If you are an outdoor adventure aficionado my residence area of choice “Cebu” should be on your radar, because it is a great spot in the tropics, to experience exhilarating outdoor adventures during your holidays. Don’t hesitate to consider this amazing destination when you plan your holiday trip or even if you want to relocate your domicile to the tropics. Keep Cebu in mind.
Cebu is always worth a trip!
One of the bustling main cities in the Philippines is Cebu City. It’s a vibrant Queen City of South-East Asia that not only boasts of its white sand pristine beaches but also cool and unique nature spots around the island. Cebu is even worth a trip if you live in South-East Asia and plan a quick weekend adventure getaway.
Here below you will find a list of 23 outdoor activities that you can do while staying on the Queen island of South-East Asia:
To me in Cebu, Mactan island is the paradise for aqua sports. Here in Mactan you can find affordable water sport offers ranging from parasailing, that allows you to have an exhilarating view from a height of 300 feet over Mactan island as well as the surrounding islands.
Other fun activities that are proposed go from jet ski to banana boat, wake boarding and knee boarding, canoe kayak but also bandwagon rides as well as water skiing are part of the offerings. For all those who love to have an unforgettable speed thrilling experience, I can highly recommend the speedboat cruises.
100% thrill guaranteed!
This is how paradise looks like! The name of my favorite beach in Cebu is “Bounty Beach” which in my opinion is one of the most spectacular beaches in Cebu or even the entire Philippines for that matter. Bounty beach a lovely stretch of white sandy beach located in the north of Cebu on Malapasqua island which attracts also divers from around the world as the spot is also famous thresher sharks.
Other amazing spots that definitively belong among the top three beaches in Cebu are, “Paradise Beach” on Batayan island as well as the stunning little sandbank of Sumilon island.
“Santiago Bay” on Camotes island leads the best-looking beaches from 4th spot down to number 10. “Bakhaw Beach” is another awesome beach on Camotes island, followed by “Tingko Beach” in Alcoy, as well as Badian island and “White Beach” in Malboal.
“Santa Fe Beaches” and “Virgin Island” both on Batayan island close my top ten most amazing beaches you can visit while being on holiday or on a weekend trip here in Cebu.
As a biking enthusiast you can also come at your expense in Cebu. If you are in the city but you want to escape the pollution, just go up to the hills of Busay and bike all the way to Kan-Irag. The trail of moderate difficulty has it entrance just across Ayala Heights and is best suited for newbies.
The “Vegetable Highway” in Carcar is another trail that allows cross-country riding at its finest while enjoying fresh air and the scenic views make the climbs worthwhile.
This trail route, that starts in Gaas, Balamban and ends in the picturesque spot of “Lake Casuy” in Toledo City, isn’t a trail rout for beginners but much more for adrenaline junkies as you get to experience an all-mountain long trail ride experiencing some cliff side mountain biking.
On the trail from Sibugay to Borbon your technical bike handling skills will be tested more than once during the fast descents. A refreshing diversion will be experienced during the river crossing. This is a difficult trail but worthwhile.
And last but not least is the “Taptap” trail which thanks to Mother Earth is one of the difficult ones with its rock garden and the fast descents offers always a surprise from one ride to another, especially during the rainy season. But to me that’s part of the beauty of this ride!
Although Cebu has no real mountains, but it has plenty of elevations to satisfy every hikers thirst for adventure. Most of these peaks are also great camping spots, but because I will mention those spaces in the country-side during my hiking posts too, so I thought I will just give you a couple of my preferred secluded camping spots around the city.
Chalet Hills is one of these camp sites within the region of Cebu city and is located in sito Babag in the hills of Busay. Just a few minutes away from the popular “Temple of Leah”, Chalet Hills is a perfect getaway and venue for a weekend camping time with family and friends. By looking at the city on a different perspective, the evening ambiance gives you a feeling that there is so much to be thankful for while a soothing refreshing breeze makes it an agreeable experience.
A new one is the Kan-irag Nature Park it is another watershed and nature park situated near the city in the highlands. It was once a bare mountain, but recently due to reforestation with native trees, the area became a functioning watershed and is growing with the years into a nice location to camp near the city.
Worth to visit if you don’t plan to make a long trip to the country-side of Cebu.
