Cebu is the perfect introduction to the Philippines and a great starting point for your backpacking adventure. It is considered as one of the most visited, largest and most diverse locations in the Philippines. Cebu has a rich cultural heritage, a perfect mix of beautiful scenery, breathtaking attractions, welcoming people and cheap accommodation. It is also really close to Bohol, which is another island that you can visit while on holiday in the Philippines. (Where to stay in Cebu? Check these affordable hotels)
Related Read: How to Plan Your Trip to the Philippines: The Best Guide
Backpacking Cebu has been one of the must-do-things when traveling in this Central Visayas part of the Philippines. I am going to share a Cebu travel guide and some useful tips on how to travel Cebu on a budget to help you plan your backpacking trip in this beautiful province of the Philippines.
How to Get to Cebu
Whether you come by air or by sea, there a lot of options to choose from. Cebu is well connected with Manila and other islands surrounding the archipelago. It also has an international airport which has flights from nearby Asian countries. The easiest way is to book a flight. There are several domestic and international airlines flying in and out from Mactan International Airport and you can check the best airfare comparison sites to book your flights through here.
Read: The Best Ways to Get from Cebu to Bohol
You can also check out fast and slow ferries leaving from other provinces to Cebu namely, Ocean Jet, 2go (SupetCat), Lite Ferries, Lite Shipping and Cokaliong shipping. You can purchase tickets in advance directly from the company websites, travel agencies or through third-party-providers like Klook and Bookaway. There is also an alternative way, just head to the ferry terminal or ticket outlets and get your tickets there but there’s no guarantee for ticket availability.
Read: The Best Ways to Get from Cebu to Siargao
When is the best time to visit Cebu
Climate varies throughout the Philippines, you can visit all year round! Cebu has a tropical climate and anywhere between January to May is normally considered a good time to visit. Also considered as the rainy season is from June-August so there might be some ferry/flight cancellations if there’s a typhoon coming. September- December is peak season so this time you will likely find more crowds and inflated prices everywhere in Cebu.
Related Read: Ultimate Guide to Mactan Cebu International Airport
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How to Get Around Cebu
Cebu is one of the Philippines’ major tourist destinations. Whether for leisure, recreation or business. Its booming economy as well as its world-class tourist spots have certainly attracted visitors from other parts of the country and abroad.
You can book a taxi or rent a car if you want to explore the city at your own pace. Also, Grab is very popular in Cebu because it’s easier and convenient to use when traveling. But if you are on a tight budget, I’ll recommend trying the local transportation which is the “jeepney” so that you can experience being a local commuter.
While it is quite possible to explore the major tourist attractions of Cebu in one day I decided to write some of the highlights of my travels in the province of Cebu. Here is a simple guide on how to explore Cebu on a cheap budget.
Best Things to Do in Cebu Philippines
Visit Mactan Shrine
A historical and well-preserved spot of history. The shrine was constructed on the theatrical site where the subsequent battle on April 17, 1521, between the Spaniards and Lapu-Lapu supposedly took place. It is located northeast of the Island along National Highway, Punta Engano in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu. This is also a very nice place to visit because the grounds are well kept and you can have a great seafood meal in one of several fish restaurants next to the shrine. I suggest you buy your “pasalubong” ( souvenirs) here because they also offer nice yet cheap items and you could still haggle the price.
Admission is free and opening hours is from 9am – 6pm.
How to get to Mactan Shrine?
- From Mactan International Airport
There are two options you can choose from. You can either hire a taxi that will take you to Mactan Shrine or you can directly go to the second floor of Mactan International Airport, ride a white cab to Mactan Marina Mall. In front of the mall, take the jeepney bound for Punta Engano and tell the driver to drop you off at Mactan Shrine.
- From Cebu City
You can ride a jeepney that is bound to Lapu-Lapu City. Better check the signage for Punta Engaño. The fare would be approximately Php 12.00 – Php 15.00.
