Cebu. My first love. My hometown. My forever summer paradise. My island in the sun. No matter where in the world my wanderlust takes me, I always miss you. Your food, your people, your sounds and smells and most of all your sights. The beaches, the mountains, the waterfalls and springs and rocks and things.
This post is dedicated to all the road trip spots in Cebu. Just hop in a car or bus and head on to these popular and even hidden destinations in my island. I won’t even describe or review each place anymore ‘cos I think the photos speak for themselves. Read on, enjoy and if you have time, drop by and visit.
Where: Southwest of Cebu, 3-4 hours drive from the City
How to get there: Head south to Carcar City then take a right from the Rotunda towards Barili and drive on past several towns until you get to Moalboal proper. If you are taking the bus, hop on a Ceres at the South Bus Terminal
Where to stay: Hale Manna is always a favorite. Hawaiian for ‘house of good energy’, this lovely resort is mid-sized but with lots of amenities. The downside is there’s no beachfront. If you want to enjoy the wide, white-sand shore, pick a place near Basdaku.
Notable sights: Along the way, make sure to stop by Carcar Public Market to buy some cheap lechon by the kilo. For a pit stop, check out the Milk Station in Barili for some homemade ice cream and cheese made from carabao’s milk
Where: An island across the northernmost tip of Cebu
How to get there: Head north to Hagnaya port then take the barge to Santa Fe port in Bantayan island. If you are taking the bus, hop on a Ceres at the North Bus Terminal
Where to stay: There are a lot of resorts along Bantayan, if you want to stay somewhere peaceful away from the beach crowds then Anika Island Resort is the place to be.
Where: The highest mountain in Cebu in Mantalungon, Dalaguete, South of Cebu
How to get there: Head South to Dalaguete then go up to Mantalungon. If you are taking the bus, hop on a Ceres at the South Bus Terminal. Ask a local to guide you. We chose 2 kids who could use some extra allowance.
Where to stay: Unless you wanna go camping on the mountains, there are no accommodations in the area.
Highlights: The view is amazing. The climb is not hardcore but it is tiring as hell.
Where: Southwest of Cebu, Home to Mainit Springs and the hidden Montaneza Falls
How to get there: Head south to Carcar City then take a right from the Rotunda towards Barili and drive on past several towns until you get to Malabuyoc. If you are taking the bus, hop on a Ceres at the South Bus Terminal
Where to stay: No decent accommodations in the city. You can stay in Moalboal and come for a day trip.
Highlights: The springs are 42º and you’ll have to compete with a lot of oldies soothing their aches and pains away. The Montaneza falls was not a leisurely trek. I had to climb up and down a muddy & rocky river, squeeze myself into a couple of mountain crevices while praying the whole time that I wouldn’t slip and break my neck or worse get my ass stuck in narrow spaces. I waded through pools, crawled through rock formations and thankfully emerged in one piece.
Notable sights: Along the way, stop by Algeria town to check out the Baluarte and St. Francis Church.
Where: South of Cebu, home to Tumalog Falls
How to get there: Head south to Oslob. If you are taking the bus, hop on a Ceres at the South Bus Terminal
Where to stay: Lots of resorts in the area. You can also check out Airbnb for some private beach houses.
Highlights: The waterfalls is a short walk but really steep. You can ask one of the habal-habal (motorcycle) drivers to take you down to the waterfalls and back up.
Notable sights: While Whale Shark Watching in Tanawan, Oslob is not recommended by environmentalists, you can still check them out.