An amazing spot to make a thrilling unforgettable canyoning experience in Cebu is Badian. Badian is the starting point for adventurists to travel downstream in canyons down to the Kawasan Falls. These 4 to 5 hours canyoneering experience includes climbing, jumping, hiking and of course swimming is a once in a lifetime experience for adventure seekers. It is a great way to meet local folks and encounter the local lifestyle, who are visiting these crazy turquoise blue water and waterfalls wriggled in wild green jungle feel scenery paired with crazy jump insets, is an amazing experience.
Other nice locations for canyoneering are at “Montaneza Falls” as well as “Tison Falls”.
But whatever destination you choose, to make this electrifying activity a safe one best would be to chose one of the several companies offering canyoneering trips as they know the locations perfectly and you won’t get lost.
So, the only thing left for you is to enjoy the pure fun factor!
For all the explorers who aren’t claustrophobe Cebu offers also a few interesting caving spots in Binuthan, Igotan, Bayukbuk and Salay. The cavetrek I joined was the one at the Igotan Cave in Talisay. Although this cave is noiseless, has a peaceful atmosphere and a slight pathway you have to crawl to pass halfway through an estimated distance of two hundred meters is quite a challenging traverse going to the innermost rocky and slippery terrain.
On your path though you will discover million-year old stalactites and amazing rock formations that probably took thousands of years to form and inside the cave there is a waterfall with majestic crystal-clear waterfall allowing you to take an invigorating rinse inside the cave.
I have to say for me it was an amazingly enjoyable experience inside Mother Earth and I am glad I did it.
I recommend you all if you choose to go on a caving trip do it with a guide to securely enter a cave as we all saw in Thailand what could happen when going on a caving adventure.
Another escapade kick you can look forward to in Cebu is cliff-diving. One spot to jump from is the thirty-meter cliff-dive in Medellin (not in Columbia) at the Funtastic island in Cebu. This is not for everyone but if you are bold enough to try this one, I am sure you have also the guts to surge off from the cliff-jumping spot at Malapascua island which is fifty meters high into the big blue.
I tried out both and I have to say that it is an electrifying challenge to overcome your inner demon. But it is awesome and fun once you jump!
Dolphin and Whale Watching
When it comes to whale watching in Cebu I guess Oslob is the most prominent place where they guarantee that you can see whale sharks and even swim with them. But it just happens because they feed the whales and as a vegan Earthling I condemn this kind of behavior in the sharpest possible way.
To me it is a strict NO GO!
I prefer supporting former fishermen converted in island hopping and dolphin/whale watching tours. They can’t give you a 100% guarantee that you will see whales or dolphins, in the Tanon Strait between Negros Oriental and Cebu, but with a little luck you will have the chance to discover spinner dolphins, bottlenose dolphins, spotted dolphins, short-finned pilot whales and dwarf sperm whales between March and June in their natural milieu. To me this is much more exciting to discover those majestic creatures in their habitat and certainly worth your backing.
If you want to make your first steps in freediving and probe the deep blue in a peaceful way, to discover the splendors of the coral reefs as well as the marine life from another world they call their home, you can book a course with Thibault Guignes the winner of the “Triple Depth” competition. You won’t find a more inspiring instructor to guide you during your first steps in apnea.
Some of the most spectacular apnea drop-offs are available around Cebu and more specially in Malboal, where also professional free-divers meet regularly to train.
After having the occasion to attend such a program, to me apnea is the optimum way to discover marine sanctuaries, so you should give it a try too if you are a maritime adventurist.
In Mactan Cebu offers everybody who wants to go up high and profit from a stunning view from a Helium Balloon. You can experience an exhilarating 360 degree panorama view from up to one hundred fifty meters in the air. It is a spectacular way to oversee Mactan island all the way to Cebu island but you get also a great view to Olango island.
So, if you aren’t beleaguered by fear of heights it is definitely a great way to make awesome panoramic photography’s to remember your trip to the Pearl City of South-East Asia.
Another great challenge about Cebu are the many trekking opportunities this island in the central Philippines has to offer. I count at least over thirty different hiking trails all over the island worth exploring. The big advantage is that you don’t have to travel far from the city to meet the first jump-off points and to conquer the first plateau of one of Cebu’s beautiful mountains. Just a few hours away from civilization you can challenge yourself to be rewarded with a breathtaking view on top of the mountain after half a day of hiking. That’s because Cebu’s mountains are not the highest in the Philippines, but I promise that the views at the peak are always worth the effort.
My preferred trekking trip is to the highest mountain in Cebu which is Osmena Peak! What’s yours?
I will make another post soon about the different peaks you can explore here on the beautiful Tropical island of Cebu.
