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Explore the Exceptional at These Unknown Places to Visit in Cebu

Vacation like a true local at these secret places to travel in Cebu!

By: Peter Parcon | July 07, 2020

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unknown places to visit Cebu

Cebu has several places locals normally visit when they want to de-stress over the weekend.


Even as the beaches of Cebu are already well-known among local and international tourists, the island has a lot more to offer to its visitors. There are several unknown places to visit in Cebu the locals have been visiting each time they want to unwind. You may have heard about these places, but have no idea where they are or how to get there. Well, today is your lucky day since we are giving out some of the best-kept secrets of locals looking to escape the daily grind of life.

Check out this list of unknown places to visit in Cebu.


1. West 35 Eco Mountain Park Resort

Where: Barangay Gaas, Balamban, Cebu
Operating hours: Monday to Sunday, 7:00 AM to 6:30 PM
Estimated travel time from Mactan-Cebu International Airport: 1 hour and 43 minutes
Recommended budget for two: Day tour: PhP1,480 (inclusive of two-way fare, entrance fees, and meals for two); Overnight stay: PhP7,500 (inclusive of two-way fare, room for two, three meals, and one snack)


Cebu

Locals normally troop to the West 35 Eco Mountain Park Resort if they want to take a breath of fresh mountain air.

Image: West 35 Eco Mountain Resort Facebook Page

While Cebu may be well-known for its beaches, it also has several mountain retreats offering a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of the city. One of these places is West 35 Eco Mountain Park Resort. Situated in the mountains of Balamban, the resort espouses preservation and sustainability while providing guests a panoramic view of Cebu. The resort also features a children’s playground and a zipline. If you just want to enjoy the fresh mountain air while taking lunch, you can stay at the Haven Café. The viewing deck of the resorts gives you a 360-degree view of the mountains of Balamban. Meanwhile, if you want to stay the night, the resort offers several rooms with complimentary breakfast.

Tip: Staying a night is ideal if you want to experience a foggy morning at the West 35 Eco Mountain Park Resort.

How to get to West 35 Eco Mountain Park Resort: From JY Discovery Mall in Lahug, you can hop on a motorcycle-for-hire and tell the driver to take you to West 35 Eco Mountain Park Resort.

July 2020 Update: West 35 Eco Mountain Park Resort is now open once again.


2. Lambug White Beach

Where: Barangay Lambug, Badian, Cebu
Operating hours: Public beach is open 24/7
Estimated travel time from Mactan-Cebu International Airport: 3 hours and 47 minutes
Recommended budget for two: PhP3,560 (inclusive of two-way fare, room for two and three meals)


secret places

Lambug Beach features a long stretch of white sand that can rival the best in the archipelago.

Image: Lambug Beach Homestay Facebook Page

Lambug White Beach one of the best-kept secrets of Cebuanos. Normally, visitors flock to Mactan Island if they want to take a dip in the beaches of Cebu due to its proximity to the city. But there are many other beaches located in the southern part of Cebu. Lambug White Beach boasts of powder-white sand that can rival the best the archipelago has to offer. You can either take a stroll along the beach or take a dip in its crystal-clear waters. You can also go snorkeling and explore a coral reef located close to the beach. Moreover, the beach does not have an entrance fee. If you intend to stay the night, there are several resorts offering rooms or areas where you can set up a tent.

Tip: While setting up a tent is an affordable option, staying in one of the resorts in the area is ideal to take advantage of the facilities offered by the resort.

How to get to Lambug White Beach: From the Cebu South Bus Terminal, get on a bus headed for Badian or Oslob. Tell the driver to drop you off at the Badian town center. From the town, you can get on a tricycle going to Lambug White Beach.

July 2020 Update: Lambug White Beach is still closed.July 2020 Update: Lambug White Beach is still closed.



