Osmena Peak Traverse to Kawasan Falls Guide for First Timers
The trail from Osmena Peak to Kawasan Falls is one of the most popular trails in Cebu especially if you are into hiking. Its level of difficulty is good training for major climbs. While a lot of first-timers can do this trail, it’s not necessarily the easiest.
Osmena Peak is the highest peak on the island of Cebu, but the trail going up is pretty easy. From the foot of the mountain, it will only take about 15-20 minutes to reach the peak. The difficult part starts once you traverse from Osmena Peak all the way to Kawasan Falls.
Just because this hiking trail is easily accessible for first-timers, you still need to be prepared physically and mentally before you embark on this trek. You are basically hiking from the eastern part to the western part of Cebu island.
So here’s what to expect if you are planning to trek from Osmena Peak to Kawasan Falls.
1. There are two ways to get to Osmena Peak via public transportation.
The most common one is to ride a Bato – Oslob bus at the Cebu South Bus Terminal. Bus fare costs around Php 160-180. Just inform the driver to drop you off at the Mantalungon-Dalaguete junction or 7 Eleven Dalaguete. After that, you can ride a habal-habal going to Osmena Peak. It costs around Php150-200.
The second option 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.
2. The whole trek from Osmena Peak to Kawasan Falls lasts for 7-8 hours.
That’s if you follow the long trail. You will also have to factor in your pace and the weather. The locals there told me that there is another trail which will only take you 4 hours but is quite dangerous.
When my group and I went there, the 8-hour trek already included several stops and rests. I did my calculations and concluded that we could have made it for only 6 hours if it had not been for two major delays. Still, our trek was fine and we did not go beyond our target.
3. There are several fees you need to pay before you can proceed to summit Osmena Peak.
There are two required fees you need to pay before you can continue to the summit which is an Environmental Fee and Tent Fee.
Environmental Fee = Php 30
Tent Fee = Php 50
If you need to buy water for cooking, the locals are selling it for Php 50 per container.
4. It is cold and windy at night at the top.
The weather at the summit is unpredictable. Sometimes, it can either be calm or super windy. When I went there, it was deathly cold and windy, that it actually almost ruined one of our friend’s tent. Expect a really wild wind and impenetrable fog at the wee hours of night till dawn.
5. You can opt to ride a hired motorcycle from Osmena Peak to Kawasan Falls in Badian.
If you don’t want to endure the 33-kilometer trek, you can ride a hired motorcycle to Kawasan Falls in Badian. It will probably cost you around Php 500 – 1000.
6. There are three water source along the way.
It’s one of the things that I love on this trek because you don’t have to bring tons of liquids since there are water sources along the way. A liter or two is enough. Once you run out of drinking water, you can simply fetch in the clean spring water in the mountains. The first water source is about an hour or two away from Osmena Peak.
7. The Death March
Every person I know who has traversed from Osmena Peak to Kawasan Falls hates this part. We call it The Death March. About 4 or 5 hours in your trek, you will reach a rocky and dusty road which stretches for about two hours. The searing heat of the sun makes it more difficult to trek this part since there are less to no place to hide from the sun at all.
Your enemy here is the SUN. When you reach this part, be very vigilant and drink lots of water since heat stroke is imminent when your body temperature surges at the extreme level. This is the part where most people give up. In fact, this is the part where one of our co-trekkers gave up.
Good news is, there are already motorcycles passing this road so if you can’t take it anymore, you can simply ride one
8. The Crescent Trail/Half-Moon
It is called one because of the crescent shape of the slope. You will find yourself in this trail after The Death March. Traversing this part is also a little hard since you will be directly facing the sun. It also has no established paths and you have to walk for about an hour on loose soil in a steep slope.
But fret not! Once you pass that part, you will find this amazing view of Tanon Strait close ahead. Kawasan Falls is only 30 minutes away from this area.
9. You can either exit at the 3rd or 2nd Level of Kawasan Falls
Kawasan Falls in Badian Cebu has three levels. The third level is where the source is. Two of our co-trekkers 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.
10. Expect lots of downhill slope during the traverse.
I would say about 50% of our trek is downhill. Going downhill is challenging and a little painful to your toes which is why we took off our shoes and wore slippers instead to some areas. I highly suggest trimming your nails prior to the trek.
1. Pack light. Bring only what you need and make sure to place them all in your bag. You don’t want to find yourself carrying something in your hands in some areas. Balance is the key.
2. Before you traverse to Kawasan Falls, cook enough food for breakfast and lunch so you won’t have to cook in the middle of your traverse. Save your energy.
3. Hire a guide. I wouldn’t suggest attempting to traverse on your own since there are dangerous trails along the way. The locals know the place better. You can hire local guides when you reach there and their rates may vary from Php 500 – Php 1000.
Things To Bring
9:30 am – meet up at South Bus Terminal
10:00 am – ETD
12:30 – 1:00 pm – Lunch at Dalaguete
2:00 pm – Last purchases at Mantalungon Market
2:30 pm – Start trek to Osmena Peak
3:30 pm – Secure campsite
4:00 pm onwards – Enjoy the sunset, prepare food, etc.
7:00 am – Breakfast
8:00 am – Break camp
8:30 am – Start trek to Kawasan Falls
12:00 pm – Lunch
4:00 pm – ETA at Kawasan Falls
The trek is immensely tiring but so worth it. Would I do it again? Of course, yes! Climbing the highest peak of the Cebu province and traversing to the other side of the island is no easy feat. You will certainly have all the bragging rights in the world the moment you finish the long trek.
Disclaimer: Some photos in this post with no Laagan Nga Bata logo are from eyesofniki.net.
That’s it! You don’t need to worry if it’s your first time but make sure that you come prepared. Alternatively, if you think you cannot do the whole 8-hour trek, I would suggest doing the motorcycle/van ride to Kawasan Falls.