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 aswell.
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 Click Here for the most recommended (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’s 575 PHP, which is about $11 USD. 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 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.
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.
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
Yes, it is super popular and Yes it is crowded but it’s still worth it. 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. Thousands of tourists participate in the adventure every day. It’s definitely worth the $20-30 and the crowds but it definitely isn’t the biggest adventure you can do on Cebu. It may feel like it, but trekking to Dao Falls or Kabutongan Falls even feels more adventurous because you will be the only ones there. However, having said that, I do encourage you to do the canyoneering at Kawasan Falls.
My Recommended and the TOP-RATED Kawasan Falls Canyoneering tour in Cebu for under $40: Click Here to book
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.
Finally, you will end up at Kawasan Falls. Here you finish the experience with a big jump from the top of the waterfall. Note that you don’t have to jump you can walk down quite easily but it is the tradition to finish with the jump. Now you can enjoy Kawasan Falls and have a rest! If you prefer not to do the canyoneering you can just walk to Kawasan Falls at the base and enjoy it from there. It is definitely the most crowded waterfall on Cebu with lots of food outlets, umbrellas and touristy action going on. It’s definitely one of the most popular waterfalls on Cebu but it is worth battling the crowds!
Read the full blog post: KAWASAN FALLS CEBU CANYONEERING
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.
On this first level, there is a solid cliff jump. From about 7 meters and then 10 meters you can jump directly from the waterfall. The spot to land it is quite small as it isn’t too deep and you need to hit the right landing area. Make sure you check the depth before jumping.
To get to the second level you clamber up a small cascade using a rope. You then wade your way through the blue water until reaching a bamboo ladder. This takes you to the second level where another beautiful waterfall crashes down into a private pool.
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 waterfalls on Cebu for a relaxed afternoon.
Read the full blog post: MONTPELLIER WATERFALL IN ALEGRIA
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.
Book a tour: You can do it DIY like me but there is a really good tour you can book as well. The tour I can recommend to you actually includes a visit to Kawasan Falls and Osmena Peak on the same day for just $30! You can Click Here to book it online ahead of time.
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
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.
In the final parts of the trail, the locals have built a staircase, which is quite necessary as the waterfall gets fierce and steep. This is a very scenic part of the trail and you can actually get a glimpse of Dao Waterfall from the base of the stairs with the smaller waterfalls below it.
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. We swam behind the waterfall into the cave and explored the rocks of the main pool before sending a couple of jumps into the pool below. You could adventure here for hours and it is an adventure in itself. However, there are five levels at Inambakan so this is just part of the experience.
The third level was such an incredible spot. A crystal clear pool, deep enough for cliff jumping, sits in front of a backdrop of idyllic palm trees. It is a slice of paradise right in the middle of the jungle. Inambakan Falls is a full-day adventure and is easily one of top things to do near Moalboal.
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 popualr 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. The hardest part is climbing along the edge of the narrow trail but ropes guide you in all of the parts that are slippery or steep. Most people of average physicality will find this trail normal.
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. You can even enter the cave by swimming on the left side, directly underneath the flow of the waterfall. Inside the cave, the water has that beautiful blue tinge and the cave goes back about 20-meters. It was one of my favorite parts of the trek.
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. The water was really deep here, which makes it a risk-free jump unlike some shallower pools on Cebu.
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.
You can do a tour that lets you see Aguinid Falls and swim with the Whale Sharks all in one day! That is a great way to see one the best of south Cebu waterfalls and swim with the Whale Sharks on a tight schedule from Cebu City! You can book this tour online and check the availability for your dates by Clicking Here.
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
WIFI IN ALEGRIA, CEBU
It works but sporadically. And when I mean ‘it’, I mean your data. Some places have WiFi but it’s not reliable. The best is to have a Globe Simcard, which costs about $20 for 30gb of data at the airport for example. You should be able to tap into that data in lots of spots throughout Alegria although it may only be for low-level data use such as messaging rather than watching youtube videos. It changes and is patchy all along the western and southern coast of Cebu so often you can find a good hotspot and get your internet jobs done there.