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10 Top Things to do in Cebu.

Discover the province of Cebu, the Gateway to a Thousand Journeys! Find out the prime tourist attractions and unique activities you can try to make the most out of your holiday.


Home to nearly 170 islands, Cebu lives up to its moniker as "The Gateway to a Thousand Journeys." There isn't a shortage of explorations to do here - not to mention good Filipino food to sate your cravings in between, easily making it one of the best tourist spots in the Philippines. You'll also find it easy to find the perfect accommodations here, as it its home to some of the best Philippines luxury resorts and some of the most beautiful beach resorts in the Philippines.


History aficionados can revel in Spanish-era edifices just minutes from the airport, while beach and sea lovers get access to beautiful beaches and dive spots whether their base is in the capital or the extreme north or south. You won't run out of tours and activities to try in Cebu, and because of its location, accessibility, and its international airport, you can also visit nearby destinations.

If your visit falls in January, you can also take part in the Sinulog Festival.


Get started with planning your Cebu trip. Here's a rundown of Cebu activities you can try during your trip:


1. Experience Canyoneering to Kawasan Falls


The most famous attraction in Badian is Kawasan Falls, a three-tiered cascade that features distinctly turquoise water. There are two ways to explore the falls.

One is by choosing from the various canyoneering escapades and have a journey for three to six hours from Alegria to Badian, and the other is by a short trek to the waterfalls.


Trying a canyoneering tour to Kawasan Falls is an exhilarating water adventure that takes you through towering gorges and stalactite boulders. You get to swim and rappel through the river canyons, and even jump off 30-foot high cliffs into the blue pools of Kawasan Falls.


The final leg is the third and most top tier of the Kawasan Falls - or Kabukalan Spring - from where the water comes. If you're not interested to try canyoneering, you can participate in a strictly Kawasan falls adventure instead.


For those who want to take the easier route when it comes to Kawasan experiences, you can go directly to the main entrance to the falls in Badian, then walk for a kilometer and a half to the first tier, where the basin and several cottages are located.


Most visitors prefer to end their visit here, although you can opt to walk further uphill to reach the second and third tiers of the falls.


2. Explore the Beaches of Bantayan Island

(Photo: Mongabay)


Bantayan Island is a small island off the coast of northern Cebu. Don’t be fooled by this sleepy fishing village, the beaches of this humble island exude the same charm and beauty as the famous Boracay Island.


The best part is, Bantayan Island is not as commercialized and crowded as Boracay. If you want a relaxing vacation by the beach and witness one of the most beautiful sunsets, Bantayan Island won’t disappoint you.

Bantayan Island is blessed with several sprawling white-sand beaches and calm azure waters. Most of the beaches in Bantayan Island are within resorts or owned privately, but they are accessible to the public for a small fee.


You also don’t need to check in at any of the resorts to enjoy the beaches. It's one of the best tourist spots in Bantayan Island.


Bantayan Island's Kota Beach is one of the best beaches in the Philippines. It features a sandbar and a lagoon that makes a perfect spot for wading in and sunbathing. Paradise Beach, on the other hand, is a serene stretch of white sand beach that features beautiful rock formations.


Bantayan Island also boasts two natural cave pools, the Ogtong Cave and the Sto. Niño Cave. A natural cold spring feeds both caves, so you can expect chilly water that's great for cooling off after a morning of beach-hopping.


3. Witness the Grandeur of the Temple of Leah


(Photo: Zen Rooms)


Hailed as the Taj Mahal of Cebu, the Temple of Leah has become one of the most famous landmarks in Cebu. This magnificent building is a sight to behold and a favorite Cebu activity for taking Instagram-worthy shots.


If you’re up for a Cebu hillside tour, the Temple of Leah is an excellent place to start. Located in the hills of Busay in Cebu City, Temple of Leah is a towering seven-story building inspired by ancient Roman architecture.


Said to have cost over PHP 80 Million, this grand structure boasts granite floors, Doric columns, a marble fountain, and several Grecian-style statues.


However, it’s most photographed features are the two golden lions by the main stairs and the nine-foot bronze statue of Leah V. Albino-Adarna, for whom the temple was built for. Similar to the Taj Mahal of India, the Temple of Leah was constructed as a symbol of undying love of Teodorico Soriano Adarna for his late wife, Leah.


