Alegria is a small coastal town in the south of Cebu, which has found its way onto the tourist trail largely due to the nearby attraction, the popular Kawasan Falls. Alegria, often overlooked, is a great base not just for visiting Kawasan Falls but also a number of waterfalls and hikes nearby as well.
BEST THINGS TO DO & TOURIST SPOTS IN ALEGRIA
In this blog post, I will detail all of the things to do in Alegria and other attractions that are within striking distance with a moped or motorbike. I’ll also share tips on where to stay, how long to stay and my review of the WiFi and more tips!
HOW TO GET TO ALEGRIA, CEBU
Once you land at Cebu International Airport on Mactan Island you will have a few decisions to make. You can either take public transport all the way to Alegria or you could have arranged a private transfer in advance that takes you to Moalboal and then you could catch the public bus for the last little section along the coastal road. I’ll detail the two options below and I have yes done both ways.
Public Transport to Alegria: 4+ hours (depends on traffic)
- Taxi from airport to Cebu South Bus Terminal: $4
- Bus to Alegria $4
Private transfer in a shared van from airport: 2.5+ hours (depends on traffic)
If you want to book a transfer from Cebu Airport in advance. This service by Klook is the most recommended, reliable (and cheapest) private taxi service from the airport to South Cebu. You need to book it 24 hours in advance though so don’t get to the airport and try and book a shared van there. It will take you to Moalboal and then you can get on the local bus for the last 30-minutes down to Alegria.
So, as you can see you will save about $5 by going on public transport. It’s safe on public transport it is just a matter of time, comfort and cost. The decision is yours.
HOW LONG TO STAY IN ALEGRIA, CEBU
I recommend a minimum of two days in Alegria. One day to do the canyoneering adventure from Badian to Kawasan Falls and one day to do the Osmena Peak hike for sunrise. However, if you aren’t in a rush, there are enough waterfalls and hikes nearby to keep you occupied for up to a week.
WHERE TO STAY IN ALEGRIA CEBU
I stayed at an awesome accommodation, which was very and I highly recommend this spot. For $7 USD a night we stayed at D’Allegre Travellers Inn, a wooden guest house that rose above the ocean on stilts. Each night the sunset over the ocean from our patio and we couldn’t help but feel we were underpaying for our accommodation.
Another option in Alegria that comes with good reviews is the Alegria Waterfront Beach House, which is a bit more expensive at around $60 for a double occupancy room. However, this is some picture-perfect luxury right here. You will be able to enjoy the sunset right from the pool as the colors reflect off the ocean. It’s good living.
MY 5 FAVORITE CEBU TOURS
- Oslob Whale Sharks & Moalboal Sardine Run Snorkeling – This combo tour is the BEST VALUE way to enjoy a guided and PRIVATE tour of the two most popular activities in Cebu.
- Moalboal Island Hopping & Pescador Island & Turtle Bay Snorkeling: Swim with turtles and the sardine balls on an island-hopping boat trip from Moalboal.
- Bluewater Sumilon Island Day Tour – Visit the crystal clear water of Sumilon Island on this day tour.
- Kawasan Falls Canyoneering Tour (BEST PRICE): The classic tour. Number one most booked activity in Cebu!
- Bohol Day tour from Cebu: Want to visit Bohol but are short of time? See the top sights on this one-day adventure including transport.
Click the orange button below to view all of the top-rated tours on Klook
TRANSPORT IN ALEGRIA
To get around Alegria you have a few options.
- You can walk to all of the restaurants nearby, which are within a 2-3km distance.
- Tricycles will regularly pass by, which will take you a couple of kilometers for a dollar or two if you prefer not to walk.
- The bus (big yellow bus that always speeds by) goes in both directions around the entire south so you can get on and off wherever as long as you know the right direction to head in. Usually, it’s never more than a dollar or so.
- It is possible to rent a moped but you should ask your accommodation host where it is best to do so because there isn’t a set shop where moped rentals are offered. They will probably call a friend or someone who rents them out.
Tricycles can also transit you from town to town for journeys more than an hour and will cost from $5 upwards depending on your destination. For example, I took a tricycle to Oslob or you can take the big yellow bus.