- From SM via V-Hire
You can catch V-Hire bod for Mactan. Rates are fixed which aren’t expensive and convenient too.
Visit Basilica Minore del Sto. Nino de Cebu
Sto. Nino church is one of the holiest grounds in Cebu City for devout Catholic Filipinos. Famous for representing the birth and growth of Christianity in the Philippines. It is also known to be the oldest Roman Catholic Church in the country. People from all over the world travel just to get a glimpse of this historical and remarkable landmark.
I was completely in awe of the tourists and locals who come for their devotion and thanksgiving to the holy child. I’ve visited Basilica Minore many times and it is worth it. You can just stop by to utter your prayers or check the schedule and attend the mass. You can just also get in line and visit the Sr. Sto. Niño image at the back of Basilica. If you want to buy some religious souvenirs, vendors are on standby along the street right outside the Basilica’s perimeter.
How to get to Basilica del Sto Nino?
Price of admission is free and opening hours start from 5 am to 9 pm. Its location is in Osmeña Boulevard, Cebu City.
Check Out Magellan’s Cross
Magellan’s Cross is just around the corner of the Basilica so you have to check it out after your Santo Nino visit. It is another landmark in Cebu. I made a brief visit to the cross, which has an interesting history. I was surprised to know that the original cross is encased in a timber cross to protect it. It is housed in a small building that is quite interesting and it’s worthy of 5 to 10 minutes of a stop.
It is better to take pictures from outside the structure. If it’s your first time traveling in this touristy area don’t forget to visit the Fortuna shop just beside the Basilica. They have great and delicious food. You can also buy a key chain souvenir there. You can also find ladies who are wearing a long red skirt, which will offer to pray for you and your family, pay them 100 pesos and it goes with free candles. You can bring it with you or leave it under the cross.
How to get to Magellan’s Cross?
Admission is free and opening hours is from 8 am – 6 pm and it is located along P. Burgos Street, Cebu City. You can get there easily from across the Basilica.
Cebu Happy World Museum (Miracle Art and 3D Paintings)
An extraordinary museum where your own creativity comes out. Located on the Island of Cordova, barangay Gabi, a one of kind museum with interactive art, optical illusion exhibit and three-dimensional paintings. The art exhibits will change your imagination. It was our first time with my sister trying a trick art museum and it was fun!
Cordova is quite far from Cebu City but the journey going there was interesting. Good thing we didn’t get lost. If you are coming from Cebu mainland the traffic to Lapu-Lapu City might be a put off. But once you get inside the Happy World Museum, you will understand why tourists and locals make an effort to travel and visit this place. A great place to get some quality social media content because it will surely bring out the energetic, cheerful and imaginative child in you. You can do or create your interpretation and effects with the photos.
The place is amazing and brought so much joy to us during our visit. The building looks interesting with a pool in front. It has a wide garden and food stall which sells Korean desserts. The museum is for all ages to visit… both adults and children will have fun trying different actions in different variety of themes. Which includes sea creatures, biblical scenes, and historical events and can enjoy the ride with the unicorns. It was worth it and fun experience to explore this 3D Museum.
Admission price is ₱350 per person (19 y/o & above) and ₱250 per person (4 to 18 y/o), while 0-3 y/o is FREE. For Senior Citizen & PWD, it’s ₱250 per person. Opening hours is from 9 AM – 8:00 PM and is located at Lot 2-A-3, Brgy. Gabi, Cordova, 6007, Cebu, Philippines
How to get to Cebu Happy World Museum?
- By Jeepney
This is the cheapest way and also takes the longest. You can take a jeepney with the sign bound for Hi-Way from SM. Once you reach the Hi-Way, Mandaue take another jeepney with the signboard Tamiya or Opon. Tell the driver to drop you off at MEPZ where there is another jeepney bound for Cordova, then tell the driver to drop you at the Cordova Municipal Hall and then take a tricycle to the Cebu Happy World Museum.
