If you’re an adventurous traveller there are loads of exciting things to do on Cebu Island, you’ll love it! The natural world is at its most beautiful in the Philippines and the locals are always delighted to share it with you.
Canyoneering in Kawasan Falls
Canyoneering is a thrilling activity that involves swimming, scrambling, hiking, and climbing. Tour companies in Cebu City offer day trips to Kawasan Falls that will provide an eager group of adrenaline junkies with an experienced guide and safety gear.
This river-walking escapade, through the stunning canyons that lead to Kawasan Falls, is one of the best in the world. When you look up from the swirling water for a moment’s rest you’ll be awe-struck by your incredible surroundings.
You’ll kit up in the jungle, say an excited ‘Hello’ to your friendly river guide, and then splash into azure blue water to start having fun.
Canyoneering here is an intense, but safe, experience that lasts approximately two hours depending on how brave you all are. The journey culminates in an optional but exhilarating jump from the top of the waterfall into the plunge pool below.
> Book your Kawasan Falls Full-Day Luxury Canyoneering Tour
> RELATED ARTICLE: GORGEOUS WATERFALLS IN LAOS
Take a tour of Cebu city
Cebu City is a bustling metropolis with warm, cheerful people who are always happy to chat. It’s not exactly a pretty town but the capital of the Southern Philippines is interesting to explore and there are many small areas of beauty, history, and culture. The ornate 16th-century Spanish colonial buildings, street food stalls selling Filipino delicacies, and the buzzing bars are fabulous places to discover.
The city is the home of the oldest Catholic Church in the Philippines, Basilica del Santo Nino. It’s a beautiful old building with gorgeous archways and ancient artwork that date back to 1565. It still thrums with the energy of the families who come here to worship and enjoy welcome tourists into their church.
Colon Street has an unassuming appearance, at first look, it seems like a dilapidated and dull shopping area. Travel should teach us not to judge too quickly. On Colon Street that is very true! Life is colourful, the stallholders are always thrilled to see you and the food is mouth-watering.
Most tourists will fly into the international airport in Cebu City so will spend at least a day here before moving on. We recommend booking a city tour with a guide. They tell the best stories and will help you find the city’s treasures while avoiding the notoriously horrendous traffic.
Book your City Tour of Cebu City
Visit the Temple of Leah
The Temple of Leah is a magnificent example of architecture and art. It is an opulent temple complex that was inspired by ancient Greece and is known as Cebu’s Taj Mahal.
The temple is a shrine to the late Leah Albino-Adarna, the beloved wife of Teodorico Soriano Adarna, a wealthy business from Cebu City. This devoted couple was married for 53 years and the temple is an extravagant expression of his eternal love.
The temple houses Leah’s treasured collections of art and there are many impressive replicas of ancient Greek statues and fountains, fierce gladiators guard doorways and majestic lions prowl the corridors. Walking up the wide steps into the lobby will bring you face to face with a 10-foot statue of the remarkable lady who inspired such undying love.
See Simala Shrine
Simala Shrine is a Catholic Church with the stunning looks of a European-style castle. It was constructed in 1998 by Marian monks who intended to use it as a place of worship, a home and somewhere to grow food.
Sadly, an infectious disease hit the monastery and the residents prayed fervently to the Virgin Mary for help in the form of a miracle. The community survived and, since then, Simala Shrine has been a place of pilgrimage for devotees hoping for their own intercession from the Blessed Virgin Mary. Touching stories of the lives and personal miracles of pilgrims are kept at the shrine’s exit.
Swim with whale sharks in Oslob
Swimming with the whale sharks in the seas around Oslob is an incredible experience and one of the most popular day trips on the island. The sharks are mesmerising and graceful beasts that will leave you awe-struck.
There are some people who disagree with the use of these gentle giants as a tourist attraction. However, the operation is closely monitored by scientists and naturalists, and suggestions for best practice are listened to by the boat trip staff.
Hike to Osmena Peak
Osmena Peak is a mountain that is 90-minute road trip away from the town of Alegria. Hiring a motorbike is the best way to travel despite the rough roads.
The hike to the summit from the entrance gate is just 20 minutes long but make sure you’re wearing sturdy shoes!
Many intrepid, early rising travellers get up at 4 am and try to reach the top of Osmena Peak by sunrise. Whenever you arrive, the panoramic vista from the top is totally worth the climb. Rugged cliffs, lush green hills, and the bright blue ocean stretch out below your feet and will take your breath away.
> Book your Osmeña Peak and Kawasan Falls Tour
Snorkel with sardines in Maolboal
I adore snorkelling! It’s such a calming experience to become part of the ocean for a short while. There’s no need to rent a boat. Hire a good quality kit from the beach vendors for $5 and you’re all set.
The best part of snorkelling in the clear seas around Maolboal is mingling with the sardine balls. These tiny fish congregate in their thousands and dance, it’s fantastic to see! Happily, the show can be watched from the surface about thirty metres from the beach so even nervous swimmers can enjoy it.
You might even bump into a sea turtle as you float peacefully along. Stay still if they come near and these amazing creatures will be content to just let you observe them.
PLANNING YOUR PERFECT CEBU TRIP
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