Uncharting Cebu's Enchanted River Version

by 4:50 PM 4 comments
Ever dreamed of visiting the infamous blue hole in the Philippines and lacks the resources and time to do so? Well now you can! well not exactly the real thing because it's still tuck away in Hinatuan but something that comes close to its distinct beauty. Just a few hours drive from Cebu City and 30 minute scenic trek follows. Either swim a refreshing or cross the sturdy bamboo bridge. Climb a series of streams then you'll finally reach that spot. And picture away hoping to deceive your friends that you've been in the real thing but you really are not *shame on you!. Read the comprehensive steps to take (pun intended) now!  
Let us first get things straight. I'm not trying to confuse and deceive anyone with this post because there can be one real thing and it is in Surigao del Sur. I'm just presenting an alternative to you. I'm going to loosen up with this blog post *since it's obviously just a second rate copycat j/k* and not get all too serious with the composition.
First things first a little lesson for those clueless of what is the Enchanted River. 

Wikipedia defines it as "A dark running river under a sleeping spell in Mirkwood. Its origin was in the Mountains of Mirkwood, and it met the Forest River near Thranduil's Caverns. In The Hobbit, this river forms an obstacle for the quest of Thorin Oakenshield."

Nah! I'm just playing with you that's the Enchanted River in The Hobbit lol... Kidding aside time to get serious! 

Why it is called Enchanted River in the first place? well... they say that a lot of divers attempting to reach the bottom but none has ever successfully done it because of the strong current coming out of its cavern. What's even more enchanting are fishes that only comes out at noon. Guess what? they can't be caught by any means. I really find that hard to believe maybe they haven't tried all means that's necessary because the last time I was in the vicinity of the river those fishes aren't really that special looking though I haven't really attempted catching one. And the source of the river is the Pacific water so that explains the blue color.    

Here's my blog post of Enchanted River link

Now that you are well acquainted with the whats and hows of Enchanted River then it's time to delve into getting to Cebu's version of the Enchanted River. 

Destination: Barangay Matutinao, Badian

In order to get the most of your time you must start real early. If you have private rides then head to the destination. If you don't then head to South Bus Terminal as early as you can. Look for a bus heading to Badian they usually have a Samboan signage on it. 

North Bus Terminal --> Barangay Matutinao : 
Bus Fee 126php (non-aircon) 131php (aircon)
Estimated Travel Time: 2 hrs 30 minutes

Advise to drop you off in Matutinao Church in Badian that is actually the same entrance of Kawasan Falls. Estimated distance to trek would be 2 km. You just have to follow the scenic trail that eventually lead you to the most beautiful waterfall in Badian - second level of Kawasan Falls. 

You may take a short break here and pose for some pictures. It would be best to rest and re-hydrate before taking on the trail ahead. You still have 45 minutes of walking to get to the spot. After a good rest you may continue with the trail by taking the uphill trek up to reach the reach the first level of Kawasan. This will most likely take around 20 minutes of your time depending on the pacing.    

Once you reach the first level of Kawasan Falls you can marvel on its beauty and take some photos if you must but resist going in for a dip because the water on that spot you are heading has freshness and beauty that the two levels cannot top. Head to the right side of the waterfalls and you will find another uphill climb that leads to the final part of the trek.

You know you are in the right path when you'll see lots of mini falls and a beautiful stream with a natural limestone pavement covered with moss. It such a peaceful sight to witness but wait til' you reach near the end point of the trail to be amaze yet again. Continue on this path until you will see the small native bungalow. You will see a path somewhere with a cluster bamboo grass bowing on it and take that road. You know you are in the right path when you see a fire tree on one side of the road.

Cross the bamboo bridge and continue on with the path until you finally see a mini dam. You will have to cross another bamboo bridge yet again to get to the other side of structure where a solid staircase was built. You have to be extra careful here because it get slippery because of the water flowing out of the dam. Climb the staircase on the right side of the dam and you will be presented with an extremely beautiful and haunting emerald colored water of the source of the Kawasan Falls.

You are now close to where the spot is. Just continue on with the trail and conquer the last bamboo bridge to traverse *this ones a big one* to get to the other side. 

From here on you must find a good spot to leave your belongings because the final trial to take overcome requires you to make your way through the crystal clear stream and ascend to another elevated area where a clearing is available with a ruined structure. On this spot you will witness the beautiful deep blue hue of the headwater or source of Kawasan Falls that is reminiscent of Enchanted River. You can go down in the river if you want by just continuing on with the path.    

Christian Vincent Literatus

Travel Blogger

Chris just loves to travel, and for a long time now has been drifting from place to place around the Philippines. With his combined passion for travel and photography, he’s managed to find himself in the middle of some magical moments and mind blowing scenery. The Bisdak Explorer is Chris’s way of sharing his experiences with you, and showcasing not just his travel photography, but the moments and stories behind those photos.


  1. that place can make you speechless, :)

    I was happy to have seen and experienced that place..

  2. Ang layo lng nito sa enchanted river ng surigao pero maganda rin ;-)

  3. Thanks for dropping by Darwin. I'm happy that you had a good time while there.

  4. Hahaa... Malayo nga pwede if you visit that place it has another charm that is lacking in Enchanted River.


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