- By V-Hire
Go directly to SM V-Hire Terminal and ride any van bound for Cordova. Once you reach the V-hire terminal in Cordova, take a tricycle going to the Cebu Happy World Museum.
- By Ferry Boat
You can take a ferry boat from Pier 3 going to Opon (Lapu-Lapu City). When you reach the port of Opon, you can walk to the place where many jeepneys are going to Cordova and stop at the Municipal Hall. From there you can take a tricycle to Cebu Happy World Museum.
- By Grab Taxi
This option is very and convenient to choose from. But it could be pricier than the other options I’ve mentioned. All you have to do is just pin your location to Cordova “Cebu Happy World Museum”.
- By Personal Car/Vehicle
While this is also the most convenient way of getting to the Cebu Happy World Museum, it is also rather costly because you have to pay much more for your fuel. If you are not familiar with the place you can just use Google Maps or Using Waze app to set your destination.
Dine-in at Cebu’s Best – Lantaw Floating Native Restaurant
As a popular destination of the Philippines, Cebu offers a wide array of food choices from local to international cuisines. One of these is the famous Lantaw Native Restaurant. It has branches in Cordova (Mactan Island), in Tops- Busay, and SRP-Cebu. We choose to dine-in at Cordova after visiting the Cebu Happy World Museum. It’s a bit far from the city center but it is worth the trip. The place has a great view and amazing ambiance, especially at night. It is very refreshing because of its floating restaurant overlooking Mactan Island and Cebu City. Food was beyond what I expected at an affordable price. They serve the best seafood dishes in Cebu. Worth the visit, I would recommend this to all travelers going to Cebu.
Lantaw Floating Native restaurant is open from Monday to Sunday from 10 AM to 10 PM. It is located at Day-as Cordova, Mactan Cebu, Philippines
How to get to Cebu Lantaw Floating Native Restaurant?
From Cebu Happy World Museum you can take a “tricked” going to Day-as port fare is P50. If you are in Mactan Island you just have to ride a jeepney with signage going to Opon Terminal. At the terminal, you will transfer to another jeepney going to Cordova and tell the driver to drop you off at the Crossing of Cordova. While at the crossing you can see and take the “trisikads” bound for Day-as Port. Or you can directly book a Grab Taxi just pin the location and enter the name of the place.
See the Amazing View of Tops Look Out-Busay, Cebu City
The Tops experience is not to be missed! It’s a must visit attraction if you visit Cebu because it offers a panoramic view of the whole city and Mactan Island. It promises a lot of perfect photo opportunities once you are there. Going there is like a little Baguio route but it is definitely worth the visit. The view is magnificent during the night where you can see the city lit up in thousands of little bright lights. The entrance is only P100 but you can stay as long as you want. There are many restaurants and no corkage fee so you can bring your own drinks too.
There is also a nice cove you can stay for more privacy. As a traveler, I’d recommend visiting the lookout. Opening hours of Tops Look-out Busay is from 9 AM to 9 PM and it is located at Brgy. Busay, Cebu Trans central highway.
How to get to Tops Look Out-Busay?
- By Car
The easiest way to get up to Tops is certainly by private car. Just search for ‘Top of Cebu’ or ‘Tops Lookout’ in Cebu Trans central Highway via Waze or Google Maps.
- By Taxi
Hiring a taxi cab is possible but that can be hefty. Most of them won’t give you a metered reading system – hence, they’ll be offering you an estimated fare in going there.
- By Motorbike
Take a jeepney to Lahug along Osmena Boulevard and ask to be dropped off at the J.Y Square Mall in Lahug. Hire a habal-habal driver (Motorcycle for hire) near JY Square Mall in Lahug, and inform him to drop you off at the said restaurant or Tops Lookout.
- By Shuttle Bus
For more convenient but pricier option, there is also a shuttle vehicle for only P 300/person round trip. You can check and search on the internet for Cebu Shuttle Service.
