Travel Guide To Cebu: Itinerary, Budget, And Tips
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I can't believe that my Cebu trip is finally over! Writing this Cebu travel guide: itinerary, budget and tips, makes me realize that the trip is really over.
It was one heck of an adventure, and I survived it! I'm so proud of myself (except when I didn't jump off the cliff during canyoneering).
Before I start this Cebu travel guide & itinerary, I want you to know that my friend, Michelle, organized everything about this trip.
We stayed in Cebu for 4 days and 3 nights. Since we are a big group - there are 10 of us - we all decided to get a tour package to make this trip more possible without any hassle.
Shout out to Happy Juanderer for arranging most of this trip for us. They are right when they said they are passionate to provide the best travel experience ever. For 2D 1N trip to Cebu, Project #Sursuroy is what you should avail to get a taste of South Cebu.
How to get to Cebu from Manila
The easiest way to go there is by air. You can choose from three different airlines: Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific and Philippine AirAsia. Each airline offers a flexible flight schedule; there are more than 30 flights per day.
If you don't want to travel by air, you may travel by sea via 2GO Travel. Since the total travel time is 21 hours, you would need to book an accommodation which ranges from Php 2,000 to Php 5,000.
Where to stay
During our entire trip to Cebu, we stayed at three different hotels for three different nights. We always move from one place to another; to save time from traveling, we just booked a hotel from different places.
To look for more hotels in Cebu, you may check the hotels in TravelBook.ph. But, here are the hotels that we stayed at during our stay:
- If you are arriving in Cebu early, you could spend the rest of the day touring the city.
- Traffic in Cebu is almost the same in Manila, make sure you leave as early as possible.
- To make the most out of canyoneering activity, arrive early. Also, avoid going on Saturdays.
- At noon, lots of people stay in Kawasan Falls, especially Kawasan Falls 1. You can ride a raft for 30 minutes, and there are 8 rafts available. However, due to the high volume of tourists, we need to wait for 2 hours before our turn. My advice is to have your name listed first, then eat lunch.
- Every start of your water activity, put your change of clothes in a separate bag to make it easier for you to change to dry clothes.
I am so excited to share with you our itinerary in Cebu! I tried to make it short as much as possible, but I failed it seems! If you want to see a visual of the itinerary, click this link.
Day 0: Fly to Cebu from Manila
7:20 PM: Departure
We left Manila a little bit later since our flight was delayed. Expect that flights can be delayed, so make sure you'll bring something that will keep you entertained.
Also, always give a 1 to 2-hour allowance after your expected arrival time. So you could make up for the unexpected delays.
8:25 PM: Arrival
The flight to Cebu wasn't that long. It only took us almost an hour from Manila to Cebu.
As soon as you leave the airport, people are going to approach and offer you a ride to your hotel using a van. The guy offered us Php 1,000 for the service. We declined his offer since we find it a bit expensive.
We didn't find any cabs around that time, so we booked via Uber or Grab.
9:45 PM: Check-in at Allson's Inn
10:00 PM: Dinner
Guess where we had our first dinner in Cebu? Jollibee! We tried looking for any restaurants around, but Jollibee is the closest so we ate there.
There was a bakery that's still open during that time. I recommend that you buy breads so you could have something to eat while travelling.
11:00 PM: Back to the hotel and time to sleep
Day 1: Canyoneering, Kawasan Falls and Moalboal Island Hopping
3:00 AM: Wake up time
I already took a shower before sleeping, so I have so much time to prepare for this day's activity: CANYONEERING.
If you are scared of jumping off a cliff like me, the thought of it will keep you awake already!
4:00 AM: Check-out of the hotel / ETD to Badian, Cebu
Badian, Cebu is approximately 115 KM from the city. Travel time will usually take 3 to 3 and a half hours depending on the traffic; this could be a perfect time to rest.
Also, grab something to eat and make sure you are fully rested!
I also recommend that you wear your swimwear before arriving.
6:30 AM: Arrival at Badian, Cebu
The advantage of leaving early in the morning is there's no traffic!
This is it! C-A-N-Y-O-N-E-E-R-I-N-G!
Why did I even go here?
It is our first activity for the day. All our bags and stuff are left inside the van. Before riding habal-habal, we need to prepare ourselves: helmet, aqua shoes/rubber shoes* and life vest!
Bring some cash so you can buy food. There's a barbeque area halfway.
* If you chose not to bring any shoes, you may rent for Php 50. Slippers are definitely not recommended.
7:00 AM: Canyoneering activity and Kawasan Falls
There's a habal-habal ride to the starting point of canyoneering. 2 passengers per ride, so make sure you ask your crush to ride with you beforehand! 😜
This is the most challenging activity I've had in my entire life! I may find it challenging, and you may not. It depends on the person - but, make sure that you are prepared physically!
Before we start our canyoneering adventure
This activity lasts about 5 to 6 hours including lunch. Don't worry, just take your time and enjoy it! We were the first group to arrive, so it really feels like the entire place is ours. Be there as early as possible.
