Cebu is a stunning island city in the Philippines. This gorgeous island is surrounded by 150 smaller islands which make up the Visayas region. There are dozens of spectacular waterfalls to rappel down, swim under and even cliff dive into. Surrounded by tropical jungle, this vacation destination is one of the most underrated on earth. Filled with not only natural beauty but bursting with remnants of its 16th century colonial Spanish past from churches to forts. In fact, Cebu was the first Spanish settlement in the Philippines, dropping anchor on their shores in 1565. It is also home to the oldest street in the country, Colon street and the oldest fort, Fort San Pedro. This small island city was the birthplace of Christianity in the Far East. So whether you are a history buff or an adventure lover, there is so much to discover here.
This island is not short on adventure with ample opportunities to swim with whale sharks, turtles and more along with jungles to trek through. Not to mention the delicious food that can be found on almost every street corner. The weather in Cebu is pretty warm year round with average temperatures of 30°C/86°F. There is however, a rainy season from May to December. The easiest way to get around is by hiring a motorcycle or off-road vehicle. Otherwise, hop in a jeepney, it’s a must for any vacation to Cebu. A jeepney is a small colorful bus. Whatever you end up doing, you are sure to have a blast. So let’s delve into discovering Cebu.
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Cebu Adventure: Cliff Jumping, Tubing, Canyoneering at Kawasan Falls
Cebu is an outdoor adventure lover’s paradise, let’s kick off by discovering its most spectacular natural attraction, Kawasan waterfall. Famous for its beautiful turquoise water, Kawasan Falls sits at the foot of Mantalongon Mountain Range, approximately 0.6 miles from the national road of Badian and at least four hours of trekking from Osmeña Peak of Dalaguete. Another spectacular attribute of Kawasan Falls in Cebu is its multi-tier layout. It has three waterfall levels, all of which feature natural pools where visitors can swim and relax. Kawasan is not only picturesque, but it is also an excellent place to swim in. Visitors often praise the water as cold and refreshing.
The first part requires you to take a bus bound to Bato from Oslob. Once you reach Bato, you will need to take another bus going to Cebu City or Badian via Barili. It’s about 1.25 miles from where you are dropped off at the top to the lower part of the falls. If you hike up from the bottom, it’s only about 0.80 miles to the falls.
Kawasan Falls stands 131 feet high. You are sure to encounter cliff jumpers, tubers and people canyoning, all activities you can find right here on Tripio. There is a very small entrance fee charged, a little price to pay for a slice of paradise.
Kawasan Canyoneering offers the fun and adrenaline pumping opportunity to go canyoning, cliff jumping, rock scrambling and even going down natural waterslides. Kawasan Falls is one of the most famous and amazing waterfalls in the Philippines. Be sure to bring some water shoes and be ready for a fun-filled action packed day.
Go Water tubing down Kawasan falls with Kawasan Water Tubing. What better way to experience this beautiful waterfall than by going tubing down the smaller falls that follow down the river. River tubing is like white water rafting except it’s just you in a single tube navigating the rocky river rapids with your group and guide. This is such an incredible and fun experience that shouldn’t be missed. Be sure to call ahead to book.
Want that adrenaline rush, well you will find it here. The highest jump you can do safely into the water is at 50 feet. There are plenty of lower spots to jump from to warm yourself up. Remember that jumping is always at your own risk. Be sure to always check the water depth and look out for any rocks. If you are unsure of the exact spot, ask a local. There are tours that combine canyoning and cliff jumping where they will provide you with helmets and a life jacket. That activity can be found right here on Tripio otherwise if you are an experienced cliff jumper, you can do it on your own with just the cost of the small entrance fee.
