5 Days Cebu Itinerary (Travel Guide)
We had an amazing time in Cebu, exploring every bit of it that we can find. It’s very beautiful here, no doubt about it, and there’s no wonder why people always come back for more. In this blog post we’ll show you around our 5 Days Cebu itinerary.
Read here our 10 favorite instagrammable places in Cebu, Cebu waterfalls and 27 favorite Instagrammable places in the Philippines!
SIM CARD AT MANILA AIRPORT
I wouldn’t recommend you to buy a sim card at Manila airport. If you wish comfort you can buy eSim online and if you aren’t in a hurry just go around phone shops in the city and compare prices to buy the cheapest sim card in Manila. Read here Philippines sim card for tourist and best Philippines eSim
WHERE TO STAY IN THE PHILIPPINES
You can get accommodation starting from 800-1000 PHP (less than $20 USD) for a room in a guesthouse. Can you imagine if you are two of you traveling in the Philippines, it will be $10 USD each.
BOOK YOUR TRAVEL INSURANCE
You can read Heymondo Vs Safetwing cheapest travel Insurance. You can get for $135 USD your Heymondo Travel Insurance with Heymondo discount code valid for 90 days. Read our full Heymondo Travel Insurance Review
You can get Safetywing Travel Insurance for Digital Nomads valid for 28 days Safetywing for $50 USD per month with kids until 10 years old included
DAILY BUDGET IN CEBU
Since pretty much everything is affordable and negotiable in Cebu, we won’t go on into detail about how each item on your budget list costs. Instead, we can say with confidence that each day, 20 USD will take you far in Cebu. There are plenty of local eateries that offer inexpensive food. Even entrance fees and some tours don’t cost that much in Cebu. Also, the transportation here is more affordable and reliable than other provinces in the country. With this budget, you can enjoy all the many things to do in Cebu!
For food there are local restaurants where you can have meals for 50-70 PHP and around 150-300 PHP if you decide to go for a fancy restaurant in Cebu.
Since the island is a very metropolitan location, you can also find all sorts of accommodations all over the island. From cheaper hostels, airbnb and B&B’s that cost 500 to 1000 PHP to budget hotels that go for 1000 to 3000 PHP to luxury accommodations costing 5000 PHP, you’ll find a place that fits your budget, for sure!
TRANSPORTATION AROUND CEBU
Like Manila, Cebu is a modern area and with this modernity comes the convenience of transportation. Though there are no trains in Cebu, they have pretty much all the vehicles you will need for your travel–and even more!
The main way to travel long distances and to reach Cebu tourist spots beaches is riding the bus. You can take buses, minibuses and even vans at the South Bus Terminal and the North Bus Terminal, depending on which places you’d like to explore.
Those going to Bantayan Island can take the bus from the North Bus Terminal and travel to Hagnaya port for 3 hours. This ride costs 160 PHP. Those who are visiting Malapascua can ride a bus in the same terminal and take the one that’s headed to the Maya wharf. On the other hand, travelers to the southern towns of Oslob and Moalboal can take the bus on the South Bus Terminal. Buses to Moalboal cost around 130 PHP while those going to Oslob can pay as much as 165 PHP per person.
Upon reaching the ports, tourists take a ferry to their island destinations. For example, a ferry ride to Bantayan from Hagnaya port costs 160-170 PHP while going to Malapascua from Maya on a public boat costs 100 PHP only.
Once in your chosen vacation spot, you can expect to ride tricycles to and from most places in town. However, those who are feeling more adventurous can always take the jeepney. For an even crazier ride, you can go on a habal-habal, the Philippines’ version of a motorcycle taxi. Many of these rides cost less than a dollar and are great ways to get to know the local culture.
5 DAYS CEBU ITINERARY
Day 1 Cebu Itinerary
For the first day of your itinerary in Cebu. If you get to the airport while going to city center by Grab or bus and reach your accommodation you will miss have of the day. In the afternoon you can go around city center visiting churches and museums.
If you prefer adventure you can visit We spent our stay in Cebu City with Crown Regency Hotel & Towers where you can try their zip line, wall climbing and many more activities.
And going for some local food in Cebu City. The barbecue is very typical in Cebu and the popular halo-halo as dessert. For sunsets Mactan close to the airport is really amazing.
