Before I visited Cebu, I thought Cebu was just an ordinary place in the Philippines: beaches, beautiful beaches, and absolutely paradise-like beaches. I’ve been to several of these beaches, and I felt Cebu was just another place I knew.
It was a shame I underestimated Cebu for so long. Why? Because when I went here, my whole perspective of Cebu was proven wrong. Since then, Cebu has become a place I would love to visit over and over again.
In this post, I share how you can spend 3 days (or 4) in South Cebu, the part of Cebu that totally changed my perspective about Cebu. You’ll also find the discussion of the 7 unmissable places/attractions included in the itinerary.
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One of the advantages of Cebu when it comes to tourism is that it’s an island that offers not only one, two, or three attractions but MANY travel experiences. Cebu has:
- Awesome life-changing adventures
- Paradise-like beaches
- Out of this world underwater sanctuary
- Stunning mountain views
- Roaring waterfalls
- Crazy city experience
- Mouth-watering food
- A lively and vibrant festival
- Colorful gardens
Cebu has everything you’ll ever wish to experience, and it is only one island in the Philippines! You don’t need to fly, cross borders, and book many hotels just to experience everything.
Also, Cebu might be one of the largest islands in the Philippines. But, you’ll realize it isn’t that big when you arrive.
Most attractions here are an hour to two hours away from each other, particularly in the southern part of Cebu island.
Read my other blog posts about the Philippines
Is South Cebu Worth Visiting?
Cebu is the adventure capital of the Philippines, and most fun is found in South Cebu. People who want to have fun and get a rush of adrenaline in their system will definitely enjoy South Cebu! Also, with the beautiful scenery and spectacular marine life, it’s easy to say that South Cebu is worth visiting.
To be honest, I was mind blown by South Cebu when I realized that there were so many fun things I have experienced already… and I’m just in one part of the Philippines!
What’s better? You don’t need a week to have fun and really enjoy Cebu.
See the best hotel deals in Cebu here.
After I discuss the itinerary, I’ll show you the list of 7 unmissable things to do in South Cebu (with pictures), summarizing the fun you can have in this part of the Philippines.
How Many Days In South Cebu?
With a properly-planned itinerary, a strategic home base, or having your own private vehicle or motorbike—3 days will be enough to have all the best experiences in Southern Cebu. 3 days include Moalboal Sardine Run, hiking to Osmeña Peak, canyoneering in Badian, watching Oslob Whale Shark, and a relaxing trip to Sumilon Island.
If you’re tight on budget/time, two days in South Cebu could work. Make sure you include Badian Canyoneering/Kawasan Falls and Moalboal Sardine Run on your itinerary! They’re the most enjoyable attractions in South Cebu.
We’ll discuss the tourist attractions I mentioned later. Stay tuned!
For me, a two-day trip to Cebu isn’t worth the hassle of planning and researching how you can travel around Cebu/see the best attractions on the island.
Also, if you have only two days, you would want to have the best experiences immediately. Time is gold! No more negotiations (for example, in boat & equipment rental), asking questions for directions, etc.
This is why travelers who plan to visit South Cebu only for two days should consider having a trip to South Cebu prepared by certified travel services instead. They’ll make your trip to Southern Cebu seamless without effort.
Like, you won’t have to worry about renting your own vehicle/riding a bus/chartering tricycles, etc.
To be honest, when I visited Cebu, I was with my co-workers. And although we had 4 days in Cebu (1 day in Bohol), we all agreed to go on a tour because we only wanted to unwind and have fun! LOL.
Thanks to my friend, he has a connection with a local tour guide who prepared everything for us (including the private vehicle, entrances to tourist attractions, and all).
The result? We so much enjoyed south Cebu with no significant bummer along our trip… and yes, we were all talking about returning to Cebu on our flight back to Manila!
In the Philippines, you can find a lot of tour guides/travel groups on Facebook Groups who can offer you the same service as we had. You can join the DIY Travel Philippines community on Facebook and post an inquiry about a trip to Cebu.
However, you must be careful. If the person/user who offered you a tour service has a Facebook page with a high review, the better. We don’t want to be scammed.
