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Cebu Travel Guide: 4 places for the adventurous soul to splash in

Have you ever daydreamed about what you’d do once the pandemic is over? 

Try thinking of swimming alongside sardines and whale sharks. Picture yourself jumping off waterfalls and lying on pristine white sand. In Cebu, you can do all those and so much more!

Recently recognized as the “Best Island in Asia,” Cebu has no shortage of fun waters to splash around and dive in. Explore these amazing aquatic wonders with this Cebuano travel guide:


1. Moalboal: Pescador Island, Turtle Point, Sardine Run

Activities: Sightseeing, Swimming/Diving/Snorkeling
Address: Panagsama Beach, Moalboal

Moalboal is one of Cebu’s most popular tourist attractions for good reason! Known for its white beaches, cobalt waters, and majestic abundance of marine life, Moalboal is a summery beach paradise to behold.

What to Do: 

  • Visit Pescador Island—if you’re lucky, not only would you get to witness dolphins swimming beside your boat, but you will also get to plunge down into beautiful coral-filled waters. 
  • Head over to Turtle Point to try snorkeling beside giant turtles! Be patient, and you’ll easily spot these chill critters by the shallower areas near the shore. 
  • Swim alongside the wondrous sardine run, a quicksilver underwater wall of millions of fish swirling about!

How to Get There: 

Moalboal is roughly 2.5 to 4 hours south of Cebu City. Depending on your budget, you may choose to either rent or drive a private car or take a bus at the Cebu City South Bus Terminal. If you choose the latter, take the bus which follows the route “Bato via Barili” and make sure to tell the driver to drop you off at Moalboal. Afterward, take a trike to Panagsama Beach, and enjoy your stay.

Millions of sardines gather at Moalboal every day. (Source: Unsplash)


2. Kawasan Falls

Activities: Canyoneering, Swimming, Sightseeing
Address: Badian, Alegria

Known as one of the most popular natural attractions in the country, Kawasan Falls is a breathtaking three-layer waterfall system full of clear turquoise waters and picturesque views. 

What to Do:

  • For the truly adventurous souls, the best experience is to reach Kawasan Falls by canyoneering starting from Kanyaob River in Alegria—visitors are given the opportunity to not only go trekking through the lush green forests but also to swim through refreshing waters, jump off from up to 30 feet-high cliffs, and swing off ropes into clear natural pools like Tarzan!   
  • Rent a bamboo raft to relax and enjoy the tranquil views.
  • Swim under the shower of the falls and immerse yourself into the blissfully cool embrace of Mother Nature. 

How to Get There: 

Kawasan Falls is an estimated three hours away from the city, depending on the traffic. Similar to Moalboal, you may choose to either rent or drive a private car or take a bus at the Cebu City South Bus Terminal. If you choose the latter, take the bus which follows the route “Bato via Barili” and inform the driver to drop you off at Kawasan Falls. 

Since Moalboal is only a short distance from Kawasan Falls, one may also take a taxi or a local bus from there to arrive at this destination.

A partial view of Kawasan Falls. (Source: Unsplash)


3. Oslob: Whale Shark Watching

Activities: Swimming, Snorkeling, Sightseeing
Address: Brgy. Tan-awan, Oslob

Oslob has undoubtedly become a widely known tourist destination for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see whale sharks. In normal non-pandemic times, the site was packed with bus-loads of tourists as early as 6:00 a.m. Travelers are thus advised to start traveling from Cebu City at 2:00-3:00 a.m. if they do not choose to stay overnight. 

What to Do:

  • Ride the bangka (lit: paddle boats) out to observe the whale sharks underwater. You may swim near them to take pictures—the tour guides will often offer to take them for you. However, a two-meter distance from the whale sharks must be observed at all times. All other rules and regulations must be followed.

How to Get There: 

Reaching Oslob takes approximately three to four hours via private car or bus. Visitors may take the “Bato via Barili” bus at the South Bus Terminal. Those taking the bus must inform the driver to drop them off at the Oslob Whale Shark Watching activity site.

An underwater shot of a whale shark. (Source: Unsplash)


4. Sumilon Island

Activities: Swimming, Snorkeling/Diving, Sightseeing
Address: Sumilon Island, Cebu

Located just a short 15 to 20 minute-boat ride away from Oslob, Sumilon is a small island with a white sand bar and resort for travelers to relax in. 

What to Do:

  • Swim, relax, and take pictures on the island’s white sand bar! Fun fact: The sand bar changes shape ever-so often because of the constant monsoons and tide patterns that shift the direction of the sand—this means that Sumilon Island never looks completely the same on each visit!
  • Go snorkeling and take a look at the many patches of reefs and fish swimming around! The best snorkeling spot is the Marine Sanctuary, which is located slightly away from the sandbar’s main swimming area as a protected space.
  • Relax at the Bluewater Sumilon Island Resort overnight. The resort offers private rooms, villas, and comfortable beach camping experiences, as well as several other amenities such as spas and restaurants. The resort also provides visitors with package tours for kayaking, hiking, snorkeling, and cave-exploring, among others.

How to Get There: 

From Oslob, visitors may take a motorized bangka in Mainland Bancogon for a 15 to 20-minute ride to Sumilon.

The white sand bar at Sumilon Island. (Source: Trip Advisor)

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