Badian Cebu Canyoneering: Beginner's Travel Guide - Isla Story

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Saturday, June 15, 2019

Badian Cebu Canyoneering: Beginner's Travel Guide


We're all familiar with Cebu Canyoneering in the Island of Cebu, right? This tour has now become the #1 and most sought after activity by both local and foreign tourists since probably around the 2010s when it was recognized as adventure tourism.  Well, who wouldn’t? At this millennial age where bucket list is a thing and traveling is achievable and progressive, everybody wants something new and challenging. 
What is Canyoneering?

Canyoneering or Canyoning is traveling in canyons using a variety of techniques that may include walking, scrambling, climbing, jumping, rappelling, and swimming. This kind of activity is already common in most parts of the world, especially in North America, and Oceana.

Now, instead of the typical "what happened on my visit" kind of write-up,  I'm going to list down what makes Cebu Canyoneering a little unique than the rest of the world and a few key points on what to expect in this activity.

So here are the 10 things you should know first before doing the Badian, Cebu’s Canyoneering:

1.    How long does the tour take?
More or less 13 hours. From Cebu City, you’ll be traveling for about 3 hours down south to a little town called Badian. Then you’ll be transferred to the jump-off point via a motorcycle ride or locally known as habal-habal. Once you get to the jump-off point, you will be required to register and attend a short briefing which will be followed by at least 30 minutes trekking to the starting point of your Canyoneering adventure.

The Canyoneering activity itself will usually take 4-5 hours depending on your pacing until you reach the main Kawasan falls, where you can relax and refresh for a bit in the cyan waters.

Canyoneering activity opens at 6 AM and closes at 3 PM so if you’re a late comer you may start at around 11 AM but the suns quite high already so it’s hot.

2.    How high are the cliffs to jump off and how many jumps are there?
Jumps start at 1 and go as high as 11 meters; if my math is correct that’s about 3-storey building high!
Over the time, the locals continue to develop the site, not by building infrastructures but by checking and trying out new jump points so I would say there could be more jump points but in my experience, there were about 5 to 7 jumps.

3.    Is it mandatory to jump?
In contrary to what most people think – those who are not familiar of course – you are not required to jump but two (2) points which are 1 meter high only.

Since the whole Canyoneering activity starts atop a mountainside and hidden amidst a lush forest and towering canyons, that would mean at some point you’ll have to go down hence the 1-meter drop that you’ll have to conquer.

So, fair warning, once you jump off that height there’s no turning back.

4.    What should I bring?
You can bring cameras however it is recommended to just bring a handy phone, waterproof preferably, or action camera. If you don’t any of those, just ask your guide if they have available action camera for rent, don’t forget to bring your own memory cards.
You can bring snacks such as chocolates, candies, and water, and a light change of clothes. However, as much as possible, you are not allowed bringing anything else especially tiny ones or anything prone to be either lost or destroyed by just getting damp, but if you have valuables just make sure to secure it in a dry bag. Local tour guides usually bring one or you can rent dry bags from them but make sure you don’t bring unnecessary stuff since the guides will bring the bags for you; you are not allowed to carry one for your own safety during your jumps.
 
5.    When are the best time and/or day to go Canyoneering?
It’s recommended from October to February when it’s somewhat cold and the water is high. You could also visit during the summer season which is around March to May but there are chances of shallow water. On June to August is the rainy season hence there are chances of cancellation due to non-stop rains, but if you get lucky it’s still a good month to go.

If you’re staying for a while in Cebu, it is recommended to do the Canyoneering activity mid of your stay, so that in case you get a sore body after, you’ll still sit it out for a day or two just lounging by the beach or at the comforts of your hotel. 
If you’re just in a quick getaway, do it the day after your arrival. Also, you might encounter crowds especially during the peak season, so to avoid the crowds and queuing to jump, make sure to book your activity on weekdays.

6.    What should we expect during the duration of the tour?
Expect long walks/trekking, swimming, exciting jumps, and a whole new adventure.
The tour consists more of trekking on rocky terrain which is about fifty percent, so you need water to dehydrate during this activity. Then there’s dipping and swimming in cyan waters from time to time and of course, the highlight which is the cliff diving.
What makes it a whole new adventure is that there are a few twists in between….
You’ll do sliding, both regular and head-first-sliding, there are free-fall jumps where the guide would push you on shallow height, there’s also the rope swing, oh did I mention there’s a barbeque station midway? Plus if you’re with your group of besties you could do the caterpillar-floating. Sounds fun isn’t it?