To be sure that you won’t be scammed, here is a list of accredited tours/services by an international tour company you can trust:
You can already enjoy South Cebu with these tours, but I strongly recommend you give South Cebu more time. Within three days is South Cebu or more:
- You’ll be able to do adventure and rest each day
- You have spare time to get in touch with the locals, learn the transportation system, etc.
- And of course, enjoy more attractions!
That said, let’s now discuss the 3-day itinerary I prepared for you. Let’s go!
3-Day South Cebu Itinerary
Before everything, know that the 3-day itinerary I share below only includes the attractions and things to do in South Cebu.
However, I added a bonus/optional day (Day 4). It is about Cebu City and some of its points of interest. As we did, you can conduct this optional day in Cebu before Day 1 or after Day 3.
In summary, this three-day South Cebu itinerary is focused on three parts of South Cebu, Moalboal, Badian, and Oslob. These are the towns in Cebu where you can find the best attractions in Cebu:
- Sardine Run is in Moalboal (Day 1)
- Osmeña Peak, Kawasan Falls, & canyoneering are in Badian (Day 2)
- Whale Shark Watching and Sumilon Island are in/accessed from Oslob (Day 3)
Aside from these 5 attractions mentioned, we also tried Aguinid Falls and Pescador Island. However, I did not include them in this 3-day itinerary because it could be exhausting to have many adventures packed together in 3 days.
Believe me, we tried.
So, based on the lessons we learned, I created this 3-day South Cebu Itinerary for an enjoyable and a little laidback adventurous trip.
I assume you’ll have your own rented vehicle (car, van, or motorbike) for this trip. I don’t recommend commuting. It can work, though. You only have to anticipate a little challenge in moving around.
Here’s how public transportation works in South Cebu:
Buses – each town (Moalboal, Badian, Oslob) is linked to Cebu City by buses plying around the island.
Tricycle/Habal-Habal — are like the taxis you can charter to bring you to the best attractions in south Cebu. You must be good at negotiating skills.
If you like to conveniently move around different parts of South Cebu, I suggest you charter a private car from the link below. (You will not pay gas, toll, or parking fees.)
Car Charter is ideal if you travel as a couple, as a small group, or with your family.
Okay, let’s talk about the details of days 1 to 3!
IMPORTANT. The timestamps in this itinerary are only approximations based on experience (the traveling times between places are based on Google Maps’ estimation). Unpredictable circumstances may occur (rain, road repair, etc.), so please check first the weather/news/government announcements before taking the actual trip using this itinerary.
Day 1 — Moalboal: Sardine Run
The Day 1 of this 3-day South Cebu itinerary aims to let you experience one of the most spectacular things you can ever find in Cebu, a sardine run. This is also when you should do everything necessary for your stay in South Cebu.
During the morning of Day 1 of this South Cebu itinerary, I’m assuming:
- You have just landed/arrived in Cebu City from a flight from Manila or other places
- Or you are preparing to leave your hotel in Cebu City after visiting the points of interest in the city. (a day and night before)
- Heavy brunch
- Prepare to travel to South Cebu
- Tourists with a private vehicle: Depart from Cebu City.
- Tourists who want to Commute: Be at Cebu South Bus Terminal for a bus to Moalboal.
- Arrival in Moalboal (Road travel from Cebu City to Moalboal takes 2 to 3 hours depending on the traffic situation )
- Check-in accommodation.
- Rent a motorbike if you don’t have a van/private car.
- Snack time
Tourists who arrived at Moalboal by bus: If you prefer to rent a motorbike to get around South Cebu, you may also want to find/hire a habal-habal driver to help you visit Day 2 attractions.
You can find the best hotel deals in Moalboal here.
- Rent equipment or join snorkeling/driving tours (Popular gear and boat rentals/tour providers: Sea Quest Dive Center)
- Beach and Sardine Run
- Return snorkel/driving gears.
- Watch the sunset.
- Dinner and beers
Home rentals and other types of accommodation (i.e., Airbnb) typically allow check-in only after 2:00 pm. This is why I set the arrival time to Badian/Moalboal at 2:00 pm.