BEST THINGS TO DO IN (AND NEAR) ALEGRIA
Alegria is a pretty central spot to a number of attractions. Some involve needing a moped and others can be accessed from the public bus. I’ve written an individual blog post for each of the attractions so you can click on that link and investigate the driving time, trek required and see more photos and details about that specific place to visit near Alegria. The activities that are really close to Alegria are:
- Kawasan Falls
- Malabuyoc Hot Spring
- Montpellier Waterfall
- Osmena Peak
- Casino Peak
All of the rest of the suggested things to do near Alegria made this list because there were less than 1-hour drive from Alegria, which is pretty normal for this region. Most people use Alegria or Moalboal as a base for their southern Cebu adventures.
KAWASAN FALLS CANYONEERING
Canyoneering through the Gatorade blue waters all the way down the canyons into Kawasan Falls is one of the most popular tourist activities on the island.
In Badian/Alegria and even Moalboal there are many tour companies you can book with for your Kawasan Falls canyoneering adventure on Cebu. However, these are often big groups and can range in quality as it’s tough to see the ‘reviews’. I suggest booking in advance with the online tour that has 1000+ positive reviews. There are two main options that I recommened:
- Kawasan Falls Canyoneering Tour: (BEST PRICE): The classic tour including transfers. Number one most booked activity in Cebu, with 1000+ POSITIVE REVIEWS.
- Oslob Whale Sharks & Kawasan Falls Canyoneering – This combo-tour is a great way to enjoy a guided tour of thw two most popular activities in Cebu.
The canyoneering starts in the jungle and you will wear a helmet and a life vest. Accompanied by a guide you will jump into the water and begin floating down the canyon. This goes on for the best part of 2 hours as you float, jump and climb your way down to Kawasan Falls.
The biggest jump was 50ft but it was optional. The biggest jump that was required to continue the journey downstream was only a few meters. Halfway through the floating and swimming comes to an end more or less and you begin to trek through the water and the jungle. It is quite an immersive experience but still quite safe. Kawasan Falls is definitely one of the top things to do in Alegria.
Read the full blog post: KAWASAN FALLS CEBU CANYONEERING
BEST CAMERA FOR THE PHILIPPINES
The GoPro Hero11 is the BEST camera for traveling around the Philippines.
- Waterproof for snorkeling, island-hopping and canyoneering and beach days.
- Built-in stabilization for filming your travels and adventure activities
- 5.3K video and 27MP Photo to capture awesome memories of friends and family
Cambais Falls is an amazing waterhole in the hills of Alegria, Cebu. It’s less than an hour’s drive from Moalboal and there are several other great waterfalls nearby to make an epic waterfall adventure day. There are several waterfalls and different cliff jumping levels at Cambais as well as great spots for swimming.
Cambais Falls has two distinct levels. On the first level, a huge, milky blue pool is surrounded by ferns, boulders, and trees.
The waterfall at this level pours over the limestone cliff wall without extreme force, more of a pour! It seems to drip off the limestone in lines, which creates a beautiful scene from below. There is a lot to explore on this level like a few small caves and plenty of rocks to jump off. One of my favorite waterfalls near Alegria!
Read the full blog post: CAMBAIS FALLS IN ALEGRIA
Montpellier isn’t the most popular waterfall on Cebu amongst tourists. In fact, most probably don’t know about it. The locals are happy to share this one. They have painted a big mural and sign near the road, which marks the entrance. It is a great little watering hole without much of a hike and a great way to cool off after exploring Osmena Peak (on the same road).
Once you reach the waterfall you will have to crane your neck to take it in. It’s a tall one. A single flow of water plummets onto a giant boulder below before cascading into the emerald pool. It’s a great spot for swimming and hanging out with some of the local kids.
I can’t imagine having something so epic in my backyard.. let alone my hometown! It’s one of the best things do in Alegria for a relaxed afternoon.
Read the full blog post: MONTPELLIER WATERFALL IN ALEGRIA
TOP 3 PLACES TO STAY IN MOALBOAL
Moalboal is the best place to base for all your Cebu adventures. It is central to most waterfalls, canyoneering, snorkeling, beaches and within driving distance of the Whale Sharks!