3. Hale Manna Coastal Gardens

Where: Barangay Bas Daku, Saavedra, Moalboal, Cebu
Operating hours: Monday to Sunday, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Estimated travel time from Mactan-Cebu International Airport: 3 hours and 41 minutes
Recommended budget for two: Day use: PhP2,400 (inclusive of two-way fare, use of beach hut, swimming pool, beach shoes, life vests, and sea amenities); Overnight stay: PhP7,000 (inclusive of two-way fare, room for two, three meals, and one snack).


hidden gem

Hale Manna Coastal Gardens offers a tranquil retreat for guests looking for inner harmony in a beach setting.

Image: Hale Manna Coastal Gardens Facebook Page

The southern town of Moalboal is home to some of the best diving spots on the island. While visitors have numerous options where they can stay, Hale Manna Coastal Gardens offers more than just a bed for you to lie down after exploring the world under the sea. The resort also embraces the best practices and principles of sustainable tourism. Draped cottages with mattresses and hammocks are in no short supply in the resort as well. It allows guests to appreciate the beauty of nature while enjoying the fresh sea breeze. Guests can go snorkeling, kayaking, or diving. The resort also has a salt-water swimming pool offering a cool and therapeutic experience. Afternoons can be spent lounging on a floating raft or watching the sunset at a cottage overlooking the sea.

Tip: Staying at the resort over the weekend is the best way to recharge after a whole week of stress at work.

How to get to Hale Manna Coastal Gardens: From the Cebu South Bus Terminal, ride a bus headed for Moalboal. Once you reach the town, hop on a tricycle or motorcycle-for-hire and tell the driver to take you to Hale Manna Coastal Gardens.


4. Santiago Bay Garden and Resort

Where: Santiago Bay, San Francisco, Camotes Islands, Cebu
Operating hours: Monday to Saturday, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Estimated travel time from Mactan-Cebu International Airport: 3 hours
Recommended budget for two: Overnight stay: PhP4,500 (inclusive of two-way fare, room for two, and allowance for three meals)


tourist spot

Guests have the option of taking a dip at the beach or the infinity pool of Santiago Bay Garden and Resort.

Image: Santiago Bay Garden and Resort Facebook Page

Located in the Lost Horizon of the South, Santiago Bay Garden and Resort is among the pioneering resorts in the Camotes Island group. Established in 2000, the resort sits on a 2.5-hectare property featuring lush, landscaped greenery overlooking a white-sand beach and azure-blue waters. Additionally, it is one of the go-to-resorts of locals visiting the Camotes Island group. The resort features two infinity pools for guests not keen on taking a dip in the beach. Meanwhile, guests looking for their adrenaline fix for the day can take advantage of the aqua sports offered at the resort.

Tip: While taking a bus from the Cebu North Bus Terminal is the cheapest option, you can also take a fast craft from the Mactan Wharf of Island Central Mactan Mall to reach the Camotes Island group.

How to get to Santiago Bay Garden and Resort: From the Mactan-Cebu International Airport, take a taxi to the Mactan Wharf and get on a fast craft headed for Camotes. Once you reach the port in Camotes Island, hop on a motorcycle-for-hire and tell the driver to take you to Santiago Bay Garden and Resort.



5. Carnaza Island

Where: Daanbantayan, Cebu
Operating hours: Trips to the island are only from 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Estimated travel time from Mactan-Cebu International Airport: 8 hours
Recommended budget for two: PhP3,250 (inclusive of two-way fare, room for two, entrance fee, and allowance for three meals)


unknown places to visit Cebu

Setting up a tent is the cheapest and best way to enjoy the beauty Carnaza Island has to offer.

Image: Carnaza Island, Daanbantayan, Cebu Facebook Page

Carnaza Island is another little-known vacation spot of locals. Located off the northern coast of Cebu, the island offers a unique destination for people looking to escape the stress of city life. The island is gradually becoming a popular vacation spot since it is relatively less developed compared to other tourist destinations in Cebu. While the island only has one resort, there are several places where visitors can set up a tent. Aside from swimming, visitors can also go snorkeling, cliff jumping, or island hopping.

Tip: While there is a community living on the island, bringing your own food is ideal to ensure you do not run out of provisions while on the island.

