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South Cebu Adventure: Travel Guide and Itinerary

Tara sa Cebu!

There are a lot of attractions and activities to do in Southern Cebu that you surely want to see and try. From chasing some waterfalls, swimming with the gentle giants, beach bumming in white-sand beaches, to canyoneering, this trip will surely satisfy the adventurer in you.
Kawasan Falls, Badian Cebu

How to get there

There are several ways to get to the towns of Southern Cebu. There are bus lines and vans that can take you from Cebu City to the towns of Southern Cebu. South Cebu is also accessible in some nearby provinces like Negros Oriental and Bohol.
Mactan-Cebu International Airport

FROM MANILA
The fastest and most convenient way to get to Cebu would be by air. The travel time from NAIA to Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) is around 45 minutes. There are also ferries that can take you to Cebu from Manila but for longer travel time.


  • By air, PAL, Cebu Pacific, CebGo and AirAsia have Manila to Cebu flights. Cebu Pacific and AirAsia usually have promo flights that are cheaper.
  • By sea, If you don't like flying, you can take a ferry from Manila to Cebu for a 22-hour travel time. You can check 2Go Travel for pricing and schedules.
  • Once you reach Cebu, go to South Bus Terminal and ride a bus bound to Bato the last stop for all the buses going South. There are two routes the buses take. Take via Barili route if you are bound to the towns Barili, Moalboal, Badian, Malabuyoc, Ginatilan and Samboan and via Lilo-an for Oslob.
Tagbilaran Port

FROM BOHOL
Cebu is also accessible from neighboring province Bohol by regular ferries and fast crafts.

  • Go to Tagbilaran City Tourist Port to ride either a regular ferry or a fast craft. The travel time for regular ferries is around 5-6 hours while fast crafts are only 2 hours but it's much expensive.
  • See directions above for bus ride in South Bus Terminal going to Southern Cebu
Dumaguete is seen in Bato

FROM NEGROS ORIENTAL
The southernmost town of Cebu is Santander. From there, you can see the island of Negros Oriental. You can reach Santander from Negros Oriental by fast crafts and even pump boats.

  • Go to Sibulan Port in Sibulan and ride a ferry going to Lilo-an Port in Santander. Travel time is around 30 minutes.
  • From Santander ride a tricycle going to Ceres bus terminal in Bato. From there you can ride a bus to the southern towns.


Where to Stay

Most of the towns in Southern Cebu are coastal towns so you will find a lot of resorts and accommodations where you can stay. Here are some places you can stay in each town.

MOALBOAL


BADIAN
  • La Playa Resort (Matutinao): +63 932 475-1194 / +63 927 808-0972 (Recommended)
    La Playa Resort in Matutinao, Badian

GINATILAN

SAMBOAN
  • Villa Isabela (Ponong) : +63 916 370-9104 / +63 921 200-2327 (Recommended)
  • Gorion Beach Resort (Ponong): +63 999 335-7310 / +63 923 603-9238
    View from Villa Isabela, Ponong, Samboan

OSLOB
  • Chateau de Tan-Awan (Tan-Awan) : +63 917 912-7783 / +63 929 785-6976 (Recommended)


Attractions and Activities

There's just a lot of things to do and attractions to see in Southern Cebu, your itinerary will be full and jam-packed. Here are the things you can do and attractions you want to see in Southern Cebu.

