23 Best Cebu Tourist Spots Guide 2018
Planning to go to Cebu, and wondering what Cebu tourist spots you should visit? Surely, Cebu has many beautiful sites. And, you would want to go to all, or choose from the BEST Cebu tourist attractions guide. Find out what and where these places are. Then, you may know how to get there as you read on.
What are the famous tourist spots in Cebu?
- Cebu Taoist Temple
- Temple of Leah
- Sirao Flower Garden
- 10,000 Roses of Cebu
- Osmeña Peak
- Kawasan Falls
- Pescador Island
- Oslob Whale Sharks
- Tumalog Fall
- Sumilon Island’s Sandbar
- Simala Church
- Magellan’s Cross
- Basilica del Sto. Niño
- Colon Street
- The Heritage of Cebu Monument
- Yap Sandiego Ancestral House
- Jesuit House of 1730 or Museo de Parian
- Casa Gorordo Museum
- Fort San Pedro
- Museo Sugbo
- Camotes Island
- Cebu Safari and Adventure Park
- Bantayan Island
Check out the following places when you travel Cebu:
1. Cebu Taoist Temple
Let’s start within the city area. First off, we have Cebu Taoist Temple in Beverly Hills Subdivision, Cebu City. The Chinese Taoism community built this Chinese style architecture temple in 1972.
This temple had become popular because of its artistic structures. Even non-believers of the Taoism religion pay visit to the place.
From there, you can see the striking view of the city and even the Mactan Island. And of course, for Taoists, this is the ideal place to pray or meditate.
Hence, we put it on top of Cebu tourist spots guide.
2. Temple of Leah
The next tourist attraction is the Temple of Leah which is along Cebu Transcentral highway. Teodorico Soriano Adarna built this temple in 2012.
The temple is a symbol of his undying love for his wife of 53 years, Leah Villa Albino-Adarna. The temple has 24 chambers including a museum, an art gallery and a library.
Moreover, this place has Leah’s favorite and personal belongings.
In addition, Greek and Roman architectures are the inspiration of the temple. Statues of gigantic lions as well as a grand staircase with brass angels are decors of this Taj Mahal of Cebu.
3. Sirao Flower Garden
Heading to the more elevated spot is in the Busay area which is the Sirao Flower Garden. Going there is like experiencing the Netherlands, thus this tourist attraction is commonly called, “The Little Amsterdam”.
The array of celosia (or ‘Burlas’ by locals) flowers in flaring red, purple, yellow, orange makes it Amsterdam-ish. The put-up windmill and the cool wind complement the scenic view. Hence, this gives the guests the unique, touristy feel.
4. 10,000 Roses of Cebu
Moving to the nearby island of Mactan, you can visit the 10,000 Roses of Cebu. This magnificent spot, which is in Day-as Barangay Rd, Cordova, Cebu, has gone viral on social media. 10,000 artificial LED-powered roses surround this certain Roses Café & More.
Most guests prefer to go there during dusk to see the beautiful sunset while the roses lit up at night. Moreover, the owner of the café, who is also an interior designer, intends to create a romantic ambiance for couples.
The café offers sumptuous food which you can savor while enjoying the wonderful mood with your lover.
5. Osmeña Peak
Going south, you could climb the Osmeña Peak of Cebu in Mantalongon, Dalaguete (pronounced “Dalaget”). Standing at 1,013 meters above sea level, Osmeña Peak is the highest point in the entire island. Lime stones that have sharp protruding peaks which are perfect for taking pictures make up these hills.
The peak is part of the Mantalongon mountain range that stretches as far as the municipality of Badian. It is considered a twin to Bohol’s Chocolate Hills.
Further, the main activities here are hiking and camping. Most hikers prefer two hiking trails. The first one begins in Badian, passing by Kawasan Falls.
On the other hand, the other one is in the town of Dumanjug, which culminates in Brgy Liong. In addition, when you trek going to the top of the mountain, don’t forget to bring your water, it will help you re-hydrate.
6. Kawasan Falls
Still in the south of Cebu is the breathtaking Kawasan Falls in Badian municipality. Some hikers from Osmena Peak traverse to Kawasan Falls after camping, but you can just go directly to Kawasan via Barili.
Kawasan Falls is a three-stage cascade of clear turquoise water from mountain springs of Mantalongon mountain range. The waterfalls is a pearl of the Philippines. One of the most popular tourist spots in Cebu south is Kawasan Canyoneering.
The canyoneering adventure starts at Canlaob river downstream going to Kawasan falls. Local accredited guides accompany all tourists and facilitate the activities such as walking, jumping, swimming, climbing and abseiling through the streams. Most of all, when you do canyoneering, be prepared to be thrilled.
7. Pescador Island
Pescador Island is in Tañon Strait – few kilometers off the coast of Moalboal in the south of Cebu Island. It is one of the best diving spots in Cebu. Its island reef is a sandy slope covered with soft coral from 5–10 meters (15–35 ft).
