About a year ago, I shared with you a short video and a poorly thought of itinerary of a few things that you can do in the South of Cebu. Since I released that video, I’ve made it my life’s mission to improve that entry and give you guys a better list of things you can do while vacationing in the beautiful Queen City of the South. I’ve definitely made an effort to try out new things while traveling, to be more observant and to think of things that you guys will enjoy on your own!
But before anything else, I might need to give you a little backstory- if you’ve never been to Cebu, us locals like to section it out into 4 parts:
- Metro Cebu – the center of Cebu where the general consensus is. This area includes a lot of man-made tourist destinations which may or may not have any historical value on our city but they’re nice to look at and the food is pretty awesome!
- North of Cebu – the north of Cebu basically consist of towns such as Consolacion, Liloan, Compostela, Danao, Carmen, Catmon, Sogod, Borbon, Tabogon & Bogo. While I don’t have much input about that area (for now), I’ll definitely work on them if you guys want me to!
- South of Cebu – the south of Cebu is made up of a bunch of towns namely Talisay, Minganilla, Naga, San Fernando, Carcar, Sibonga, Argao, Dalaguete, Alcoy, Bourbon, Oslob, Sanatander, Ginatilan, Malabuyoc, Alegria, Badian, Moal Boal, Alcantara Ronda, Dumanjug & Barili. It’s huge and if you look at the map (below) it is completely possible for you to pass through each town and end up where you started- this makes travelling super effective and allows you to pass through it without going back and forth.
4. The Mountains of Cebu – Cebu is extremely blessed to be minutes away from the beaches, city and even the mountains. There are lots of things to see and explore in this area and I will most definitely make another list for you guys in the future so we can bring this whole exploring Cebu gig into a full circle.
In this post, we will be discovering the South of Cebu because 1. I have almost mastered the place and 2. I can never get enough of it! I am completely drawn to this provincial area of Cebu as it filled with activities and it is super underrated. Whether you want to climb mountains, go swimming with sea creatures, jump off of waterfalls or simply look at them (but why?)- there is definitely something that you and your friends/ guests can enjoy here so, without further ado, enjoy!
BY CAR. I would highly suggest that you get a car and drive it on your own, if you can. Driving in the south is literally a straight line and with technology, you can Waze your way through anything and anywhere so try Googling the best car rental service for you since you might be on the road for a while (depending on what activities you’re actually considering doing).
BY BUS. Getting around by bus is also pretty simple and does not cost a lot. The problem with using public transportation though is probably having to pattern your trips according to bus schedules but this does not mean it’s impossible. If you’re into that kind of thing, you can check out Ceres’ bus schedules here. Only ride Ceres buses. You’ll understand why when you see it.
First stop: CAR- CAR
I love Car- car. Paolo’s businesses are in Car- car and I spent two years of my life learning to live on my own there. I learned how to cook through a rice cooker, I learned the value of money there and I learned so much about myself in this wonderful land of shoes and chicharon. Honestly, you’re only going to spend a couple of hours there since it’s basically a transient road but it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it! So here’s a quick list of things you can while passing through:
Car-car is known to have made the world’s largest shoe at one point and I am guessing, this town has made a huge profit out of manufacturing shoes for local sellers and retailers. If you’re into shoes and sandals, I highly suggest dropping by the Car- car shoe expo which is an array of shoe stalls in a small compound along the main road. Shoes ranging from P150.00 up and their designs are up to date and pretty sturdy for their price.
My most favorite place in the world to shop is Gaisano Car-car because it’s cheap, the locals hardly shop there (which means I always have dibs on the fashionable items) and IT’S CHEAP! If you’re an avid reader of my blog and vlog, you’ll know I talk about Gaisano Car-car more than I actually should.
2. Taste Car- car’s Famous Lechon.
You cannot simply come to Cebu and not taste our lechon- it’s like a mortal sin. And while I love the vegans/ vegetarians of the world, I still think it’s a mighty shame to miss out of this city’s pride and joy. If you’ve already had lechon in Cebu, Car-car’s lechon is slightly different as it comes with… wait for it… sauce.