  • Chasing Waterfalls - There are a lot of waterfalls in Cebu. Some of it is already developed so it's accessible to go there. Almost all towns in the Southwestern part of Cebu have a waterfall. Probably the most popular among tourists is the Kawasan Falls in Badian and Tumalog Falls in Oslob. But, there are more waterfalls that are worth to see in Southern Cebu like Mantayupan Falls in Barili, Montañeza Falls in Malabuyoc, Inambakan, Kampael, & Bugnawan in Ginatilan and Aguinid, Binalayan (Hidden), & Dao Falls in Samboan and there's more!
    Inambakan Falls, Ginatilan
  • Town Tour/Visit Heritage Sites - Cebu is not only rich in natural wonders but also in heritage structures. Visit the century-old churches in Malabuyoc, Ginatilan and Samboan and some heritage structures in Oslob like the Cuartel, Baluarte and Immaculate Conception Church.
    Heritage Sites in Poblacion, Samboan
  • Whale Shark Watching - Oslob is very known to many tourists and travelers because of the whale sharks. If you want to see and experience swimming with the gentle giants, then this is the place to be. You can read more about whale shark watching in my article here.
    Whales sharks in Tan-awan, Oslob
  • Tour Sumilon Island - Bluewater Sumilon Island is a small private island resort in Oslob. Staying here is quite expensive, ranging from PhP 10,000.00 and up. But you can have a day tour option to explore, or just to relax on the island. It's beautiful sandbar is open to the public, but, you need to hire a boat to get here. You can read more of our day tour experience in this article.
    Sandbar in Bluewater Sumilon Island Resort, Oslob
  • Beach Bumming in Cangcua-Ay - Aside from the whale-sharks, Sumilon Island and Tumalog Falls, there's another spot in Oslob where you can relax and chill after your adventures. A private beach inside Villa Modern Deluxe resort. Read more about this instagram perfect beach in this article.
    Chilling in Cangcua-Ay Beach, Oslob
  • Canyoneering in Badian - This is the most exciting and extreme activity in Southern Cebu. Go downstream canyoneering in Kanla-ob river in Alegria to Kawasan Falls in Badian. This is really a must-try activity that you should experience. You can also go upstream canyoneering if you're up for more challenge. You can read more about downstream canyoneering in this article.
    Downstream canyoneering in Badian
  • Hike to the Highest Peak in Cebu - Watch the sunset or sunrise in Osmeña Peak, the highest peak in the province of Cebu. Osmeña Peak is in Mantalongon, Dalaguete which is considered the summer capital of Cebu. Read more about Osmeña Peak here.
    The highest peak in Cebu
  • Discover Moalboal's Marine Life - The best diving spots are found in Moalboal. Pescador Island on Panagsama Beach is considered a diver's paradise because of its rich marine life. But, If you don't feel to go diving or snorkeling, you can always go beach bumming in the Basdaku White Beach.

Sardines run in Panagsama Beach, Moalboal

Itinerary

4 days won't be enough to fully experience South Cebu. So Here's a 5-day 4-nights itinerary. This itinerary starts from Samboan (chasing waterfalls), then Oslob (whale-shark watching and Sumilon Island tour), then Badian (canyoneering and hike to Osmeña Peak) and then to Moalboal (Pescador Island).

It's quite easy to do this itinerary DIY style, especially if you are a local - you should be comfortable enough hopping around between buses, tricycles and jeepneys to get to wherever you like. Renting a motorbike through your resort in Samboan is also a good option - although it means you'll have to go back there at the end of your trip. If you want to save time by cutting the long hours of driving short, the best idea would be to book a van through a local travel agency in Cebu. This is actually a great solution for families and large groups, since you'll be able to get substantial discounts and also make your life much easier by avoiding the hassle of public transports.

