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8 Awesome Hikes In Cebu: The Hiker’s Guide

8 Awesome Hikes In Cebu: The Hiker’s Guide

Welcome to Cebu, the day-hiker’s paradise! Cebu is home to a diverse range of trails, each offering a something unique from picturesque waterfalls to incredible peaks, Cebu has it all. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a beginner, there’s a trail waiting for you. In this article, I’ll detail some of the best hikes in Cebu with some handy tips along the way. Get ready to lace up your hiking boots and embark on an unforgettable adventure through Cebu’s magnificent landscapes.

a man laying on top of a large rock

Exploring Mountains of Cebu: 8 Awesome Hikes In Cebu

In this blog post, I’ll detail some of my favorite hikes in Cebu. There’s actually a lot of hikes in Cebu, even though it’s known as a waterfall and beach destination. Many of my favorites are waterfall hikes but there are a few unique trails up in the Mountains of Cebu that will surprise you. Let’s get into it.

a woman sitting on a rock next to a river.


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Casino Peak Hike

Let’s start with one of my favorite sunset hikes on Cebu. In the backyard of a friendly family near Lugsangan is one of the most amazing viewpoints on Cebu. The spot is 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 hike up Casino Peak is quite short, making it great for a sunset scramble. The total trekking time to reach the summit is about ten minutes although it is quite steep. Don’t worry, most of the hikes on this list will be longer than that but it’s just such an epic viewpoint. At the summit, the expanse of sharp peaks is very similar Chocolate Hills of Bohol.


a man standing on top of a rocky hill.
a man standing on top of a mountain.

Dao Waterfall Trek

The trek to Dao Falls is a truly astounding experience, offering not only an epic waterfall finale but also an incredible journey along the way. As you embark on the trek, you’ll find yourself immersed in the trademark Cebu blues, wading through the refreshing waters for about thirty minutes. Surrounding you, ferns and palms gracefully adorn the canyon walls on both sides, creating a picturesque landscape.

Although the path to Dao Falls is not particularly difficult, it does require you to navigate through the water and maneuver around boulders and rocks. It’s a moderate adventure that rewards you with breathtaking scenery, far from the bustling crowds found at the popular tourist spots in Cebu, like Kawasan Falls.

With a height of approximately 40-50 meters, Dao Waterfall cascades down into a large pool, inviting you to take a refreshing swim. As long as the flow isn’t too intense, it is generally safe to enjoy the pool and get closer to the falls, but it’s always important to exercise caution depending on the current conditions. After the invigorating trek, the pool serves as a great place to rejuvenate and cool off. I’ve been told that the falls used to be twice as wide, but due to a landslide, its grandeur has slightly diminished. Nevertheless, it still left a lasting impression on me and is one of my favorite waterfall hikes in Cebu.

Read the full blog post: DAO WATERFALL IN SAMBOAN

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!
  • Quick-Dry Towel: A quick-dry towel is a must for travelers. It hardly takes up any room and dries in seconds.
  • GoPro Hero 12: The best and easiest way to capture your underwater and snorkeling adventures.

Kandungaw Peak Hike

An epic ridge nestled within the Dalaguete mountain range in Cebu, Kandungaw Peak is a captivating destination for nature enthusiasts. While it is sometimes referred to as Candongao Peak, the name Kandungaw is more commonly used and recognized. Embarking on a short 30-minute hike, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking viewpoints that offer mesmerizing panoramas and thrilling drop-offs.

Kandungaw Peak boasts four distinct viewpoints, each presenting its own unique perspective of the surrounding landscape. As you explore this remarkable location, you’ll also have the opportunity to delve into an additional cave, adding an extra layer of adventure to your experience. Often overlooked by tourists who are more familiar with the Osmena Peak Hike, Kandungaw Peak stands as a hidden gem, awaiting discovery by those seeking lesser-known hikes in the Cebu Mountains.


a person standing on top of a large rock.

Osmena Peak Hike

We arranged for a motorbike from Alegria to transport myself, a friend, and our driver to Osmena Peak. Opting for the budget-friendly option, it cost us only $10 per person for a round trip. However, the journey lasted approximately 1.5 hours each way and proved quite uncomfortable.

While it is possible to reach the peak by car, it would come at a significantly higher cost. Therefore, we chose the motorbike option. To catch the sunrise from the summit, we had to depart before 4 a.m., ensuring we arrived in time.

Osmena Peak is renowned for its breathtaking panoramic vistas that encompass jagged cliff lines and the vast expanse of the ocean. We had been advised that the best time to witness its beauty was at sunrise, and as we embarked on the short 20-minute trek to the summit, we were left awestruck by the incredible scene that unfolded before us. The view was truly captivating, leaving us momentarily speechless.

Book a tour: You can do it DIY like me but there is a really good tour you can also book. The tour I recommend to you actually includes a visit to Kawasan Falls and Osmena Peak on the same day for just $30!