Wander the ” Little Amsterdam of Cebu” – Sirao Flower Garden
I love flowers and nature and those are the things that attracted me to visit this place. This was a great find up in the mountains. The Little Amsterdam of Cebu is an 8,000-sq-meter piece of uphill land with 2 separate gardens. One is the Sirao Pictorial Garden and Camping Site (PGCS) with a swimming pool, the other is the original Sirao Flower Garden located just beside the PGCS. This flower garden is really picturesque! Not only are there flowers beautiful, but the scenery takes your breath away.
There are so many Instagram-worthy places to take photos with your friends or family. You can blend and commune with nature while being on the top of a hill, oversee the northwestern part of Cebu and enjoy a picnic with friends and family. A fun place to visit! It can get crowded and is muddy in some places, but it is cheap and easy to wait in line for the fun areas to pose on or around.
The price for admission is ₱100 per head, opening hours is from 6 AM to 7 PM and it is located atBrgy. Busay, Cebu City.
How to get to “Little Amsterdam of Cebu” – Sirao Flower Garden?
From J.Y. Square Mall, take a motorbike (habal-habal) that will take you directly to Sirao Flower Farm for ₱400 roundtrip, good for 2 persons already. The driver may ask you for additional waiting fee of ₱100-200 per hour depending on your haggling skill.
The ride will take 30-45 minutes to get there. Another option is by taking a van from the Ayala Cebu PUV Terminal, you can ride a v-hire going to Sirao for ₱50 /head (one-way). Ask the driver to drop you off near Sirao Flower Garden. From there, ride a motorbike (habal-habal) going to the flower garden, the fare is ~₱20-30 /head.
Feel like a Goddess at Cebu’s Grand Taj Mahal – Temple of Leah
Known to be the “Temple of Love” that was built as a grand gesture of undying love from a husband to his late wife. The shrine holding the memory and treasures of Leah Albino-Adarna, the late wife of Teodorico Soriano Adarna. The two are grandparents of the famous Filipina actress Ellen Adarna. The structure is very impressive because it’s built with quality and real materials that are not cheap looking or fragile. You can appreciate how the whole structure which really looks like a temple.
This temple will really give you an almost European city feel. A Greek methodology-inspired 7-story mansion with gigantic lions lying on each side of the stairs that will guide you to the doorstep of another jaw-dropping view. One of the most-visited places for tourists in Cebu. It offers a spectacular view overlooking Cebu City. It is really worth visiting along with Tops and Sirao Flower Farm for the complete Busay Mountain Tour.
The entrance fee for Cebu’s Temple of Leah is ₱50 per person and opening hours is from 6 AM to 11PM. It is located at Roosevelt St., Busay, Cebu City.
How to get to Cebu’s Grand Taj Mahal – Temple of Leah?
Charter a motorbike (habal-habal) at Lahug / JY Mall straight to Temple of Leah for P150 per motorcycle, good for 2 persons, or a taxi or grab from the downtown. The best time to go here is in the morning, during the opening time to avoid the crowd. The cheapest way to get here is via public transport. You may catch a jeepney (04D, 04I or 04H bound for Lahug-Busay) from downtown Cebu City. The fare is not more than P20 per person, tell the driver to drop you off at the street to Temple Leah and walk for 5 minutes to the site.
Car is the best option if you want to have peace of mind and not worry about your way back home. There is parking space is available. Just navigate via Waze or Google Maps and set your destination to “Temple of Leah”.
Pilgrimage to Simala Shrine of Sibonga ” The Miraculous Castle Church”
Pilgrimages or visiting religious places is one of the most important aspects that most Filipino Catholics have. This aspect keeps their faith alive and keeps them going despite all the challenges in life. After visiting the city’s attractions me and my sister directly head to the bus terminal bound for Sibonga, Cebu to visit and offer prayers of the miraculous Simala Shrine. It is one of the well-known religious places in the Philippines where thousands of devotees visit the shrine every week. It was built by Marian Monks who serve as the guardian of this sacred place.
