On the hunt for the best and most beautiful places in Cebu? Keep reading this post for a complete list of all the top North and south Cebu tourist spots that will amaze you.
The Philippines is one of the top destinations in Southeast Asia. Aside from its perfect tropical weather and dazzling white beaches, the Filipinos are known to be respectful, friendly, and hospitable. If you are to visit the Philippines, you should not miss visiting Cebu. Known as the “Queen of the South”, the city of Cebu is the oldest city and the capital of the Philippines and has several one-of-a-kind experiences that are available all year round.
Arriving at Manila, the most convenient way to go to Cebu is to book a flight to Cebu City. You can also book a flight from Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea, Dubai, and Taiwan directly to Cebu City. You may also take a ferry ride to Cebu City from Manila and other provinces but the travel time is longer. The best months to visit Cebu are from March to April.
Now that you know how to go to Cebu, let’s go to the exciting part! Read further to know more about the best and most beautiful places in Cebu and what to do in each spot that will guarantee an amazing adventure!
This is a guest post from Katie, the owner of the blog The Hollapinos
(Disclaimer: Some links in this post may be affiliate links, meaning if you click on the link and make a purchase, I receive a small commission. This is at no extra cost to you and you may even receive a small discount. See disclosure for more information.)
The Best & Most Beautiful Places in Cebu
In This Post
- Highlights of Badian: Canyoneering, Kawasan Falls, and Lambug Beach
Nearby Moalboal, you can do canyoneering in the town of Badian. Booking a canyoneering tour is required for your safety as the tour guides know where you should step so you will not slip and other safety protocols. Canyoneering is one of the famous things to do in Cebu. Enjoy swimming, hiking, and cliff jumping along the turquoise water surrounded by lush green forest while listening to the sound of chirping birds and flowing water.
To add more thrill, make sure not to miss the highest jump points at 10, 12, and 14 meters. Our tour guide was joking us that he will not serve our lunch if we skip any of the cliff jumps so we made sure we did all the jumps. Food is life, right? Just kidding! We like the challenge even if we are afraid of heights.
After the adrenaline rush in canyoneering, relax at the nearby Kawasan Falls. Known as one of the famous waterfalls in the Philippines, the Kawasan Falls is a multilayered waterfall with natural ice-cool turquoise water. Although Kawasan Falls is the perfect photo backdrop, it tends to be crowded because of its popularity.
It is highly suggested to do the canyoneering and to visit the Kawasan Falls as early as you can to avoid the crowd. Some of my friends who did the canyoneering in the afternoon said that they missed most of the cliff jumps because the line was too long!
Last but not least to visit the town of Badian is Lambug Beach. Having a long stretch of white sand, crystal clear water, rows of coconut trees, and less crowd, Lambug Beach is the beach best to unwind and visit in Southern Cebu.
- Highlights of Cebu City: Magellan’s Cross, Temple of Leah, Sirao Garden, The Tops Lookout, and La Vie Parisienne.
You can never say you went to Cebu without visiting and taking a photo at the Magellan’s Cross. It is a Christian cross brought by the Portuguese and the Spanish explorers led by Ferdinand Magellan when they arrived in Cebu in 1521. The Magellan’s cross is on a chapel in Magallanes Street in Cebu City. Most tourists, local and foreign, have a photo of the Magellan’s Cross when they Cebu for the first time, considering it one of the most beautiful places in Cebu.
Temple of Leah
If you are into Roman architecture, one of the unique places to visit in Cebu is the Temple of Leah. Built in 2012 and located in Busay in Cebu City, the Temple of Leah was a gesture of love of a husband to his wife for 53 years. Aside from its Roman-style design and interiors, the Temple of Leah aside has life-sized statues of Roman gladiators, lions, and angels and an overlooking view of the city.
Another interesting place to visit in Cebu is its “Little Amsterdam”, the Sirao Garden. I see a lot of foreign travel bloggers especially the couples have a photo on the hand in the pictorial garden of Sirao. In Sirao Garden, you can expect an overlooking view of the mountainous region and rows of flowers. The most famous in Sirao Garden is the celosias, a flower that looks like bright red and yellow flames. This is unquestionably one of the most beautiful places in Cebu.
The Tops Lookout
At night, you may visit the Tops Lookout or the Crown Regency Hotel & Towers. The Tops Lookout is an overlooking place that 600 meters high in Cebu City where you can chill, watch the city lights, and stargaze. In Crown Regency Hotel & Towers, you can Skywalk on the translucent glass that is around the edge of the 37th floor with the support of a harness for safety and a guide to assist you.
