Cebu Travel Adventure: Things To Do in Cebu

Cebu is one of the most popular tourists’ destination in the Philippines. Whenever I am asked where I am from and I answered Philippines, most foreigners would say “Ah, Yeah, Philippines, Cebu!” Why not?? With all the fun activities, beautiful places and hospitable people, no wonder Cebu is talk of the town.

I am lucky enough to be invited to travel and explore this place and I must say it is a must visit. From their historical sites, to beaches, waterfalls and mountains, Cebu has a lot to offer.

THINGS TO DO:

Canyoneering in Kawasan

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Of course, when you search about activities in Cebu, this is the number one recommended activities to be done. This activity may last 4 to 5 hours depending on your speed or the tour group you are joining. This includes trekking, hiking, cliff jumping and swimming. I recommend for adrenaline junkies and also for people who don’t know how to swim but still want to experience something new. Life vest, proper shoes and helmets are provided for your safety.

How to get there:

From Cebu City Southern Bus Terminal take a bus to Badian or Oslob via  Bato, tell the bus conductor to drop you to Kawasan. The travel is estimated 3 to 4 hours depending on the bus.

Cost:

Bus Fare: Ordinary Bus Php 130                 Airconditioned Bus: Php 140- 150

Canyoneering: Php 1, 500

Guide: Joseph 0935 601 2354

*note: There are instances that the canyoneering activity will be cancelled due to heavy rain and may result for the water to be not clear enough and unsafe for the activity. Don’t argue with that! In my case I only did half canyoneering which lasted for 2 hours because of this reason. I connected with a local travel guide whom I highly recommend.

Bamboo Rafting

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Looking for a back massage? Ride a bamboo raft that will take you to the foot of the waterfalls. Lay your back down and feel the strong water current falling towards your back. It is soothing and relaxing.

Cost: Php 300/ person

HIKE OSMENIA PEAK

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Located in Dalaguete, Cebu this mountain has a perfect view of hills, clouds, islands and sea. To get there, ride a bus heading to Dalaguete from Southern Bus Terminal in Cebu City. Travel time is approximately 3 hours. From the bus drop off, motorbike drivers will offer you to the foot of Osmenia Peak where the hike starts estimated journey would be 30 minutes. Reaching the foot you have to register and pay for the entrance fee. You can hire a guide but you can also do-it-your-own since the trek is visible and easy.

Cost: Bus to Dalaguete: Ordinary Bus: Php 100                    Airconditioned Bus: Php 120

Motorbike to the foot of Osmenia Peak: Php 100/ person

Entrance Fee: Php 30

 

*Package Tour is available and it includes round trip transfer from Dalaguete to the start of hike and guide for Php 750/ pax. For inquiries contact Joseph 0935 601 2354.

 

HIKE SIRAO PEAK

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Unlike Osmenia Peak, Sirao Peak is more under rated and less popular hike but I can say that it’s almost the same like Osmenia Peak. It has a view of the mountains, sea, islands and city. Considering our accommodation located in Cebu City it is more accessible and easier to go than Osmenia. Since it is less popular, there were zero people when we went there. So, we were able to enjoy the silence and linger in the place for quite long.

To get there: Take a motorbike from JY Square Mall, tell the driver to take you to the backdoor trek starting point or Ayala Heights. Just follow the trek that leads to the peak. Estimated time of hike can be 45 minutes to 1 hour depending on your speed.

Cost: Motorbike to Ayala Heights: Php 100- 150/ person

Entrance Fee: Free

 

GO ON HISTORICAL TOUR:

MAGELLAN’S CROSS

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Pay a visit and light a candle to this attraction that was planted by the Spaniards after they successfully Christianized the Philippines. This cross is housed in a chapel next to the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño on Magallanes Street just in front of the city center of Cebu City and can be accessed on foot.

Entrance Fee: Free

 

FORT SAN PERDRO

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Just a walking distance from Magellan’s Cross you will find yourself to another historical attraction. Fuerte de San Pedro is a military defence structure in Cebu, built by the Spanish under the command of Miguel López de Legazpi, first governor of the Captaincy General of the Philippines. This place houses museums about the war between Lapu- Lapu and Magellan. Lectures are given upon entering the museums by friendly staff to enhance your knowledge about history.

 

Entrance Fee: Php 30

TAKE AN OOTD PICTURE IN TEMPLE OF LEAH

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Built by a well- known Cebuano businessman Teodorico Soriano Adarna for his late wife, Temple of Leah doesn’t only offer European inspired architectural construction but also a nice view from its wide balcony. With its location on top of the mountain, surely you can enjoy the sunset along with the mountain and city view.

How to get there: From JY Square Mall, take a motorbike to Temple of Leah.

Cost: Motorbike: Php 75/ person

Entrance Fee: Php 50

 

PRAY AND SAY YOUR WISHES TO TAOIST TEMPLE

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The Philippines is a Christian country so catholic churches are everywhere. It is just surprising to see a temple in the heart of a catholic region. This temple is located on a hill in an exclusive subdivision of Beverly Hills. The main altar or prayer room is sacred so taking photos of it is strictly prohibited. Enjoy sightseeing in the temple and its city view from the hill. You can pray to Taoist god and say your wishes. I tried it personally and it was a nice experience. If you wish to do the same, guidelines are posted in front of the prayer room. The answers to your wishes will be interpreted by a staff who is also a Taoist.

How to get there:

From JY Square Mall take a motorbike to Beverly Hills Subdivision. Since it’s an exclusive subdivision motorbikes are not allowed to enter. You have to walk going up to the temple for 15 minutes. You can ask the guard for direction. The road is cemented so no issues on walking.