How to get to Carnaza Island: From the Cebu North Bus Terminal, take a bus headed for Maya-Kawit. Tell the driver to drop you off at the Tapilon Port. At the port, hop on a boat headed for Carnaza Island.


6. Maravilla Beach

Where: Barangay Maravilla, Tabuelan, Cebu
Operating hours: Public beach is open 24/7
Estimated travel time from Mactan-Cebu International Airport: 2 hours and 38 minutes
Recommended budget for two: PhP1,500 (inclusive of two-way fare, tent fee, and three meals)


Cebu

While Maravilla Beach is one of the best-kept secrets of Cebu, it is gradually becoming a popular weekend destination among locals.

Image: The Tree Sunset Facebook Page

Another lesser-known place that is popular among locals is Maravilla Beach in Tabuelan, Cebu. Similar to Lambug White Beach in Badian, Maravilla Beach is a public beach that has no entrance fee. The fine white sand of the beach is comparable to the white-sand beaches of Boracay Island. Aside from swimming, you can also go snorkeling in the area or take a stroll along the beach. While there are several resorts in the area, you can also set up a tent on the beach after paying a minimal camping or tent fee. There are also some food stalls offering different food options to visitors.

Tip: Setting a tent on the beach is the most affordable and ideal way to stay the night at Maravilla Beach since the barangay tanods (neighborhood watchmen) patrol the area at night for the safety of visitors.

How to get to Maravilla Beach: From the Cebu North Bus Terminal, ride on a van headed for Tabuelan. Once you reach the Tabuelan bus and van terminal, get on a motorcycle-for-hire and tell the driver to take you to Maravilla Beach.

July 2020 Update: Maravilla Beach is still closed.



These are just some of the lesser-known destinations popular among locals. Maybe it’s time for you to explore Cebu again and see what other places the island has to offer.


For more of the places to travel to, make sure to head over to Yoorekka Magazine.


This article was originally published in Yoorekka on September 11, 2019.




unknown places to visit Cebu

Cebu has several places locals normally visit when they want to de-stress over the weekend.


Even as the beaches of Cebu are already well-known among local and international tourists, the island has a lot more to offer to its visitors. There are several unknown places to visit in Cebu the locals have been visiting each time they want to unwind. You may have heard about these places, but have no idea where they are or how to get there. Well, today is your lucky day since we are giving out some of the best-kept secrets of locals looking to escape the daily grind of life.

Check out this list of unknown places to visit in Cebu.


1. West 35 Eco Mountain Park Resort

Where: Barangay Gaas, Balamban, Cebu
Operating hours: Monday to Sunday, 7:00 AM to 6:30 PM
Estimated travel time from Mactan-Cebu International Airport: 1 hour and 43 minutes
Recommended budget for two: Day tour: PhP1,480 (inclusive of two-way fare, entrance fees, and meals for two); Overnight stay: PhP7,500 (inclusive of two-way fare, room for two, three meals, and one snack)


Cebu

Locals normally troop to the West 35 Eco Mountain Park Resort if they want to take a breath of fresh mountain air.

Image: West 35 Eco Mountain Resort Facebook Page

While Cebu may be well-known for its beaches, it also has several mountain retreats offering a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of the city. One of these places is West 35 Eco Mountain Park Resort. Situated in the mountains of Balamban, the resort espouses preservation and sustainability while providing guests a panoramic view of Cebu. The resort also features a children’s playground and a zipline. If you just want to enjoy the fresh mountain air while taking lunch, you can stay at the Haven Café. The viewing deck of the resorts gives you a 360-degree view of the mountains of Balamban. Meanwhile, if you want to stay the night, the resort offers several rooms with complimentary breakfast.

Tip: Staying a night is ideal if you want to experience a foggy morning at the West 35 Eco Mountain Park Resort.

How to get to West 35 Eco Mountain Park Resort: From JY Discovery Mall in Lahug, you can hop on a motorcycle-for-hire and tell the driver to take you to West 35 Eco Mountain Park Resort.

