The small town of Alegria on Cebu is the perfect base for so many adventures. We arrived at our hostel, dropped our bags and and looked at the clock. With three hours of light left, we asked the hostel owner if there was a waterfall nearby and she told us to get on a bus and visit Mainit Hot Springs, which in my opinion may well just be the best hot spring on Cebu. We crossed our fingers and hoped to visit a gem and in the end it was one of my favourite spots nearby Alegria.
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HOW TO GET TO MAINIT HOT SPRINGS IN MALABUYOC, CEBU
The bus will drop you at the side road leading towards the hot springs where many locals will tell you it is too far to walk to the Mainit Hot Springs or it is closing shortly. It does close at sunset but you can definitely walk as it only takes 20 minutes to stroll up the hill. The walk was interesting in itself as you walk past lots of farms, houses, and kids playing on the road.
As you feel yourself getting deeper and deeper in the jungle you will finally reach the entrance station. The Mainit Hot Spring entrance fee was 20 pesos or 40c USD. You don’t need a guide from here but many locals may request to accompany you.
The road veers off through the yards of several huts and begins to follow the winding stream. My anticipation began to build as the sound of flowing water intensified. Unfortunately because of the rain, the path to the waterfall was closed, which would have only made this location more amazing.
MAINIT HOT SPRINGS IN MALABAUYOC – WHAT TO EXPECT
We arrived at the Mainit Hot Springs and there were about 20 locals hanging out in the different pools. The pools are different temperatures and signposted with the temperature. I asked one of the locals how it is so specific and he said it is always the same with a tiny fluctuation. One hot spring was 42 degrees, which was incredibly hot. So hot in fact that we had trouble getting in unless we lowered our bodies very slowly into the water.
The other hot spring was a much more comfortable 36 degrees, like an open water jungle spa. Sitting in that hot spring looking up at coconut trees with the last light of the day glowing in the sky reminds me how beautiful the world is and how lucky I am to be able to experience new places. Hanging out here with a group of friends at sunset is probably the ultimate way to end the day in Malabuyoc.
One of the locals told us the extremely hot water of the Mainit Hot Springs can help your skin, arthritis and a number of other ailments. Filipinos all seem to have great skin so maybe this is their secret!
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
The Cebu Waterfall Guide: Best Waterfalls on the Island: BEST WATERFALLS 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