However, if you can come early and negotiate with the property owner to let you check-in in the morning—it would be better. You can depart from Cebu City to South Cebu much earlier; leave your luggage in the rooms and enjoy more time watching the sardine run.
If you have this spare time, you can join a boat and diving tour to Pescador Island, where even more spectacular marine life awaits. You can check the tour below for more information.
Day 2 — Badian: Osmeña Peak & Canyoneering
I suggest sleeping early on your first night in South Cebu. Because the second day of this South Cebu itinerary will be an all-out adventure!
Also, the day’s gonna start very early.
On the second day in South Cebu, we aim to catch the sunrise from the top of Cebu Island called Osmeña Peak. Going to Osmeña Peak involves a very short and easy hike that you can finish within 30 minutes.
I recommend bringing a packed breakfast to Osmeña Peak. The panoramic views from Osmeña peak are perfect for one lovely, Instagrammable picnic.
After watching the sunrise from Osmeña Peak, you’ll proceed to Kawasan Falls and Canyoneering Adventure.
Osmeña peak and Kawasan Falls are both located in Badian. This is why it is logical to have these adventures on the same day.
That’s what we did.
- Wake up and prepare to leave your hostel/hotel.
- Eat something before you leave.
- Proceed to the Osmeña Peak hike trailhead.
If you’re from Moalboal, it may take 1.5 to 2 hours to reach the Osmeña Peak hike trailhead. You can use Google Maps to lead you to the hike trailhead to Osmeña Peak.
However, you must download the map before going. This is for you to see your location (and not get lost) even in other parts of the road to Osmeña peak that have no cellular connection.
For travelers using motorbikes: Be extra careful if you plan to use motorbikes to get to the trailhead of the hike to Osmeña Peak.
The road is inclined, curvy, and dark, with only a few street lamps, and you can encounter many potholes. I’m not sure if the road condition has improved, but still… you really have to slow down when reaching the mountainous part.
It would be better if you could find, ask, and hire a habal-habal driver who is already familiar with the road to Osmeña Peak as soon as you arrive in Moalboal… Locals (i.e., motorbike rental owners) can often refer you to a habal-habal driver.
- Arrival at Osmeña Peak hike trailhead
- Sign up and register for the hike.
- Start the hike!
- Enjoy the summit and the panoramic view.
- Take pictures and feel the morning breeze.
- Breakfast and picnic time.
- Depart from Osmeña Peak hike trailhead
- Start the hike and canyoneering to Kawasan Falls.
You can find many local companies (in Badian) offering canyoneering tours. Some of them can be contacted through their Facebook pages. Just search “Canyoneering Kawasan Falls Tours” on Facebook.
Contact these local companies several days before your actual trip to South Cebu. Make sure you pick the tour that ends in Kawasan Falls.
Typically, the more you are in a group, the lower the price/pax you will pay. It would be better if you could find a group to join with! You may also make new friends.
By the way, bring pocket money so you can buy barbeque and hotdogs from vendors in the middle of the canyon!
- Late lunch near Kawasan Falls
- CR break/change clothes
If you want a trustable service to conveniently bring you to Osmeña Peak and organize your Kawasan Canyoneering Adventure, check out the links below:
These tours will not follow the hours in the itinerary I set for Day 2. But, rest assured, it’ll be all convenient.
However, if you can wake up early, hire a driver, and find a good deal of canyoneering tours from local companies—in that case, follow this itinerary for your second day in South Cebu (I strongly recommend it).
For me, it is much better to begin your canyoneering adventure by 9:00 am so you may avoid a considerable number of tourists.
While there are only a few people in the canyon, you can run and jump off the cliff into the turquoise water several times without falling and waiting in line.
It’s absolute fun!
That said, it is necessary to eat your breakfast in Osmeña Peak. It will enable you to start your canyoneering adventure in Kawasan Falls early.
- Back to Moalboal
- Return the motorbike
- Pick up luggage and proceed to Oslob.
Travelers who want to commute: to get to Oslob from Moalboal, first, ride the bus to Bato (ferry terminal). You can find buses returning to Cebu City in the Bato Terminal, passing Oslob (Last trip: 5:30 pm). Hop on that bus and alight in Oslob.