July 2020 Update: West 35 Eco Mountain Park Resort is now open once again.


2. Lambug White Beach

Where: Barangay Lambug, Badian, Cebu
Operating hours: Public beach is open 24/7
Estimated travel time from Mactan-Cebu International Airport: 3 hours and 47 minutes
Recommended budget for two: PhP3,560 (inclusive of two-way fare, room for two and three meals)


secret places

Lambug Beach features a long stretch of white sand that can rival the best in the archipelago.

Image: Lambug Beach Homestay Facebook Page

Lambug White Beach one of the best-kept secrets of Cebuanos. Normally, visitors flock to Mactan Island if they want to take a dip in the beaches of Cebu due to its proximity to the city. But there are many other beaches located in the southern part of Cebu. Lambug White Beach boasts of powder-white sand that can rival the best the archipelago has to offer. You can either take a stroll along the beach or take a dip in its crystal-clear waters. You can also go snorkeling and explore a coral reef located close to the beach. Moreover, the beach does not have an entrance fee. If you intend to stay the night, there are several resorts offering rooms or areas where you can set up a tent.

Tip: While setting up a tent is an affordable option, staying in one of the resorts in the area is ideal to take advantage of the facilities offered by the resort.

How to get to Lambug White Beach: From the Cebu South Bus Terminal, get on a bus headed for Badian or Oslob. Tell the driver to drop you off at the Badian town center. From the town, you can get on a tricycle going to Lambug White Beach.

July 2020 Update: Lambug White Beach is still closed.July 2020 Update: Lambug White Beach is still closed.



3. Hale Manna Coastal Gardens

Where: Barangay Bas Daku, Saavedra, Moalboal, Cebu
Operating hours: Monday to Sunday, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Estimated travel time from Mactan-Cebu International Airport: 3 hours and 41 minutes
Recommended budget for two: Day use: PhP2,400 (inclusive of two-way fare, use of beach hut, swimming pool, beach shoes, life vests, and sea amenities); Overnight stay: PhP7,000 (inclusive of two-way fare, room for two, three meals, and one snack).


hidden gem

Hale Manna Coastal Gardens offers a tranquil retreat for guests looking for inner harmony in a beach setting.

Image: Hale Manna Coastal Gardens Facebook Page

The southern town of Moalboal is home to some of the best diving spots on the island. While visitors have numerous options where they can stay, Hale Manna Coastal Gardens offers more than just a bed for you to lie down after exploring the world under the sea. The resort also embraces the best practices and principles of sustainable tourism. Draped cottages with mattresses and hammocks are in no short supply in the resort as well. It allows guests to appreciate the beauty of nature while enjoying the fresh sea breeze. Guests can go snorkeling, kayaking, or diving. The resort also has a salt-water swimming pool offering a cool and therapeutic experience. Afternoons can be spent lounging on a floating raft or watching the sunset at a cottage overlooking the sea.

Tip: Staying at the resort over the weekend is the best way to recharge after a whole week of stress at work.

How to get to Hale Manna Coastal Gardens: From the Cebu South Bus Terminal, ride a bus headed for Moalboal. Once you reach the town, hop on a tricycle or motorcycle-for-hire and tell the driver to take you to Hale Manna Coastal Gardens.


4. Santiago Bay Garden and Resort

Where: Santiago Bay, San Francisco, Camotes Islands, Cebu
Operating hours: Monday to Saturday, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Estimated travel time from Mactan-Cebu International Airport: 3 hours
Recommended budget for two: Overnight stay: PhP4,500 (inclusive of two-way fare, room for two, and allowance for three meals)


tourist spot

Guests have the option of taking a dip at the beach or the infinity pool of Santiago Bay Garden and Resort.

Image: Santiago Bay Garden and Resort Facebook Page

Located in the Lost Horizon of the South, Santiago Bay Garden and Resort is among the pioneering resorts in the Camotes Island group. Established in 2000, the resort sits on a 2.5-hectare property featuring lush, landscaped greenery overlooking a white-sand beach and azure-blue waters. Additionally, it is one of the go-to-resorts of locals visiting the Camotes Island group. The resort features two infinity pools for guests not keen on taking a dip in the beach. Meanwhile, guests looking for their adrenaline fix for the day can take advantage of the aqua sports offered at the resort.