However, unlike the Taj Mahal, the Temple of Leah is not a tomb. The 24 chambers of the Temple of Leah houses the namesake's massive collection of antiques, art, Chinese jars, and books. The temple is open to the public, so be sure to stop by or try Temple of Leah activities and be entranced by this grand gesture of love.

4. Discover the Vibrant Marine Biodiversity on Sumilon

Island


Sumilon Island is inarguably one of the most popular tourist spots in Cebu. Sumilon Island’s most prominent feature is its immaculate sandbar that changes shape every season.


The water surrounding the island is something to behold as well; the varying shades of blue and the clarity of the water will entice you to jump right in.

This 24-hectare island is situated on the southern tip of the leading Cebu Island. It is privately owned by a resort, but it is open to the public for a minimal entrance fee.


Sumilon Island is also a marine protected area and is home to diving spots teeming with blacktip sharks, colorful fishes, and sprawling coral gardens. You have the choice of frolicking by the sandbar or going snorkeling to marvel at the vibrant underwater scenery of Sumilon.


Aside from its gorgeous waters, the island also has mangroves that are home to various bird species. Flanking the beach are hectares-wide forests where you can go for leisurely hiking. You will also find a natural lake and a gorgeous cliff on either tip of the island.


5. Try Water Adventures in Camotes Island


Camotes Island in Northern Cebu offers a multitude of outdoor activities for thrill-seekers. Among the most popular ones is spelunking Camotes Island’s Holy Crystal Cave. The Holy Crystal Cave is unique in that its chambers are naturally shaped downwards.


Visitors can access the chambers through a small entrance above ground, then descend eight levels down. Well-preserved stalactites and stalagmites can be found inside the cave.


Another unique feature of Camotes is Lake Danao, locally known as the Lover's Lake. Fascinatingly, the lake forms the number eight. At 700 hectares, it is the biggest in the Visayas Region. Because of its sheer expanse, Lake Danao is an excellent spot for kayaking. You can also go on a sunset cruise through the lake.

It's a great relaxing activity for groups and couples. Lake Danao also prides itself on its cleanliness. You can find several free-swimming ducks and tilapia in the lake.


To complete your exciting Camotes Island adventure, go cliff diving at Buho Rock. The ship-like rock formations of this infamous cliff make for an exhilarating jump-off point. If you’re an adrenaline junkie, you can leap off from as high as 30 feet. On the other hand, first-timers can go for the 10-feet cliff, a friendlier option that will still give you that adrenaline rush.


6. Dive and See Thresher Sharks in Malapascua

Home to nearly 170 islands, Cebu lives up to its moniker as "The Gateway to a Thousand Journeys." There isn't a shortage of explorations to do here - not to mention good Filipino food to sate your cravings in between, easily making it one of the best tourist spots in the Philippines. You'll also find it easy to find the perfect accommodations here, as it its home to some of the best Philippines luxury resorts and some of the most beautiful beach resorts in the Philippines.

History aficionados can revel in Spanish-era edifices just minutes from the airport, while beach and sea lovers get access to beautiful beaches and dive spots whether their base is in the capital or the extreme north or south. You won't run out of tours and activities to try in Cebu, and because of its location, accessibility, and its international airport, you can also visit nearby destinations. If your visit falls in January, you can also take part in the Sinulog Festival.

See our popular Cebu Tours.


7. Smell the Flowers at Sirao Garden


Another excellent Instagram-worthy spot in Cebu’s hillside is Sirao Garden. Dubbed as the “Little Amsterdam” of Cebu, this picturesque flower farm is located in the highlanands of photos during your sightseeing tour in Cebu.

You can find rows of sunds of Busay.


The colorful blooms of Sirao Garden will surely make you want to whip out your camera and take thousflowers, hyacinths, chrysanthemums, daisies, and asters in Sirao Garden. The main attraction, though, is the vibrant and multicolored celosia flowers.


Also known as wool flowers or cockscomb, the celosia flowers that were first planted in Sirao Garden have initially been meant to be harvested and sold during All Souls Day. But thanks to a fortunate turn of events, the celosias were never harvested, and instead, the farm was turned into a park.