- Arrival at Oslob
- Check-in accommodation in Oslob
- Rest finally! (Sleep early)
I suggest going to Oslob and staying there the night before Day 3 for six reasons.
- Whale Shark watching (the next activity) is only available from 6:00 am to 12:00 pm.
- Whale Shark watching often gets a tremendous amount of tourists. The queue to get your turn can become lengthy after 8:00 am or 9:00 am. Waiting time can reach 1 hour or more (that’s what we have experienced)!
- You should aim to visit and watch the whale sharks around 6:00 to 7:00 am. No long queues, short waiting time and it is not that hot yet. Most importantly, you would not want to fall behind the cut-off limit.
- Tourists who prefer commuting in South Cebu take note of this. It’s nearly impossible/expensive to commute from Moalboal to Oslob very early during the dawn. It seems impossible to achieve #3 if you’ll be coming from Moalboal without a private vehicle.
- While we were in the whale shark watching waiting area, we only found very few luggage storage lockers in Oslob (whale shark watching area). You can’t bring your bags to the boat while watching whale sharks. Where you can store your luggage can be a problem if you commute or don’t have accommodation in Oslob.
- If you are already in your hotel in Oslob on the morning of Day 3, you can achieve #3, and you won’t have the problem stated in #5.
Click here to see all the best hotel deals in Oslob.
Important. The tours to Kawasan Falls and Osmeña Peak I linked previously typically finish late in the afternoon. The tour coordinators can only bring you back to your accommodation on or after 6:00 pm if you join.
By that hour (or later), it can already be challenging to catch bus rides to Oslob from Moalboal. I contacted my friends who frequently visit Cebu, and they have the same opinion.
This is why I would only suggest that you only avail the tour if:
- You have a private vehicle; Or
- You found a group/other travelers you can share the cost for private transportation to Oslob from Moalboal after the canyoneering adventure in Kawasan Falls—this can be the best solution.
- You are willing to charter a taxi which I would not recommend because it will be costly, considering the distance from Moalboal to Oslob.
Day 3 — Oslob: Whale Shark & Sumilon Island
Day 3 of this South Cebu itinerary focuses on visiting the attractions in the southeastern portion of Cebu, particularly in Oslob. You’ll see the amazing Whale Shark and stunning white sand of Sumilon Island.
You can effortlessly conduct Day 3 using the tour below:
If you want it DIY, follow the itinerary I prepared below.
- Wake up
Since Oslob is in the southeastern part of Cebu, you may watch a beautiful sunrise from the beaches. You can find cafes along the road where you can already see a panoramic view of the sea. Some are already open after 5:00 am.
- Whale Shark watching
- Take a bath
- Change clothes
- Go to Bluewater Sumilon Island Resort Port and get a boat ride to Sumilon Island.
Tip: Locals may offer you a private boat ride to Sumilon Island. But I suggest a cheaper alternative where you can join other tourists on a boat to Sumilon Island.
Sumilon Bluewater resort offers a day tour, including a boat tour from Oslob to Sumilon. Learn more or book from their official website.
- Arrival at Sumilon Island
- Enjoy Sand bar
- Day tour
- Picture taking
Also, guests can enter Sumilon Island’s private property with a day tour. Walk-in is possible, but the number of participants per day is limited. Again, it’s better to come early! Learn more about Sumilon Bluewater resort from their FAQ page.
- Boat ride returning to Oslob
- Return to Cebu City.
Optional Day — Cebu City
Whether you plan to visit northern or southern Cebu, Cebu City must always be included in your itinerary. It has urban adventure, giant malls, cultural heritage sites, vibrant culture, nightlife, and even nature spots!
Also, if you’re looking for pasalubong, Cebu City has many shops where you can buy affordable treats for family members at home. You can try Cebu Lechon, Cebu dried fish and squid, dried mangoes, etc.
If you have spare time, you can add this optional day (Day 4) after Day 3. But remember, you can also explore Cebu City before you start your adventures in South Cebu.
Considering that you can extend your trip to Cebu or South Cebu to four days, here’s what I can suggest:
- If your first day in Cebu falls on a Saturday, have the Cebu City tour on a Saturday.
- Else, if your last day in Cebu falls on a Sunday, have the Cebu City tour on a Sunday.
