A Complete Cebu Itinerary | Explore Cebu Island in 6 Days
April 22, 2020
We visited Cebu, Philippines back in November 2018 (how time really flies). It’s definitely a destination that has the best of both worlds – beautiful landscapes and it’s so so AFFORDABLE. This Cebu Itinerary will tell you how to visit these amazing attractions on the island.
For this article, I’ll be sharing with you the things you MUST do in Cebu and some tips on how you can best enjoy your stay here.
Table of Contents
Cebu Itinerary: Where to Stay in Cebu, Philippines
We decided to stay at Moalboal during our time on the island. Moalboal is located at the south-western side of Cebu and is known for it’s beautiful white sand beaches and diving spots. Most people either stay here or at Oslob, so you can choose which one you prefer depending on the activities you’ve planned.
You can also opt to stay at Cebu City if you don’t mind the hustle and bustle atmosphere. If you’re staying in Cebu City, it will be easier for you to book tours online as this is where most of the hotel transport pick ups will be from. Otherwise, by staying in Moalboal / Oslob you’d have to head down and see if you can find a local tour stand to book your adventures instead.
Below is a screenshot from Google Maps on the the main attractions we visited for easier reference.
Here are the best places to stay at in Cebu Island within each city. All of these hotels are centrally located and really affordable.
We used a mixture of transport methods for our Cebu Itinerary.
How to get from Cebu Airport to Moalboal and Vice Versa
#1: Public Bus We took a taxi from Mactan International Airport to Cebu South Bus Terminal. It will cost you about PHP 250 (SGD 7). Once you arrive, look for the Ceres Bus (Yellow bus) and board it. The buses run 24/7 and depart every 30min. Ask around if you’re unsure of which bus to board. The journey on the bus will take approximately 3 hours to reach Moalboal. Once you alight at Moalboal, you can hire a tricycle driver to bring you to your accommodation. There will be people approaching you to take these tricycles the moment you alight so you won’t have any difficulty finding one.
#2: Private Car Transfer This is the most convenient way to get between Cebu City to Moalboal. You can book a Private City Transfer for just PHP 1300 (SGD 36) online. Just indicate your time of arrival and your driver will be arranged to meet you at the airport.
#3: Taxi Alternatively, if you did not pre-book your ride online, you can always hire a private taxi to take you straight to Moalboal from the airport. However, this will cost you around PHP 3,000 (SGD 80) which is quite expensive.
Transportation within Cebu Island
Throughout our stay in Cebu, we booked tours with our hotel provider and we also took up some tours that were selling around the town area. It’s an easy process and you can opt to take private tours via a motorbike or car. It’s recommended to take a car if the journey is more than 2 hours as a motorbike would be pretty uncomfortable.
OUR CEBU TRAVEL ITINERARY
1. Snorkeling & Sardine Run
We landed in Cebu International Airport at 4.30am. By the time we reached our accommodation, it was close to 10am. First up on our Cebu Itinerary was to book a tour to do some snorkelling and free-diving! After leaving our luggage with our hotel, we took a boat out to the nearby Pescador Island with a beautiful coral reef for snorkelling.
Next on our Cebu Itinerary, we did Moalboal’s famous Sardine Run. It is located just a short swim off Panagsama Beach, in front of Savedra Dive Centre. Here, you’ll be able to witness, if not thousands, millions of sardines swimming beneath you.
After all the sun and sea, we headed back to our accommodation to wash up and headed out for dinner. There are lots of restaurants and bars you can choose from in Moalboal. We decided to try one near our place called ‘Taco Bar’. The bar had a nice chill atmosphere and we visited the place twice during our stay as the food was really good as well.
1. Swimming with Whale Sharks in Cebu
Day 2 of our Cebu Itinerary was the highlight of our trip. We booked a tour directly with one of the local tour companies located in Moalboal area. However, if you’re staying in Cebu City, you can book the Private Whale Shark Tour & Tumalog Falls Tour online in advance. Transportation for this tour is provided only from Cebu City.
Our ride left at 6.30am and we reached Oslob before 9am. It was very crowded even though we were there on a weekday. Thousands of people come to visit this area everyday as you will definitely be able to experience swimming with these gigantic creatures. Where else in the world can guarantee their sighting?
The entrance price for foreigners is fixed at PHP 1000 (SGD 28) per person and you’ll be given 30 minutes in the water to swim with these giants.
2. Tumalog Falls
Our Whale Shark Watching adventure ended at 12pm. After lunch, we headed to Tumalog Falls with our guide. Getting to the falls is fairly easy. Once you have reached Tumalog car park, you can either take a 10 minute walk down a steep slope of reach the falls or your can hire a habal-habal (Motorbike with driver) down for PHP 50 (two-way).
The falls portray a picture perfect backdrop and we thoroughly enjoyed our time swimming in the water!
1. Kawasan Falls
On Day 3 of our Cebu Itinerary, we visit Kawasan Falls. This is the most beautiful series of waterfalls I’ve ever seen. Kawasan Falls is a three-stage cascading waterfall and one of the most famous falls in the Philippines.
You can choose to do this Downstream Canyoneering Tourto fully experience its natural landscape if you’re coming from Cebu City. You’ll get to keep your belongings at the tour shop’s lockers. The total price of the tour was about PHP 2,250 (SGD 63) which includes a private guide, all entrance and registration fees, motorbike transport (from your accommodation), and the use of life vest, wet shoes and helmet. Dress in your swim wear and bring along your own wet shoes if you own a pair!
It took us about 3-4 hours to complete the river trekking route to reach the main falls. Take note that this tour is not for the faint-hearted as you’ll be required to cliff jump from as high as 15 metres. There will be a total of about 6-7 jumps of varying heights throughout the whole route.
1. Osmena Peak
I was really really excited to visit Osmena Peak as the pictures of it online looked so amaz-ballz. Unfortunately, we booked a tour to visit this area on a day that was rainy and cloudy so we couldn’t see anything when we reached the peak ): Anyway it was a lesson learnt, ALWAYS check the weather report 1 day before booking any tours.
The tour we booked was a motorcycle tour which I will highly not recommend. Even though we stayed at Moalboal, and Osmena Peak looked near to us on the map, it was a 3 hour journey there and back. I highly recommend you get a tour by car or van if you’re planning to visit the area. If you’re staying in Cebu City, there is an arranged tour you can book online – Cebu Kawasan Waterfalls & Osmena Peak Day Tour – which will bring you to swim in Kawasan Falls before heading to Osmena Peak for sightseeing.
Here is a picture of our disappointing view:
However, despite the bad weather, our guide brought us to see some sunflower fields and strawberry farms. It was overall still a a beautiful place to visit. Just make sure you go on a sunny day to ensure you make the best use of your time there!
We spent our last full day of our Cebu Itinerary just chilling by the beach, eating and swimming with the Sardines (again). If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to see some sea turtles too!
All in all, Cebu was a very new experience for the both of us as it was the first time we visited the Philippines. I loved how beautiful their natural landscapes were and we made it a point to come back in a couple of years. Our next stop – Coron, Palawan.
Weather: When is the Best Time to Visit Cebu, Philippines
Take note that it’s best to avoid visiting the Philippines between July to September as this is their typhoon season. Any other periods of the year is a good time to go!