Featured Travel Guide | Things to do in Cebu

More than the frenzied vibe of the Sinulog Festival, Cebu is also a gateway to a number of adventure destinations. A major hub in the Philippines when it comes to tourism, shipping, commerce and also the site of many beautiful beaches, picturesque countryside and home to some of the famed local cuisines; Cebu ranks among the top travel destinations of both domestic and foreign travelers.

The province’ capital city; Cebu City might appear almost similar to Metro Manila, one would quickly wonder “What to do here” after surveying the busy roads leading out of the capital. After the initial shock of the street’s bustling activities, one could thoroughly enjoy exploring not only Cebu city but the rest of the province’ tourism offerings.

To make your Cebu trip a memorable one, here is a sample 3-whole-day itinerary you could use to plan your holiday in Cebu.

Day 1: Cebu City Loop

There is a couple of ways to go around and visit the sights in Cebu City. One is to avail of the usual Cebu tour packages for a no-hassle exploration and second is to DIY by taking various jeepney routes in the city. Doing the 2nd option though, will take additional time compared to having your own rented tour van.

Sirao Peak and Flower Farm
Temple of Leah
Tops Lookout Garden
Magellan's Cross
Sto. Niño Church and Museum
Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral
Yap-San Diego Ancestral House
Casa Gorordo Museum
Colon Old Street
Fort San Pedro
Taoist Temple

From the heritage street of Colon to the downtown attractions of Sto Niño Church, Magellan’s Cross to Sirao Flower Farm and Temple of Leah, the other places are situated in between and can be fully visited in one whole day.

Day 2: Southern Cebu with Canyoneering and Osmena Peak Chill Hike

Second day should be a full packed day of adventure and countryside exploration. The Southern Cebu part is filled with gorgeous beaches, stunning waterfalls and picturesque settings.

Start off by stopping by Saint Catherine’s Church in Carcar and have a heavy juicy lechon breakfast at Carcar Market then pass by another beautiful church; the Patrocinio de Maria Church in Boljoon before proceeding for the half-day Canyoneeringat the waterfalls of Alegria to Kawasan falls in Badian. Cap your wonderful day by hiring a habal-habal to take you to the foot of Osmena Peak for a chill hike to witness the sunset at its Avatar-like mountain top.

There are other places worthy of visiting after you do all of these activities, depending on the duration of your stay, you can also visit the diving paradise of Moalboal Beach – and witness a sardine run even when you’re only snorkeling.

Day 3: Choose between Malapascua / Bantayan / Camotes Island

Among the three islands; Camotes is the nearest with both Malapascua and Bantayan situated in the north and requiring more travel time. It will be much better if you stay at one of these islands overnight therefore stretching your itinerary to a fourth day.

How to get to Bantayan Island:

Head out to the North Bus Terminal in Cebu by either taking a jeepney or cab from the city. Take the bus bound for Hagnaya Port with the earliest trip leaving at 4am and the last one at 5pm. Travel time is approximately 3 hours.

At the port, take a 75 minute ferry ride to Santa Fe port in Bantayan Island. First trip leaves at 7am and the last boat sails at 5pm daily.

How to get to Malapascua Island

Take a Ceres bus at the North bus terminal going to Maya port and board a 30 minute boat to Malapascua. The island is small that you can easily explore it by foot or habal-habal. Resorts are already lined up at the beach front fronting the island's small port.

How to get to CamotesIsland

One can reach Camotes Island via Danao port where a number of ferry boats departs numerous times daily and into different ports of Camotes - thereby giving you more options on which part of the island you prefer. The first ferry leaves at 5am while the last one departs at 5:30pm. It takes a couple of hours to reach Danao port from Cebu City.

Another way of reaching Camotes Island is via Cebu City Port, Pier 1. The Ocean Jet Ferry only sails to Poro port in Camotes. Travel time from the city to Pier 1 is around 45 minutes while the ferry ride takes 2 hours.

There you go, this is just a rough itinerary that I have experienced in the past and you are free to tinker it depending on your manner of traveling. That said, there are still a lot of great outdoor destinations in the province of Cebu – it really is a great place to get lost and just explore.