If it’s your first time to visit Cebu City, it will be nice to walk around the city’s heart. There are a lot of Spanish influences around the area, visible in the churches and some landmarks.
One of which is Casa Gorordo Museum, a heritage house in downtown Cebu City which will take you back to late 19th century during the Spanish Colonization.
Another one is the Fuerzo de San Pedro or Fort San Pedro in Cebu City. It is a military defense structure built by indigenous Cebuanos and Spanish laborers. It is now located in a place called Plaza Independencia in the Pier Area of the city.
EXTREME ZIPLINING – THE ONLY URBAN ZIP LINE IN THE PHILIPPINES
If you are into adventure activities, this is definitely not one to miss. And between the two of us, Rachel is the one who LOVES ziplining. It kind of scare me a bit, so I had to say pass on this one. They created the only urban zip line in the Philippines in Cebu, one of the few parts of the Sky Experience Adventure by Crown Regency Hotels and Towers.
Basically, at the highest point of the hotel (and Crown Regency is the tallest hotel structure in Cebu), you get to Zip Line across the city, to another building, which gives you a 360 degree view of the city! Rachel did it in the afternoon, but you can even try it in the evenings! A lot of people did. Rachel swears that the activity is really fun.
Another adventure you can do is the 5-foot wall climbing. This can be very easy for some, but as the last leg of our trip, we’re pretty much exhausted. So we just enjoyed and let our instructor guide us. It was fun a breathe of fresh air, as it’s an activity you don’t get to do everyday.
We spent our stay in Cebu City with Crown Regency Hotel & Towers. You can stay overnight or just going for the activities!
EATING CEBU’S BARBECUE
Cebu is quite popular because of their meat dishes including Lechon and barbecue. We tried a local restaurant and we loved it. We had cold beer and barbecue. Prices were really affordable and we enjoyed our food so much!
Halo-halo is our favorite dessert in the Philippines and we tried the best in Cebu City. We have to say that for 50 pesos or $1, that halo-halo exceeded our expectations! It was the best so far! You guys should try this dessert in the Philippines, or in Cebu City.
ENJOYING A MAGICAL SUNSET
We love chasing sunsets and above you can see an amazing one. Felt like Visayas was trying to give us a good goodbye. Aaah. Can’t tell you how it’s just different when you spend a day full of activities, to just slow down at certain parts of the day. Sunset time is a good time for that! Click here if you want to book a tour around Mactan with Klook!
Day 2 Itinerary in Cebu
The second day you can visit the most popular waterfalls in the Philippines: Kawasan Falls. You can do canyoneering if you love the adventure. We recommend you to stay in Badian if you want to do canyoneering early morning. We stayed at Matutinao Beach Resort in Badian just in front of Kawasan Falls.
If you prefer just visit during the day Kawasan Falls Moalboal will have more options for accommodation and nightlife than Badian. Read more about all the places to stay in Moalboal and book your staying with Booking and Agoda!
How to get to Kawasan Falls? If you are coming from Cebu City, get a bus from South Bus Terminal to Badian. The trip will last around 3 hours and it costs around 140 pesos. Once you get to Badian, the bus will stop on the road and you need to walk to Kawasan Falls around 15-20 minutes.
It’s a very easy walk and you will not get lost since many people are going there. Prices are 40 pesos for locals and 60 for tourists. Kawasan Falls Cebu Tourist spots favorite of locals and foreigners, everyone visit here!
Kawasan is a very popular, if not the most popular tourist destination in the whole of Cebu. It’s falls is deep blue, which looks so surreal in photos. But even looks unbelievable in person. There are various falls in Kawasan, and you can enjoy rafting (for rafting activities, you will need to rent a raft for 300 pesos, and you get to enjoy bathing in the current of the most popular first falls of Kawasan. Just the view is very beautiful.
Sometimes we do feel biased that these tourist places charge so much higher prices than they would have charged in local areas. So we deeply suggest that when traveling for a long time, you always have to be mindful of the experiences you want to spend money on.
We’ve been to many tourist places, and we understand that some places are not allowed to be accessed for free, due to tourism office regulations. But again, always be mindful, and in return travel responsibly. We enjoyed Kawasan immensely!
