Osmeña Peak, standing proudly at 1,013 meters above sea level, is the highest point in the island province of Cebu, Philippines. Located in the town of Dalaguete, it is known for its unique jagged hill formations resembling a cluster of green, sharp-pointed hills, which are often compared to the famous Chocolate Hills of Bohol. Offering a panoramic 360-degree view of the surrounding landscape, including the nearby islands of Bohol and Negros, Osmeña Peak is a favorite destination among hikers.
OSMEAN PEAK: EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW
Hiking Osmeña Peak on Cebu for sunrise was one of my favorite adventures during our time on the island. It is a 1-hour drive from the small town of Alegria, on Cebu and is an amazing sunrise hike with a stunning backdrop of steep cliffs. In this blog post, I’ll share everything you need to know about an adventure to Osmena Peak for sunrise.
HOW TO GET TO OSMENA PEAK FROM CEBU CITY
the island province. Here are the steps:
- By Bus: From Cebu City, go to the South Bus Terminal. Catch a Ceres bus heading to Dalaguete. The ride can take approximately 3 to 4 hours depending on the traffic.
- From Dalaguete Town Proper: Once you arrive at Dalaguete, you can hire a motorcycle taxi, also known as a “habal-habal,” to take you to the Osmeña Peak trailhead. The ride is usually about 20-30 minutes.
- Hike to the Peak: From the drop-off point or trailhead, you will need to hike to the peak. The trek is generally easy and takes about 15-30 minutes, depending on your pace.
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!
HOW TO GET TO OSMENA PEAK FROM ALEGRIA
The best place to base yourself before and after a hike up Osmena Peak is in Alegria. Here’s how we made it from Alegria to Osmena Peak.
In the small town of Alegria in the Philippines, I woke at 3 am, gathered my gear and met our driver at the front of our hostel. For 500 Pesos per person or $10 USD we had a return trip to Osmeña Peak, the tallest peak on Cebu.
The three of us crammed onto the habal-habal, which was easy on the wallet but incredibly uncomfortable on the butt cheeks. If you are a budget traveler it will be your only choice from Alegria when looking to hike Osmeña Peak, but if you have the cash rent a car or get some other way up there!
Book a tour: You can do it DIY like me but there is a really good tour you can book as well. The tour I recommend to you actually includes a visit to Kawasan Falls and Osmena Peak on the same day for just $30!
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
ALEGRIA TO OSMENA PEAK BY MOTORBIKE
Aside from the numb butt cheeks, the drive was very peaceful as we expertly cruised through villages, small towns, mountains and farming fields. Having the driver was extremely valuable during this part of the trip as he knew all of the bumps, dips, ditches and obstacles we encountered along the roads. I have driven mopeds a lot and wouldn’t suggest this journey in the dark for someone unless you really are looking for a big challenge.
We arrived at the registration office, hopped off the bike and feel the feeling rush back into our legs. The entrance fee to hike Osmeña Peak was 30 Pesos or 60 cents (probably increased since 2017). We didn’t ask for a guide but it seemed as though our driver had promised a nice old lady she would have two Aussies to show up to the peak. It was still pitch black and we didn’t know exactly how long or well-signed the hike was so we decided to let the guide come rather than send her back to bed without making any money. In reality, you don’t really need a guide but these two ladies actually brought some good, fun vibes to our little hike.
HIKING OSMENA PEAK
We definitely didn’t need a guide for the 15-minute hike in the end but our guide, Ninette, could speak English and told us a few facts and stories about the area. It is possible to hike from Kawasan Falls, which takes anywhere from 3.5 to 6. You can also camp on Osmeña Peak if you are looking for a bit more than the 15-minute walk. It is also common to hike from Osmeña Peak to Kawasan Falls.
We arrived at the peak, 1,013 meters above sea-level, with not another soul around and enjoyed the bliss. I tried to imagine what would appear around us when the sun would creep over the clouds on the horizon. The most picturesque view from the peak is towards Moalboal, which is actually directly away from where the sun is rising.
From Osmeña, I took photos in both directions but would have liked the opportunity to see the sun set over those beautiful capped hills after hiking up Osmena Peak. The hike would also be great all morning in terms of lighting but I would suggest not visiting any time between 2pm and 5pm. The sun may be at its harshest directly behind the capped hills, which would make taking a photo a little difficult.
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.
About 30 people had joined us at the top by the end of the sunrise and Ninette told us the number of people visiting per day ranges from 100-1000 depending on the day and the season. We visited in the low season and on a weekday. Weekends are notoriously busy as most locals enjoy a day off from work on sunday and make the long journey from Cebu City with the weekend warrior attitude.
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On the way down from Osmeña you will get a great view of Guadalupe with the sun shining over the region. When we got to the bottom we ended up paying Ninette 300 Pesos or $6 USD to thank her for guiding us up to the peak and hanging out with us.
OSMENA PEAK TO ALEGRIA
The ride home from Osmeña Peak to Alegria was great fun (apart from the numb butt cheeks again) as we waved to locals who stared, laughed and sometimes poked fun as the three of us cruised our way back down the mountain.
If you can haul yourself out of bed early enough and are up for a small adventure this was a fantastic morning, which wasn’t too physically draining at all. The view to Moalboal is definitely a unique landscape and made the journey bearable.
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Osmeña Peak Map
Below, I’ve pinned the exact location of Osmena Peak so you can get an idea of where it is in relation to other attractions and where you are staying in Cebu.
FACTS ABOUT OSMENA PEAK
- Highest Point in Cebu: Osmeña Peak is the highest point in the province of Cebu, Philippines, standing at an elevation of 1,013 meters above sea level.
- Location: The peak is located in the town of Dalaguete in the southern part of Cebu.
- Unique Landscape: Osmeña Peak is known for its unique jagged ridge, which gives a view of clustered green hills that resemble the Chocolate Hills of Bohol.
- Panoramic Views: From the summit, you can enjoy a 360-degree view of the surrounding landscape including the islands of Negros and Bohol, as well as the Tañon Strait.
- Accessible Trek: The hike to the peak is generally considered accessible to most people, even without extensive hiking experience, and typically takes around 15 to 30 minutes from the trailhead.
- Camping: The area around Osmeña Peak is a popular camping spot, with plenty of spaces to pitch a tent.
- Flora and Fauna: The surrounding area of Osmeña Peak is rich in flora and fauna, including various species of birds and plants.
- Climate: The climate at Osmeña Peak is cooler compared to the lowlands and can be quite chilly in the early morning and late evening.
- Sunrise and Sunset: Many visitors aim to reach the peak for sunrise or sunset, as the views during these times are particularly spectacular.
- Responsible Tourism: Visitors are encouraged to respect the natural environment, adhering to the principles of “Leave No Trace.”
BEST TIME TO VISIT OSMENA PEAK
The best time to visit Osmeña Peak generally depends on your preferences for weather and crowd levels.
- Weather: In terms of weather, the dry season, from November to May, is typically the best time to visit as the trails are less slippery and the chances of rain spoiling the view are minimal. The temperature at the peak is cooler than the lowlands, especially early in the morning and late in the evening.
- Crowd Levels: If you prefer fewer crowds, weekdays outside of public holidays and school vacation periods are generally less busy.
- Sunrise and Sunset: Many visitors aim to reach the peak around sunrise or sunset. The sunrise views are breathtaking and worth the early morning trek. The sunset also offers a stunning panorama but remember, you will need to hike down in dusk conditions.
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.
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
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.
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
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