowd comes in. Technically the entrance opens at 6am, but they recommend that nobody start before 8am. Why? Because it is too cold. We started at 8am and my friend was shaking after 10 minutes (might be because of fear too haha).

If you are there during the weekend, the do not start later than 8:30am. The line’s too long (my guide’s longest was a girl who took 30 minutes to jump). If you come it with the crowd, our guide said the water will be too murky, and the activity tiring because of the long lines.

Duration: 1.5 hours

The entire activity normally lasts 2 hours. My friend and I finished at 1.5 hours because we had a faster pace, and we were the first group so there was no line.

It was one of the most magical, scary experience of my life. I just close my eyes and jump. There are around 9 jumps. Of all of these jumps, only the first one is required – there are other paths to avoid the jump for the other ones.

Since we were alone, we decided to redo a slide where you just lie down a rock and the water pushes you down. The path to go up (used in upstream) was a lot like wall climbing – sideways. There are clear footholds though and even some rings for harnesses/ropes, if you have one.

Guide

We contacted Sir Stuart (+63932 448 1500), and he had one of his people, Sir Dolpho, guide us. Sir Dolpho was very careful and nice to us. Since we practically had the canyon to ourselves, we were pleased even if we paid a tad more.

The rate in the area is around Php1,000 to Php1,300. You can get it at around Php650 I think if there’s around 4 or more of you. There’s only two of us and I’m happy with that.

Side Trip: Kawasan Falls

Kawasan Falls has three, er, falls. Fall 1, Fall 2 and Fall 3. You’ll pass through all three when going from Alegria to Badian and vice versa.

 

Budget

600 – MNL to CEB

100 – Taxi to bus station (we came from North Bus Terminal)

130 – Bus to Alegria

50 – Habal Habal to jump off

1,100 – Guide Fee (inclusive of entrances and gear)

50 – Habal Habal to go back to resort

130 – Bus to Cebu

220 – Taxi to airport

600 – CEB to MNL

___

2,980*

*Exclusive of food. There’s a carinderia (food stall?) near Batong Malunhaw where you can eat at around Php50 per meal.

Tips

  1. Stay in Alegria. So you don’t have to wake up too early – you’ll need your energy.
  2. Cut your nails short. You’ll squeeze your nose per jump and having long nails might make you scratch your face.
  3. Wear shoes and leggings. There’s a lot of climbing and walking over rocks. We wore our trekking shoes (quick dry), and our guide said that it was a big help for most beginners.
  4. A small bottle of water is enough. I didn’t even drink mine. Every leap I did I ended up drinking water from the river. T.T

 

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