Nature is Alive in Cebu
As an inducement to visit the sunny shores of Cebu, we have put together a list of options for you to consider.
There are various trustworthy organizations which can get you off to a flying start in some cool outdoor activities. If you’re hungry for an adventure package, look no further than the Moalboal-based outfit Planet Action run by a German National. They have the expertise to organize exhilarating activities such as canyoning, trekking, horseback riding, kayaking, river climbing and more.
Canyoning (known in the U.S. as canyoneering) is a sport growing popularity in several countries. It involves traveling down creeks or streams within a canyon by a variety of means including walking, swimming, climbing, abseiling.
If your cup-of-tea is trekking, there are many mountaineering clubs in the Philippines that would be more than pleased to assist you. One of our local organizations here in Cebu is CAMP (Cebu Assailants of Mountain Peaks). The University of the Philippines Mountaineers (UPM) is also based here and PALMC (Philippine Airlines Mountaineering Club) is actively organizing treks all over the Philippines.
Not interested in life above sea-level and wish to go under? How about caving? Wow, Cebu offers lots of opportunities so you picked the right sport! Only 1-hour by ferry from Cebu, is our neighboring island of Bohol. Here you will find the Philippine's best caving locations. If you want more information on caving, drop us a quick email and we can hook you up with the right caver dudes.
A peaceful dreamland awaits one in Camiguin. A fabulous getaway island, dotted with steep volcanoes, lush-jungle and white-beaches such as, White Island. The Island of Camiguin is surrounded by seven volcanoes, the most famous of which is Mt. Hibok-Hibok which rises a mammoth 1,250m above sea level. This pristine setting, you'll find not only hot-springs, to soothe those aches and pains in your body but also the clear-pool and cold-spring of Sto. Niño. Everything you need for a spa gratis, on nature!
The stunning Katibawasan Falls and hiking-trails will thrill your senses. Located 4 kms. from Mambajao, the spectacular 250-foot falls (76 m.) cascades down to a pool surrounded by orchids and ferns. A natural Shangri-La. This is also a favorite jump-off point for trekkers and mountaineers in search of hard-core adventure in the slopes of Mt. Hibok-Hibok.
The harvest of sweet-lanzones fruit, is celebrated every year during the third-week of October. People from around the Philippines, flock to the Lanzones Festival, centered around this unique fruit with pale brown skin and a sweet translucent flesh – which is the main income source of Mambajao. The festival features costumes displays, indigenous sports, and a grand-parade of street dances. Choosing a festival beauty queen – in the highly popular Miss Camiguin Tourism beauty pageant – brings the celebration to a close.
The pulsating heart of the island boasts the flowing and bubbling mineral pools of Ardent Hot Springs. Mysterious mists rise from the heated-waters running down from the vents of Hibok-Hibok Volcano – the only active one among the seven on the island. Revel in the much touted therapeutic-waters. Picnic beneath the sheltering trees and enjoy a game of darts, table tennis and stay-over in the comfortable dormitory type rooms and duplex cottages are available for overnighters.
For some other ideas of nature and outdoor activities, check-out our list below or visit the Cebu Directory.
Mactan Island (diving), Bantayan Island Beaches – Famous amongst Cebuanos for its beautiful white-sand beaches and pristine clear-waters.
Bantayan Island in the North is one of the best-kept secrets of Cebu. Most experienced travelers compare the beaches in Bantayan Island to those of Boracay – except you don't need to deal with the crowds.
Malapascua Island (across the northernmost tip of Cebu). It was on Christmas day when the Spaniards reached the beautiful island. According to townsfolk, it was supposed to be a special day of celebration but unfortunately a storm hit the island and so came the name “Malapacual”, Malas sa Pasko, which means “Unfortunate Christmas” in English.
Malapascua Island is sometimes referred to as “Logon”, the main community in the south. “Logon” got its name when the Japanese and Americans fought over the island during WWII. The island is 3 km. long and 1 km. wide, with a population of about 3,000. It has white sand beaches and crystal clear waters that, many claim, rival that of Boracay. The west coast is ideal for swimming and snorkeling but one should be careful because of unpredictable weather. A walk or tour on the whole island can be done within half a day. The island is probably most famous for its regular sightings of the rare "thresher sharks". A diver's mecca, with some incredible dive locations. For more information on diving the island see the diving section.
Camotes Island (north of Cebu, across Danao City). Famous for its pristine waters, immaculate beaches and superb dive spots. This is a destination that many don't get the chance to experience but should. The island is composed of 4 towns: Poro, San Francisco, Tudela, and Pilar. To cross the island, one has to go to Danao City, an hour away from Cebu City, or take a fast ferry. There are two boats which travel to and from the island and Danao City everyday. One fastcraft travels from Cebu City.
Kawasan Falls (Matutinao, Badian). Some serious walking is required to get to the falls, but it’s well worth it! As you make your way to Kawasan Falls, you get to exercise not only your limbs but all of your senses, too, as you appreciate the lush greenery and electric blue river. Once there, you can swim in the lagoon under the falls or have one of the locals take you under the falls on a man-made raft- a breathtaking experience! For those that wish to have a more intimate moment, you can rent a cottage right next to the general falls area.
Badian Island 97 km. southwest of Cebu City. Famous for beautiful corals, reefs, and white sandy beaches, making it an excellent diving spot. Highly recommended is a dolphin sighting tour. You are almost guaranteed to see these wonders of the ocean.
Olango Wildlife Sanctuary. Olango Island supports the largest concentration of migratory birds found in the country. Migration starts from the birds’ breeding places in Siberia, Northern China, and Japan. Based on data gathering so far, the birds use Olango as a major refueling station – a fast food outlet in our language. The birds replenish their fat reverses by feeding on rich supplies of invertebrates in the intertidal mudflats. The fat reserves fuel the birds on the next section of their journey which may cover from 3,000 to 15,000 km. of nonstop flight. These birds make (inserted) man's commercial flights look like a lame duck!
Moalboal a quaint one-dirt-road town, 89 km southwest of Cebu City on the Ta–on Strait, is the epicenter of outdoor activity, especially diving. House Reef is a coral shelf. If you swim 60 meters straight off the beach and release your bad air you will be slowly lowered into the magical world of underwater life. It is quite common to spot hawkbill green turtles and regular sightings of Whale Sharks also occur in season on this site. On Pescador Island, a protected marine park which is a ten-to-fifteen-minute boat ride from Moalboal, the coral walls plummet more than 40 meters.
If you want some different form of physical action, head east to the hills of Moalboal. Here, a number of gorges await, including the famous Tison Canyon. Spend a day working your way down the Tison River by jumping off 10 meter high limestone cliffs into azure pools and rappel down 30 meter waterfalls. If you prefer to hike, then five miles of divine country through valleys of coconut palms and jungles to Osmena Peak, at almost 600 metres, is the highest on the island. After a day of indulging the senses, dine at any of Moalboal's many open-air seaside restaurants, where less than USD6 will give you a seafood feast and some cold amber nector, that even a fisherman's family would be proud of.
Nonoc Cave (Borbon). 83 km. north of Cebu City. Very picturesque view, shelter for picnic goers and bathers.
Mactan beach resorts offer superb accommodation facilities, scuba diving, wind surfing, boating and other aqua sports. Mactan Island (across Mandaue City). A coral island and famous scuba diving site, where beach resorts and serviced apartments of international standards are located.
Cebu is an ideal place to use as a base to see the other islands; it is a portal to countless spectacular tourist spots in the Philippines as there round the clock flights as well as ferries out of the city.