12:45 PM: Departure to Moalboal, Cebu
1:15 PM: Moalboal Island Hopping
We first went to Pescador Island, 10 to 20 minutes boat ride from the shore. I didn't snorkel, but you can see different marine species and corals when you snorkel.
Next is sea turtle watching. Unfortunately, there was only one turtle in the area. But, my friend was able to take a picture of it! I'm so excited to show it to you.
Lastly, the sardines run. There are lots, and lots, and lots of sardines! I remember our tour guide in Badian told us to bring rice since there are several sardines that we can eat!
4:00 PM: Check-in at Marina Village Resort
7:30 PM: Dinner at The Pleasure Principle Resto-bar
Day 2: Oslob Whale Shark Watching, Cuartel, Osmeña Peak
3:00 AM: Wake up time
To be honest, waking up at 3 AM for 2 consecutive days is tiring. I long for the bed, but my adventurous self always takes over.
4:00 AM: Check-out of the hotel / ETD to Oslob, Cebu
I was asleep the entire trip, but it was raining when I woke up! I was worried because I thought it will not stop, and we have to postpone our whale shark watching activity.
Luckily, it stopped raining as soon as we arrived at Oslob. Yay!
5:45 AM: Arrival at Brgy. Tan-awan, Oslob
I am already having mixed feelings. I know how exciting it is to see a whale shark in person, but its size scares me!
Take note, though, we arrived at 5:45 AM but there are already lots of people in the waiting area. I thought we were the first group to arrive.
6:00 AM: Briefing regarding whale shark watching
You are required to listen and pay attention to the briefing. Important notes are discussed during this time, and if you have any questions, you may raise it to the speaker.
It didn't take long before we ride the boat; our group was 9th in line. Life vests are given to us one by one. If you want to swim without a life vest, you may do so!
Unfortunately, the total time of the activity is 30 minutes only. It seems short but they need to accommodate more tourists.
7:20 AM: Bask under the sun at Sumilon Island
The sandbar at Sumilon Island is one of the most-visited island in Cebu. It gets crowded even on a weekday. Also, to enjoy the sandbar, arrive early.
We are so lucky on this day because we can still see a good portion of the sandbar.
10:00 AM: Lunch and shower
We went back to whale shark orientation area to have our lunch first before showering.
We were told that Oslob is experiencing shortage of water. So, shower may not be available. We were fortunate because all of us were able to take a shower.
11:40 AM: Departure to Cuartel / Tumalog Falls
Either we will go to Tumalog Falls or Cuartel. We all chose Cuartel because we want to have a break from water activities.
12:00 PM: Arrival at Cuartel
Cuartel, an unfinished building made of coral blocks, is part of Oslob heritage park.
I prefer visiting these kind of places because of its historical background. I feel like I'm having a trip down memory lane.
12:20 PM: Departure to Osmeña Peak
1:00 PM: Arrival at Dalaguete
Prepare for a 30-minutes motorcycle ride to Osmeña peak trail head.
1:30 PM: Osmeña Peak
Hiking to Osmeña peak will take about 20 to 30 minutes, depending on your pace. I don't exercise nor hike, but I find it easy to hike here.
The only problem is if you are scared of heights! The wind scares me the most because it feels like it's going to blow me away.
3:30 PM: Travel back to Cebu city
5:45 PM: Check-in at Crown Regency Hotel & Towers
7:00 PM: Dinner at Larsian
I always read from several blogs that it's a-must to eat at Larsian located in the city. It is a barbecue eatery, and has about 30 stalls.
11:00 PM: Whole body massage at Thai Boran
A perfect way to end this day - whole body massage!
Day 3: Cebu city tour, departure from Cebu to Manila
7:00 - 10:00 AM: Breakfast at hotel
Since it is our last day in Cebu, we all planned this day to be the most chill day.
12:20 PM: Check-out of the hotel
12:40 PM: Cebu city tour / buy pasalubong
It's easier to DIY when touring the city. Aside from that, it's cheaper too!
I talked to our grab driver; he told us that the package for a city tour usually cost around Php 1,800 per person.
As for your pasalubong, don't forget to drop by Shamrock and Tabo-an market.
4:00 PM: Late lunch at Rico's Lechon
9:00 PM: Fly back to Manila
Tips on how to save more
- Look out for promo fares. Cebu Pacific and AirAsia always have seat sale. Traveling to Cebu is fairly cheap.
- Maximize your hotel / hostel room. It's always cheaper to book in group.
- Try to DIY if you want to see some tourist spots in Cebu.
- Commuting in Cebu is somehow complicated. Ask around and commute like the locals.
- If you prefer cab, always check out if Uber / Grab has a promo.
- When purchasing a tour package, compare different packages from different agencies.
- Avoid unnecessary expenses
To be honest, I want to talk more about this trip! It was also the same time last year when the same group of friends went on a trip. I guess we could make this our tradition, right? Travelling with friends is indeed fun.
I'll be posting a more detailed description of what we did day by day in Cebu. So, wait for it! I hope you enjoyed reading this travel guide & Cebu itinerary.
Have you been to Cebu? What are your favorite places in Cebu? If you have any questions, feel free to ask them! 😊