Cebu Adventure Out At Sea
Oslob Whale Shark Watching offers the incredible, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to swim with whale sharks either by snorkeling or scuba diving. These giants of the seas are enormous and to think that they are sharks is unreal. Oslob Whale Shark Watching offers several different experiences that combine swimming with whale sharks and canyoning, snorkeling or just to relax on a beautiful sandbar. This is one not to be missed! The best time to encounter the whale sharks is between December and May with February to April being the peak season. Please be aware that this is an all-day activity, 10 hours with hotel pick up from Cebu city center available. Purely snorkeling and scuba diving trips also available.
Sea Turtles Snorkelling Zone 1 is an area in Moalboal where you can snorkel with wild turtles. You can choose to hire a guide or just head there with your snorkel and go it alone. The turtles are used to humans. This is an awesome opportunity for adventure along with connection with these amazing creatures out in nature.
The Japanese Shipwreck off the coast of Malapascua island in Cebu is known as the Tapilon wreck. This Japanese cargo carrier sank during World War II after it was hit by torpedoes. The ship was broken up into many sections but the wreck is still recognizable. Today, the dive site is bustling with marine life and corals. If you are an experienced diver, you can bring your own equipment or rent some and dive here. Be sure to have copies of your diving certification before you rent equipment, alternatively, you can go with a dive company. Either way, this is a pretty historic site. Dive certification is also required for diving with a company.
Malapascua is about the only place in the world where recreational divers can encounter Thresher Sharks on a daily basis. Thresher Sharks are natural deep sea dwellers, spending the vast majority of their time at depths well below recreational and often Technical diving limits.
Go on a guided dive tour to locations where you will be able to find surfacing Thresher Sharks. So all you daredevil shark enthusiasts, this is an activity for you!
Cebu Adventure Through Caves
Cantabon Cave is a huge cave with stalactites, stalagmites and a cool pool of water. This massive cave spans more than 800 meters/2,625 feet long, that is more than the length of 7 football fields. In order to explore this cave you will need to bring a headlamp with you so that your hands are free. There will be crawling through tight spaces, climbing and getting very wet. This is an amazing spelunking experience and shouldn’t be missed by any adventurer. There are guides available. Please wear comfortable shoes and have a change of clothes or wear a long covered swimsuit so you don’t get cut by the rocks. Be aware that the water is pretty cold which can be refreshing on a hot day. The small entrance fee covers some equipment and a guide.
Hinagdanan Cave is a stunning limestone cave that sits 40 feet below the surface. This incredible natural cave features dramatic stalactites and a cold lagoon to swim in so be sure to pack warm swimwear. The cave spans around 300 meters and isn’t recommended for anyone who has claustrophobia. What an experience and a great way to cool off on a hot day.
Kangcaramel Cave is a large cave spanning 400 feet and sits on high ground so you will have to climb a few steps to get up to it. There is a small entrance fee to get in however, this gets you a helmet and a guide. These caves are filled with hundreds of bats so be mindful of that. The cave is surrounded by a dragon fruit plantation so I definitely recommend trying the dragon fruit smoothies and ice cream available, not that I’m biased but Dragon fruit is my favorite fruit.
Cebu Adventure Through The Chocolate Hills In Bohol
Sotera’s ATV Rides offers the amazing opportunity to get your adrenaline pumping as you ride through trails in between the chocolate hills. The chocolate hills are a must-see in Bohol and what cooler way to experience them than by racing between the hills on an ATV. There are over 1,200 of these ‘Hershey’s kisses’ shaped hills. You can choose the duration of your ATV tour just be sure to call ahead to book and avoid disappointment.
The Chocolate Hills in Bohol are named so for several reasons. Originally getting its name from the brown color they turn in the summer. More recently, they have adopted the name as they form the shape of the famous Hersey’s Kisses chocolates. Either way, these hills are fabulous and should be seen. Embark on a 2.9-mile out-and-back trail that takes you up 196 feet in elevation gain. The trail including taking time to stop and take in the beautiful view takes around 2 hours to complete.
The Chocolate Hills Complex features an amazing observation deck that offers incredible panoramic views over the chocolate hills. There is a free shuttle from the carpark to the top of the complex, however, you will still have to climb about 100 steps to get to the very top. There is a small entrance fee.