This is the much-known place where Mother Mary had an apparition to one of the locals and shredding of tears of the statue of Mama Mary. The church is very popular among believers/devotees of Mama Mary and the place is amazing and you can have a spectacular spiritual experience. Everyone should be in barefoot, no shorts and sleeveless shirts/blouse. Petitions and intentions could be written and dropped at designated places. Souvenir religious items and colored candles with meanings are available and could be lighted to express your intentions.
The opening of Simala Shrine of Sibonga starts at 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM. The location is at Simala-Lindogon Church Sibonga 6020 Cebu Philippines.
How to get to Simala Shrine of Sibonga from Cebu?
From Cebu city, go directly to the South Bus Terminal near “E-mall” /Elizabeth Mall. Ride a Ceres going to Sibonga. Just tell the driver to drop you off at the road that will lead you to Simala Church. Fare is around P 80 – P100 and travel time is about 2 hours. In case you like to ride v-hire. The V-hire terminal is located at Kamagayan – Junquera Street, near the University of San Carlos (USC). Fare is around P 120.
Hike the Breathtaking Osmeña Peak of Dalaguete
Osmeña peak is considered the highest mountain in which you can get stunning 360-degree views of Cebu. With this famous viewpoint, you can see cool rock formations. The lovely view of Osmeña peak slowly changes colors at the time of the day. When the clouds shroud it, it looks quite awe-inspiring, if not mystical, and takes you to another world. This mountain is an affordable outdoor destination whenever you’re in Cebu City.
You could go there for a day hike and spend less than a thousand pesos. The hike was a little tiresome but truly worth it, with its great panoramic view with the nearby islands, breathtaking indeed. Locals with some small businesses are present too. Surrounded by pure greenery. The view from the top is amazing. Worth the effort trekking about 20-25 minutes from the jumping-off point. You can get a guide which actually will carry your bags to the top with a tip.
I suggest a morning trek because it helps you get the photos you like since this is a popular tourist location and it is usually crowded. Some camp here overnight, just make sure that you have the proper outfit which will help you resist the very cold weather up there. If you choose the other way around, the afternoon trek, you might be able to see a clearer view but the weather will be hot or rainy.
Entrance fee for the Osmena Peak is ₱30 per head and is open 24 hours. The location is at Mantalongon, Dalaguete 6022, Philippines.
How to get to Osmena Peak of Dalaguete from Cebu?
From the South Bus terminal, ride a bus bound for Oslob or Bato. The fare is around P170 and travel time is approximately 3 hours. Tell the driver to drop you off at the Dalaguete junction for Osmena Peak. 7Eleven and Julie’s Bakeshop fronting each other is the landmark. Then take a motorcycle (habal-habal) going to Osmena Peak trail head. Fare is P100/person one way. If you are alone, you have to pay for two (P200 per way). Travel time is approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Explore the Tropical Oasis of Badian, Kawasan Falls
Kawasan falls is one of the famous waterfalls in the Philippines. These waterfalls truly are beautiful, crystal clear freshwater in a picturesque setting. The falls have become an Instagram hotspot as it’s possible to swim in the stunning turquoise waters. You can also hike for about 20 to 30 minutes to the actual location of the falls. I would recommend bringing water and some funds for snacks and drinks along the way. The pristine nature and the cool water in the face of 96-degree temperatures make it a lovely refreshing day.
For those who are more adventurous, one of the most popular ways to reach Kawasan falls is on a canyoneering tour. One could also embark on a bamboo raft and go for a ride under the waterfall and at the same time receive a tremendous neck massage by the pouring water. To avoid the crowds, you have to be there early. Just know that it will be packed with people and that it will be loud, but at the same time very beautiful and that you’re going to have lots of fun!
Entrance fee for Badian Kawasan Falls is P40 for foreigners and P20 for locals and it’s open for 24 hours. The location is at Badian, 6031 Cebu, Philippines.
How to get to Badian Kawasan Falls from Cebu?