Cost:

Motorbike to Beverly Hills: Php 30/ person

Entrance Fee: Free or by Donation

 

WHALE WATCHING IN BRGY. TAN-AWAN, OSLOB

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Another must do activity in Cebu. Brgy. Tan-awan was a fishing village before but it made noise when the whale sharks (butanding) start lingering in their place during the day. It made this quiet village into a top tourist destination. The whales usually stay in the place in the morning from 6 am to 12 noon. I advise that you go early as early as 7 am to see the whale sharks fresh and to avoid long line since it is tourist infested.

How to get there:

From Cebu City Southern Bus Terminal, take a bus to Oslob, tell the bus conductor to drop you to Brgy. Tan-awan. Travel time is approximately 3 hours. When you reach the whale watching site, you have to register. Then you will have a short orientation for the Dos and DON’Ts during the 30-minute whale watching activity. Next you pay for the activity and finally verification which includes distribution of life vest and snorkeling goggles.

Cost:

Bus Fare to Oslob: Php 149 (Ceres Aircondition bus)

Whale Watching on the boat:                     Filipino: Php 300               Foreigner: Php 500

Snorkeling/ Swimming with the Whales: Filipino: Php 500              Foreigner: Php 1,000

TAKE A SIDE TRIP TO SUMILON ISLAND

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When I searched about other things to do in Oslob aside from whale watching, Tumalog Falls came to my newsfeed. However, upon talking with the locals, they inform me that the water condition of the waterfalls in not ideal this time because of the heavy rain that occur the other day. They advise me to go to Sumilon Island instead in which I can do another round of snorkeling in Marine Sanctuary and beach bum in the white sand beach of Sumilon Island sandbar. It is totally worth it.

How to get there:

A local hooked me up with a boat operator that can let me go and leave the island on a flexi time. In case I want to leave the island, I just have to search their orange boat and tell them to take me back. I also bargained with the boat cost which ended up with a reasonable price.

Cost:

Round Trip Boat Fare: Php 600   * For inquiries, contact Jun Jun at 0942 529 5509

  • Note: the boat will stop at Marine Sanctuary for 30 minutes for snorkeling so be sure to rent a snorkeling gear, life vest is provided

Snorkeling Gear: Php 100

Sumilon Island Entrance Fee: Php 50

 

EXPLORE BANTAYAN ISLAND

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The main reason I came to Cebu is because of this island. During my backpacking in Boracay, my Lithuanian roommate talked about so many good things about this island and I can say it is my second favorite island in the Philippines next to Calayan Island. Though, a day trip is a little challenging to do especially that this island has so many things to offer. If you want to stay and enjoy the virginity of this place for quite long, I suggest you stay here for 2- 3 days.

How to get there:

We rode the 3 am Ceres airconditioned bus going directly to Bantayan. From Cebu City Northern Bus Terminal to Hagnaya Port, the estimated land travel time is 3 hours. From Hagnaya port we are asked to get off from the bus and purchase a ferry ticket. The sea travel is approximately one hour. When we reach Bantayan Island Santa Fe port we hoped back to our bus.

Cost:

Bus Fare: Php 200 via Ceres Airconditioned Bus directly to Bantayan Island

Ferry:   Php 170

 

PARADISE BEACH, BANTAYAN ISLAND

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My friend and I took the challenge of taking a day trip on this island disregarding all the discouragements we had from locals about our plan. We don’t want to be touristic and stay in the place for short time just to take pictures. We really wanted to absorb and enjoy the place for hours so we chose 2 places we really wanted to visit. One of them is Paradise Beach. This place has an excellent review on tripadvisor except the muddy and rocky road you have to take in going to this place. I am so much in love with this beach because it is comparable to Sibang Cove of Calayan Island. It is very peaceful, calm and not crowded. When we stayed here for 4 hours we only saw less than 10 tourists on the beach.

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How to get there:

From Santa Fe Port ride a motorbike to Paradise beach, it is 4.5 km away from the port so the estimated travel time is 20 minutes. The road is not cemented so expect it to be muddy, rocky and bumpy. From the main road, walk for 15 minutes following the path that will lead you to the entrance of the beach. Register and pay for the entrance fee.

Cost:

Motorbike to Paradise Beach from Santa Fe Port: Php 50/ person

Entrance Fee: Php 50

 

DAY VISIT TO OGTONG CAVE RESORT

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Since we are just doing a day trip to Bantayan, we choose the second place to be near Paradise beach and can be accessed on foot. Ogtong Cave Resort houses the famous clear blue water lagoon, Ogtong Cave. The resort also has stunning fine white sand beach and pool however the room rates are quite expensive. But, if you are going on a day trip you can access the cave, pool and beach including shower room for Php 100 per person. So, yeah!! It’s a good deal.

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How to get there:

From Santa Fe Port, ride a motorbike or tricycle and tell the driver to take you to Ogtong Cave Resort.

In our case, we came from Paradise beach so upon reaching the main road, we asked the locals about the direction to Ogtong Cave Resort. We turned right from the main road and followed the path. It is not difficult to find because it is along the road and it took us around 20-30 minute walk to the reach the place. #CertifiedBackpackers 😛

Cost:

Entrance Fee: Php 100

*Note: Bantayan Island is a huge island and I can say you need more than a day to explore every bit of it. While on a motorbike ride to Paradise beach, our driver who works in the tourism office of Bantayn politely offered us different day trip packages which includes 7 different places and activities like snorkeling in Virgin Island for Php 1, 600 for the two of us. Although the package is a catch we still decline it because we wanted to stick to our original plan.

If you are interested regarding this package you may contact Jun at 0935 986 8132.

Here’s the travel video to summarize all the buttloads of fun I had..

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