  • Day 1 - Arrival in Cebu
    • 7 AM - ETA Mactan-Cebu International Airport
    • 8 AM - ETD South Bus Terminal (bound to Samboan 4-5 hour ride)
    • 11 AM (Optional) - Stopover Barili for Mantayupan falls
    • 1 PM - Lunch/ Town tour in Samboan/Ginatilan
    • 8 PM - Rest, stay in Samboan
  • Day 2 - Chasing Waterfalls!
  • Day 3 - Whale Sharks and Day Tour in Sumilon Island
    • 4:30 AM - Wake up call
    • 5 AM - ETD Samboan to Oslob (an hour ride via Sunrays bus)
    • 6 AM - ETA Brgy. Tan-awan, whale shark resorts
    • 6:30 AM - Whale shark watching
    • 7 AM - Finish whale shark watching/Breakfast
    • 8 AM - Go to Puerto Sumilon port in Bancogon (5-10 minute tricycle ride)
    • 8:30 AM - ETD Puerto Sumilon to Sumilon Island (15 minutes boat ride)
    • 8:45 AM - Day tour in Sumilon Island Resort
    • 4:30 PM - Last trip of the boat from Sumilon to Bacongon/Go back to Brgy. Tan-awan
    • 6 PM - Rest, stay in Samboan
  • Day 4 - Canyoneering and Hike to Osmeña Peak
    • 5 AM - Wakeup call/Breakfast
    • 6 AM - ETD Oslob to Badian (2-3 hour bus ride)
    • 9 AM - ETA Badian Resort/Gear up for Canyoneering
    • 9:30 AM - Canyoneering in Kawasan Falls (3-4 hours depending on group pace)
    • 12:30 NN - Finish Canyoneering/Lunch in Kawasan Falls
    • 1:00 PM - Back to resort, relax for a bit
    • 2 PM - Ride out to Mantalongon for Osmeña Peak
    • 5:30 PM - Watch sunset in Osmeña Peak
    • 7:30 PM - Back to resort, stay in Badian
  • Day 5 - Moalboal and Going Home :(
    • 6 AM - Wakeup call/Breakfast
    • 6:30 AM - ETD Badian to Moalboal (45 minutes to an hour bus ride)
    • 7:30 AM - ETA Moalboal Resort/Gear up for diving or snorkeling
    • 8:00 AM - Pescador Island and Sardines Run
    • 11 AM - Finish diving or snorkeling
    • 12 NN - Lunch, prepare and pack up
    • 1:00 PM - ETD Moalboal to Cebu (3-hour bus ride, but depends on traffic in the city)
    • 4 PM - ETA Cebu City
    • 4:30 PM (Optional) - Buy Pasalubong

Dipping in a pool in Mainit Spring

Expenses

Here's a breakdown of what it'll cost per day on a 5-day South Cebu Adventure. This only includes expenses that are necessary like fares, food, tour guides, entrance fees and accommodation. Tips and other expenses like "pasalubongs" are not included.

  • Day 1: Cebu and Samboan
    • Taxi Fare (airport to bus terminal): PhP 150 - 200 (it's traffic!)
    • Lunch: PhP 150.00 per person
    • AC Bus Fare (Cebu to Samboan): PhP 182.00 per person
    • AC Room Accommodation (Villa Isabela): PhP 1000.00 per night good for 2 = PhP 500.00
    • Tricycle Fare (resort to town roundtrip): PhP 20.00 per person
    • Dinner: PhP 50 per person (it's really cheap in Cebu)
    • Total: PhP 902.00 (not including the taxi fare)

  • Day 2: Samboan, Ginatilan and Malabuyoc
    • AC Room Accommodation (Villa Isabela): PhP 500.00 for 12 hours stay good for 2 = PhP 250.00
    • Tricycle Fare (resort to town roundtrip): PhP 20.00 per person
    • Breakfast: PhP 75.00 per person
    • Motorcycle Rental (waterfalls tour in Samboan, Ginatilan and Malabuyoc): PhP 500.00 per person
    • Agunid, Binalayan, and Dao Falls entrance fee: PhP 20.00 each waterfall per person = PhP 60.00
    • Lunch: PhP 50.00 per person
    • Mainit Spring Entrance Fee: PhP 20.00 per person
    • Inambakan Falls Entrance Fee: PhP 10.00 per person
    • Dinner: PhP 100.00 per person (We really got hungry after that adventure!)
    • Total: PhP 1085.00

  • Day 3: Oslob
    • Bus Fare (Samboan to Oslob): PhP 50.00 per person
    • Resort Entrance Fee (with locker): PhP 100.00 per person
    • Whale Shark Watching: PhP 600.00 per person
    • Breakfast: PhP 120.00 per person
    • Tricycle Fare (Resort to Bacongon Port): PhP 25.00 per person
    • Sumilon Island Day Tour (with lunch): PhP 1500.00 per person
    • Tricycle Fare (Bacongon Port to Brgy. Tan-awan): PhP 25.00 per person
    • Fan Room Accommodation (Chateau de Tan-Awan): PhP 700.00 per night good for 2 = PhP 350.00
    • Dinner: PhP 120.00 per person
    • Total: PhP 2890.00