- Else, have it whenever you want.
What’s our goal here? Spend most part of your trip to South Cebu on weekdays. Undoubtedly, your adventures in South Cebu would be more enjoyable if fewer people were at the attractions.
At the same time, we want photobomber-free photos, right? Haha!
Anyway, I assume you would spend half of your day on Day 4 on departure/arrival activities (i.e., Flight, Ferry to/from Bohol, buying souvenirs, pasalubong, etc.)
Obviously, and with all that I said, this Optional Day (Day 4) can be done in two ways:
- Cebu City tour then 3-Day South Cebu
- 3-Day South Cebu then Cebu City tour
Cebu City Tour + 3-Day South Cebu
- Arrival at Cebu City
- Lunch in Lechon House
Lechon House is a top-rated foodie destination in Cebu. It can be filled with travelers and foodies desiring to taste Cebu’s famous dish, Cebu Lechon, during lunchtime. It would be better to make reservations (contact them through their Facebook Page)
Within Metro Cebu, you can find 3 Lechon House restaurants.
- Temple of Leah
- Take photos
- Eat Ice Cream
- Sirao Flower Farm
- Picture Taking
- Cebu Tops Lookout
- Watch Sunset
- Dinner and Beers in Top of Cebu or La Vie in the Sky.
La Vie in the Sky opens at 9:00 am. The food can be a bit pricey. Yet, the view while eating is breathtaking! The interiors are Instagrammable too.
3-Day South Cebu + Cebu City Tour
- Breakfast in the hotel
- Sirao Flower Farm
- Picture Taking
- Cebu Tops Lookout
- Enjoy the view
- La Vie in the Sky
- Temple of Leah
- Take pictures
- Lechon House
The Temple of Leah, Cebu Tops Lookout, and Sirao Flower Farm are located near each other. They are perched in the mountainous part of the city, where you can see an overlooking view of the entire Cebu metropolis.
To get around Cebu City, you can use Grab (South East Asia’s version of Uber). The last time I checked, Grab lets you hire motorcycle taxis which cost less than a ride on a 4-wheeled vehicle. Angkas is an alternative to Grab’s motorcycle ride-hailing service.
If you are traveling in a small group, I recommend chartering a car (with a driver).
It’s absolutely convenient. You won’t worry about gas, tolls, and parking fees. And, of course, air-conditioned! It’s worth it, especially if you split the payment with your group mates.
7 Unmissable Things To Do in South Cebu
I know the 3-day South Cebu itinerary is information overload.
There might be so much to consider, but don’t let them discourage you! I promise—they are ALL worth it.
The fun and memorable memories you can have in South Cebu are some of the best you can find in the Philippines. If you’re in your 20s or early 30s and want to feel alive, South Cebu won’t let you down!
In this part, I will share my experiences and thoughts about the attractions I mentioned in the 3-day South Cebu itinerary I shared. They should explain why the 7 attractions in the itinerary are unmissable things to do in Cebu or South Cebu.
As far as I can remember, we have visited 15 attractions in Cebu (Cebu City and South Cebu). Seven of these places left a beautiful mark on my heart or impressed me very much.
I arranged the 7 attractions, from the place I like to the one I absolutely love!
1. Sirao Garden, Little Amsterdam
If you are looking for photo opportunities in Cebu, Sirao Flower Garden is the place you are looking for. It’s a scenic attraction, filled with flowers and picturesque structures not common in the Philippines.
And yeah, it can slightly make you feel like it’s not the Philippines at all. Because of the thousands of flowers and windmills, Sirao Garden depicts the character of northwestern Europe.
However, perched on the top of the mountains, I found “Little Amsterdam,” the other name of Sirao Garden, confusing.
Why? Because Amsterdam is located in the Netherlands, in a part of Europe that’s mostly flat. In fact, some parts of the Netherlands lie below sea level.
Nonetheless, Sirao Flower Garden still captivated me with its overall refreshing appearance. You should not doubt it because I think it was primarily made to become an Instagrammable attraction.
We visited Sirao Flower Garden early in the morning. The warmth of the rising sun, the cold and fresh breeze, and blooming flowers in all colors gave me some kind of detoxifying experience.
