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The Best Things To Do in Cebu If You're Not a Beach-Lover

Have a fun summer vacation in Cebu minus sand in your shoes!

By: Arrah Camillia Quistadio-Manticajon | April 01, 2021
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Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the destinations featured in this article may implement temporary closures and/or a set of safety requirements according to changing protocols. Please make sure to abide by the guidelines to stay safe.

summer vacation Cebu City

When people mention summer, they commonly think about going to the beach to escape the summer heat. But alas, when the beaches become too crowded, where can one go? Surely, there is no shortage of beaches in the island province of Cebu. But for those looking for a different kind of summer getaway, there are alternative places to go. Check out our list of fun things to do this summer in Cebu that don’t involve going to the beach.

1. Dive in waterfalls.


Canyoneering at Kawasan Falls, Badian

Image: Kawasan Canyoneering

Summer wouldn’t be complete without visiting at least one body of water. But having fun in the sun shouldn’t be limited to the sea and sand.

One popular destination among locals and tourists is Kawasan Falls in Brgy. Matutinao, Badian, in the southwest part of Cebu province, located about three hours away from Cebu City. This three-tiered waterfall attracts visitors with its clear turquoise waters, where one can take a dip in its refreshingly cold depths. Be prepared to take a 15- to 30-minute hike, as the falls is located two kilometers away from the national road.

There are three falls in Kawasan: the first two are popular among visitors, while the third one requires canyoneering which is fitting for adventure seekers. Entrance fee is PhP10, and visitors can rent tables, cottages, life vests, and rafts.

2. Swim in pools.


The children’s play area at Sky Waterpark Cebu, Mandaue

If you don’t want to travel far, the newly opened Sky Waterpark Cebu is readily accessible for those living in Cebu City and Mandaue City. Located on the sixth floor of J Centre Mall, it is the first and only waterpark facility built above ground in the Philippines. The 4,200 sq. m. facility features a children’s play area, a guitar-shaped pool, an infinity pool, and swim-up bar. For a good splash, don’t miss the water bucket at the children’s play area which drops a pail of water every eight minutes.

3. Go up the mountains.


The morning fog at JVR Island in the Sky Resort, Balamban

Image: JVR Island in the Sky Resort

At JVR Island in the Sky Resort in Transcentral Hi-Way, Gaas, Balamban, one can experience a temperature of 20 to 25ºC, which can sometimes be accompanied by a thick fog. With the cool air and the line of pine trees, it’s hard not to draw comparisons between the resort and the summer capital of the Philippines, which is why JVR is also dubbed the Little Baguio of Cebu. Amenities at this 15-hectare resort include a colorful 500-meter hanging bridge, pool, and cable car.

Entrance fee is PhP50 for adults and PhP25 for children. Guests can rent cottages to hold a picnic or stay overnight at their couple rooms or family rooms.

4. Hike at Osmeña Peak.


A hiker conquers the heights of Osmeña Peak

Image: Osmeña Peak

If you want to visit the mountains down south, Osmeña Peak in Brgy. Mantalongon, Dalaguete is worth visiting. Summer is one of the best times to go here, since the trail becomes slippery during the wet season.

Sitting 1,013 meters above sea level, Osmeña Peak offers hikers a 360-degree view of the southwestern Cebu coastline, and neighboring islands of Bohol and Negros. The peak is part of the Mantalongon range of mountains, and the hilly formations seen from above are often compared to the Chocolate Hills of Bohol, albeit with sharper edges. Hikers can have a picnic at the top, or set up a camp at the foot of the peak. It is also a good spot for stargazing.

Travel time from Cebu City to Dalaguete is approximately three hours. A registration fee/environmental fee of PhP20 is collected at the registration area.

5. Relax in a farm or rest house.


A pool amidst the mountains can be found in Lava Mountain River Farm.

Image: Lava Mountain River Farm

When living in the city proves to be too stressful, one can get away from it all by going on a road trip to a farm or rest house. There are a number of private farms and rest houses in Cebu where one can relax and reconnect with nature.

If you want to go on a digital detox, you can head to Lava Mountain River Farm in, Brgy. Bonbon, Cebu City. This mango farm and rest house in the Busay area is a four-hectare., five-bedroom eco-resort nestled in the mountains. The place does not have WiFi or mobile signal, letting guests stop to appreciate the beauty of nature.

One of the places to do this is at the pool which overlooks the mountains and which has filtered and treated water from the nearby Mananga River. More adventurous types can try trekking at the said river, choosing from easy, intermediate, or challenging routes.

Still within the Busay area is Serenity Farm & Resort, which is a two-storey, four-bedroom house at Brgy. Malubog, Busay. Located about 40 minutes from the city proper, the main attraction of the resort is the infinity pool with jacuzzi where one can see a spectacular view of the rolling hills of Busay.

This spacious house with a terrace and koi pond can accommodate 16 people or more for an overnight stay, which makes it an ideal location for family bonding or team outings. Day use of the farm starts at PhP8,500.

See other resorts in Cebu when you check out Yoorekka!

6. Spend a day with animals at the zoo.


Lapulapu, the largest saltwater crocodile, is fed inside his cage at Crocolandia

Image: Crocolandia

For animal lovers and families with kids, the zoo is the best place for a fun and educational summer trip.

At Crocolandia in Biasong, Talisay City, visitors can see endemic species like the Philippine sail-fin lizard, Palawan pheasant peacock, and Palawan squirrel, to name a few. Of particular interest is the Visayan warty pig, which is classified as a critically endangered animal by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). But the star of the show is Lapulapu, a 15-foot saltwater crocodile which is one of the largest crocodiles in captivity.

Founded in 2001, this mini zoo was once a turtle farm owned by a family of animal lovers. Aside from the mini-zoo, there is also a museum, playground, garden, fishpond, and café at Crocolandia. If you’d like to see more animals, you can also head to Cebu Safari and Adventure Park which is located at Carmen, Cebu.

While the beach is a popular summer destination, there are other places worth checking out for a memorable vacation in Cebu.

This article was originally published in Yoorekka on March 08, 2017.
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About Arrah Camillia Quistadio-Manticajon
Arrah Camillia Quistadio-Manticajon is the current content supervisor for the Visayas region of ShoppersGuide Marketing, Inc. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication degree from UP Cebu. She has previously worked for a business process outsourcing company, a community newspaper, and a global technology company. When not writing, she putters about in the kitchen, baking or testing new recipes.
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Disclaimer: All articles in the Consumers Magazine of Yoorekka are for general information and entertainment purposes only. Although careful research has been made in writing them, Yoorekka does not make any warranty about the completeness and accuracy of all information presented in our articles. Our content is not intended to be used in place of legal, medical, or any professional advice.
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