SUNRISE HIKE TO OSMENA PEAK
From Alegria, we organized motorbike to take both myself, a friend and of course the driver to Osmena Peak. It was only $10 per person return and was a 1.5-hour journey each way. It was very uncomfortable but the budget option.
You could take a car here but it would be much more expensive. We had to leave before 4 am in order to make it to the summit before sunrise.
The Peak is known for having amazing panoramic views across jagged cliff lines and the ocean. We were told it would be best for sunrise and we were left speechless by the scene from the summit of the short 20-minute trek.
There is an entrance fee of a few dollars to the hike, which comes with a guide who you can choose to tip and of course the cost of the motorbike. It is quite a cheap adventure and an amazing sunrise experience.
View the full blog post: OSMEÑA PEAK IN CEBU – A BEAUTIFUL SUNRISE HIKE
MAINIT HOT SPRING IN MALABUYOC (TEMPORARILY CLOSED)
A 15-minute bus ride away from D’Allegre (costing less than $1) you will head to Mainit Hot Springs. A short walk through the jungle and you will arrive at some amazing hot springs, surrounded by lush greenery and a waterfall.
The Hot Springs were steaming. So hot we could hardly sit in some of the springs which ranged from 38-42 degrees Celsius. Set in a rainforest just beyond a local village we could feel this was just the beginning of an amazing trip
Read the full blog post: MAINIT HOT SPRINGS IN MALABUYOC
CASINO PEAK TREK
In the backyard of a friendly family near Lugsangan is one of the most amazing viewpoints on Cebu. Known as Casino Peak, this short trek to the top of a rocky ridge has a view I can guarantee you have never dreamed of in your wildest imagination.
The trek up Casino Peak from the information center is actually very short and hardly considered a trek in my opinion. The total trekking time to reach the summit is about ten minutes although it is quite steep. The track is clear the whole way but not marked. At the summit, we could not believe our eyes as we saw the Chocolate Hills of Bohol. For me, this was the best mountain view I had ever seen in Cebu and It was a more impressive vista than Chocolate Hills on Bohol in my opinion.
Read the full blog post: CASINO PEAK VIEWPOINT HIKE IN DALAGUETE
What are my favorite pieces of gear for waterfall adventures?
There are four pieces of gear that I simply never forget when I go on a waterfall adventure. These are four items that I using right now and this list gets updated every year! Here are my waterfall adventure essentials.
- Arcteryx BETA AR Rain Jacket: This is my go-to rain jacket. It’s super light, folds down into a tiny ball, and protects brilliantly in a storm. This one never leaves my backpack.
- Osprey Ultralight Dry Sack: Waterfalls get wet and wild so having this ultralight dry sack for cameras, phones and valuables means you don’t have to hold back!
- PackTowl Quick-Dry Towel: A quick-dry towel is a must for travelers. It hardly takes up any room and dries in seconds.
- GoPro Hero 10: The best and easiest way to capture your underwater and snorkeling adventures.
DAO WATERFALL TREK
Dao Waterfall offers not only an epic waterfall finale but it is the trek in that is truly astounding. For thirty minutes you wade through those trademark Cebu blues, while ferns and palms cover the canyon walls on either side. The trek to Dao Falls itself isn’t hard but it does require you to walk through the water and navigate your way around boulders and rocks.
The vibrant green ferns, palms and jungle plants come at you from all angles and contrast against the blues. The final piece of this incredible natural puzzle is the high canyon walls that slowly close in on you as you make your way up the cascades until you are walking through a narrow trail.
Dao Waterfall is about 40-50m high and pours down into a large pool. You can swim safely in the pool and near the falls when the flow isn’t too crazy but of course, be careful depending on the conditions. It was a great pool to refresh in after the short trail hike.
Read the full blog post: DAO WATERFALL IN SAMBOAN
Inambakan Falls is known for having a beautiful 100-ft waterfall that plunges into a wide pool of blue water. Surrounded by lush jungle greenery it is indeed an amazing scene. However, what makes Inambakan Falls such a memorable adventure is the multi-level trek to different pools and waterfalls. When I visited, I was based in Moalboal and the drive took less than an hour on the motorbike.
The main waterfall is a 100ft flow of water, which crashes down into the blue pool of water. I really love the limestone cliffs behind the waterfall. The orange tinge contrasts so vividly against the strong blue of the pool below.