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Osmena & Kawasan Combo

  • Osmena Peak Sunrise
  • Kawasan Falls after Hiking
  • 2 Best Cebu Activities


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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!

a view of a beach with a thatched hut and palm trees.
a pool with a flamingo in the middle of it.

Mount Mauyog

Embarking on the Mt. Mauyog hike in Cebu is a thrilling adventure for avid hikers. The trail is a moderate to challenging trek. As you ascend, you’ll navigate through dense forests, traverse rocky slopes, and conquer steep inclines, testing your physical endurance and agility. Along the way, you’ll encounter picturesque viewpoints that reveal breathtaking vistas of rolling hills, neighboring mountains, and distant coastal landscapes. Arriving at the summit, which stands at around 947 meters above sea level, you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views that showcase the awe-inspiring beauty of Cebu’s natural wonders. I made a quick, little vlog of my journey up Mt Mauyog, which you can find below.

a man laying on top of a large rock

Kabutongan Waterfall Trek

The Kabutongan Falls trek in Cebu offers a magical adventure through a narrow stream, leading to the breathtaking Kabutongan Waterfall. The 30-minute trail includes rope-assisted sections, making a guide highly recommended for safety and environmental conservation.

Upon reaching the waterfall, you’ll discover a hidden cave behind the cascading water, where the serene blue-tinted water extends about 20 meters inside. It’s a captivating sight and one of the highlights of the trek.

For the adventurous souls, Kabutongan Falls provides an opportunity for cliff-jumping at two levels, with heights ranging from around 5 meters to 8-9 meters. These exhilarating leaps add an extra dose of excitement to an already unforgettable experience.

Together, the enchanting waterfall, the mysterious cave, and the thrill of cliff-jumping make the Kabutongan Falls trek an extraordinary adventure in the heart of Cebu.



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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

Budlaan Falls Hike

The Budlaan Falls hike is a captivating adventure that takes you through the scenic landscape of Cebu. The trail begins at Barangay Budlaan and spans approximately 4 kilometers, offering a moderate trekking experience. Along the way, you’ll traverse dense forests, cross bamboo bridges, and navigate through rocky terrain. The highlight of the hike is the stunning Budlaan Falls, a cascading waterfall surrounded by lush greenery.

The falls feature multiple tiers, with the highest tier measuring around 20 meters in height. Adventurers can take a refreshing swim in the natural pool at the base of the falls, while thrill-seekers can enjoy cliff-jumping from various heights. This exhilarating hike combines the beauty of nature, the thrill of exploration, and the chance to immerse oneself in the splendor of Budlaan Falls.

Himbabawud Falls Trek

The Himbabawud Falls is an incredible series of waterfalls in Busay, Cebu just a 40-minute drive from Cebu City. To reach the falls you first need to drive to Lava Mountain River Farm and then trek for 45-minutes through the river to reach the Himbabawud Falls. 

This is one of the wildest waterfall treks on Cebu as you are often completely surrounded by a wall of green as you wade through the water of the river, following it all the way to the waterfall. I really loved this one and it’s super close to Cebu City.



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 HomestayValue: 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!
a set of stairs leading down to the water.
three yellow stars on a white background

Teobas Homestay

  • Best Value
  • Ocean Staircase
  • Beachfront
  • Dolphin House ResortLuxury: 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.
a view of a beach with a thatched hut and palm trees.

Dolphin House Resort

  • Luxury
  • Private Pool
  • Beachfront


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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
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There’s lots of different transport options to get around Cebu depending on the size of your group, travel style and length of your journey. Here’s a quick overview of what to expect.

Moped: The best way to get around Cebu Island is through moped/scooter rentals. A moped can be rented for about $8 a day but that price may come down if your rental is more than a week long. The roads aren’t always great to and from the waterfalls and hikes so drive safely. You will need your regular drivers license from your home country and a helmet to avoid any issues. Below are the other main transport options for Cebu.

  • Tricycles: the most common means of private transportation in the Philippines, accommodating 2-4 passengers, more than a motorcycle. This allows you to hire a driver to transport you to various attractions and things to do in Cebu.
  • The Habal Habal: essentially a “scooter taxi,” is an economical option for single passengers who don’t wish to rent their own vehicle.
  • Jeepneys: vibrant buses used by locals for transportation in the Philippines. Operating on fixed routes, they provide a shared riding experience and offer a unique opportunity to interact with the local community. Expect to be crammed in like sardines but it’s the authentic transport mode for locals.
  • Vans: available for transportation, typically offered by resorts, hotels, and private transportation companies. This option will be the most expensive, it can be a worthwhile choice during rainy weather or for larger groups.
a man riding a motorcycle down a dirt road.


a person sitting on a rock in front of a waterfall.


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an aerial view of a resort in the middle of the ocean.