  • Day 4: Badian and Dalaguete
    • Breakfast: PhP 120.00 per person
    • Tricycle Fare (Oslob to Bato): PhP 180.00 = PhP 90.00 per person (special trip)
    • Non-AC Bus Fare (Bato to Badian): PhP 62.00 per person
    • Canyoneering + Osmeña Peak Tour: PhP 2000.00 per person
    • Lunch: PhP 100.00 per person
    • Fan Room Accommodation (La Playa Resort): PhP 500.00 per night for 12 hours good for 2 = PhP 250.00
    • Dinner: PhP 60.00 per person
    • Total: PhP 2682.00

  • Day 5: Moalboal and Cebu
    • Breakfast: PhP 75.00 per person
    • AC Bus Fare (Badian to Moalboal): PhP 30.00 per person
    • Tricycle Fare (Moalboal town to Panagsama beach): PhP 100.00 / 2 pax = PhP 50.00
    • Resort Entrance Fee: PhP 75.00 per person
    • Boat Rental for Island Hopping: PhP 1800.00 / 2 pax = PhP 900.00
    • Lunch: PhP 120.00 per person
    • Bus Fare (Moalboal to Cebu): PhP 116.00
    • Total: PhP 1366.00

  • Total Expense: PhP 8,925.00
    What are you waiting for? Let's go!

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Hey there, thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed reading my article and helped you out with some travel tips and ideas. Please do leave a comment if you have some comments or suggestions and I'll gladly answer it. Cheers!

62comments:

  1. Nice Article. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi! Thank you for this article. Do you have the contact number for the boat you have rented during your island hopping in Moalboal? This is the cheapest boat rental I have researched on since others got it at P2500, whereas you got it for only P1800. Thank you very much!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Rubie, sorry I don't have our boatman's number since we just inquired on the actual place and then met him. There are a lot of boatmen offering that price range there :)

      Delete
  3. Nice share po ilan po kasama mo sa tour na ito salamat po

    ReplyDelete
  4. Great writeup. I'm going to use your itinerary when I travel to cebu!

    ReplyDelete
  5. This is so helpful. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Will be following your Samboan itinerary this week. Thank you! -JENN

    ReplyDelete
  7. This is really helpful!!! Thanks a lot! - thepoorchubbyller

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  8. You're all welcome. Glad it helps :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hello! Where did you get the package of canyoneering and Osmena Peak? I'm interested. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi there, We got the package at Highland Adventures PH. You can search their page on Facebook or check their contact details on this article http://www.mikedtravelph.com/2015/07/south-cebu-kawasan-canyoneering.html

      Delete
  10. Your itinerary is so detailed and such an awesome write up! Love it! Thank you for this. :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. hi, from baliri pano papunta samboan?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi there, you can take a bus from Baliri to Samboan.

      Delete
  12. Hi,
    All your posts are so helpful for a foreigner traveling to the Philippines/Cebu.
    I was wondering if you know how I can get from Oslob to Moalboal as I will be skipping out Samboan.


    Please write back to me at sunnytien21@gmail.com (would be highly appreciated)
    Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. can you send to me too? ka_ye08@hotmail.com

      Delete
  13. hi i would like to do badian, oslob and moalboal since i have only a few days in my cebu trip. is this feasible?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi there, It depends on how many days you have on your trip. If you want to have a full experience on those 3, It will need you 3 days. A day for each town :)

      Delete
  14. Good day! This is Paula Bianca Brocka. May I know if you availed package for Oslob (whale shark watching) and Kawasan (Canyoneering)? Or just DIY? Because I'm planning to go in Cebu on July.. Need to budget my money wisely.. Is it okay to get tour package for Oslob-Kawasan? Or just go there within my preferred date without reservation for that kind of adventure? Will someone entertain us? Or need to book? Any suggestions please? Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Paula, we only availed a package tour for the canyoneering. For the whale shark watching, resorts in Oslob accommodates walk in guests and their rates for the whale-shark watching is standard. For the canyoneering, I suggest to try to search tour providers online first so you could have the cheapest option.

