Osmena Peak Traverse to Kawasan Falls Guide for First Timers

Osmena Peak Traverse to Kawasan Falls Guide for First Timers

Get ready to lace up your hiking boots and embark on a thrilling adventure from Osmena Peak to Kawasan Falls, one of the most sought-after trails in Cebu! If you’re a hiking enthusiast looking for a challenge, this trail will test your endurance and prepare you for major climbs. But hold on tight, because even though it’s popular among first-timers, don’t be fooled—it’s no walk in the park!

Osmena Peak is the highest peak on the island of Cebu, but getting there is a breeze. In just a short 15-20 minutes, you’ll conquer the highest peak on Cebu Island. But don’t celebrate too soon! The real adventure starts as you make your way from Osmena Peak all the way to the breathtaking Kawasan Falls.

While it may seem like a piece of cake for beginners, it’s essential to be physically and mentally prepared for this epic hike. Picture yourself traversing from the eastern to the western part of Cebu Island. It will push your limits and reward you with unforgettable memories.

Curious about what lies ahead on your hike from Osmena Peak to Kawasan Falls? Let’s dive into what you can expect along this trail.

Camping Information

For those seeking an overnight adventure, camping is a fantastic option. The campsite at Osmena Peak provides a perfect spot to set up your tent and enjoy the tranquility of the surroundings.

Osmena Peak Updated Fees (2023)

Environmental Fee: Php 50/person
Tent Fee: Php 100/tent
Guide Fee: Php 100/ group of 5

The weather at the summit is unpredictable. Sometimes, it can either be calm or super windy. Expect a really wild wind and impenetrable fog from the wee hours of night till dawn. It’s advisable to bring your own essential camping gear such as tents, an earth pad or camping mattress, a sleeping bag or blanket for cooler nights, and appropriate clothing to keep warm. Remember to adhere to camping regulations and leave no trace behind, ensuring the preservation of this stunning environment for future visitors.

Trail Conditions and Difficulty from Osmena Peak to Kawasan Falls

Osmena Peak presents a relatively easy ascent. It takes a mere 15-20 minutes from the mountain’s foot to reach its majestic peak. However, the real challenge begins when you traverse from Osmena Peak to Kawasan Falls. From Osmena Peak to Kawasan Falls, you will pass by unpaved and dusty roads with no shade at all from the sun. The forest trail is also moderately challenging and can be unforgiving to your knees towards your descent to Kawasan Falls.

After approximately 4-5 hours of hiking, brace yourself for a seemingly endless road that stretches for about an hour or two. This section of the trail offers little shade, so it’s crucial to stay vigilant and stay hydrated to ward off heat stroke. Trust me, you don’t want to underestimate the scorching temperatures that await you on Cebu Island.

Once you conquer that part, get ready to embrace the enchanting “Crescent Trail/Half Moon Trail.” Aptly named for its crescent-shaped slope, this segment poses its own set of challenges, especially when tackled under the blazing noon sun. Picture yourself trekking through unestablished paths with loose soil on a steep incline, all while facing the full force of the sun.

But fear not! Once you triumph over this hurdle, prepare to be rewarded with an awe-inspiring panorama of the majestic Tanon Strait. And guess what? You’re just a short 30-minute jaunt away from reaching the glorious Kawasan Falls. Keep pushing forward, because the most breathtaking sights are just around the corner.

The entire hike from Osmena Peak to Kawasan Falls will take about 7-8 hours depending on pace and weather conditions. Expect lots of downhill slopes during the traverse. I highly suggest trimming your nails before the hike.

You can either exit at the 3rd or 2nd Level of Kawasan Falls. Kawasan Falls has three levels. The third level is where the source is. Two hikers from our group who opted to ride a motorcycle exited there, while the rest of us who continued the 8-hour trek exited at the second level of Kawasan Falls.

Water Sources

A water source is located along the trail on the way to Osmena Peak. From Osmena Peak to Kawasan Falls, you can pass by 3 more water sources along the way. Remember to bring your trusty water bottle and take advantage of these natural springs to ensure you stay hydrated throughout the entire hike.

Osmena Peak to Kawasan Falls: How to Get There

There are several ways to get to Osmena Peak via public transportation.

From Dalaguete

If you’re coming from Cebu City, the most common way to get there is to ride a Bato – Oslob bus at the Cebu South Bus Terminal. The bus fare will cost around Php 200-250. Just inform the driver to drop you off at the Mantalongon-Dalaguete junction or 7-Eleven Dalaguete. After that, you can ride a habal-habal going to Osmena Peak. The fare costs around Php 200 per person.

Another way is to ride a minibus going directly to Mantalongon Market. These buses can be found at Magallanes Street in Carbon Market beside Caltex Gas station. I haven’t tried this option yet but I read that the fare costs around Php 100-150.

From Badian or Moalboal

If you’re already in Badian or Moalboal, you can go to Osmena Peak through the Dalaguete-Mantalongon Badian Road. If you don’t have your own vehicle, you need to find a habal-habal that can bring you all the way to Osmena Peak. I’ve never tried this option yet, but I have been told that the fare for habal-habal will most likely cost Php 500-1000.