The second falls is more for a more relaxed enjoyment. The rafts are free, and the water is more deep green, compared to the blue waters in the first and third falls. A lot of people eat and swim in the second falls, which we did too.
The third falls is mostly for canyoneering activities. The activity last 4 hours and you can enjoy jumping and amazing views. We didn´t try personally because we were sleeping so far of Kawasan Falls and the activity is the first in the morning. We will try next time!
Day 3 Cebu Itinerary: Moalboal
Early morning in Moalboal you can do Pescador Island Tour where you can spot dolphins early morning. You can do amazing snorkeling with turtles. And even sardines we spot during the tour. We booked a private tour with more friends but you can also join a tour for Pescador Island if you prefer a cheaper option.
After the tour we rented a transparent kayak and we were in our own to spot turtles. At night you can go for a drink and dinner since there are many restaurants in the area.
There are many Cebu tourist spots beaches to see in Moalboal. Our favorite ones were Pescador Island where you can snorkeling, see dolphins and sardines. The tour lasts the whole day and you can even go to the market to buy food in Moalboal.
The tour was great and you can do snorkeling 3 times! During the first one, you will see a lot of fishes and coral. With the second one, you will swim with the sardines and it was so impressive! On the last one, we saw giant turtles.
RENT A KAYAK
We rented a Kayak but not the usual one. It was a transparent kayak which we enjoyed a lot because the water is so clear and you can see where is the right place to snorkel.
Around Panagsama Beach there are bars and restaurants. After the sunset is perfect time for dinner and also having beer. You will find great nightlife in Moalboal. And we were surprised how many people went around at night even is a fisherman village tourists are coming more often, Moalboal is becoming very popular in Cebu.
Read here all the things to do in Moalboal!
Day 4 Cebu Itinerary
We recommend you to stay in Moalboal since it’s the most convenient. You can relax in Lambug Beach one of our favorite beaches in Cebu. There are star fishes and cottages for rent and even places to stay in Lambug Beach.
After relaxing in the beach you can visit Aguinid Falls which is 7 levels waterfalls and it’s so much fun!
Also Lambug Beach where the water is so blue and you can find starfishes everywhere in this lonely beach. Read here full blog post Lambug Beach.
How to get to Aguinid Falls? From Cebu City, you have to get a bus in South Bus Terminal until Bato. The journey will take 4 hours and it will cost around 150 pesos. From Bato you have two options by bus (10 pesos and 5 minutes) or by tricycle, to get to Aguinid Waterfalls.
The entrance fee is 40 pesos for locals and 60 for foreigners. You will get a guide for yourself (you have to tip the guide since they don’t get money from that job). Not really sure why is happening that! The guide is necessary, especially if you want to reach Level 7.
The waterfalls are amazing, the first one in Level 0 has nice colors and it’s very quiet. From Level 1 to Level 5, the waterfalls are nice but can be little bit crowded. We visited during a town fiesta, so there were some locals who are also staying to visit the area.
The normal tour is to visit the falls until the 5th level, but your guide can actually help you to see 3 more levels. They are trickier to climb than the first 5 ones, the reason why they don’t really suggest going up until they see that you can do it.
Our guide was confident enough with us, plus he said we would really enjoy going up 3 more levels, where there are not so many people. And we weren’t disappointed!
In the entrance, they will keep your belongings, and allow you just to bring one camera to take pictures inside. Since you’ll be climbing different levels, you are not really supposed to bring your heavy bags with you. Cameras need to be waterproof too.
Or be placed inside waterproof bags. If you do all the levels will take you a couple of hours, if not you can be done in an hour and a half. How was our experience in Aguinid Falls? It was an amazing adventure and great pictures. We had so much fun!
Day 5 Itinerary in Cebu
WHALE WATCHING IN OSLOB
How to get to the whale watching in Oslob? If you are coming from Cebu City, you have to go to South Bus Terminal and get a bus to Oslob. The journey lasts 3 hours and it costs around 140 pesos (depends on the bus, with air con or without).
First thing in the morning is the perfect time for the whale watching. Oslob is a touristic area full of accommodations, and whale watching in Oslob is one of the great plans to do when visit Cebu.
