By Kristine Cowles, Canada, January 2010
Last week during a day off from diving, I went to Kawasan Falls with Enrico and Anna, diving friends also staying at Turtle Bay Dive Resort with us. After about a 30min drive passing through the town of Badian we arrived at the bridge crossing Matutinao River, and set off by foot along the river path towards the Falls. As we walked along chatting about this and that, I just couldn’t stop thinking about how green and lush everything was. Here was a popular place for both locals and tourists to visit and relax at, and yet it still maintained such a natural authenticity. I know that it is a stretch to compare this set of falls to the much larger Niagara Falls back home, but I just really thought they had got it right, keeping it simple and maintaining it’s true beauty. The surroundings framed it’s focal point, versus Niagara where it’s a maze of gimmicks and tourist traps that really take away from it’s meaning.
Anyways, after about 20 minutes of easy walking we reached the first tier of Kawasan Falls. Here you could hop in for a swim or continue hiking up to the second and third tiers, which we did. This set of Falls were the highest, but they were also the busiest. Here for a few hundred pesos ($4cnd), you could be taken out on a large bamboo raft and pulled under the blaring Falls for a natural massage of sorts, as Anna put it. We opted to continue on to something a little more alluring.
At the second set of Falls, we had the place to ourselves so we jumped in for a refreshingly cool dip. Although we didn’t have a bamboo raft, Anna and I still enjoyed our natural waterfall massages. Contented with our swim, we set off for the top of the Falls. The trail did get a little more precarious, but better then I’d experienced at other remote waterfall locations such as Namuang Waterfall in Thailand. At the top we found a dam of sorts and a small set of rocky falls. It was a nice spot to stop as the trees dwarfed our presence and the local family living their, were overjoyed to play and have their pictures taken. It was a great half day excursion, that joins the ranks of great remote waterfall locations!