7.    Is the activity safe or too extreme?
The walking, jumping, and swimming is definitely not hard. Some parts are quite extreme, if only you choose to do the high jumps.

It is safe. Following the accidents from 2014, 2016, and the most recent last Mar 2019 involving a Korean tourist; the local government conducted extensive security measures and training to all accredited guides.

The local guides’ job is to make the activity fun, adventurous, and safe, so as long as you follow their instructions and tell them honestly how you’re feeling, you should be good.  In fact, you shouldn’t be thinking much of how hard or extreme it is, think of it as a travel challenge that you need to tick off of your list.

8.    Who is not allowed to do the Canyoneering? Is there a required medical certificate before doing the activity?
There are no medical certificates required, just make sure you are in good shape and psychological state before doing this activity. You shouldn’t have any heart problems, not pregnant (even on the first few weeks only), or doesn’t have any prosthetic limbs.

If you’re wearing prescription glasses, just wear your glasses and never wear contact lenses. Though during your jumps you are required to remove your glass which can be kept on your life jacket’s front pocket but other than that, you’re good to go.

Seniors and child may not be allowed depending on their height and physical state, but don’t worry you can still visit and wait for your group at the end of the line.

9.    What are the best tips to keep in mind during the Canyoneering?
Follow what the local guides instruct, trust them as they are the expert in the area. Especially when jumping, do the jump-pose as taught or you might get an awful bruise due to water impacts or worst get into an accident.
For the ladies, it’s recommended to cut your nails before the tour. Due to the adrenaline rush during jumps, you might not easily notice you’re scratching your face as you pinch your nose.

As I’ve said, follow the guide but DO NOT mock them. If they do tricks or black flips during jumps, just watch and be wowed. Guys, remember that they have been doing it on a daily basis so they’d know the dos and don’ts.
Remember when I told you to do Canyoneering mid of your stay in Cebu? Yeah, if you’re a person who doesn’t exercise much, just like me, you’ll end up having the worst body ache. You’ll be soring all over your body ‘cause of the walking, climbing, and jumping. So you’ll probably need a day or two to rest before going on for another day out.
Since this activity will require you to travel as early as 4 in the morning, you should drop by a convenience store or fast food restaurant to grab a quick breakfast. For lunch, our package usually includes set lunch, but if it’s not enough you can buy at the small canteen or eatery at the Kawasan dining area.

When it comes to jumping….. JUST DO IT.  The more time you spend at the top; the more fear will eat you up. Don’t think too much about it, because it will be just as quick as a snap of a finger.

10.    What should I wear?
Comfortable athletic wear or light material clothes that could be wet, such as leggings, rash guards, running shorts, swimwear, etc.  If you want to change at your hotel’s bath, then wear something that could be dried off easily. If you want to avoid unexpected scratches from the rocks then wear long sleeves to protect your arms or legs. You could also bring your change of clothes, there are available showers to rinse off but don’t expect to grandeur, it’s in a middle of a forest after all and a lot of people has been using it.
Shoes are required, but not sneakers type. It’s a must to wear non-slippery aqua shoes or all-terrain shoes; no slippers, sandals, not bare footing during the activity. If you don’t have shoes, there are also available shoes for rent, but for your hygiene purposes or just in case you’re a "big foot" it is better to bring your own.
I guess that’s it, all you need to know before doing the Cebu Canyoneering activity. What do you think? Are you ready to give it a try now? 


Doesn’t have any idea what else is waiting for you in Cebu? Fret no more we got you covered, check our blog: CEBU TRAVEL GUIDE
Don’t have a hotel yet? Check out our recommended hotels & resorts: PLACES TO STAY IN CEBU

Either you’re looking for chill tours for your family or rough adventures with your mates, better click these links: ROUGH ADVENTURE GUIDE TO CONQUER IN CEBU & CEBU FAMILY ADVENTURES 

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