I was not really planning to go to another place this summer because I just arrived from a 1-week vacation from Santander and Dumaguete but then a friend invited me to go with her and her family for an adventure at Esoy Hot Spring in Catmon, Cebu. It is located in the northern part of Cebu island and is approximately a 2-hour ride from Cebu City.
We rode a van bound for Catmon early in the morning because it was Easter Sunday and we might not get a ride in going there if we will not start the trip early. A week before the trip, I didn’t research anything about the place that’s why I was totally spell-bound when we arrived. I was captivated by the mountains and the road along the way. The Hot Spring is located approximately 5 kilometers from the highway. To go there, you need to ride a habal-habal but since we rented a van for ourselves, we were brought directly to Esoy Hot Spring’s entrance. When we arrived, we came across another group who booked for that day as well. We then signed a waiver so we can proceed in going to the main site.
You’ll have to trek down to about a hundred steps to reach the hot spring.
At the end of the steps, we were directed to the resort’s reception area. There were about 5 tables in there where you can place your stuff and food. The reception area is actually located in the middle of the cliff so you can actually see the steps you just walked from and the river below. It was really amazing to look at.
We ate first coz our bellies were already grumbling. The resort has no restaurant yet so you’ll have to bring your own food or cook there if you like. There’s a mini store but only sells coffee, shampoos, souvenirs and the likes.
After we’ve had our fill, we got ourselves our life jacket and then went down the cliff to start the adventure!
We skipped the pool first because there was another group there and it would be pretty weird to join them when the pool is not that big to accommodate all of us.
So we decided to go down to the river first. You’ll have to cross a hanging bridge before you can reach the river below. It wasn’t terrifying for me since it was like 5 meters only and there’s water below so if ever I fall down, I just have to swim to save myself. 😀
Before we went trekking, my friends and I decided to jump off to the river. It was a shitty jump for me because I didn’t cover my nose so when I submerged from the water, there was a sharp tingling feeling inside my nose and it took me a couple of seconds to recover. And I just learned today that the water there has sulfur because… well it’s a hot spring. (I don’t know why but I read that in Google haha) The water actually smells quite of smoke.
After that, we then started river trekking. If you’re standing beside the hanging bridge, you will only see this side of the river where there are big rocks and mini waterfalls that’s why I thought, “Oh, the trek would be an easy one.” But hey, it was not. You see, there were actually more and bigger rocks behind that. I thought that we would only have splashes of water in our feet but I was wrong again.
You’ll have to go into the water and swim as well to continue. And oh boy, it wasn’t that easy because the end of the trek would actually lead you to Caningo falls. So basically, we were swimming against the current. It was then that I realized the importance of the life jacket. And later that day, the owner, Mr. Esoy Bustamante told us that the river is about 100 ft deep. Oh God.
Then, we finally reached Caningo falls. I thought that it would be the end of the adventure but then, I was wrong again. You can actually climb on to the top of the falls if you will go mountain trekking. Naturally, my adventuresome mind kicked in so my friends and I decided to climb the mountain. It was a risky one because you’ll have to climb barefoot and with your bare hands because there were no straps and fittings. The path is also slimy so you’ll have to be wary on what you’re stepping at and holding. You only have the rocks and roots to hold on to. I even got leg cramps while we were climbing. Anyway, we reached the end of the path and eventually we were at the top of the falls. And I had no idea at first that to return to the base, you actually have to jump off the waterfalls or else you’ll have to go back to the path were you’ve gone which is totally impossible. So we had no other choice but to jump off the waterfalls.
It was a real terrifying step for me. Not only was it my first time to jump off a waterfall, I also had no idea how deep the water was and what would await me when I submerge. We were all hesitant to dive. We were pushing around on whose gonna go first. There was a guide with us and he said that we have to stop looking at the water because it will only terrify us more. What?! That’s ridiculous Kuya. What if we hit a rock before we reach the water? Haha. Fast forward, it was already my turn to jump and hell, it was cul-de-sac rocking. My knees suddenly got wobbly and my heart seems to be in my mouth. It was a real epic moment for me because once again, I came to a point where I needed to have all the guts I needed and sacrifice all my reservations to survive. After my first three attempts, I did finally jump off and the feeling was actually AWESOME. It was like surviving a plane crash. Oh, I haven’t been on a plane crash. What I meant is it was like earning a highest achievement award. So cool. But I’m not sure if I want to do it again. (laughs)
Jumping off Caningo Falls
After that, we stayed at the mini falls for a while to take some pictures.
After that, we swam back and went to the reception area to eat – again. After we’ve eaten, my friends and I went back to the river below and there we spotted the owner entertaining some foreign guests. He excused himself and led us to a cave we haven’t seen earlier to experience the warm water. Truly amazing.
We went home after that with no regrets. Well, we had muscle pains and a few scratches but the smiles on our faces were priceless.
- They have “No Booking, No Entry” policy. So you should call them first before you go there.
- Entrance Fee is P100.00 but P300.00 if you are a foreigner.
- There will be a P50 fee for renting a life jacket.
- Fare is around P60-80 but we paid P166 each because we rented the van for ourselves. We had to pay the remaining seats that has not been occupied.
- Bring a plastic case for your camera or phone so you can take pictures with no hassle.
- The owner doesn’t allow overnight stays yet for security reasons.