The list of things to do and sights to see could go on forever when talking about this area of Cebu. So let’s focus on the main attractions that have now become bucketlist tasks for every traveler visiting the province.
When in the southern part of Cebu, you can’t miss the controversial whale shark spot, Oslob and the world-recognized Kawasan Falls in Badian. Yes, you can swim with the gigantic whale sharks and even feed them.
At Kawasan Falls, you’ll probably have the best canyoneering experience ever. The falls are a popular spot for adventurers and of course, those who keep a well-curated Instagram feed.
Whether it’s the adventure alone or the post-worthy pictures you’re after, here’s the ultimate guide in exploring these two amazing pieces of heaven in South Cebu.
Oslob Whale Shark Watching
This activity has gained a lot of criticism from different environmental organizations in the past years. With the high amount of tourism in the area, these groups couldn’t help but worry about the welfare of the whale sharks acting as central features of the municipality.
However, from 2012 to 2013, locals and biologists faced off to debate about the safety of the whale shark watching tours in Oslob. The marine experts’ concern about too many sharks swimming in such a small area prompted the town to hold whale shark feeding in June 2013.
The decision was a massive inconvenience for the locals who depend on tours for their livelihood. After a few days, chairman of the Economic Development Committee (EDC) Robert Go’s proposal to continue the whale shark feeding was granted as he presented that there aren’t any ecological threats caused by the activity.
Fast forward to now, whale shark watching is still a harmless thing to do for fun in Oslob. So here’s how you can get the full experience.
How to Get to Oslob
- Book a flight to Mactan Airport
- Take a cab for a 30-minute ride to the South Bus Terminal in Cebu City (estimated fare: 300 PHP/ 6 USD)
- Get on a bus bound for Oslob (3-hour travel, estimated fare: 150 PHP/ 3 USD)
- Get off at Brgy. Tan-Awan to go whale shark watching right away
Tips: We recommend you take the bus as early as 4:30 AM to avoid the traffic in Cebu that can make that 3-hour ride even longer. To go around Oslob, you can rent a habal-habal or motorcycle ride as the town only has one highway and just plenty more natural and heritage areas.
How to Book the Tour
The best way to get that coveted whale shark watching tour is through getting travel assistance Philippines never runs out. The Oslob Whale Shark Tours have the most convenient packages that pair other activities or side trips to whale shark feeding.
Just head over to their whale shark tour page. There, you can fill out a reservation form and directly book a guided tour. They have a flexible set of payment options as well:
- Bank wire transfer
- Bank deposit or transfer through Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI)
- Money Transfer (Western Union, Xoom, Moneygram M.Lhuillier, Cebuana Lhuillier, etc.)
- PayPal or credit card (with 5% transaction charge)
Check out this sample itinerary for their Whale Shark Watching/Snorkeling package, which we think is a great deal:
|5 AM||Hotel pickup|
|8 AM||Light breakfast upon arrival in the area|
|8:30 AM||Orientation and registration|
|9 AM||Whale shark watching and snorkeling|
|10 AM||A quick shower before going to Tumalog Falls|
|10:30 AM||Chill out at Tumalog Falls|
|12:30 PM||Travel back to Cebu City|
|3:00 PM||Approximate return to the hotel|
What to Expect
Now that you know how to get to Oslob and arrange the popular activity, we’ll let you in on what to really expect once you’re there. We all know this thing is a lot of fun, but whale sharks still have their own world you might want to understand before you interact with them.
The locals now implement stricter guidelines to streamline the adventure given the controversies they faced before. Back in the time when Oslob faced backlash from biologists, the tours lacked order, indeed.
When it comes to interacting with the sharks, you’re probably wondering how you’re going to get these creatures swimming next to you. Well, you don’t have to swim around for long as the guides give you the feeds, so the whale sharks come to you instead.
There are also times when you wouldn’t be allowed to touch the whale sharks or go further your canoe’s vicinity. These are just some precautionary measures for both you and the lovely, big creatures.
b Whale Shark Watching Schedule
Oslob Whale Sharks organizes the activity from 6:30 AM to 12:30 PM every day, year-round. They’re only unavailable during the Good Friday.
Whale Shark Watching Fee
Ticket costs vary depending on your nationality. If you’re a local guest, a 30-minute pass to watch the whale sharks only cost 300 PHP/ 6 USD while it’s 500 PHP/ 10 USD for foreign guests. Both tickets are inclusive of the boat ride.
For snorkeling with the sharks, one ticket also amounts to 30 minutes and is inclusive of the boat ride and snorkeling gears. The price is 500 PHP/10 USD for local visitors and 1000 PHP/19 USD for foreign ones.