The flower farm first attracted locals who wanted to take photos with the beautiful blooms. But soon enough, the word spread and hoards of travelers began joining Sirao Garden tours.


Now, Sirao Garden not only has rows of colorful flora, but it also features replicas of Dutch windmills, as well as a viewing deck.


8. Learn About Catholicism in the Philippines at Magellan’s Cross


If you’re planning to visit the historic Cebu spots, Magellan’s Cross is an excellent place to start. The province of Cebu has a rich history, and it has witnessed several monumental events. One such event is the birth of Catholicism in the Philippines, marked by Magellan’s planting of a cross on the island.

The Portuguese explorer, Magellan, is attributed to bringing Catholicism in the Philippine Archipelago. History books tell the story of how Magellan reached the Cebu in 1521, planted a crucifix, and successfully converted the natives to Christianity. The city of Cebu soon grew around that historical site.


Magellan's Cross is housed in a Spanish-style octagonal pavilion in front of the Cebu City Hall. The large wooden CrossCross displayed in the pavilion is made of Tingalo Wood and is said to be encasing the original CrossCross inside of it.


The unique crucifix was seen as a miraculous relic, so natives started chipping away pieces as a souvenir. To protect the CrossCross, the 10-feet replica was built to encase it. Today, the replica stands atop a marble podium with a plaque that states that this was the very site that the original crucifix was planted on April 21, 1521.


9. Take a Leisurely Hike to Osmeña Peak


Standing at 1,013 meters above sea level, Osmeña Peak is Cebu’s highest. The peak is one of several spire-like formations comprisig the Mantalongon Mountain Range in Dalaguete. The town of Dalaguete is known as the “Vegetable Basket of Cebu” because of the crops it supplies to the wnhole province.


So en route to the peak during your Osmeña Peak hiking experience, you will pass by several vegetable farms and see livestock grazing the terrain.


The picturesque trail to Osmeña Peak is an easy leisurely hike that takes about 30 minutes to an hour. Once you reach the top of Osmeña Peak, you will be greeted by a stunning jagged skyline, a panoramic view of Cebu’s southeast coastline, and a glimpse of Negros. It can be windy at the peak, so take care not to lose your footing.


Don’t worry, the craggy rock formations and the breathtaking vista of South Cebu and distant Negros Oriental at the summit will surely make the trek to the top worth it.


Mantalongon, Dalagutes is also dubbed as the “Summer Capital of Cebu” due to its chilly climate. Many local travelers from the lowland cities come to the scenic Osmeña Peak to escape the summer heat. You may want to bring a light jacket if you’ll be hiking early in the morning, as it can get cold during this time.


10. Go on a Pilgrimage to Simala Shrine


Nestled in the hills of Simala, Sibonga in Cebu is the Monastery of the Holy Eucharist, or popularly known as the Simala Shrine and Cebu’s Castle Church. As the name title implies, the sprawling religious complex looks like a castle by the hillside.


Simala Shrine first rose to popularity when the word spread about the miraculous Virgin Mary statue it houses. Several Catholic and Marian Devotees flocked to Simala to pay their respects and pray for miracles and the Virgin’s intercession.

As its fame increased, the church began a series of renovations that transformed their once humble chapel into a grand castle-like shrine.


Today, Simala Shrine attracts foreign and local travelers. There is a testimonial hall wherein stories of devotees’ answered prayers are posted. You will also find a “Dagkutanan” (a candle-lighting area), where you can light multicolored candles and say a prayer.


If you don’t mind long queues, you can see and kiss the miraculous Virgin Mary statue up-close.


Whether you a devout Catholic or you want to admire the scenery and see Cebu's Castle Church, you are welcome at Simala Shrine. Just observe silence and be respectful while you are on the premises.


Additionally, the shrine has a strict dress code. When you visit Simala Church, don't wear shorts, skirts, crop tops, or any body-hugging and revealing garments. You can join a historical excursion in Cebu with Simala Shrine if you want to visit other tourist spots as well.


For Tours and Transportations, contact @lagumadventure / www.elnidoadventure.com

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