Rediscover the province of Cebu
Cebu (Cebuano: Sugbo) is a province in Central Visayas, the southern part of the Philippines. It is mostly known for its white-sand beaches and beautiful waterfalls. One of its cities, Cebu City, used to be the capital of the Philippines. Metro Cebu is also known as the second-largest Metropolitan in the Philippines, next to Metro Manila. Here’s my 2020 Cebu Travel Guide.
Traveling to Cebu can be planned in three parts; South Cebu, City Tour, and North Cebu.
If you’re looking for adventures, down south is the best place to go. If you’re looking to relax; or dive with some thresher sharks, you can go up north.
Cebu City tour, on the other hand, can be done as a side-trip before going back home. Yes, there are a lot of things to see in the city, but do yourself a favor and get away from the city traffic on your first day if you can.
For me, it is best to go straight to the bus station after you landed at the airport.
Getting Around Cebu City
As a backpacker, getting around Cebu City through public commuting may be a little challenging. I’ve been to Cebu three times already, but I still have not been used to it. The best option I discovered was to rent a motorcycle or a scooter and let Google Maps take care of you.
WHAT’S THE BEST TIME TO VISIT CEBU
You can visit Cebu all year round. Go to the beach during summer, and experience canyoneering during the rainy season.
PLACES TO VISIT
- Kawasan Falls
- Osmeña Peak
- Binalayan Falls
- Sumilon Island
- Aguinid Falls
- Inambakan Falls
- Magellan’s Cross
- Fort San Pedro
- Temple of Leah
- Sirao Flower Farm
- Cebu Taoist Temple
- 10,000 Roses
- Malapascua Island
- Bantayan Island
PLACES TO VISIT IN CEBU
I have been to Cebu three times, but there is still a lot more to discover. Hopefully, when this pandemic is over, I can go back and finally visit Bantayan Island and then explore the rest of the waterfalls down south.
Osmeña peak (Patung, Badian) – It stands at 1,013 MASL, the 2nd highest peak on the island of Cebu, next to Mount Manunggal (1,097 MASL). But don’t let its height discourage you from hiking this mountain. Your hike is going to start at a high elevation, so it will only require a 20 to 30-minute walk to reach the summit.
Basdako (Moalboal, Cebu) – Basdako comes from two Cebuano words; Bas and Dako. Bas means sand, and Dako means big. It’s a two-kilometer white sand beach, mostly known for recreational diving.
Kawasan Falls (Badian, Cebu) – Kawasan is probably the most popular tourist destination in Cebu. Canyoning and cliff diving are the things you can do here. But for the old souls and less-active people, just seeing the magnificent blue turquoise-colored waterfalls is so much worth it.
Cuartel (Oslob, Cebu) – Oslob is known for whale sharks watching, but it also has few historical sites such as the Cuartel ruins and the Baluarte.
Malapascua Island (Daanbantayan, Cebu) – Malapascua is a diver’s haven. Most tourists that visit this island have one goal; to dive with thresher sharks! If you’re not into diving, the island also has white-sand beaches, snorkeling sites, and a cliff diving spot.
Bantayan Island (North) – Bantayan Island is one of the few tourist destinations up north. It can be reached through a 4-hour bus ride and a ferry going to the island.
Temple of Leah (Cebu City) – The grandest symbol of love of a man, Teodorico S. Adarna, who spent millions to build a Roman-inspired temple for his late wife, Leah Villa Albino-Adarna. Wow, just wow!
Krus ni Magellan (Cebu City) – Magellan’s Cross is a Christian cross planted by Portuguese and Spanish explorers upon arriving in Cebu in 1521.
Fort San Pedro (Cebu City) – Fort San Pedro is a military defense structure in Cebu, built by the Spaniards in 1565. It’s just a few blocks away from Magellan’s cross.
10,000 Roses (Cordova, Lapu–Lapu City) – 10,000 Roses is a cafe designed with thousands of artificial white roses. It’s best to visit this cafe at night.
WHERE TO STAY IN CEBU
If it’s your first time in Cebu, I highly recommend you go down south because there are more things you can do compared to the northern part. Book your accommodation in Oslob or Moalboal, depending on your chosen itinerary. Moalboal is just a few minutes away from Kawasan Falls. Oslob is more than an hour away from that falls, but it’s more accessible to other tourist attractions.