For me, that’s the best part, which is also the reason why Sirao Flower Garden is an unmissable attraction in Cebu.
Sirao Flower Garden looks so pretty that it can be a prenup setting for couples. Actually, when I visited the Garden, I was with a couple friends.
And, guess what, they made me their photographer! It was not bad at all. I enjoyed it in a way.
If you’re traveling as a couple or an influencer, you can find many spots in Sirao Flower Garden where you can take photos. You can go to the top of the concrete palm, enter inside the spirit nest, ride swings, or simply pose beside the windmill.
Remember that Sirao is a barangay in Cebu, and it has several flower gardens aside from “Little Amsterdam.” Don’t be confused about which is the “original” and which you must visit.
You can check the Facebook Page of Sirao Garden – Little Amsterdam for more details like visiting information and announcements. (Their websites are no longer functional).
2. Cebu Tops Lookout
Beside barangay Sirao is barangay Busay, where you can find Cebu Tops Lookout. It is another attraction in Cebu, unmissable for its breathtaking overlooking view of the city and picturesque resto-bar (La Vie in the Sky).
Cebu Tops Lookout, or simply Tops, is a fort-like vantage point of Cebu City perched on the peak of Mount Busay.
If there’s another place that Tops reminds me of, it’s Hong Kong’s Victoria Peak. Both of them let you see a view of the forest, city, and sea.
It was very early in the morning when we visited Tops. What was my first impression of Tops? Idyllic (for two reasons).
First, the view (at least during our visit) is really remarkable. My visit to Tops made me feel like I was flying, with the clouds aligned to my eye level. I was delighted because the weather was pleasant that day.
Although it does not happen all the time, my second reason is the Yoga session in Tops.
There was a Yoga session happening during our visit to Tops. And, the background music they were using during their medication made me feel like I’m in a place that’s heaven on earth.
As I walked around the view deck, I heard drum beats that sounded extremely therapeutic.
I’m not sure, but I think it was Dawata Wellness who conducted a Yoga session at that time.
That said, it was the atmosphere in Tops that made me say that it’s an unmissable place in Cebu.
But how about when it is not morning… and there’s no Yoga session? Well, it’s where La Vie in the Sky comes into the picture. To be frank, La Vie in the Sky can actually be the main reason why you’d come to Tops!
La Vie in the Sky is an elegant resto bar a few steps from Tops. And, you should be able to reach La Vie in the Sky first if you’re from Sirao Garden going to Tops.
La Vie in the Sky feels so French. They serve French bread with wine. They also have pizza, pasta, gelato, waffles, and Yakitori on their menu. You can learn more from their Instagram account below:
3. Osmeña Peak
I will always say this travel gospel to anyone asking if they should go to Cebu or not—Cebu island is a worth visiting place because it’s an all-in-one destination. Whether it is the beach, canyon, city, or mountains you like to visit, Cebu got them all for you!
Speaking of mountains, do you know where the highest point in Cebu is? It’s no other than Osmeña Peak.
Osmeña Peak is an unmissable place in the South because it is where you can see an otherworldly mountain top filled with craggy small pointy peaks. Limestone rock formations and an overlooking view of Moalboal also await you there.
Other peaks in Osmeña Peak have a smoother appearance, which looks a bit similar to the Chocolate Hills in Bohol.
The hike to Osmeña Peak is short, and beginners won’t find any problem aside from the slippery and unfirm rocks on the ground. I found the downhill hike slightly challenging because of these.
You can pitch your tent and camp for the night in Osmeña Peak. During our hike, I saw a few campers near the peak.
Honestly, I think the panorama from Osmeña Peak is pretty unique, but the awe it gives—it’s no match compared to the awe from Mount Pulag’s summit. Here’s my Mount Pulag hiking story and a glimpse of what you can expect on that mountain.
Here’s my guide to Mount Pulag.
You might also want to discover the beautiful attractions around Mount Mayon—the perfect cone-shaped volcano in Albay, Philippines. Believe it or not, Albay also has its own version of Chocolate Hills with Mount Mayon in the backdrop.
Learn more about Mayon Volcano and the attractions near it from here.