Local Culture and Communities

Beyond its natural allure, the Osmena Peak to Kawasan Falls hike offers opportunities to engage with the local culture and communities. As you navigate through the trail, you’ll come across friendly faces.

Dalaguete is called the Vegetable Basket of Cebu. The town grows and supplies vegetables to many places in the Cebu province including those sold in Cebu City’s markets and supermarkets. Since farming is the main livelihood in this part of Cebu, expect to meet farmers carrying big baskets of carrots, cabbages, and other vegetables.

Don’t forget to greet them. You can even buy directly from them. You’ll get fresh vegetables at a much more affordable price!

This is my friend attempting to carry this heavy basket full of carrots. The owner of this basket gave us a carrot each and wished us a safe hike ahead.

Safety Precautions and Emergency Preparedness

Prioritizing safety is crucial when undertaking the Osmena Peak to Kawasan Falls hike. It’s essential to take additional precautions to ensure a safe journey.

First and foremost, hiring a local guide is highly recommended. Their expertise and knowledge of the area will prove invaluable, especially in navigating potentially dangerous trails. Carrying essential gear, such as a flashlight, first aid kit, and enough drinking water, is imperative. Be mindful of weather conditions and check forecasts before setting out.

In case of emergencies, it’s vital to have emergency contact numbers readily available.

Dalaguete Police Station – +63 923 870 4534
Dalaguete Municipal Hall – (032) 407 9055
Badian Municipal Police Station – +63 998 598 6354
Badian Tourism Office – +63 936 408 6417

Inform a trusted friend or family member about your plans and estimated time of return. By taking these precautions, you can explore the trail with confidence, knowing that you are well-prepared for any situation that may arise.

Alternative Routes

The Osmena Peak to Kawasan Falls hike offers more than one path to reach your destination. Along with the long trail, there are alternative routes and variations to suit different preferences and time constraints.

Exploring these options provides you with the flexibility to customize your journey. Whether you opt for a shorter, more challenging route or a longer, leisurely hike, each path offers its own set of rewards. Consider your fitness level, available time, and appetite for adventure when selecting the route that resonates with you.

More importantly, coordinate with the local guides and tourism office to ensure your safety as well as understand logistics if you choose the alternative routes.

Environmental Conservation and Responsible Hiking

Preserving the natural beauty of the Osmena Peak to Kawasan Falls trail is a shared responsibility among hikers. As you embark on this breathtaking journey, prioritize environmental conservation and practice responsible hiking.

Adhere to the principles of Leave No Trace, ensuring that you leave the trail as pristine as you found it. Properly dispose of waste, minimize noise pollution, and avoid damaging or removing any natural elements. By adopting sustainable practices, we can collectively protect and preserve this magnificent environment for future generations.

Recommended Gear and Equipment

Before setting foot on the Osmena Peak to Kawasan Falls trail, it’s crucial to equip yourself with the right gear and equipment. Here are some essentials to consider:

  • Sturdy hiking boots or shoes to provide traction and support on various terrains.
  • Moisture-wicking clothing to keep you comfortable during the trek.
  • A lightweight backpack to carry your essentials.
  • A hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen to protect yourself from the sun’s rays.
  • A rain jacket or poncho in case of unexpected showers.
  • A water bottle or hydration pack to stay hydrated throughout the hike.
  • Snacks and energy bars to keep you fueled along the way.
  • A map or navigation tool to assist with route finding.

Weather Conditions and Best Time to Visit

The weather conditions along the Osmena Peak to Kawasan Falls trail can vary, so it’s crucial to plan your visit accordingly. The Philippines experiences a tropical climate, characterized by two seasons: the dry season and the wet season.

The dry season, from November to April, generally offers more favorable weather for hiking. During this time, you can expect clear skies, warmer temperatures, and lower chances of rainfall. However, it’s essential to remain cautious and monitor weather forecasts as conditions can change unexpectedly.

The wet season, from May to October, brings increased rainfall and a higher probability of encountering showers during your trek. While the landscape may be greener and more vibrant, the trails can become muddy and slippery. If you choose to hike during the wet season, be prepared with appropriate rain gear and exercise caution on potentially slippery surfaces.

Osmena Peak to Kawasan Falls Suggested Itinerary

Day 1:

9:30 am – Meet at Cebu South Bus Terminal
10:00 am – Estimated Time of Departure (ETD)
12:30 pm – 1:00 pm – Lunch at Dalaguete
2:00 pm – Last purchases at Mantalongon Market
2:30 pm – Start hike to Osmena Peak
3:30 pm – Arrive at Osmena Peak, secure campsite
4:00 pm onwards – Enjoy the sunset, set up camp, prepare food, etc.

Day 2:

7:00 am – Breakfast
8:00 am – Break camp
8:30 am – Start hike to Kawasan Falls
12:00 pm – Lunch along the trail
4:00 pm – Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA) at Kawasan Falls

And there you have it, fellow adventurers, the exhilarating journey from Osmena Peak to Kawasan Falls! If you’re planning to embark on this hike, I say go for it! Prepare yourself physically and mentally, equip yourself with the right gear, and embrace the challenges that lie ahead. Each step will bring you closer to a sense of accomplishment and a deeper connection with nature.

Also read: Osmena Peak to Kawasan Falls with Merrell Philippines