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To be honest, I wasn’t sure if I was going to write this post due to my hazy knowledge of Alegria Canyoneering in Cebu and the differences in tours. I have also seen it named as Badian canyoneering, so I’m not sure which is the official name for it. I do know, that the river you explore cuts right down the middle of Alegria and Badian, so both names could very well be correct.
For some context, Dustin and I hired a tuk-tuk driver for our week while we were in Cebu, Philippines. This wasn’t our initial plan, but from the first day our hotel arranged for a driver to pick us up, and this guy rolled up with all the friendliness in the world, we asked if he could continue to be our driver for the rest of the week. He was just as thrilled as we were!
For the entire week, we had someone we could trust take us exploring around the island of Cebu. He even guarded our belongings in the tuk-tuk while we ventured off to explore the island’s jungles and waterfalls! He never hesitated to tip us off in finding off the beaten path sightseeing and activities.
This brings me to the canyoneering tour. Dustin and I expressed to our driver that we wanted to do a day of canyoneering. At the time of this conversation, we had only heard of the Kawasan Falls canyoneering trip. Our driver insisted he had a better option for us, one that was less crowded and more thrill-seeking. We had built a solid rapport with our driver, so did not hesitate to let him take us to this “secret” canyoneering venture. We allowed our driver to take the wheel and plan our canyoneering quest. He didn’t disappoint.
The cost of the excursion was far less than Kawasan Canyoneering, mainly due to it’s “secret” nature and not having quite the same publicity as Kawasan Falls. If I remember correctly, the cost of the Alegria tour was 900 pesos per person, while Kawasan canyoneering was a steep 1,500 pesos per person.
Our driver picked us up mid-morning, and it took a couple of hours in a tuk-tuk to get to the ticketing office. Once there, we paid our canyoneering fee. We were issued an electronic (yet, waterproof) wrist band that acted as a “ticket” to enter the Alegria canyoneering starting point. The office also photographed our headshots, which entered in their computer system. My guess is in case one of us loses the group, they have a photographed face to a name available for local authorities. Your guess is as good as mine, though.
Once all that is squared away, you’ll take a 10-minute motorbike ride to a briefing center. This is the official starting point of the canyoneering. They go over the rules, precautions, and details of what to expect throughout the tour.
The tour company we booked through provided us with helmets, life jackets, and water shoes. (I brought my own water shoes, but it’s nice to know they provided shoes if needed). They also have waterproof cell phone pouches available for purchase, if desired. Dustin and I left our phones with our trustworthy tuk-tuk driver (again, this guy was awesome!) and opted for only bringing our GoPro camera.
Our tour group consisted of my boyfriend and me, and four local Filipino guys. Our group was accompanied by two guides who were both extremely helpful, fun, and took a few awesome pictures of us! Unfortunately, we did have technical difficulties with our GoPro that day, hence the lack of pictures! *sad face*
In total, the Alegria Canyoneering tour included eight cliff jumps and two water slides! The eight jumps varied in height, but what’s cool about the Alegria tour is that it has much higher cliff jumps than at Kawasan Falls! In fact, this expedition includes one of the tallest cliff jumps in both Alegria and Badian! Some as tall as 30 feet in height! Not going to lie, it hurt a bit when I hit the water! And I certainly walked away with a couple of butt bruises. Totally worth it, though!
It is also the location of the longest natural water slide. Some people were even going down it headfirst! Our guides strongly opposed this, though, as it is quite dangerous to go headfirst.
After the tour, you have to walk about 400 steps uphill to get back to the briefing area, where a motorbike takes you back down the hill to the ticketing office. There, they feed you a delicious (and included) lunch and refreshing beverages.
The tour guides were very professional throughout the entire trip. The two gentlemen helped us jump off the cliffs safely and showed alternative locations to jump if too scared to jump from the highest points. They were always willing to stop and take our pictures and allow us to go at our own pace.
Alegria canyoneering is easy to combine with a longer leg to the Kawasan Falls if so desired. Dustin and I had an awesome time just doing the Alegria canyoneering while steering clear of the crowds. This tour was an excellent recommendation by our Cebu driver. If ever back in Cebu, Philippines, I would do this tour again in a heartbeat.
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