The small town of Alegria in 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.
MAINIT HOT SPRING IN MALABUYOC
In this blog post I’ll share all of the details you need to know about visiting the best hot spring in Cebu, the Mainit Hot Spring in Malabuyoc.
HOW TO GET TO MAINIT HOT SPRINGS IN MALABUYOC, CEBU
The Mainit Hot Springs are located in the town of Malabuyoc in the province of Cebu, Philippines. Specifically, they are nestled in Barangay Montañeza. From Cebu City, Malabuyoc is approximately a three to four-hour drive. Upon reaching Malabuyoc town, head towards Barangay Montañeza. The hot springs, renowned for their therapeutic properties, are a popular attraction in this region.
I’ve attached the exact pin location for the Mainit Hot Springs below so you can easily navigate there by moped, car or bus.
If you do take the bus, it 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. The locals will try and sell you the motorbike taxi there and back, which for you may be worth it but do know it is just a 20-minute walk each way.
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!
THE WALK TO THE HOT SPRINGS
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 (probably increased since 2017). 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.
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
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.
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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 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.
BEST TIME OF YEAR TO VISIT CEBU
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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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