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.
KANDUNGAW PEAK: VISITORS GUIDE
In this blog post, I’ll share everything you need to know about visiting Kandungaw Peak in Dalaguete, Cebu.
HOW TO GET TO KANDUNGAW PEAK
There are several options to arriving at Kandungaw Peak but the easiest is definitely to arrive by motorbike. It is possible to also arrive on a bus or habal-habal (bike transport). Kandungaw Peak is on Google Maps and I can confirm it is an accurate pin, which is always handy.
I will outline how to get to Kandungaw Peak below and also tell you what you can expect on the journey as well as my tips for the drive. It is important to note that it may be referred to as Candongao Peak by many people including the locals you are trying to ask for directions.
- Motorbike (How I arrived): From Moalboal we drove down towards the south and turned right on Mantolongan Badian Road. Not great and lots of scattered potholes but nothing too crazy to navigate. The journey is about 1.5 hours from Moalboal. The other tip is that there is a little restaurant in Mantolongan that has typical Filipino food with rice, vegetables, egg, pork and all other dishes to choose from. There isn’t an abundance of choice up in the mountains.
- Local bus: You can catch the local bus to Mantalongon (Dalaguete) from Cebu City and it will take about 3 hours and cost about $3 USD. Get off at Mantalongon market and find a Habal-Habal to take you to Maloray. Or you can get the bus to Dalaguete and then habal-habal to Maloray. It depends where you are coming from but you are trying to get to Barangay Maloray.
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!
KANDUNGAW PEAK HIKE IN DALAGUETE
The Kandungaw Peak Hike in Dalagute is signed from the road and there are a few spaces to park. A few ladies set in the information booth and took our entrance fee of 30 pesos.
I never expect anything too hard when hiking on Cebu, mostly because nothing is ever too high. This trail, in particular, is pretty short but it is one of the steepest.
The summit is almost 900-meters above sea-level. This is known as the tallest peak in Dalaguete and it has straight drop-offs down one side so it is great for photos. From the summit, you can see Badian Island but also Osmena Peak and Casino Peak.
Kandungaw Peak trail begins with a stair assault. Straight into that anaerobic zone and everyone was breathing hard and feeling it in their legs as we climbed our way up a few hundred stairs to kick off the trail. After the stairs, the trail seems to plateau before you make your way up to the first summit.
The path is cement for most of the way and it is all paved in the steep parts and the stairs so it is actually one of the better man-made trails on Cebu. The farmers use the trail every day, carrying huge packs of vegetables down in baskets. I met a friendly goat here while waiting for my friends to catch their breath from the stairs!
What are my favorite pieces of hiking gear?
There are four pieces of gear that I simply never forget when I go on a hike. These are four items that I using right now and this list gets updated every year! Here are my hiking 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.
- Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX Hiking Boots: For the best ankle support, waterproofing, and durable exterior I’m a fan of tough but light hiking boots like these Salomons for my adventures.
- Black Diamond Head Torch: I can’t tell you how many times, I’ve arrived back from a hike unexpectedly late. I always keep this lightweight but strong headtorch in my bag for the unexpected.
- Darn Tough Socks: These are the most comfortable hiking socks I’ve ever worn and last for years. They also have a lifetime warranty and you just send them in with a hole and they replace it no questions asked.
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
After the plateau, you are again assaulted by stairs that wind their way up to the first viewpoint, which is aptly titled Titanic Peak. This is the first ‘photo spot’ and you can expect a little line on a busy day as hikers get their celebratory photos although there are still a few more meters to climb before you reach the full summit.
If you do venture out onto the edge at Titanic Rock, remember don’t risk your life for a selfie. The drop-off here will be deadly and the rocks are a bit awkward to walk on as they are all jagged. Play it safely and slowly.
The trail is natural from this point on with no more paving and it slowly takes you up the edge of the ridge to the main summit. I loved looking to the back side of the ridge where the fog was slowly rolling through in between the hills. A few small wooden hut-style homes are home to the vegetable farmers and locals of the region. These huts are dwarfed by the giant rolling hills surrounding them.
From the Titanic Peak, it is just a short way up to the main summit, which is officially Kandungaw Peak. There is a small hut here for shade from the sun and the caretaker Jamil can usually be found chatting to people up here. He is an awesome guy and will point out all of the different peaks, hills, and farms in the area to help you get an understanding of the region.
Once again there may be a bit of a line for the ‘photo spot’, but it is worth it with the huge drop-offs and valley in the background. Be careful here as there aren’t fences all the way around the preferred photo spots and the ground is uneven below the Philippines flag, which stands atop the highest point.
From this point, there is a secret little path (not so secret just hard to find if you don’t know it’s there) that leads you about two minutes down the hill to the cave. You can go inside the cave that goes back about ten-meters and has some amazing stalactites and rock formations within the cave. From here, you can continue down this path or you can head back up and continue to the other viewpoints (this is what I did).
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
Now that you have summited Kandungaw Peak, you can head back down or you can make your way across to Sunset Peak and Lovers Peak. These are both hills just across from Kandungaw and it is only a short 5-10 minute walk to both. They both have beautiful views of Badian Island and the west coast of Cebu.
I highly recommend heading out here and relaxing for a bit. Sit atop a rock and take in Cebu. This is what it is all about and why I love hiking and getting out in nature.
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
LUNCH IN MANTOLONGAN
If you do come from the opposite end on top Dalaguete you may be near Mantolongan like I was on the way out. It is a pretty long journey and there aren’t many food options for tourists up in the mountains. There is one cafe you can rely on in Mantolongan right near the market. They serve rice, eggs, meat dishes, and vegetables.
We ate lots of dishes for three people and it cost only 170 pesos, which is about $3 USD in total! Excuse my poor food photography skills!
I hope you enjoy Kandungaw Peak hike in Dalaguete as much as I did and remember to pack lots of water and to stay safe near the edges.
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.
TRANSPORT OPTIONS FOR CEBU
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.
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
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