From impeccable historical landmarks breaded with rich and lively culture to exotic underwater marine parks teeming with tropical sea life, the Queen City of the South offers a whole gamut of tourist attractions and adrenaline-pumping adventures that you can indulge yourself with.
This guide will walk you through several fun things you can do in Cebu City to help you navigate through the natural and man-made attractions the city has to offer.
Dive, Snorkel & See Thresher Sharks in Malapascua Island
This idyllic island nestles itself on the north coast of Cebu. Is famous for its world-class dive spots teeming with vibrant coral walls and large sea vertebrates as well as the thresher sharks that are present year-round. The southern part of the island fringe with alluring sandy bays and a lighthouse that you can hike to get a panoramic view of the entire island.
Take IG-worthy photos at the 10 000 Roses Café
This gorgeous instagrammable Korean café is located at the edge of Cordova wharf. 10,000 white LED Roses surrounds the café’s front perimeter that light up from dusk ‘til night. This area also has an entrance fee of Php 20 which is easily affordable.
Immerse yourself with Cebu’s history at Museo Sugbo
This coral-stoned museum used to be Cebu’s provincial jail from 1870 to 2004. Now it features several galleries that highlight different eras of Cebu’s history. The American-era gallery showcases an interesting collection of letters and memorabilia from Thomas Sharpe.
One of 1065 teachers known as Thomasites who arrived in the early days of the American period to fulfill President McKinley’s pledge to ‘educate the Filipinos’. Upstairs a WWII gallery contains an American bomb that was dropped in Cebu, Japanese propaganda newspapers and a Purple Heart and Bronze Star earned by local Uldrico Cabahug. There’s also a cafe and a gift shop inside the museum.
Canyoneering at Kawasan Falls
Kawasan Falls, a three-tiered cascade with a milky-blue swimming hole is located in Badian, 17km south of Moalboal. Unfortunately, this main pool has been a little spoiled by tourists and overdevelopment. The second and third waterfalls are more peaceful, and you can scramble beyond these to more secluded spots. Kawasan may be a popular spot, but its natural beauty is still special.
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.
Gourmandize at Rico’s Lechon
Cebu is renowned for the signature Filipino delicacy, lechón (spit-roasted suckling pig), and Rico’s has the best in town. It’s cooked every morning at its uptown headquarters and shipped off to lechón addicts in Manila and abroad, or served at different branches in the city.
Go Island hopping in Mactan
You can’t leave Cebu without exploring the several islets that surround this island provincial waters. Fortunately, Mactan is the perfect jump-off point to the beautiful islets such as Talima, Caohagan, Cabulan, Nalusuan, Sulpa, and Hilutungan.
Mactan island-hopping excursions often start at Hilutungan since it is the nearest to the mainland. This island is a protected marine sanctuary and the province’s oldest too. Hilutungan boasts excellent underwater visibility and diverse inhabitants, including octopodes, crabs, and giant clams.
Nalusuan Island is also another top island-hopping destination. It’s also a protected marine sanctuary with a vibrant ecosystem. Here, you can swim with the fishes and the occasional turtles. The rest of the islets have sandy beaches and calm azure waters surround it. They are perfect for swimming or lounging. They’re also teeming with marine life, so bring your snorkeling goggles!
Bask in the grandeur of the Temple of Leah
One of the most famous landmarks in Cebu is the Temple of Leah located in the hills of Busay. It’s an ancient Roman-inspired building often hailed as the Taj Mahal of Cebu and said to have cost over Php 80 million. This magnificent structure boasts granite floors, Doric columns, a marble fountain, and several Grecian-style statues.
The 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. Just like the Taj Mahal of India, the Temple of Leah is the symbol of the 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 are home for a massive collection of antiques, art, Chinese jars, and books.
If you’re not a claustrophobe, you might enjoy crawling inside mother earth and exploring the world of stalagmites and stalactites, dark caves and squeeze-tight holes. Binuthan, Igotan, Bayukbuk and Salay caves in Cebu are the known cavernous spots you might want to try exploring.
In Cebu, there are diving centers catering to students who want to experience the rush in skydiving. Their instructors are willing to train and accompany them at 10, 000 to 13,000 feet in the skies of the Queen City of the South, to jump from an aircraft and fly with the wind gushing within their faces. The excitements greatly enhance their ability to maneuver, together with their instructors and they learn.
Hike at Osmena Peak
Standing at 1,013 meters above sea level, Osmeña Peak is undoubtedly the highest point of Cebu. The peak is one of several spire-like formations comprising the Mantalongon Mountain Range in Dalaguete. 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 see a stunning jagged skyline, a panoramic view of Cebu’s southeast coastline, and a glimpse of Negros.
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