From Cebu City to Kawasan Falls, head directly to South Bus Terminal. You can take all of the buses going to Bato (via Barili). You must take the bus to Bato via Barili because the other bus from Cebu to Bato is via Oslob and it stops instead on the east side. The bus journey takes about 3 hours but can vary depending on how much traffic there is. Fare starts at P110 – P150 depending on the type of bus you want to ride. Tell the driver to drop you off at Kawasan Falls in Badian. Upon arrival, start to trek for 10 -15 minutes from the main road in Barangay Matutinao.
From Oslob to Badian Kawasan Falls, the cheapest way is going by bus to Bato and then change onto a bus for Badian. This should take around 2 hours and cost 100 pesos.
Another option is by taking a motorbike/trike or multicab to Bato and transfer to a bus to Cebu via Barili. The journey takes about 1.5 hours, and the total price is around 100 pesos. Get off at Kawasan Fall in Badian, trek for 10-15 minutes from the main road and just follow the trail of the river until you arrived at your destination.
From Osmena Peak to Badian Kawasan Falls, you have 2 options to choose from. Either you trek for at least four hours with a guide or you can hop on a motorbike and you can pay around P 300-500 depending on negotiating the driver.
Swim with the Gentle Giants- Whale Sharks in Oslob
NOTE: This is an activity that you need to think first before actually doing because of the nature of how the whale sharks have become domesticated and treated. You can read more about the reasons not to visit Oslob and swim with the whale sharks.
Swimming in the vicinity of the whale sharks in Oslob is a great experience. This is the place to go if you like to swim or dive into the world’s biggest mammal. There are no words to describe the beauty and grandness of Whale Sharks so up close and personal. Note that this is a very popular activity so as expected there are hundreds of people going at all times. The whale sharks in Cebu are somewhat domesticated being that they decided to never leave the shores of this small fishing village. There are plenty of whale sharks around in the morning so you must visit early morning. They are kept in the area and lured by operators feeding them on boats.
Before heading to the boats, you will be given a brief where the rules and policies are explained. The whale sharks could be seen very clearly by those who jumped into the water and by those who stayed on the boat. For additional information, feeding of the whale sharks is only until 12 in the afternoons so schedule your transport accordingly. You have to maintain a 3 to 4 feet distance between the sharks and sunblock is not allowed along with touching the whale sharks.
You can rent GoPro cameras on-site for 550 Php and they download straight to your phone on return. You can also buy the smartphone waterproof sleeves to use underwater. There are good restaurants in the area so you can eat breakfast or take a snack when you get back from the shark swim. There are also plenty of local shops to get water, souvenirs, t-shirts, etc.
Price: Swimming with the whale sharks
– P 200 per pax for Local Guest
– P 500 per pax for Foreign Guest
Inclusive use of snorkeling gears
Opening Hours: 6:00 am- 12:30 pm
Location: Natalio Bacalso Avenue, Oslob, 6023 Cebu, Philippines
How to get to Oslob?
From the City, go directly to the South Bus Terminal and hop-in to a Ceres bus going to Bato via Liloan. Tell the conductor to drop you off at Brgy. Tan-awan in Oslob for the whale shark which is just along the highway. Fare is around 155-180 Php and roughly a 3-hour ride from Cebu City.
If you’re traveling with a group, you can also check for Cebu cars and van rentals. Or you can hop-in any agencies offering package tour to Oslob Whaleshark.
Another way is to get your own private car to bring you to Oslob. Rent with a driver so you can leave early morning and return the same day. Check here for rates for a private car.
Chase Waterfalls at Tumalog Waterfalls
This waterfall is considered one of the most impressive waterfalls in Cebu. You can swim here and enjoy the morning after swimming with the whale sharks. A 10-minute drive from the whale shark area. The path to it is a hard concrete which is a steep uphill drive and then suddenly a steep downhill road which ends up at the foot of the waterfall. Tumalog Waterfalls is enveloped and protected by the natural, some century-old trees and endemic plants in the area. I love how the falls were beautifully structured by Mother Nature. The falls themselves are like no others. Something out of a movie. It’s like a huge hanging garden with small showers cascading over the top.