4. Sumilon Island
Sumilon Island has a beach, one of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen. I am impressed by the ultra-clear blue water in its stunning white sand bar. Remove the tourists from the scene; it will be a picture of a true paradise.
Absolutely, it is an unmissable place you must visit during your trip to South Cebu.
On a map, you can find Sumilon Island east of the southernmost tip of Cebu Island. It can be accessed from the Bluewater Sumilon Island Port, where you can find motor boats to Sumilon Island. Don’t forget that you can share boats with other tourists to save money.
You can already reach the port by foot (a 15-minute walk) going south from the Whale Shark Watching area.
If you follow the pieces of advice I mentioned in the itinerary (getting to Oslob before Day 3), you will not end up like what happened to us.
Basically, we were only able to spend a short time on Sumilon Island because we spent too much time waiting for our turn in Whale Shark Watching activity. I think it was already lunchtime when we finished watching whale sharks.
So, it was already afternoon when we arrived on Sumilon Island.
And because it was already late, we weren’t able to have Sumilon Bluewater Resort’s day tour.
To give you a perspective, we departed from Moalboal for Oslob around 6:00 am (as far as I can remember). That’s why we arrived in Oslob around 8:30 am. And the Whale Shark Watching waiting area was already filled with tourists by that time!
Although it was a shame that we missed the opportunity to see the whole beauty of Sumilon Island, I think we still enjoyed our visit. As I mentioned in the beginning, it’s like paradise, and the view alone is worth it!
We literally took hundreds of photos on Sumilon Island during our 2-hour visit.
The scenery is just so beautiful that some of us did not even care if it was burning to stay under the sun and take epic Instagrammable shots! HAHA!
5. Oslob Whale Shark Watching
Indeed, we spent more than an hour in the waiting area to see the whale sharks. Was it worth the wait? Oh, yes, absolutely!
If you haven’t seen or haven’t been so close to a marine animal that’s so enormous and so incredible before, the whale sharks in Oslob will be your first genuinely memorable encounter!
By the way, what is a whale shark?
Whale sharks are the largest of any fish alive today and are the largest living nonmammalian vertebrates. On average, they are 12 meters (40 feet) long and can grow larger up to 18 meters (59 feet).
Can you imagine how enormous they are?!
This is why the Whale Shark Watching activity in Oslob is an unmissable thing to do when you visit South Cebu.
The thing is, the whale sharks in Oslob aren’t in a giant aquarium. And you won’t observe them behind unbreakable glass. You’ll behold these gigantic fish while you’re in the sea with them!
It’s so exciting, right?!
There are services that allow scuba diving with whale sharks. But in our case, we had the Whale Shark Watching experience that most tourists want: snorkeling near the whale sharks.
You do not have to bring your own snorkeling gear during the Whale Shark Watching experience. The caretakers/boat tour guides will hand you a snorkeling mask and safety jackets before you go whale shark watching.
But first, the authorities will ask you to register and attend an orientation about whale sharks before the main Whale Shark Watching activity.
The entire Whale Shark Watching activity lasts for 30 minutes. And although it may sound like a blink of an eye, it’s actually more than enough. Within 30 minutes, you can already marvel at 2 to 3 different whale sharks, and watch them swim and eat.
To watch whale sharks from afar is absolute amazement! You’ll see their gills open and close, move their enormous fins to swim, and open their mouth to eat the tiny fish the fishermen throw on the water.
But, it’s a different case when one of these whale sharks comes too close to you, like what happened to me.
When I was in the water, one of the whale sharks opened its freaking colossal mouth only a few meters away from me. I was in a panic! I thought it was going to swallow me alive.
If only I could scream underwater, I would have screamed so loud! LOL. HAHA!
Swiftly, I moved away from the whale shark and immediately crawled up to our boat.
I was gasping while asking our guide if there was already an incident when a whale shark ate a tourist. He replied that whale sharks only chomp fish and small marine animals.
Our guide and I laughed.
6. Moalboal Sardine Run
Growing up in the Philippines, I quickly got used to the sea. I thought every island or beach could only give the same experience: beautiful sunsets, hot sand, peace from the sound of crashing waves, and ecstatic drunk moments.
