Beyond Island Hopping, These Are the Outdoor Activities to Try in Cebu
Need an escape?
(SPOT.ph) If months of introversion has got you itching to get into outdoor adventures—like scaling the nearest mountain on foot or on a bike—these activities might be up your alley. It's a good way to rediscover the breathtaking outdoors of Cebu!
Get ready for an adventure! Here are outdoor activities to try in Cebu beyond island hopping:
Hiking and camping
The most accessible hiking destination for those living in the city is Sirao Peak, located in Barangay Sirao. It is among the most popular trails in Cebu thanks to its moderate-level difficulty.
For beginners, the best path to take is the Talamban/Budlaan point. From there, it takes about five hours to reach the peak. Along the way, you get great views with lush-green plains and flowerbeds, not to mention Kabang Waterfalls, where hikers can have a stopover swim and refuel with packed lunches. At the peak, you get one of the most mesmerizing views of Cebu City.
Virtually everybody knows about Osmeña Peak, which is often touted as the best place to start when it comes to trekking. To reach the starting point, you just need to head to South Bus Terminal and hop on a bus en route to Dalaguete, then ride a habal-habal or tricycle for Barangay Mantalungon.
This is best for beginners since the hike to the top can be done in under an hour, depending on the pace. While it may be an easy, leisurely trail, there are lots of picturesque sights that include high cliffs and hills, and plenty of greenery. You can also check out a coastline view of the southwestern coast, where you can make out the islands of Negros and Bohol. It has nice camping spots too, where you can wake up to an awe-inspiring early morning fog and sunrise.
Famous for its “sea of clouds” and grassy hills, Mount Naupa is one of the most beloved hiking trails—and it’s not far away from Cebu City. From South Bus Terminal, take a mini bus bound for Carcar City. Ask the konduktor to drop you off at Sister of Mary School, Minglanilla, near Lolo Tinong’s Bakeshop. From there, ride a habal-habal to Barangay Cogon, Naga City.
The starting point is near the Sto. Niño Church. The trail is well-trodden, so it’s hard to get lost, but you can still ask for a guide. Along the trail, you’ll find a gate which serves as the registration area. The P25 entrance goes to the maintenance of the trail.
You can reach the peak in more or less an hour. While quite a few hikers say that it may not be an easy climb for beginners, it still makes for the best first climb. Mount Naupa is also a good place if you want to go camping because of its serene view of hills and clouds at the peak.
Bushcraft is a term used to describe a collection of skills and knowledge related to the outdoors, such as the forest and wilderness. It is not just about surviving like Bear Grylls, but thriving in it like how the early peoples did.
Among the groups in Cebu offering bushcraft training are Camp Red Bushcraft Survival Guild and Ricky’s Outdoor Adventure and Bushcraft. These courses take on basic wilderness survival and emergency skills, from how to best set up camp in the wilderness to applying first aid, like building improvised stretchers and treating wounds.
Some courses are offered for free, such as compass and map reading, where the participants just need to bring their own gear. Some cost around P1,000, like the wilderness emergency responder programs, which is a two- or three-day training, with a certification given at the end. These workshops are held in the uplands and wilderness of Cebu, where the groups also do outreach and donation drives to mountain communities and schools.
Apollo Grounds, Liloan Route
Since 2020, the cycling culture in Cebu has boomed. It’s becoming a lifestyle—and it’s no surprise since Cebu offers some of the most splendid cycling routes.
For a chill afternoon ride alone or with friends, the Apollo Grounds, Liloan Route is for you. The route is mostly cemented, and there’s not much traffic, especially when you’re riding along the green hills. At the hilltop, there’s a huge open space that has a magnificent view of the Mactan Channel on one side and the amazing mountains of Liloan on the other.
Kalunasan-Guadalupe Hour-Long Loop
Among the best options for first timers to try is the Kalunasan-Guadalupe hour-long loop, which is about 11 kilometers long. Some bikers prefer this route for their early morning rides or when they have only an hour or two to spare. This route is mostly paved, with only a few motorcycles about. It’s an easy route, with a little bit of climb for exercise and with spectacular views to boot. Also, it’s well-shaded by trees, which is why a good number of bikers love this loop.
Manipis Road x Campo 7 Route
Another beautiful spot for newbie bikers is the Manipis Road x Campo 7 Route, located not far in the south. Manipis Road connects Talisay City to Toledo City and runs along the mountainside, which has some exciting twists and turns. Since it’s close to water-shed areas, the route is cool. Bikers also pass alongside a river and man-made forest and reserve in Campo 7, Minglanilla.
Sometimes all you need is a huge adrenaline release triggered by thrill and exhilaration. Canyoneering involves traversing through jungle, canyons, and water—and jumping off a waterfall cliff. Among the best places to do that is in the beautiful southwest of Cebu, specifically in Badian and Alegria.
The two trails cover several kilometers of rocky paths cut by streams and waterfalls, which feature a clear blue color that always shocks those who see it the first time. There are several levels for the waterfall jumping; the maximum allowed is 30 feet. Protective equipment, such as helmets and vests, should be worn at all times, especially during water activities like downstream jumping; slippers are not allowed. Only persons travelling together shall be allowed in a group, with a maximum of five per group with two guides.
The Alegria and Badian canyoneering packages each start at P1,500 per head, inclusive of protective gear and meals. Pre-booking is required.
Due to current restrictions, the Alegria route does not end at Kawasan Falls. However, you can do the two courses in a day as long as you book the two tours, which might be a bit of a hassle. According to travelers, here’s how to do both courses: exit at the end of the Alegria river trail and hike back up to the starting point. After that, go to the Badian briefing center to swap guides and equipment and go back to the canyon and finish at Kawasan Falls.
Beachside camping is very affordable (just bring your own tent!) and requires almost no effort. Spending the night just listening to the wind and waves, lazing and lounging under the sun, doing nothing but letting time pass—it’s no wonder that this is a crowd favorite.
Tingko Beach in Alcoy, White Beach in Moalboal, and Lambug Beach in Badian are perfect spots for this activity. All located in the south of Cebu, these beaches are known for vast stretches of sand and very laid-back vibe. For Tingko Beach and White Beach, there’s an entrance fee of P20. Meanwhile, Lambug Beach asks visitors to pay environmental and user fees: P65 for foreigners, P45 for locals. Students and senior citizens get a discounted rate of P35.
The most isolated and rarely crowded spot of the three is Lambug Beach, as there are no major resorts there. At Tingko Beach and White Beach, you can camp by the beach and try other water activities such as island hopping, off-shore diving, and snorkeling, to mention a few.
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