I’ve been wanting to go canyoneering in Badian, Cebu for years but I only go home once a year so that pretty much limits my chances. We wanted to go 2 years ago and we had everything arranged but it got cancelled last minute as our supposed guide died during one of their treks. Yes, it can be that dangerous. But you think that stopped me? Yes! For 2 years! 😀 But then I went through something extremely difficult so I said, “If I can go through that, I definitely can jump 50 feet off a cliff”. So off to Badian we went.
If you’re feeling extra adventurous and you have a car, you can drive 2 hours to Algeria in the south of Cebu. If not, you can always rent a van or take the bus. Because we went with childhood friends Amay and Mitchay and they had a car, so we drove. Apart from the crazy, undisciplined drivers that is typical of the Philippines, the trip south was quite scenic. You actually go past Badian and into the town of Alegria as that’s where the canyoneering starts and then trek your way back to Badian.
We booked our guide, Kuya Junry, who was referred to us by a friend. He met us in Alegria where we parked the car outside the area of the trek. It starts with an orientation on what not and what to do and signing of a waiver basically saying that they will not be responsible for whatever happens to you. Umm, this got me nervous. Then we got dressed in life jackets and a helmet and took a motorcycle ride to the entrance of the trek.
Here we are looking happy and excited because we had no idea what would happen next. Boy, we had no idea…
I knew there were going to be cliff jumps into the water. I knew the maximum was around 70 feet. I thought I could warm up for them while we were trekking. I thought the jumps were optional. I was wrong.
You have no time to psych yourself up for it because as soon as you arrive, you jump off 15 feet into the entrance of the canyon. Nope, no other way to do it. So, jump we did.
We were pretty confident that we would be more confident with the other jumps going forward. And we thought we had plenty of time until the next 50 feet jump. I think this whole adventure was an exercise of proving us wrong. The next 50 feet jump was merely 5 minutes away from the first. If the jump wasn’t scary enough, you actually need to climb the cliff first to get to the jump point. Thankfully, this jump was optional. We wanted to give it a try anyway so we climbed up. Because you jump between 2 rocks, you need momentum so you either run and jump or jump far away so you don’t hit the rocks and umm, die.
Because we valued our life too much, we skipped it. But here is a video of a brave soul I found on youtube doing the it 😀
After that was done, the other jumps weren’t so bad and so high. And the water slides were so much fun. They were all au naturel.
But it was a test of stamina and endurance. It’s a 4-hour trek where you have to go up and down slippery rocks, climb up cliffs and swim in the canyon. And once you’re in it, there’s literally no way back.
Plus you really have to have the right gear. Amay didn’t have the right aqua shoes on and slipped multiple times in the rocks and actually got slightly injured 🙁
After around 3 hours in the canyon, you end with another optional 30 feet jump which, after a lot of hesitation, we did anyway. You have to be careful with this jump though as it is again between huge rocks and you could hit it when you jump.
Then it proceeds to about an hour of hiking through the mountain and forest and ends in the beautiful Kawasan Falls, which by the way has another optional 70 feet jump into the waterfalls. And no, we didn’t do it. You can then stay for a bit and swim in the cold waterfalls. Then you have to make your way down the mountain to take another motorcycle ride back to the starting point.
So there you have it. This was an adventure that was physically tasking but was really fun to do and the canyon was just beautiful. Canyoneering in Badian, Cebu involves a 4 hour trek, numerous jumps and a sense of adventure. So go get your gear and your guts ready.
Some useful information
Where on earth is this place at?
Your adventure starts in Alegria and ends in Badian. Both towns are right next to each other in the south of Cebu, approximately a 2-hour drive from Cebu City. Cebu is smack in the center of the Philippines. If you have to ask where the Philippines is, please go away from my blog :p
What do I need to prepare?
1 – Proper aqua shoes. Not the rubbery kind as the rocks are extremely slippery and you can fall and seriously hurt yourself. They have some shoes for rent but I highly recommend you bring your own. Because athlete’s foot and other eewy things.
2 – Rash guard or a swim shirt and shorts. No, this is not the time to wear a bikini. You will be climbing up and down and jumping and sliding and you will get scraped and you will fall one way or another.
3 – Helmet. No need to go shopping for this, they will give you one to wear.
4 – Go pro. I shouldn’t have to explain this.
5 – A sense of adventure.
How much will the damage be to my wallet?
The guide cost us PHP 1,500 each as there were 4 of us. The more you are in the group, the cheaper the guide will be. In this case, more really is merrier. Renting a van from the city to Alegria will be approximately PHP 3,000. The bus should be cheaper but will also take longer.
How long it takes
The whole experience is approximately 4 hours. This includes the motorbike ride to the entrance of the canyons to the canyoneering itself, then the hike to the waterfalls and then back to Alegria. As far as I remember, everyone should be out of the canyons by 4 or 5 as it gets really dark. And tikbalang. I think there’s a tikbalang there somewhere.
I was stupid enough to trust a waterbag and put our phones inside. A waterbag is ok if you’re swimming in smooth waters and not jumping off canyons. Our iphones are now in a junkyard somewhere. RIP iphones, RIP.