One of my favorite weekend pass-times, when in Cebu and if the weather is sunny, is island-hopping. In the morning we just go to the Maribago Port and hire one of the reconverted fishermen with his boat for the day to bring us to sandbanks that reveal themselves to us for a few hours every day just like hidden gems of paradise.
Loaded with enough provisions (food and beverages) for the day for us and the crew we embark on the boat and off we go to spend an adventures day on the water, snorkeling in shallow crystal blue waters, discovering little paradisiac islands and visiting coral reefs with fish sanctuaries.
It is always a great adventure and a nice way to make countless memories as you never know what awaits you during these trips. But one thing is for sure, I never had a bad experience during these island-hopping trips, beside we usually just getting ourselves a nice sunburn.
Don’t let this stop you. It is really a fantastic experience.
Jungle And River Trekking
The Kawasan Falls are surrounded by a lush rain forest with a unique flora and fauna that you can reconnoiter beside the canyoneering. But there are also other river treks like the one in Mulao, river of Compostella as well as in Masaba, the river there is worth being sightseen. Carmen is another nice spot to discover if you like to hike.
But one trail next to the city of Cebu is the “Spartan Trail” adventure which is very well known by local mountaineers who are using it for practicing before climbs outside the province. The trail is just located within the city and ends at Barangay Pamutan where you can opt out to pursue different destinations like Bocaue Peak, Tisa or Guadalupe.
You see there is a lot to discover in Cebu for trekking enthusiasts!
Another exciting outdoor activity that will boost your adrenaline levels to new heights and that you can take on in Cebu is “rappelling”. More specifically located in Talisay you will find Campo 4 which is not a military camp but one of the best places offered by the island to practice rappelling by the bridge.
For all those who don’t know rappelling or what it means, it is descending a high inclined or steep structure with a harness using two ropes which are secured above and placed around your body. While descending the pillars of the bridge you have nothing else to grip but the rope and its buckles. Isn’t that exciting? Just like marines train you will experience the same adrenaline spikes while looking straight to the abyss.
A thrill that adrenalin junkies should not miss while in Cebu.
Same goes for rock climbing which is also a nice way to maximize the fun for your dollars. The place I am suggesting here is in Cantabaco, Toledo-City it is simply the rock climber’s mecca in Cebu.
The beautiful marbled limestone cliff is a premier climbing destination and draws in foreign climbers from all around the world as in the Philippines climbing is still a niche sport. There are 60 routes up to the top of the cliff with the difficulty ranging from 5.8 to 5.14. Usually climbers go straight to area 1 but that’s not for me. I am here to have fun and hopefully make it safely to the top to enjoy a beautiful view over a humble rural town at the island of Cebu.
Check it out if you like to go high!
You want to know the best kept secret of the Philippines, indeed of South Ease Asia? A diving spot located in the center of the Coral Triangle, makes each dive a pure delight filled with discoveries, but what makes it really spectacular is the diversity of the marine life which includes thresher sharks, hammerhead sharks and whitetip sharks around a beautiful unspoiled coral garden and much more.
It is my favorite piece of paradise here in the Philippines and I hope it will stay that way for a long time to come. I hope they will resist the inflow of money and preserve the beautiful nature below the surface of the big blue in and around Malapascua island.
My recommendation to visit when you are in Cebu but please be respectful with the environment and don’t waste natural resources to keep this piece of paradise intact.
The huge diversity of my number one scuba diving spot is Malapascua island which includes beside the sharks, a limitless verity of fishes, countless nudibranchs, pygmy seahorses, endless crustacean species and much more as well as unspoiled colorful coral gardens all around the island.
Other of my favorite diving spots around Cebu are Pescador island in Malboal well known if you like to dive within huge sardine schools dancing around you like a ballet but it is also the home for the turtles. The Kansantik dive spot in the Center of the Olango Channel is more for the experienced divers due to its strong current.
Mactan island diving spots are located on its main island as well as on its neighboring islets like Olango, Nalusuan, Amboucuan, and the others. In these dive spots, caves can be seen and several astonishing drop-offs, beside a huge variety of sea creatures like tuna, barracuda and many others can be seen there. Capitancillo island is located in the north of Cebu in Bogo and features colorful corals and his inhabitant reef fish as well as white tip and grey reef sharks.
These are my five favorite dive spots in Cebu. Do you have some to add?