Read the full blog post: INAMBAKAN FALLS IN GINATILAN
KABUTONGAN WATERFALL TREK
Kabutongan Falls trek is one of the most magical adventures on the island of Cebu. It’s also rarely crowded as it isn’t as popular as many other waterfalls in the south of Cebu. The trail follows the blue waters of a narrow stream up the canyon until you reach Kabutongan Waterfall. Here you will find a hidden cave behind the waterfall and several different cliff-jumps!
The trail is only a short 30-minutes but there are a few sections that require rope (it is installed). It is possible without a guide but the guide is vital to help protect natural areas like this and they will help keep you safe. The trail crisscrosses the river and includes bouldering and some intermediate difficulty sections.
At the Kabutongan Waterfall viewpoint, you can only see half of the waterfall as the rock wall wraps around, concealing the waterfall. Luckily you can get a closer like by swimming down in the pool below.
The cliff jumps at Kabutongan are pretty awesome. From the viewpoint, you have two levels. One is about 5-meters and the other is about 8-9 meters. This trek was one of my favorite things to do near Alegria!
Read the full blog post: KABUTONGAN WATERFALL TREK
Kandungaw Peak is an epic ridge in the mountain range of Dalaguete, Cebu. It is also commonly known as Candongao Peak but Kandungaw seems to be the more commonly used. This short hike of about 30-minutes takes you to some beautiful viewpoints with dramatic drop-offs. There are four viewpoints to see at this location and one additional cave to explore.
Read the full blog post: KANDUNGAW PEAK VIEWPOINT IN DALAGUETE
BINALAYAN (HIDDEN) WATERFALL
Tucked away in Samboan is a beautiful waterfall at the end of a tranquil jungle trail. It is also the place of one of the most dangerous cliff jumps I’ve ever done in my life. It’s a beautiful but short little adventure, which you can combine with the other waterfalls in the Samboan region of Cebu.
Binalayan Waterfall is also known as ‘Hidden Falls’. Like many ‘hidden’ places around the world, it is not hidden at all. It is advertised with a road from the sign, which directs you to a parking lot and the ticket office.
The trail only takes about 20 minutes from start to finish but provides a beautiful coconut palm-lined path and peaceful scenery. Most of the path is a steady dirt trail, which we traversed in flip-flops. Enormous palm trees cover the land. One of our guides showed off his rapid climbing skills and gathered some coconuts for us, which was super impressive.
Read the full blog post: BINALAYAN FALLS (HIDDEN FALLS)
Aguinid Falls has become one of the most popular waterfalls on the island of Cebu. While it may never surpass the popularity of Kawasan Falls down the road, the Aguinid Falls trek is a great, adventurous activity for explorers of all levels.
Aguinid Falls is split up into multiple levels. The adventure used to take you to eight levels. However, since there were a few accidents and fatalities on the higher levels, you are now required to take a guide and you will only reach level five. Don’t worry this is more than enough adventure!
After about half an hour we reached the level 5 waterfall, which pours down over the rounded waterfall. Caves inside can be explored and it is a great place for a refreshing dip. This is definitely one of the best waterfalls on Cebu if you want a big adventure!
Read the full blog post: AGUINID FALLS IN SAMBOAN
Cancalanog Falls is one of the most incredible spots on Cebu and it remains off the beaten path. While it isn’t a massive waterfall it boasts some incredibly transparent, freshwater in a stunning watering hole.
The location is before Cambais Falls and only 1-hour drive from Moalboal. I honestly couldn’t believe it when we arrived at this location and there was no-one else there it really topped it off. In fact, no-one else came to this spot for the entire afternoon in which we visited.
Read the full blog post: CANCALANOG FALLS IN ALEGRIA, CEBU
WHERE TO STAY IN CEBU?
I really think that if you are going to be exploring Cebu, the best place to stay is in Moalboal. There are a few reasons why!
Cebu City might be where you land at the airport but if you are looking for adventure, you will need to head south as soon as possible. Most of the best waterfalls, whale sharks, snorkeling with sardines and turtles are all down in the south of Cebu. So where do you stay to do all of these adventures? Moalboal!