Further, there is a wall covered with hard corals dropping down to about 40 meters (130 ft). In that wall are tons of different species of colorful sea creatures, including sharks . Better to prepare your underwater camera to capture its beautiful corals and different marine species.
Another main tourist attraction that is getting popular in this location is the Sardine Run. You can swim with millions of Sardines (also known as Herring), which is totally amazing. Therefore, brace yourself to experience the magnificent beauty of the underwater.
8. Oslob Whale Sharks
On the other side of the island is where you can experience swimming with the Oslob Whale Sharks, locally known as the “Tuki”.
Local fishermen would interact with the whale sharks by feeding them…until large number of tourists began to arrive in Oslob to see the whale sharks being fed. As a result, these tourists snorkel or dive with the whale sharks.
Oslob Whale Shark watching is one of the top in the bucket lists of tourists who visit Cebu because of the rare experience. Most note worthy, when ever you have a close encounter with the Whale Sharks, it is not allowed to touch them.
9. Tumalog Falls
Few kilometers away from the whale shark attraction is the Tumalog Falls. It is also situated in the municipality of Oslob. Locals call this body of water, the “Toslob Falls” or “Mag-ambak Falls”.
Tumalog Falls is a curtain like waterfalls that covers the entire cliff with cool and clear water. Moss embraces the rocks of the cliff which filters the water and gives a curtain effect. It is one-of-a-kind and definitely stunning.
Hence, this has become one of many’s favorite Cebu tourist spots.
10. Sumilon Island Sandbar
Still in Oslob is the small but picturesque Island of Sumilon where you can appreciate the sandbar. With its clear azure waters and pristine white sands, Sumilon Island’s sandbar is very popular.. It mimics a photogenic and mesmerizing tropical paradise that lures all types of travelers.
Bluewater Resorts owns the island; hence, spending the night in the island is not allowed unless you are checked-in at Sumilon Bluewater Island Resort.
But not to worry, they provide day trip tours which include lunch and activities such as snorkeling, hiking, fishing, paddling and many more.
11. Simala Church
In Sibonga, southern town of Cebu, lies the prestigious Simala Church. Simala church stretches its grandiose arm as if to welcome religious people all over the globe.
The design is inspired from European cathedrals. Not only is the place magnificent in structure, but this also reveals a culture that is deeply seated among Cebuanos – the essence of Roman Catholicism.
Monks who are devoted to the Virgin Mary reside in this church. Believers frequent the huge statue of the Virgin Mary since many consider it miraculous. Also, the multitude of Marys dressed in various cultural themes interests visitors.
12. Magellan’s Cross
King of Spain Charles 1 chose navigator Ferdinand Magellan to look for the “Spice Islands”. In doing so, Magellan was able to cross the globe and eventually landed in the Philippines in 1521. Specifically, he made his step in Cebu on March 15, 1521.
Magellan presented Christianity to Cebuanos, and most of them embraced the religion. In this site is where Magellan planted the Cross (which symbolizes Christianity) on April 21, 1521. An encasement protects the original Magellan’s cross.
13. Basilica del Sto. Niño
Just right beside the Magellan’s Cross is the oldest Christian church of the Philippines. Fray Andrés de Urdaneta, O.S.A. and Fray Diego de Herrera, O.S.A. founded Basilica del Sto Niño in 1565.
Ferdinand Magellan’s “Sto Niño” which is the Holy Child Jesus statue is in this church. He had this Sto Niño when he converted Cebu’s chieftain Humabon and his wife to Christianity on April 14, 1521.
The See of Rome labels this church as the “”Mother and Head of all Churches in the Philippines”.
14. Colon Street
Basilica del Sto. Niño situates in Colon Street, the oldest street in the country. Spanish colonizer Miguel Lopez de Legazpi established the street in 1565. He named the street after Cristopher Columbus who was actually Cristobal Colon.
This place is near Cebu ports and is the hub for early commerce. As a result, first establishments of Cebu are in this street. At present, it is still the hotspot for businesses, theaters, pubs, shopping malls, etcetera.
If you wish to buy your “pasalubong”or souvenir, it is in these street where you find stores that sell cheap souvenir items. People commonly celebrate the popular Sinulog Festival in Colon Street.
15. The Heritage of Cebu Monument
Lies in Colon Street is the monument portraying Cebu’s major historic events. The Heritage of Cebu Monument is in Parian Plaza. Cebuano artist Eduardo Castrillo structured the monument using brass, concrete, steel and bronze.
The sculpting began in July 1997 and completed in December 2000. The features of the monument include Christian conversions, Spanish occupation, battle against foreign colonizer, a prominent Christian figure, and a certain Philippine president.
To know the specifics, it is best you visit this site which stands stall and strong at the heart of the city.
16. Yap Sandiego Ancestral House
No need to go further, right across The Heritage of Cebu Monument is the Yap Sandiego Ancestral House. This ancestral house is one of the oldest houses in the Philippines. Built during Spanish era (between 1675-1700), coral stones and egg whites make the walls.