The same ticket terms apply to scuba diving with the whale sharks, except for the inclusion of the diving gears. Locals have to pay 600 PHP/ 12 USD while foreigners are charged 1500 PHP/29 USD for this activity.
Note: 3-year olds and below are free of charge.
- Bring extra clothes
- Don’t forget to bring a bath towel
- Immortalize your experience by bringing an underwater camera, although there are rentals on the site priced 500 PHP/ 10 USD for unlimited photos + tip to the boat guy you could ask to take your pictures
- Restaurants there serve both Filipino and foreign cuisines
- You can book some simple room accommodations within the area, which you can coordinate with the agents in Oslob Whale Sharks.
Canyoneering in Kawasan Falls Tour
Kawasan Falls is well-known for its glass-like waters. No wonder tourists flock to these spring waters for a fresh and cold swim.
Still, canyoneering is the main thrill you don’t want to miss when on the site. The rock formations surrounding the turquoise paradise will cause your jaw to drop, as well as yourself when you find the most exhilarating canyon for jumping into the waters.
How to Get There
- Book a flight to Mactan Airport
- Take a cab towards the South Bus Terminal in Cebu City
- Hop on a Ceres Bus bound for Bato via Barili (3-hour travel, estimated fare: 150 PHP/ 3 USD)
- Get off at Bato and follow the sign saying “This Way to Kawasan Falls”
- Pay the entrance fee to the falls (40 PHP/0.79 USD)
How to Book the Tour
Tours for canyoneering in Kawasan Falls is divided into two teams. There are local-managed teams that have fewer gears than the foreign-operated ones.
However, the former has cheaper rates, of course. To keep you on your budget without compromising your safety and expectations of the adventure, we suggest you book the activity from CebuTours.PH.
This trusted travel assistance Philippines takes pride in provides good deals and secure excursions that surpass common local guide standards. Just visit their Canyoneering + Kawasan Falls Adventure page to fill out the online reservation form and learn more details about the package.
Here’s the sample itinerary of the 12-hour tour:
|5 AM||Hotel pickup|
|7:30 AM||Arrival in Badian|
|8:00 AM||Breakfast (to be shouldered by guests)|
|8:30 AM||Beginning of canyoning|
|1:00 PM||End of canyoning at Kawasan Falls|
|1:01 PM||Lunch and swimming at Kawasan Falls|
|2:00 PM||Travel back to Cebu City|
|5:00 PM||Estimated arrival at the hotel|
What to Expect
Expect to be wowed by Kawasan Falls’ glory in person. The pictures don’t lie as the spot is just majestic with its dense colors that beat any photo filter.
Just don’t take canyoneering as a light activity. The trek might not be for everyone, so watch out for that.
Now, if you love jumping off cliffs, you’re going to love the natural slides and high canyons you’ll encounter during the exploration. The jungle setting in the middle of the tour will also leave you in awe with its classic rope swing that makes those Tarzan fantasies come to life.
CebuTours.PH has flexible rates for the tour. Whether you’re alone and would love a single package or you’re a big group of friends or family.
The budget trick in canyoneering at Kawasan Falls is that it’s always cheaper by the dozen. If you’re a group of 12 people, the charge per head is just 1850 PHP/35 USD.
Most visitors also advise going on this journey with a few other people. However, if you prefer a solo assisted expedition, you can get the same perks of the deal for 5200 PHP/100 USD.
All packages of the agency, no matter the number of participants, come with the following inclusions:
- Private, air-conditioned van for transport
- Private trekking assistance
- A local expert on the area and activity
- Service, to and from any hotel in Cebu City
- Motorcycle ride to the jump-off point
- Entrance fee
- Aqua shoes
- Life jacket
- Bottled water
- Lunch meal
- Waterproof dry bag
- Other government taxes and service charges
The agency also has a camera rental: 1000 PHP for GoPro Hero5 and up – no SD Card included – (micro SD Class 10)
- It’s always better if you can swim in case of unforeseen events on tour
- Make sure you can walk on terrains safely
- Participants who are 12 years old and younger must have a signed waiver from their guardians
- It’s advisable to have travel insurance for a more secure adventure
Last Hack for an Unforgettable South Cebu Trip
Travel assistance in the Philippines can be quite short and restrictive at times when you book the services from agencies. We also recommend a new way to get a more liberating assisted tour.
Check out Rakuboss for individuals or little groups offering cheaper yet more immersed experiences to the hottest tourist spots in the Philippines. Expect these travel guides to be more engaging so you can also make new friends while discovering new incredible locations.