      Delete
    2. Thank you so much Sir Mike for your quick reply. May I know where to stay in Oslob? Any suggestion for cheap accomodation? Thank you.

      Delete
    3. Chateau de Tan-Awan is a nice place to stay, it's also cheap. You can check the contact details above :)

      Delete
    4. Thanks Sir Mike. Your article is very informative.. Thumbs up! Great job!

      Delete
    5. You're welcome, glad to help :)

      Delete
  15. hello! your detailed itinerary and expenses are very helpful :) may I just ask the travel from oslob to badian, is Bato the terminal of buses? Also, are there any way to go Bato, the tricycle trip is quite expensive. Are there air-conditioned buses going to Badian? Thank you! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi there, yes Bato is the terminal of Ceres buses. If you're going to Bato from Oslob, you can also take a bus going south along the highway. You will just need to wait for it . For AC buses, I think there are but most common are non-AC so you will need to wait for it.

      Delete
  16. Hi Mike, nice article.:) My friends and I will be going to Cebu this July but we only have two full days to explore Cebu and we wanna maximize it. We're planning to go whale shark watching, any suggestions on where to go next? Thanks. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Maria,

      Thank you :) If you will be going to Oslob for the whale shark watching, you could also drop by Tumalog Falls (but i'm not sure if there's water on it now), Sumilon island sand bar, and Cangcua-Ay Beach. You could also go to Samboan to see some of the waterfalls.

      Delete
  17. Hi, just wanna ask lng po kung anung sinakyan niyo galing sa resort nyo sa la playa papuntang mantalongon para mag Osmeña Peak? Thanks po.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi there, nag habal-habal kami from La Playa to Osmeña Peak. Included sa package na nakuha namin from Highland Adventures.The travel time btw, is around 45-minutes to an hour.

      Delete
  18. Hello Sir Mike! Sobrang ganda po ng Blog ninyo! Congrats! :)This is very useful especially for a solo traveler like me. Ask ko lang po if 1st DAY: Badian, 2nd DAY: Oslob and last 3rd day: Moalboal is feasible.? I will be using your above itinerary Sir. nareshuffle nga lang ng konti. :)

    if feasible po ano po ang sasakyan ko for below;
    1.) from Badian to Oslob
    2.) From Oslob to Moalboal
    3.) from Moalboal to Cebu City

    Thank you in Advance Sir Mike! :)

    -KAYLI

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Kayli, thank you for reading :) In regards to your itinerary, yup that is feasible. From Badian to Oslob, sakay ka na lang ng bus bound to Bato. Last stop non is yung terminal sa Bato, then sakay ka nalang ulit ng bus to Oslob naman. From Oslob to Moalboal naman, sakay ka lang bus bound to Cebu (ask mo na lang yung conductor to drop you off in Moalboal. Then in Moalboal may bus ulit papuntang Cebu. Hope this helps, enjoy your trip!

      Delete
    2. Hello Sir Mike,

      My South Cebu experience was Great!
      As in! paulit ulit ko pong nirereview yung mga pics and video ko
      Salamat po sa ITINERARY nyo SIR
      Nagamit ko po ng sobra!
      Godspeed! : )

      -KAYLI

      Delete
  19. Hi Mike! Quick question here, for how long yung trek to Osmeña Peak? Yun kasi yung plan ko na huling puntahan then after the trek will be going back to the city na kasi ang flight back ko to Manila is early morning the following day. Thanks!

    Btw, your ITI is very useful. This is a big help. Thanks! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, you are welcome :) From the jump-off point, around 15-20 minutes lang. Actually, mas mahaba pa yung travel time from Badian to Dalaguete.

