What to Expect: Canyoneering in Badian, Cebu

Here’s another local adventure to put on your list.

If you’re looking to get your fill of thrill this summer, the municipality of Badian hosts an adventure like no other. Forget about partying until dawn or devouring copious amounts of lechon in the city. Satisfy the adrenaline-junkie in you, and make canyoneering in Badian the exciting highlight of your Cebu itinerary.

It’ll be five to six hours of switching from various active modes—walking, climbing, swimming, jumping and sliding. It’ll go from a leisurely swim to an intense climb real quick. All the while, you’ll be surrounded with stunning scenery you won’t see anywhere else.

We booked with Island Trek Tours for our Badian canyoneering adventure, and we have nothing but good words. Here’s a walkthrough of our awesome experience.

A 3-hour drive from Cebu City

The booking included air-conditioned transportation from the hotel and back. The usual pick-up time is at 5am, so you can be in Badian by 8am and be canyoneering by 9am. You’ll probably be asleep the whole car ride, but don’t forget to pack some breakfast for the road. When you get to the drop-off point, there won’t be any fast food joints or restaurants you can have breakfast in. You can, however, choose from a few carinderias around.

Helmets and life vests

After breakfast, you’ll be asked to sign waiver forms and to suit up. No backing out now! Island Trek Tour provides life vests and helmets, which you must wear the entire time. The vest has a zipper pocket, where you can keep your water and aqua bag in. If you’re not sure about your aqua bag’s quality, forget about bringing it with you.

Don’t wear slippers for footwear, and don’t just wear swimwear underneath the vest. It’s best to wear aqua leggings with a rash guard to protect yourself from cuts. Wear rubber shoes or aqua shoes with great grip.

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15-minute habal-habal ride to Kanlaob River

The booking also includes a habal-habal (or motorcycle) ride to Kanlaob River— the starting point of canyoneering. You’ll have to pair up for the ride as each habal-habal fits three, including the driver. The ride will take about 15 minutes. There will be one stopover, where you’ll be required to log in at the local tourist office.

A 20-ft jump as introduction

You’ll have about five minutes of chill walking before the first jump. Consider this your time to psych yourself up for the 20-ft jump. Going for it is optional, but this one’s crucial in how game everyone will be for all the other jumps.

If you say no now, what’s stopping you from saying no to the next jump? On the contrary—if you say yes to the first one, you’re more likely to go for the next (and the next) to sustain your winning (slash courageous) streak.

Lots of walking, swimming and climbing amidst rough rocks

This will probably be the most physically strenuous five to six hours of your life. And you’ll be doing all of that amidst rough rocks, which gets you thinking, “I might die if I step on the wrong rock.” Frankly, that’s true, but your perfectly-capable tour guide (aka ninja) will be with you the whole time. Our guide showed us the way and somehow, always showed up at the perfect time. When we would start doubting which way to go and which rock to step on, his strong grip would magically find our trembling arms.

Also, don’t be a buzz kill, and throw complaining out of the window. Remember that your attitude affects the rest of the group, so remain positive the whole time. Just think about how great of a workout you’re getting, and focus on the stunning scenery around you.

If it helps, visualize a hot cup of rice with a huge mountain of lechon waiting for your belly at the end. That’s what got our group going. Well, aside from the fact that if we gave up, we’d have to hike our way back.

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Hiking break of adrenaline-pumping jumps and slides

Boring is the last word fit to describe canyoneering. When you do other extreme activities, you would be chilling while drinking water when it’s time for a break. With canyoneering? The only break you’ll get is when it’s time to do another high jump or to slide through a natural formation. You’ll get some down time while you wait for your turn.

This is the time for you to pause, contemplate if you can do the jump or slide and then realize, “Oh shit, I don’t have a choice.” Gather the courage to go for it, and you’ll be rewarded with an adrenaline high right after. You’ll be in such high spirits that you won’t mind going back to the hike.

Barbecue waiting at the halfway mark

A rumbling belly is highly likely during canyoneering. For most of it, water will be your belly’s saving grace. But don’t worry, barbecue stalls are waiting for you at the halfway mark. Look forward to the smell of grilled pork, hotdogs and isaw. If you’re lucky, you’ll chance upon fried bananas covered in sugar, too. Devour as much as you can; you’ll definitely need it for the rest of your journey.

This is why it’s incredibly important that you bring some money with you during canyoneering. Hide it away in your aqua bag or give it to your tour guide for safekeeping.

A 35-ft jump beside Kawasan Falls as finale

The final jump is the highest, but it’s also the most beautiful and most rewarding. You’ll be jumping from the top of Kawasan Falls, so you can only imagine how amazing the view is. But, unlike other jumping points with large rock platforms to spring from, for this one—you’ll only have a tiny rock, with just enough space for your two feet.

That means you won’t have space for hesitation. When it’s your turn to jump, you step into the rock platform, hold a branch for balance, and you’ve just gotta go for it and hope to God you land well. Along with the refreshing water, bragging rights will be waiting for you after the free-fall.

Ready to take on the challenge of Badian canyoneering? Any more questions? Hesitations? Sound off below!

About the Author

Shen Mascariñas

Shen Mascariñas

Shen Mascariñas travels mainly for the unique food each destination offers and for the "I'm on vacation" free pass to pig out.