Swimming in the water or sitting by the small lagoon at the bottom and letting the small fish nibble at your feet was unique. The water is cool and fresh, and you can get a great healing massage if you decide to stay few minutes under any of the sizes of falling waters and I felt like I was in a different dimension. A must-see attraction and a well maintained scenic gem hidden in Oslob.
The entrance to Tumalog waterfalls is P20 per person and it is open 24 hours. The location is also in Oslob.
How to get to Tumalog Waterfalls from Cebu?
Take a bus from Cebu South bus terminal bound for Oslob. Down to the national highway drop off in barangay Luka. Let the driver know that you are getting off at the crossing for Tumalog Waterfall. From there, you can hire a motorbike (habal-habal) that can take you to the drop off point of the falls.
To have a more comfortable travel, I suggest renting or getting your own private car-minivan to bring you around there. You can check here for rates.
From the whale shark feeding center, take a motorbike and head over to Tumalog waterfall. Or if you are bringing your ride, you can park somewhere near the falls and you need to walk for about 15 minutes to get down to the falls are.
See the Pristine Beauty of Bantayan Island
If you want to relax and get away from urban life for a while, Bantayan Island is the perfect place for you. A cheaper alternative to Boracay Island. With its crystal clear waters of the ocean, the fine white sand, the laid back environment, and friendly locals make this island a wonderful and stress-free get-away destination. It’s a very affordable place to stay with its pristine beauty of beaches. You can stroll the whole island by motorcycle or pedicab with rentals around 100-150 per hour. You can enjoy the panoramic view of the horizon with no slippers on to feel powdery of white sand.
In exploring the island, you can visit the Mangroove Park with the entrance fee of P20-40 per head. Enjoy sight-seeing the beautiful structure of St. Peter and St. Paul church. Unwind in Ogtong Cave’s pool or snorkel in Virgin Island, the marine sanctuary and other nearby islands. Shop-in their local market for dried foods and watch a romantic sunset at the Madridejos Town. Note, don’t forget to bring your sunblock because the island is very hot.
How to get to Bantayan Island from Cebu?
You can access the island via Cebu mainland or via Sagay City, a northern part of Negros Occidental.
From Cebu City, you can catch a bus in Cebu North Terminal going to Hagnaya port in the town of San Remigio. Bus leaves as early as 4 am, fare starts around P140-200 depending on the type of bus. Travel time is approximately 3-4 hours. Then board the Island Shipping or Super shuttle ferry bound for Santa Fe Port and fare is around P170. You can book your ferry tickets here.
At Santa Fe port, follow the covered walk to the tourism office because you have to pay the Ecological fee which is P 30. Then, take a tricycle to where you stay at and the fare is around P 20-25.
Where to Stay in Cebu
From simple dorms, cheap hostels to high-end, luxury hotels, Cebu City has a lot to offer when it comes to travel accommodations. Here are some lists of hotels, inns, guest houses and other types of accommodation that will surely provide you, your friends or family with great value for money. They are ranged from the cheapest to make it easier to find the best place to stay based on your budget. Or you can grab the lowest rates by booking online as soon as your trip is planned.