Shopping for lechon is an amazing experience in itself as the public market where the lechon can be bought is always filled with colorful personalities and faces. There are no proper places to eat there though so I suggest that you buy the lechon at the public market (near the rotunda), take it across the street to the 711 building, climb to the 3rd floor (Cafe Terraza) and eat your lechon there. All you need to do is order drinks and you’re set!
Second stop: SIBONGA
1. Appreciate the splendor of Simala Shrine
The Philippines is a heavily Christian country which means we are full of beautiful churches and influences. Simala is the biggest and grandest of them all, specifically in Cebu. Now, I’m not particularly religious nor Catholic but I’ve been there a couple of times and you don’t need to be a specific something to appreciate some majestic piece of work!
Third stop: DALAGUETE
1. Climb Cebu’s Highest Peak at Osmeña Peak
Climbing Osmeña peak is probably one of the major things you’d want to accomplish on your trip to the south and there are a lot of things that you should know about it. I’ll be making a separate blog entry about this so make sure to subscribe to this website for more updates!
Fourth stop: OSLOB
1. Whale Shark Watching
I’m sure you’ve heard of it. Honestly, I don’t completely support it so you’re gonna have to hop on over to another blog for more information about this.
2. Check out Tumalog Falls
Fifth stop: SAMBOAN
1. Climb 7 levels of waterfalls at Aguinid Falls
Aguinid falls is a beautiful cluster of waterfalls located in Samboan, Cebu. The drive is far but the fruits of your labor are unlike any other.
Entrance to Aguinid falls is P40.00 but more importantly, your tour guide fee is up to you- note: you will require 2 to guide you through all 7 levels (7 different falls) and they will also assist in carrying your things, ensuring your safety and even taking your photos. I talked to our guide and was disheartened to find out that oftentimes they don’t even get paid by tourists which is literally the ONLY way they make money. I understand our desires to save even when travelling but don’t skimp out where it matters the most, guys.
Next. As I said, there are 7 levels/ falls in the area, each more beautiful than the last. The first 4 levels are ground level whilst the last 3 require you to climb up a chiseled rock wall with a rope as a guide leading up to not only falls but even small pools that you can relax, jump into and climb.
You also need to go between walls & climb boulders all covered with running fresh water which really is an adventure of its own.
Once you’re done, you can help yourself to some local snacks and delicacies offered by the friendly locals who have set up stalls along the area.
2. Cook Yourself Alive
Samboan has the only Kawa Hot Bath in Cebu and I made a separate blog entry about it for you to check out here.
Sixth stop: BADIAN
1. Go Canyoneering
Canyoneering has been around for a while in Cebu with their own certain struggles and controversies over the past years. Whatever you’ve heard, I’ve heard and discussed about on my podcast, Issa Talks. If you want to try it out for yourself, my biggest suggestion would be to get a tour guide- it might cost a little bit more but it’s a small fee to pay for your optimum safety. You can find out more information about my experience there on this blog entry.
2. End up in Kawasan Falls
Prior to my previous entry, canyoneering will take you all the way to the 2nd falls of Kawasan, Cebu’s most popular falls. However, I’ve previously learned that guests are no longer allowed to jump off the 2nd falls so if you want to skip the whole canyoneering experience and go straight to Kawasan, it would be a great place for you and family guests to lounge and perhaps get a massage waterfalls.
Seventh stop: MOAL BOAL
1. Swim with the fishes.
Moal Boal is one of the most beautiful places for diving, aquatic adventures and beautiful sights. I love going back to that place and whenever I need a break from the city or a place to vacation, I instantly bring our guests here. Here are a few things you can do here:
- Go on a sardine run
- Swim with the dolphins and turtles
To find out more information about it, check out this post.
And that’s basically it! There’s probably more to do in the south and I promise to come back and edit this periodically if anything new comes up.
If you find all this information a little bit overwhelming and would like someone to walk you through this, feel free to leave a comment in the section below or you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Pick out what specific activities you’d like to do, how many days you have, your budget (if any) and what you need help with and I’ll help you out! I can help you with your accommodations, transpo and general enjoyment.
I hope you enjoyed this post and that it helps you out in anyway. I truly enjoyed this post and I’m looking forward to filling out the missing entries to help you put everything into place.
Come to Cebu, you will REALLY enjoy it here! I can’t wait to see you!