Our experience was great and impressive in the whale watching in Oslob. The tour lasts 30 minutes and it costs 1000 pesos for foreigners, 500 pesos for locals and it includes snorkeling masks. The three of us were surprised how big are the whales. Apart from this, it´s very touristic the activity in my opinion!
How to get to Osmeña Peak? From Cebu City, go to the South Terminal and get the bus on the way to Oslob. You have to stop in Dalaguete junction to go to Osmeña Peak (the trip costs around 100 pesos and it takes two hours).
From the junction, you have two options: going by Habal Habal (this is a motorbike) is 100 pesos per person until Osmeña Peak entrance. Or you can get a bus to Mantalongon (we didn’t take this route, but we saw there are buses going to Dalaguete and viceversa), and from there you can get a motorbike or just walk by yourself around 45 minutes.
Osmeña Peak is similar to The Chocolate Hills in Bohol. The difference is that you can walk around Osmeña Peak, unlike in Bohol, where you need to view the Chocolate Hills from a viewing deck. We liked the experience here because you really get to see the beauty of the place. Be careful.
We didn’t rent boots, and didn’t expect that it will rain, so it was TOO slippery going down the hill. Make sure to prepare the necessary precautions.
More Days in our Cebu Itinerary
If you have more days in your Cebu itinerary you can also relax and get your massage. You can do activities as camping and adventure in the mountains as we did in Danao. We visited Danasan Eco Adventure Park.
Going to North Cebu where you can visit Malapascua Island one of our best places to visit in the Philippines. If you go to Malapascua Island you have to do a day tour to the amazing Kalanggamand Island. And also you can visit the amazing beaches in Bantayan Island.
GETTING A MASSAGE
We also treated ourselves in a massage experience. We tried a Filipino massage and we really liked it. A good hour of massage plus a tasty lemon tea was a great way to end our day.
BACALLA CAMPSITE IN CEBU
Bacalla Campsite is a great option to escape from the city if you want to feel more relaxed and avoid the crowd. How to get there from Cebu City? It’s located in San Fernando. An hour bus ride from South Bus Terminal and it costs 40 pesos. We love hitchhiking and camping and lately we have been so busy that we couldn’t do it.
We spent a couple of nights in Bacalla Campsite, unplugged, sleeping in hammocks, in the mountains with an amazing view. The place is so cool and perfect for relaxing, since there isn’t any phone signal and internet connection.
As they say in Bacalla Campsite disconnect to connect! And if you want to go back to San Fernando City, it is only 10 minutes ride from the campsite. It’s actually amazing to get disconnected for a couple of days. There are many activities to do around like rafting, skating, snorkeling, biking.
All of these are actually not touristic spots, but hidden gems explored by the Bacalla Team and Go San Fernando team themselves. We spent a great time making new friends and we loved the sunrise there so much
DANASAN ECO ADVENTURE PARK
Next activity that which is visiting the Danasan falls you will write you will ride trailer truck for about 15 to 20 minutes and it’s a very adventurous road where rough road so you have to really hold tight in the truck and take sure that your you’ll be safe but once you there then as a waterfalls is a very very beautiful natural waterfalls.
There are a few activities that you can do that there is the tyrol in which is half zip line and then have tyro-line there is also rappelling down the waterfalls which is very fun activities if you’re not looking for attention the waterfalls you can also have a swim which is very fun and also the walk to and from the waterfalls is very very beautiful.
Their activities is quad bike ride wish in the whole place has a nice area where you can drive by and have fun. All we can say is that that is an echo adventure is a great experience one that we highly recommend especially if you want to take a break from the city.
Or just have a different adventure we actually appreciate the place a lot and it felt very special and many times more beautiful than a luxury accommodation in a hotel because when you’re in that as an echo park you’re surrounded by so much nature.
SWIMMING AND DIVING IN MALAPASCUA
If you go to Cebu City by plane or by ferry, you can head to the North and visit Malapascua. How to go to Malapascua? From Cebu City, you need to go to the North bus Terminal and get a bus to Maya. The journey lasts about 4-6 hours (depending on the traffic).
Prices are around 140-200 pesos (cheaper when you choose a bus without air conditioning). If you travel on a budget like we usually do, a great tip is getting a night bus and you will avoid to pay for the accommodation. The boats from Maya to Malapascua start around 6 am -6:30 am. The boat ride to Malapascua is half an hour and it costs 100 pesos.