Blue Water Sumilon Rates: P7,000.00 - P 10,300 ($144.00 USD - $211.00 USD) Address: Sumilon Island, Oslob, Cebu Contact Numbers: (+63)32 353-5578, (+63) 998-964-1879
Seascape Beach Resort Rates: P3,000 ($62.00) Address: Natalio B.Bacalso S National Hwy, Oslob, Cebu Contact Numbers: (+63) 917-328-7015, (+63) 917-142-1917
Anglers Hub and Resort Rates: P450.00 - P2,000 ($9.29 - $41.00) Address: Barangay Calumpang, Oslob, Cebu 6025 Contact Numbers: (+63) 977-210-3540
Teobas Homestay Rates: P1,400.00 - P2,400 ($29.00 USD - $50.00 USD) Address: Basdiot, Moalboal, Cebu Contact Numbers: (+63)942-371-0742
Titanic's Nipa Hut Rates: P400.00 - P1,000 ($9.00 USD - $20.00 USD) Address: Basdiot, Moalboal, Cebu Contact Numbers: (+63)923-806-9670
HK Beach Resort Rates: P1,500.00 - P 4,000 ($31.00 USD - $83.00 USD) Address: Basdako, Moalboal, Cebu Contact Numbers: (+63)919-895-3016
Blue Corals Beach Resort Rates: P1,700.00 - P 4,000 ($35.00 USD - $83.00 USD) Address: Malapascua Island, Cebu Contact Numbers: (+63)917-627-2941
Malapascua Budget Inn Rates: P500.00 - P 2,500 ($10.00 USD - $50.00 USD) Address: Malapascua Island, Cebu Contact Numbers: (+63) 917-326-6756
WHERE TO EAT IN CEBU
Cebu is famous for Lechón. Lechon is a roasted pork recipe, usually marinated in several herbs and spices. But because Cebu is an island, seafood should not be missed out also.
Larsian Type: Larsian has few Barbecue stalls that offers chicken, pork, seafood and etc Address: Fuente Osmena Circle, Cebu City, Cebu
Rico's Lechon Type: A Lechon restaurant right outside the airport. Must try: spicy flavored lechon. Address: Lapu-Lapu Airport Rd, Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu Contact #: (+63) 995-618-9363
Ven'z Kitchen Type: Serves Filipino dishes. Must-try: Kare-kare Address: Panagsama-Basdiot, Moalboal, Cebu Contact #: (+63) 997-648-5412
Brice Barbecue and Grill Type: Pork barbecue, Chicken Inasal and more Address: Oslob, Cebu Contact: They are active and responsive in Facebook.
Ging-ging's Garden Restaurant Type: They offer the best breakfast in Malapascua! Address: Malapascua Island, Cebu Contact #: (+63) 905-777-8672
Ocean Vida Restaurant Type: A cafe and Restaurant right at the beach front. Address: Malapascua Island, Cebu Contact #: (+63) 918-666-0240
Things to note for Cebu Travel Guide
I don’t like sharing a step-by-step itinerary because it’s never followed anyway. I’ll share some tips instead.
There are a few things you need to consider in traveling to the island of Cebu.
- Weather. The weather should be your biggest concern. Last year, our travel plans to Bantayan Island failed due to a tropical storm. We didn’t have a choice but to travel back to the city. It was one full day wasted on the road.
- Time of Flight. The best time to arrive in Cebu is in the morning. It will allow you to catch a morning trip to your destination and be there on time for your check-in.
- Itinerary. Consider your itinerary carefully based on how much energy you think you or your travel buddies can spend on Day 1. Do you want adventure right off-the-bat, or just relax on your first day.
- Dry Bag. Cebu is an island of adventures. You will need a durable, high-quality dry bag if you don’t want to leave your wallet and cellphones during canyoning or island-hopping.
- Action Camera. If there’s one line you need to remember when planning a Cebu trip, it’s “Capture every moment!” GoPro is your travel best friend.
Links to previous blogs: Las Cas Filipinas de Acuzar Rizal Province Bunsuran Falls Our Facebook page: Backpacking Stories Philippines