I swear that it took the guide and my friends 15 minutes to convince me to start walking. To add more to this nerve-wracking experience, you can ride the Edge Coaster after doing the Skywalk. It is a coaster ride whose seat is insanely tilted facing downwards while going around the 38th floor! Will you dare to ride the Edge Coaster?
La Vie Parisienne
After all the adrenaline rush, chill out at La Vie Parisienne that is located in Lahug and known as the “Little Paris” of Cebu. Enjoy not only the best French pastry, wines, and deli products but also a traditional French dining experience and ambiance that makes it the perfect instagrammable restaurant in Cebu!
- Highlights of Moalboal: swim with sardines, swimming with sea turtles, and Basdaku White Beach.
Swimming with Sardines
Located in the southern part of Cebu, you will need to drive or ride a bus for 3 to 4 hours from the city to go to Moalboal. As one of the famous places to visit in Cebu, Moalboal is the best spot to swim with a school of sardines all year round unlike the seasonal sardine run in Africa.
Another good thing about the sardine run in Moalboal is that it’s free! If you don’t want to book a snorkeling or freediving tour, just head over Panagsama Beach, and a few meters from the shore you can already see thousands of sardines. The only downside of doing the sardine run in Moalboal is you can be hit by a tour or speed boat. Since the school of sardines can be experienced a few meters away from the shore of Panagsama Beach, this spot gets busy with boats going in and out.
Swimming with Sea Turtles
After swimming with the sardines, you should head over Tongo Point to swim with several turtles over a colorful coral garden. If scuba diving is your thing, the best place to enjoy it is in Pescador Island. It is a marine park in a small island that is famous to recreational divers visiting Moalboal.
Basdaku White Beach
Aside from Panagsama Beach, one of the beaches to visit in Moalboal is the Basdaku White Beach. It is a lovely white beach but crowded so if you prefer a beach that is less crowded, head over to Badian. The white beaches, wonderful atmosphere and blue water make these beaches some of the most beautiful places in Cebu.
- Highlights of Dalaguete: Osmena Peak and Casino Peak.
If you are looking for a hiking activity, Dalaguete is the best place to go in Cebu. One of the best south Cebu tourist spots, the town of Dalaguete is home to the Osmena Peak and the Casino Peak that are both minor hikes but offer 360 panoramic views of green jagged hills. Even if it is only 1,013 meters above sea level (MASL) and about 30 minutes to hike to its summit, Osmena Peak is the highest point in Cebu. The view from the top makes it one of the most beautiful places in Cebu.
The Casino Peak or also the Lugsangan Peak may not be as famous as the Osmena Peak but it also has a panoramic view of green jagged hills and with less crowd at the summit. Unlike the Osmena Peak, hiking the Casino Peak will only take about 15 minutes but get ready to hike on a steep hill. To get the most of your visit, you can book a guide so you can hike the Osmena Peak then traverse to the Casino Peak.
- Highlights of Malapascua: thresher sharks
With its name meaning bad Christmas, Malapascua is a small island in the northern part of Cebu where the Spaniards landed on a stormy Christmas day. Malapascua is one of the interesting dive sites in the Philippines because it is the only place in the world where you can consistently see the elusive thresher shark every day.
Mostly seen in the Monad Shoal dive site, the thresher sharks are not aggressive and will usually swim away quickly when they encounter a diver. They are known for their long upper tail fin which they use to whip their prey. Aside from diving, Malapascua has also known for its white beaches, snorkeling, and cliff diving activities. The white beaches and blue waters are the reason many consider this one of the most beautiful places in Cebu.
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And that’s it! Cebu is one best places to visit in the Philippines. In Cebu alone, you can do a lot of unique experiences not just in the Philippines but around the world. There are so many wonderful and beautiful places in Cebu to discover.
Another good thing about visiting Cebu is that you can easily ride a ferry to nearby islands. After visiting the best places to visit in Cebu, ride a ferry to Bohol, Dumaguete, or Siquijor and continue to enjoy the best of the Philippines.
This is a guest post by Katie is the founder of The Hollapinos
Katie is the founder of The Hollapinos, a blog of her travels but mostly with her husband Mike. She is a Software Quality Assurance Test Lead by profession. Outside of work, she is a dragon boat paddler, a Crossfit athlete, and an Olympic weightlifter by passion. Continue following Katie on her socials: Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
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Beautiful post! I think I’d be hoping the lines were too long for those canyon jumps 😆