      Delete
  20. Hi can i get ur number just in case n need nmin ung help..kc pupubta kmi ng south cebu tom..1st time lng nmin ndi p nmin alm ung ibang place..can u please send me in my email..chrisdonna01@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  21. Hi. napansin ko kasin everyday lumilipat kayo ng room to stay, so ibig sabihin everyday nyo din dala lahat ng gamit nyo at iniiwan nyo lang sa room pag pay activity?��

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Reilyn, Yup mostly like that, backpack lang naman dala namin para madaling lumipat-lipat. Sa Moalboal lang namin dala lahat since hindi na kami nag-stay doon for the night.

      Delete
  22. Hi sir, naghire po ba kayo ng tour guide for the day 2 IT? Dun po sa mga falls? And sa Osmena Peak? Thank you.

    Your IT is the best among the ITs i have read. Very helpful 😊

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Ceelin, Thanks! :) habal-habal with driver lang yung hi-nire namin to bring us to the waterfalls. Sa each waterfall kasi may guide na naka-assign sa mga guests. Sa Osmena Peak naman, yung driver narin namin yung nag guide sa amin sa peak.

      Delete
  23. Hi! Saan resort nyo po nakuha ung pescador island and sardine run. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Macky, we just inquired from the tricycle drivers along the highway.

      Delete
  24. Hey! How long did it take u from Oslob going to Badian(canyoneering)? We are planning ksi to do a oslob+canyoneering day tour.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Hi Mike! :) Thank you for your detailed itinerary. It is very helpful! I would also like to ask if what resort do you had availed your P1800 pescador island and sardines run. I've checked some other blogs and they say that it cost them P2500. Hope you can help me out with this. Thanks a lot and more power!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi there! We didn't get it at a resort, the tricycle drivers along the road offered it. Unfortunately, I don't have the contact number.

      Delete
  26. Hi Where did you stay in South Cebu, we will be doing North-South kasi. And I have no idea where to stay in South Cebu. And pagkakalapit lang ba sila?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, we stayed in different places on each town which you can check above.

      Delete
  27. hi mike, your blog has inspired my cebu trip. could you maybe arrange my itinerary since you seem very aware of cebu geography. im travelling for full 4D/3N, arriving early at 5am and leaving 9pm on the last day.. i want to do kawasan canyoneering, oslob whale shark, simala and moalboal-snorkeling/sardines run. what would you do in terms of arranging them considering the travelling involved. much appreciated.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Lea, you can check out my itinerary above and just remove the chasing waterfalls part. Happy trip :)

      Delete
  28. Hi! How will we know the bus terminal if we're going to copy your itinerary traveling via commute from point to point? Like the bus terminal from Samboan to Oslob, etc. Thank you

    ReplyDelete
  29. Hi! How will we know the bus terminal if we're going to copy your itinerary traveling via commute from point to point? Like the bus terminal from Samboan to Oslob, etc. Thank you

    ReplyDelete
  30. In la playa. It was recommended by highlandadventure,right?? Do i need to have reservation for that or walk-in will do?

    ReplyDelete
  31. What do you do with your luggage as you move from Samboan to Oslob to Badian to Moalboal?

    ReplyDelete
  32. You can contact below for budget friendly South Cebu Packages
    FB: www.facebook.com/seatosummittravel
    Website: nomadlistadventures.com
    Globe/Viber/ WhatsApp:
    0995 622 9201
    0915 265 3631
    Smart:
    0929 481 6055
    Email:
    nomadlistadventuretours@gmail.com reservation@nomadlistadventures.com

    ReplyDelete
  33. Hello there, Mike - did you try full canyoneering? Is it okay to bring dslr if I go for full canyoneering activity?

    By the way, you've got nice shots, would you mind if I ask for the camera setting? - shutterspeed, ISO, and aperture.

    Thanks for your help.

    - Roy

    ReplyDelete
  34. If you need hassle free travel you can consult us for affordable and customized tour package @ www.areetravel.com / https://www.facebook.com/areetravel/

    ReplyDelete