Tip: While taking a bus from the Cebu North Bus Terminal is the cheapest option, you can also take a fast craft from the Mactan Wharf of Island Central Mactan Mall to reach the Camotes Island group.

How to get to Santiago Bay Garden and Resort: From the Mactan-Cebu International Airport, take a taxi to the Mactan Wharf and get on a fast craft headed for Camotes. Once you reach the port in Camotes Island, hop on a motorcycle-for-hire and tell the driver to take you to Santiago Bay Garden and Resort.



5. Carnaza Island

Where: Daanbantayan, Cebu
Operating hours: Trips to the island are only from 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Estimated travel time from Mactan-Cebu International Airport: 8 hours
Recommended budget for two: PhP3,250 (inclusive of two-way fare, room for two, entrance fee, and allowance for three meals)


unknown places to visit Cebu

Setting up a tent is the cheapest and best way to enjoy the beauty Carnaza Island has to offer.

Image: Carnaza Island, Daanbantayan, Cebu Facebook Page

Carnaza Island is another little-known vacation spot of locals. Located off the northern coast of Cebu, the island offers a unique destination for people looking to escape the stress of city life. The island is gradually becoming a popular vacation spot since it is relatively less developed compared to other tourist destinations in Cebu. While the island only has one resort, there are several places where visitors can set up a tent. Aside from swimming, visitors can also go snorkeling, cliff jumping, or island hopping.

Tip: While there is a community living on the island, bringing your own food is ideal to ensure you do not run out of provisions while on the island.

How to get to Carnaza Island: From the Cebu North Bus Terminal, take a bus headed for Maya-Kawit. Tell the driver to drop you off at the Tapilon Port. At the port, hop on a boat headed for Carnaza Island.


6. Maravilla Beach

Where: Barangay Maravilla, Tabuelan, Cebu
Operating hours: Public beach is open 24/7
Estimated travel time from Mactan-Cebu International Airport: 2 hours and 38 minutes
Recommended budget for two: PhP1,500 (inclusive of two-way fare, tent fee, and three meals)


Cebu

While Maravilla Beach is one of the best-kept secrets of Cebu, it is gradually becoming a popular weekend destination among locals.

Image: The Tree Sunset Facebook Page

Another lesser-known place that is popular among locals is Maravilla Beach in Tabuelan, Cebu. Similar to Lambug White Beach in Badian, Maravilla Beach is a public beach that has no entrance fee. The fine white sand of the beach is comparable to the white-sand beaches of Boracay Island. Aside from swimming, you can also go snorkeling in the area or take a stroll along the beach. While there are several resorts in the area, you can also set up a tent on the beach after paying a minimal camping or tent fee. There are also some food stalls offering different food options to visitors.

Tip: Setting a tent on the beach is the most affordable and ideal way to stay the night at Maravilla Beach since the barangay tanods (neighborhood watchmen) patrol the area at night for the safety of visitors.

How to get to Maravilla Beach: From the Cebu North Bus Terminal, ride on a van headed for Tabuelan. Once you reach the Tabuelan bus and van terminal, get on a motorcycle-for-hire and tell the driver to take you to Maravilla Beach.

July 2020 Update: Maravilla Beach is still closed.



These are just some of the lesser-known destinations popular among locals. Maybe it’s time for you to explore Cebu again and see what other places the island has to offer.


For more of the places to travel to, make sure to head over to Yoorekka Magazine.


This article was originally published in Yoorekka on September 11, 2019.




author

After leaving spending 16 years of his professional life in the academe, Peter decided to try his luck in the world of online freelancing. For the past eight years, he has been creating content for clients all around the world. He can work on just about any topic - from tattoos to technology and food to finance. He dreams of visiting every island in the archipelago some day.

Cebu secret places hidden gem tourist spot Cebu City

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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