For those who need a mood booster and a joyride the Danasan Eco Adventure Park offers a Sky-bike trail beside many other adventurous excitements. This place is a nice idea for a family trip where everyone finds something fun to try out. Riding a bike high in the air over a small cable on a track over a hundred of meters gives you a strange unusual feeling. Although you know that you can’t fall-down as you are secured by a rope and a harness, riding a bike that way gives you a feel of liberty.
It is actually a fun place to have a good time with family and friends including some adrenaline kicks from time-to-time if you want.
There is another place in Medeillin that offers also a Sky Biking treck if you want to go for it and are in the area.
One of the things on my bucket list was to skydive and oh man was that an adrenaline high when for the first time in my life I jumped out of a plain. Although it was a tandem skydive I have to say it was a memorable experience I will never forget.
My tandem sky-dive took place in Bantayan island which is situated north of Cebu and it was a beautiful canopy descent overlooking the breathtaking island of Bantayan.
A memorable experience that I recommend to everybody should you be on Bantayan island and have the necessary pocket-change at hand – give it a try! You won’t regret the thrilling experience.
Skywalk And Edge Coaster Ride
If you don’t have the chance to go to Bantayan for a skydive experience but you are looking for an adrenaline rush in the City, I might just have the right adventure for you. At the Crown Regency Hotel which is a 40-story hotel tower that offers a majestic view of uptown Cebu and on top offers a Skywalk Extreme which allows you to walk around on glass floor panels and if you are really fearless just take it a step further and sit down at the edge of the panels to enjoy a breathtaking view over uptown Cebu.
Or go for the Edge Coaster which is actually the world’s first of its kind! You are sitting in the coaster at a 45 degree angle inclination looking straight down at the abyss while slowly navigating around the building on the outer rim which takes around four minutes. You can even play around with your own angle controller to make the whole experience even scarier.
A great way to get yourself some chills in the middle of the city of Cebu.
If you are no diver, snorkeling is a great way to discover the marine life around Cebu. Pretty much everywhere where you can go into the water in and around Cebu you will be almost guaranteed to make encounters with inhabitants of the sea in their natural environment.
To me some great spots for snorkeling are Malapascua, Bantayan, Olango and Malboal, but again a nice way to discover hidden gems and make unexpected encounters with beautiful sea creatures is to just hire a reconverted fisherman with his boat for a day and go on an island-hopping tour. They usually know the area inside out and show you paradisiac spots over and under the sea level that you can discover while snorkeling away. This is how we do it as often as we can, when the sun is up for the party.
Beside its beautiful beaches and rich culture that Cebu the true Queen City of the South has to offer, Cebu boasts other wonders of nature – its breathtaking waterfalls. Check out the “Tinubdan Falls” in Catmon and the “Dao Falls”, “Binalayan Falls” and “Aguinid Falls” all in Samboan with its magnificent turquoise waters.
The “Kampael Falls”, “Inambakan Falls” and “Bugnawan Falls” are all three situated in Ginatilan and are certainly also worth paying a visit to.
But to me the top three falls to visit are “Kawasan Falls” in Badian, the “Tumalog Falls” in Oslob as well as the “Cancalanog Falls” in Alegria are my favorites although not specially in a specific order.
I just love to spend time there preferably on a hot sunny day if they are not overrun by crowds.
Last but not least to me is Ziplining!
Since 2009 the Doce Pares Mountain Training Park is one of the places offering zip line adventures at their 180-meter long zip line located conveniently in Barangay Malubog, Busay in Cebu-City. In Liloan Papa Kit’s Marina and Fishing Lagoon is nestled in Silot Bay, Poblacion offers an 800-meter zip line which offers an amazing scenery to enjoy while taken to another island and back.
The Danasan Adventure Park in Danao City offers a 440-meter zip line track on their 133-hectare enclave. In Balamban the K33 A Green Adventure offers a zip line of 300-meters for the path in and a 220-meter path for the return. The Adventure Café zip line along the Transcentral Highway has 260-meters cable ropes with an option to rapple down 180 feet. This one belongs to the Ga-as Eco Adventure Park and as all the other parks has many other adventures to offer its visitors.
These are great places to spend quality time with friends and family while mastering and enjoying adventurous challenges.
These are my suggested adventure destinations that I tried out over the years for you guys in Cebu. If you want to spend some quality time outdoors on the beautiful island of Cebu you will have many options here and I hope I was able to inspire you to come over and pay us a visit here in Cebu.
If I forgot one or the other outdoor adventure that you might know or you think is worth taken into consideration at this blog post – feel free to comment in the box below.