Cebu 2020: 10 Things to Do For First-Time Visitors

Spend this summer in Cebu!

Sure, jetting off to other countries to experience autumn, winter, and spring is okay — we clearly lost at the weather lottery — but spending summer in the Philippines is something that every Filipino is wired to crave. Cebu is one of the best places in the country to spend the summer. There’s never a shortage of powdery white sand beaches, jungles to explore, waterfalls to take pictures of, and mountains to climb. Here are 10 things to do for first-time visitors who want to make the most out of their Cebu visit.

 

Cebu Ocean Park and Cebu Safari and Adventure Park

 

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The Cebu Ocean Park is a behemoth of an oceanarium; it’s the largest in the Philippines and the first marine park in Visayas and Mindanao. The tanks have a volume of 3.5 cubic meters of salt water that runs 7 meters deep. It features a tank with a 360-degree view, a jungle trek, multi-animal shows, a display of creepy critters, stingray interaction, fish spa, and more.

Cebu Ocean Park is open daily and tickets can be bought at the counter for Php 600 on weekdays and Php 800 on weekends. Check out Cebu Ocean Park’s website for more details.

 

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The Cebu Safari and Adventure Park is another huge attraction in Cebu near the city proper, in fact, it’s the biggest safari in the Philippines. Housing more than 100 species of animals including giraffes and camels, the 170-hectare property is open from Wednesdays to Sundays from 8 AM to 5 PM. A ticket will cost visitors Php 800 each. Check out their website for more details.

 

Sirao Flower Farm

 

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Sirao Flower Garden is dubbed as ‘Little Amsterdam of Cebu’ and, years after it was first opened to the public for almost half a decade ago, it’s still living up to its name. Revel in the fields of red, orange, and yellow flowers that are definitely Instagram-worthy, which is probably why hundreds visit the gardens every day. There is an entrance fee of Php 100 per head.

 

Visit Bantayan beaches and bike around the island

 

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A trip to Bantayan Island is something every Filipino must do at least once in their life. From Cebu City proper, it’s a 2-3 hour trip on land to get to the northern tip of Cebu and then it’s a 1.5-hour ferry trip to the island. Rent huts fronting white-sand beaches, rent a bike for a minimum fee and bike around the island, eat barbeque and halo halo at random restaurants – Bantayan is a paradise, enjoy it.

 

Hike Osmena Peak

 

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The summit of Osmena Peak is best hiked just in time for watching the sun rise over the green jagged mountains dubbed as the twin to Bohol’s Chocolate Hills. From the jump-off point, the summit is an easy 20-25-minute trek. Osmena Peak is the highest point in Cebu and from the city proper, hikers have to take a bus for 3 hours and a habal-habal (motorcycle ride) for about an hour.

Since Osmena Peak is located on the south side of Cebu, you can make it to a half-day tour and hit other tourist spots like the Kawasan Falls.

 

Canyoneering at Kawasan Falls

 

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Kawasan Falls is also in the south of Cebu and is conveniently located near Osmena Peak. From Osmena Peak, you can rent a habal-habal for a fee. Kawasan Falls is famous for its beautiful turquoise clear waters that have captivated many a tourist. Canyoneering means there will be a lot of jumping into pools of water involved, some even from a height of 50 feet. But don’t worry, if your heart is too weak to handle it, you can trek down the jungle too.

 

Spend a day at Sumilon Island

 

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One of the most famous sand bars in the Philippines is found in Sumilon, a 20-minute ride from Oslob. The island is surrounded by clear blue waters where activities like snorkeling, fishing, and paddling are done. If you want to lengthen your stay on this island, book a room at the Sumilon Bluewater Island Resort. Otherwise, you can’t spend the night camping.

 

Sardine run at Moalboal

 

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Brace yourself for the breathtaking sight of thousands of sardines swimming in a large mass. The most famous and must-not-miss activity in Moalboal is snorkeling and snorkeling with the sardines takes the experience to another level.

 

Swim with Whale Sharks at Oslob

 

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Whale sharks are the largest fish in the world, they can grow up to 65 feet long! Despite their scary-sounding name, they are harmless gentle giants. In Cebu, any time is the perfect time to snorkel with these creatures as fishermen make sure they’re well-fed so they don’t really leave the area. Check out Oslob’s official website for more tours and information.

 

Dao Waterfalls

 

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Cebu has its own network of spectacular waterfalls, mostly found on the southern tip of the island, a 3-hour ride from Cebu City proper. The 30-minute trek to Dao Falls follows a river trail of turquoise waters snaking between a canyon, the reward at the end is the picturesque Dao Falls. This place is hailed as one of the prettiest waterfalls in Cebu and it isn’t as crowded as Kawasan Falls so you’ll enjoy here too.

 

Montpellier Waterfall, Alegria, Cebu

 

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For those who want adventure without the crowds, Dao Falls and Kawasan Falls might not be the ideal place to go. Sure, they’re breathtaking and the waters glow blue but Montpellier Waterfall in Alegria, Cebu could compete with them – minus the crowd. This waterfall is so secluded and unknown that you’ll have trouble looking for it in online maps. The tall waterfalls, literally in the backyard of a few Filipino homes,  fall into a dark turquoise watering hole. You’ll be impressed by how residents have kept the place clean.

 

Do you know any place else in Cebu perfect for first-time visitors?

(Featured image: Piqsels)