Plus 20 extra pesos for a small boat from the port (the small boat will transfer you and the luggage to the big boat, because the bigger boats can’t usually go close to the port or can’t attach their anchors at some areas) to the big boat. Once in Malapascua, you need to walk with all your luggage a few steps to get to the seashore yourself. As we always say, travel light and it won’t be a problem!
Malapascua is a small island where travelers usually go for diving. We didn’t dive for this particular trip sadly. However that didn’t stop us from having a good time in Malapascua. We spent 3 nights and it was enough time to go around the island, relax in the beaches, meet local people and try local food.
Sometimes, you just have to take time and look at how locals live in a touristic area. They don’t live extravagantly, unlike tourists who will spend only a short time in the island. So it’s actually an important element of the day to day life that is very interesting to see.
Read here things to do in Malapascua Island!
Our favorite beach in Malapascua was Langob beach one of the Cebu Tourist spots that you cant miss. You will get surprised by how beautiful it is. A long beach with white sand and deep blue waters. Langob beach is in the northernmost part of the island.
There is 20 minutes walking distance from the south (where all boats from the port are coming from) to the northern part. Next to the Lighthouse of Malapascua, is a local community, with a nice spot to view the sunset. Where you will find a perfect spot to see the sunset. We also took the time to watch the sunrise, and as expected, they are both spectacular views.
There are no ATMs in Malapascua, make sure you bring cash, and check the exchange rate!
VISIT KALANGGAMAND ISLAND
You can visit Kalanggaman Island, an island about 2 hours from Malapascua, which is already an official part of Leyte, Philippines. It will take you an hour and a half to reach the island. You will find a paradise haven where you can spend the day, relaxing, enjoying sea food, walking in an area surrounded by the palm trees, eating fruits and seafood, and of course, you can snorkel to see underwater beauty of the area.
The day trip from Malapascua costs 800 pesos lunch included and you have to pay extra 550 pesos fee to visit the island if you are foreigner, 150 pesos for Filipinos and children with 5 years old get for free! Click here to get your discount booking your tour to Kalanggamand Island with Klook!
How to get to Bantayan? If you are coming from Cebu, it will take you 5-6 hours to reach Hagnaya. First you have to take a bus 140-160 pesos or a van where you can get a spot for 200 pesos. And you will save an hour in the road with the van. Once you are in Hagnaya, the ferry costs 200 pesos each and half of the price for children, the trip will last for an hour.
From Bantayan to Malapascua Island you can rent a private boat for 1200-1500 pesos and the trip will last less than 2 hours, if you share with more people you will save money. If you want to go by local transportation avoiding the boat. It will take you 6-7 hours getting to Malapascua.
The price per person by public transportation could be around 400-500 pesos. You have to take ferry to Hagnaya 200 pesos, tricycle and bus or van to Maya for around 150 pesos total per person where you will get another ferry to Malapascua 100 pesos, total will be 450-500 pesos. In my opinion, it will be worth it a private boat quality-price if you are 2 people in the boat, you will pay 200 pesos more each but you will save 4-5 hours.
Read here our full blog post: Things to do in Bantayan Island.
Once in Bantayan, you can do Island Hopping and you can also relax in the beach. You can rent a motorbike and also you also can enjoy the nightlife in the town, have dinner and go for a beer.
WHAT TO EAT IN SOUTH CEBU
A new specialty for us, Humba. It’s pork belly cooked with onion, garlic, black beans and pineapple. It’s served with rice in the carenderias and the price starts from 40 pesos ($ 0.80 ). It´s tasty and one of the most popular dishes in Visayas.
A simple dish like Torta made from eggplant, cooked with fried egg is so delicious! It´s very typical in Visayas region, or overall in the Philippines, as local food. We found it more in Visayas though, than in Luzon. Prices start from 20 pesos in local carinderias.
We hope we didn’t miss anything about Cebu. Actually, slashed that. We do have a lot more to see, and we definitely need to be back!
Hope it’s useful our 5 Days Cebu itinerary for your next trip. If you have the chance to stay longer in Cebu you will have more places to visit. Let us know in the comments below if we are missing something or you have questions about our Cebu travel guide.
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Happy Travels everyone!