Chocolate Hills Adventure Park is the place to go to get that adrenaline rush. It houses over 30 thrilling adventure activities including sky biking, ziplining, ropes course, mountain biking, horseback riding and more. You are sure to get a thrill all while getting an amazing view over the chocolate hills. There is a small outdoor cafe on-site.
Danasan Eco Adventure Park is the ultimate recreational park offering ziplines, sky cycling, kayaking, horse riding, ATVs, waterfall rappelling/abseiling, canyoning, bungee jumping and more. It is not suitable for young kids under 10. They even offer guided treks to waterfalls. This is how you spend an adrenaline fueled adventure day! Food and drinks are also available on-site.
Loboc Ecotourism Adventure Park offers ziplining on your belly, a ride up in a forest chairlift and more. The zipline is 1,706 feet/ 520 meters long and 400 feet/120 meters high, you are sure to get that adrenaline rush that you are after. Not to mention taking in the stunning views at the same time. To make it even more fun, there are two ziplines next to each other so you can race your loved ones. If that sounds too daring for you then you can hop on the forest chair lift. This flying bench takes you up 328 feet/100 meters above the river and forest below.
Cebu Adventure Waterfalls
Zip Stream Aerial Adventures offers a great opportunity to zipline to the beautiful Kawasan falls. This is the quickest and most fun way to get there. Choose between lying down on the zipline or sitting. This zipline runs two lines side by side and it is 3,280 feet long which is just about a kilometer. Definitely not for the faint of heart. Are you ready to fly through the air right to one of Cebu’s most beautiful waterfalls? Call ahead to avoid disappointment.
Inambakan Falls is a stunning waterfall that stands at 100 feet tall and flows into a beautiful pool of vibrant turquoise water. This is the perfect spot to go for a refreshing swim or if you are a daredevil, to go cliff jumping. You are provided with a life jacket with the small entrance fee so you are sure to have a safe and fun time. Don’t forget your camera as the photos you can snap here are just incredible. There are no food/drink stalls anywhere nearby so bring your own food and water and please take all your rubbish with you so that we can preserve our beautiful natural world.
You can attempt the jumps on your own or with a paid guide. Cliff jumping is always at your own risk. So be sure to check the water depth and look out for any rocks before jumping. The video below shows you the 4 spots that you can safely jump from. What an incredible experience that no adventure lover wants to miss.
Kanlaob Adventures Canyoneering offers a wonderful and thrilling adventure to Kanlaob falls. The beautiful turquoise water is surrounded by high cliff edges which makes this a cliff jumpers paradise. This is sure to be an adventure you won’t forget. Navigate your way down waterfalls and even get to slide down them too. Be sure to bring some water shoes with you and a whole lot of energy.
Dao Falls is just one of the many beautiful waterfalls in Cebu. The trek to get there is quite the adventure. There is a small entrance fee where you will be provided with a helmet, aqua shoes and a life vest. A guide will accompany you to the falls. The trek begins with a steep decline into the jungle and across a bamboo bridge that has seen better days. The total trek takes about 30 minutes and requires a moderate level of fitness. Be sure to be wearing good quality hiking shoes so that you have good grip as there is potential for landslides. The snaking part of the river leading to the falls is so picturesque. Once you arrive at the falls, jump in for a refreshing swim. Dao falls is one of the lesser-known waterfalls on the island but still a beauty.
I hope you have enjoyed my blog on the incredible destination that is Cebu, Philippines. All these adventures plus so much more can be found right here on Tripio. Download the Tripio app now and start adding these awesome adventures to your custom itinerary. Select your preferences and the Tripio app will generate a custom top 10 for you as well as specifically design a custom itinerary for you all in under 90 seconds. Adventure awaits on the Tripio app. Travel has never been so easy. Until next time keep traveling!
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– Gemma Winchester, Tripio Guru