Moalboal is a cool town, which is the free-diving and scuba capital of Cebu. There are tons of hostels, hotels, and hostels here as well as being close to all the waterfalls and hikes in the region.
Here are my recommendations on where to stay in Moalboal depending on your budget.
- Teobas Homestay – Value: You need to click on that link just to see how rad this place is. It has a staircase down to the ocean into crystal clear water. I can tell you, I have snorkeled out the front of this place with turtles many times. For about $30 USD you get a private room with all of the facilities you need. There is not much better than having ocean access and a bit of a sunset view!
- Dolphin House Resort – Luxury: If you are looking for a nice resort, Dolphin House is a 5-star resort with a huge pool for less than $200 USD per night. It has ocean access, great restaurant, chilling areas and a beautiful garden throughout the property.
BEST TIME OF YEAR TO VISIT CEBU
When considering the weather, the best time to visit Cebu, Philippines, is generally during the dry season which runs from December to May. During this period, the weather is more predictable, with less chance of rain disrupting outdoor activities. Here’s a more detailed breakdown:
- Dry Season (December – May): This period is characterized by less rainfall and more sunshine. Among these months, February to May are especially good as they tend to be hot and dry, making them perfect for beach-related activities.
- Cool Months (December – February): The months of December to February are part of the dry season but are slightly cooler compared to other months. This makes it a good time to visit if you prefer more moderate temperatures.
- Hot Months (March – May): These months can get quite hot, but if you’re planning on spending time at the beach or by the pool, this could be the ideal time for you.
- Rainy Season (June – November): These months have more rainfall, which can disrupt outdoor activities. However, the rain can also bring cooler temperatures and fewer tourists, which some visitors might prefer.
MORE CEBU TRAVEL GUIDES
- Ultimate Cebu Bucketlist: 26 AWESOME THINGS TO DO ON CEBU
- Canyoneering Guide: KAWASAN FALLS CEBU CANYONEERING
- Ultimate Oslob Guide: WHAT TO DO IN OSLOB CEBU
- Digital Nomad Guide to Moalboal: THE DIGITAL NOMAD GUIDE TO MOALBOAL, CEBU
- Waterfall Chasing: 14 BEST WATERFALLS IN CEBU
- Moalboal Guide: 20 BEST THINGS TO DO IN MOALBOAL
- Alegria Guide: 13 BEST THINGS TO DO IN ALEGRIA
- Hiking Osmena Peak: OSMEÑA PEAK IN CEBU – A BEAUTIFUL SUNRISE HIKE
MORE OF MY PHILIPPINES GUIDES
- The Ultimate Philippines Itinerary: 3-4 WEEK PHILIPPINES ITINERARY
- Best Island Hopping Trip: BIG DREAM BOAT MAN IN CORON
- The Backpacker’s Guide to the Philippines: 1 MONTH FOR $800
- Ultimate Guide to Coron: 22 AWESOME THINGS TO DO IN CORON
- Ultimate Guide to Siargao: 40 AWESOME THINGS TO DO IN SIARGAO
- Ultimate Guide to Romblon: 17 AWESOME THINGS TO DO IN ROMBLON
- Ultimate Guide to El Nido: 20 AWESOME THINGS TO DO IN EL NIDO
- Ultimate Guide to Bohol: 27 AWESOME THINGS TO DO IN BOHOL
- Ultimate Guide to Sibuyan: 9 AWESOME THINGS TO DO IN SIBUYAN
MY ACCOMMODATION GUIDES FOR THE PHILIPPINES
- Luxury in South Cebu: 18 BEST SOUTH CEBU RESORTS
- Bucketlist: 13 BEST PHILIPPINES OVERWATER BUNGALOWS
- Beach Resorts in North Cebu: BEST RESORTS IN CEBU
- El Nido Resorts: 12 BEST RESORTS IN EL NIDO
- Moalboal Accommodation: WHERE TO STAY IN MOALBOAL
- Panglao Resorts: 13 BEST LUXURY RESORTS IN PANGLAO
- Siargao Accommodation: WHERE TO STAY IN SIARGAO
- Hostels in Cebu: 10 BEST HOSTELS IN CEBU
- Sustainable Resorts: 12 BEST ECO RESORTS IN THE PHILIPPINES
- Coron Accommodation: WHERE TO STAY IN CORON