Molave, balayong and terracotta glue the roof together. Although this is built during Spanish occupation, the owner of the house, Don Juan Yap is a Chinese trader.
Therefore, the design of the house is a mix of Chinese, Spanish, and Filipino inspirations. Cebu’s native materials make up the furniture of the house.
Moreover, religious images are over the house which reflect the religiosity of the residents.
17. Jesuit House of 1730 or Museo de Parian
Image source Still in the same area, a walking distance from YapSandiego Ancestral House is the Jesuit House of 1730. It is also the “Museo de Parian”. The second highest ranking Jesuit priest in the Philippines used to reside in here.
Moreover, this house welcomed transient Jesuit missioners from various regions. Like Yap Sandiego, the coral stones and terracotta hold the house.
However, the place is real grand – the ceilings are high, the walls are high. This has become the meeting place of the early Cebuano elites.
To add, the house preserves some ceramics spotted during the Ming Dynasty.
18. Casa Gorordo Museum
Image Source From the Jesuit House, you just have to walk, and in about five minutes, you get to Casa Gorordo Museum. This house-turned-museum is where the first Cebuano bishop, Juan Gorordo, resided.
Originally built during the 1800s, a Spanish businessman Juan Isidro de Gorordo purchased the house. Due to Ramon Aboitiz Foundation’s Cultural Heritage Program, Casa Gorordo became a museum in 1980. The museum depicts Philippine culture between 1800s to 1900s.
19. Fort San Pedro
About ten-minute walk from Casa Gorordo is the oldest fort in the Philippines- Fort San Pedro. Spanish leader, General Miguel Lopez de Legazpi commanded the building of this fort. De Legazpi thought to use it against Muslim warriors.
However, as time passed by, other colonizers had used it for other reasons. When Americans occupied Cebu, their soldiers used this as their residence. Also, Americans educated Cebuanos in this fort.
Further, during the Japanese colonization, Japanese also used the fort as a barrack, a prisoner and a hospital. The historicity of this smallest-oldest fort in the country is undeniable.
20. Museo Sugbo
Four blocks from Fort San Pedro is Sugbu Museo. This is a large museum because it used to be Cebu’s provincial jail. The lone architect in Cebu at that time, Domingo de Escondrillas designed it in 1869.
During Spanish occupation, this served as prison for Filipino captives. However, during American period, Americans placed their horses here as stables for horse racing. Also, during Japanese time, Japanese imprisoned Filipino opponents in this place.
This becomes Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center (CPDRC) but CPDRC has relocated. Thus, on August 5, 2008, the place became a museum since it has rich role in Cebu’s history.
21. Camotes Island
From the city, we go to the Northern part of Cebu where a magnificent Island lies – Camotes Island.
The travel time from Cebu city to Danao Port (which is where you ride on a boat toward the island) is about 1 hour. From Danao port, traveling by the sea takes two hours.
Camotes Island gives you numerous attractions to go to. In a day, you can go to a lake, to a cave, to an islet, and of course, to beaches. To maximize your time, it is best to be there for more than a day though.
Visit Santiago Beach which has a long, white shoreline; Mangodlong Rock which has picturesque blue and green waters; Lake Danao which has a serene green lake where you can use a kayak to land on the mini land in the center;
Bukilat Cave which you can swim in with its fresh cold waters; Tulang Diyot which is a paradise-like islet with its white sand and alluring waters.
Other equally great places are Timubo Cave, Holy Crystal Cave, Paraiso Cave, Buho Rock Beach Resort, Busay Falls, Bakhaw Beach. Again, Camotes Island is abounding in spots to go to…stay there for 3 days for best vacation experience.
22. Cebu Safari and Adventure
From Danao, in less than 30 minutes, you can reach a destination worth your money and time – Cebu Safari and Adventure Park.
Cebu Safari and Adventure Park is the largest zoo of the Philippines. And, it has Asia’s longest zipline – a whooping 1.2 kilometers! This zoo includes plant and animal species of various kinds, such as exotic tigers and birds.
Becoming at par with international zoos, Cebu Safari and Adventure Parks brings you to the amazing nature of Carmen mountains.
What is more interesting and unique about this spot is you can enjoy many thrilling activities: hiking and canyoning in the waterfalls, biking, swaying in the ziplines, and many more!
23. Bantayan Island
Going to the northernmost of Cebu, a gem awaits you – Bantayan Island. This area is one of the most sought after spots of Cebu.
As a matter of fact, it becomes popular in the country when a film was shot there. Many flock to enjoy the breathtaking beaches of Sta. Fe, Bantayan.
From Danao, you will travel 2 to 3 hours more to reach Hagnaya Port. This is the gateway for you to be transported to Bantayan Island via a ferry. The ferry travels one and a half hour.
With the affordable accommodation yet world-class scenery, you could never go wrong with Bantayan Island. You will enjoy the tranquility and the beautiful waves of its seas.
Cebu tourist spots are mixture of historic sites, gorgeous beaches, and fun activities. This Cebu tourist spots guide is arranged by geographical location so you can go to several places in one trip.