And yeah, before I visited Cebu, the beach, the sea, and the ocean were no longer my top choices for mere travel. During those years, I would only visit them if I had other reasons, like reunions and other social events.
That all changed when I saw the fantastic, spectacular, and mesmerizing sardine run in Moalboal.
My eyes opened really wide the moment I saw the school of sardines forming different shapes, glowing as beams of sunlight entered the surface of the sea.
I also felt so fascinated when the sardines turned away and made way for the divers to pass through their shoal. Too bad I wasn’t able to smile in amusement as there was the snorkel plugged into my mouth. *LOL*
That time, I realized that I really had no idea how beautiful the seas were. It was a shame I did not know these wonders existed in our country for so long.
I promise you—you’ll enter a whole new world when you go underneath the surface of the sea. This is why Moalboal’s Sardine Run is an unmissable thing to do in South Cebu.
Have you been to the mountains and witnessed the sea of clouds?
If yes, you’d probably have the same feeling of amusement, the level of escapism, or the amount of unforgettableness in watching Moalboal’s Sardine Run.
Aside from the sardine run, you can also find turtles in Moalboal. I saw two turtles during our snorkeling activity. Indeed, they’re another extraordinary marine life that can give you awe as you snorkel or dive in Moalboal.
If you like seeing the most colorful coral reef in your life together with cute little fishes, I suggest you get a boat tour to Pescador Island.
I was also impressed by the beauty of marine life on that island.
7. Kawasan Falls (Canyoneering Adventure)
The sardine run in Moalboal definitely improved my perspective about different travel destinations.
Not only did I start to appreciate the sea more. But also, it was the time when I realized that although places may appear similar, there will always be a unique experience you can have from each.
Frankly, some may even surprise you!
After that day, I promise myself to never underestimate my future destinations. I’ll be more open-minded.
I also decided to always bring a dose of curiosity whenever I travel.
Why? Because it is an ingredient for excitement. Fulfilling your curiosity and learning something new is a way to have fun.
Indeed, traveling has many benefits. In Kawasan Falls and in the Canyoneering Adventure, you can have another: conquering fear and, of course, tremendous fun!
This is why the Canyoneering Adventure to Kawasan Falls is a totally an unmissable experience in South Cebu.
The fun begins in Barangay Sulsogan, Badian, all the way to Kawasan Falls—approximately 5 kilometers in between.
Unlike the canyons and gorges in other touristy parts of the world, there are no metal or wooden pathways in the canyon in Badian. It’ll all be a pure adventure, and you will feel adrenaline flooding your bloodstream during your tour here.
Expect your entire body to move! You’ll scramble, slide, and swim in its turquoise waters.
The most exciting part? It’s during jumping into the water from a cliff.
How high are they? 50 feet (15 meters)! Indeed, it’s absolutely dizzying. But, at the same time, jumping can feel so exhilarating!
Of course, it’s not all a 50-feet high jump. The canyon has three stages, and each stage ends with a jump (15, then 30, and then 50 feet) into the water.
My experience? Well, I totally conquered my fear of heights and fear of falling!
I can imagine how funny I looked a little before and during my first jump. I felt my knees shaking so bad! Haha! I was nervous that I would slip and make myself a big embarrassment.
But, after my first jump, I no longer wanted to stop!
I no longer shake. And every jump, every splash, and every moment I was in mid-air felt so exhilarating!
It felt so damn good!
If you have energetic friends, I urge you to invite them to come with you to this canyoneering adventure. I’m one hundred percent; they’ll make your time in the canyon super fun!
I was with my very enthusiastic friends during our canyoneering adventure. And one of them never missed screaming frantically before they jumped into the water.
I was laughing all the time!
She made my day. It was one of the happiest moments of my life.
If you doubt you can’t do all these adventures (jumping off the cliff into the water), I’m telling you—you can! Because I thought I couldn’t do it too. My friends thought so too. But we made it! So, you can also do it as well. 🙂
So, that’s all! These are my 7 unmissable things to do in South Cebu. I hope you enjoyed reading this post!
I also hope I have helped you plan your trip to South Cebu. 🙂 Happy travels. Live life!
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