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.
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.
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!
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).
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.
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 ON 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 south. So where do you stay to do all of these adventures? Moalboal! Trust me I know… I rent an apartment in Moalboal and that is my base for all of the adventures you have just read!
Moalboal is a cool town, which is the free-diving and scuba capital of Cebu and even the Philippines. Here there are tons of hostels, hotels, and homestays. There are plenty of restaurants and even a small mall. This is really the last spot as you travel down south where you will have good wifi, 4G connection, western restaurants and lots of facilities. Once you head further south to Alegria and Ginatilan those towns just aren’t set up for tourists really.
Moalboal is just a short drive from most attractions and even all the way down to the Whale Sharks is just a 1-hour drive. There are a variety of accommodations in Moalboal but I will tell you my favorite for each style of traveler. I have a recommendation for budget travelers, mid-level and luxury.
MoHo Moalboal Hostel – Budget: I stayed at this cool hostel for a few days. It is brand new and pretty modern with a huge chill-out space. The WIFI works! I was blogging and using WordPress and the connection was fine. The dorm rooms are clean and modern with each bed having a blind for privacy. The staff were super chill and helpful. There was free water to refill your bottle and free coffee and tea. It is the cheapest option on booking.com at just 8 USD.
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.
To view all of the accommodation options in Moalboal head to the Moalboal search page on Booking.com
MORE CEBU TRAVEL GUIDES
Awesome Things to do on Cebu: 16 AWESOME THINGS TO DO ON CEBU
Kawasan Falls Canyoneering: KAWASAN FALLS CEBU CANYONEERING ADVENTURE
Oslob: WHAT TO DO IN OSLOB CEBU
Osmena Peak: OSMEÑA PEAK IN CEBU – A BEAUTIFUL SUNRISE HIKE
Digital Nomad Guide to Moalboal: THE DIGITAL NOMAD GUIDE TO MOALBOAL, CEBU
The Ultimate Philippines 3-4 week Itinerary: ULTIMATE PHILIPPINES TRAVEL ITINERARY FOR 3-4 WEEKS
The Backpacking Guide to the Philippines: PHILIPPINES BACKPACKING GUIDE: 1 MONTH FOR $800