SUGBU FAMILY HOTEL
- Prices start from P 250/pax per night (depending on the season)
- Contact Number(s): +63322328888
- Website/Other Resources: Check Rate Per Night
TR3ATS GUEST HOUSE
- Prices start from P300/pax per night (depending on the season)
- Website/Other Resources: Check Rate Per Night
TRAVELBEE CAPITOL INN
- Prices start from P600/pax per night (depending on the season)
- Website/Other Resources: Check Rate Per Night
CEBU CENTURY HOTEL
- Prices start from P 650/pax per night (depending on the season)
- Website/Other Resources: Check Rate Per Night
GV TOWER HOTEL
- Prices starts from P 695/pax per night (depending on the seasons)
- Website/Other Resources: Check Rate Per Night
SAMPAGUITA SUITES JRG
- Prices start from P 698/pax per night(depending on the season)
- Website/Other Resources: Check Rate Per Night
Cebu Itinerary and Budget for Cebu Travel
If you have 2 or 3 days to spend in Cebu, then you’ll be able to enjoy most of the places we have listed. For a budget, you can put 1000 to 1500 pesos for a day for 2 pax on a cheap accommodation budget. This budget can go up if you want to stay at better hotels too.
Related Read: Top 20 Best Places to Visit in the Philippines
Cebu Sample Travel Itinerary
DAY 1 – Arrival in Cebu Mactan Airport ( early arrival is ideal so you can make the most of your trip)
- Travel from Mactan Airport to Lapu Lapu Monument by taxi
- Lapu Lapu monument to hotel (check – in)
- Check – in and freshen up
- Taxi to Fort San Pedro to start the Old Cebu tour of Plaza Independencia, Magellan’s Cross, Sto Nino Church and museum, Heritage Monument and more
- End the day with dinner or go to TOPS Lookout Busay
DAY 2 – Visit Kawasan Falls and experience Canyoning
- Wake up bright and early and make your way to Kawasan Falls in Badian.
- You can book a Canyoneering experience through Klook
- Enjoy the whole day
- Travel back to your hotel
If you have another day to spend, here’s DAY 3
DAY 3 – Visit Cebu’s Grand Taj Mahal – Temple of Leah
- Hire your own transfer to the temple
- Enjoy your morning there
- Get to the mall to do your souvenir shopping
- Check out and fly back or continue on your journey
Cebu has something to satisfy your wanderlust! With its great variety of natural and man made wonders and offers a wide array of activities with numerous places to visit. So what are you waiting to pack up your bags and visit the island of Cebu!
Have you ever been to Cebu? Let us know what we missed!
|GO AROUND PHILIPPINES USEFUL TIPS AND TRICKS|
|BOOK YOUR FLIGHTS|
To travel around the Philippines, there are 3 commercial airlines. Cebu Pacific Air, AirAsia and Philippine Airlines. Smaller airlines called AirSwift (El Nido, Boracay) and Skyjet also fly to limited destinations. Personally, I use Skyscanner and Traveloka to get cheaper flights around the Philippines.
|BOOK YOUR ACCOMMODATION|
There are many choices of hotels, hostels, apartments and guesthouses to stay in the Philippines. Book through AGODA for the cheapest options and Booking.com. I also use Hotelscombined to see all prices from different websites to choose from.
|BOOK YOUR BUS/FERRY/VAN|
The Philippines can be difficult to go around because many buses, ferries and even private vehicles are offline. The best websites to book them are through Bookaway.com and 12GoAsia – they have many partners in different destinations and you can purchase tickets online.
|BOOK YOUR PACKAGE TOURS|
If you don’t know where to go and just want a hassle free trip to the Philippines, you can find package trips to different destinations with Klook – I recommend them for local tours and activities or Get Your Guide.
|DON’T FORGET YOUR TRAVEL INSURANCE|
|It is very important to be safe and ready whenever accidents happen, especially in the Philippines where some places don’t have quality hospitals and clinics. I use Safety Wings for whenever I travel in the Philippines or abroad.|
|Have you got any questions about traveling to the Philippines? Join our Philippines Travel Planning FB Page to get your answers.|
Don’t know how to start planning your Philippines trip? You can start here.
Read all our travel planning articles about Cebu here.
Ayet is a teacher by profession and has travelled the Philippines doing it mostly by herself. She loves to travel and explore new places too. A 20-ish something who is an adventure-seeker and loves to put all her amazing travel experiences into writing. She aims to visit all around the world’s beautiful destinations and pursue her dream career in travel.