Backpacking for Php 7000: A 5-days itinerary in the Queen City of the South

Okay, another panic booking has been done for this trip but, this is not just an ordinary adventure (for us) for this year, we need to explore the south Cebu for a limited budget. The challenge is to get the cheapest accommodation and transportation so, Let's start!

Yes it is, I only spent 7000 PHP each for 6 people on this 5-day trip including transportation, activities, and accommodation except for the food! anyway for the food, there's a lot of karinderya don't worry about the food.

So, where is Cebu?

Cebu City is the capital of Cebu province, situated in Visayas. The locals here speak Cebuano, also known as Bisaya. It is believed to be the first Spanish settlement in the Philippines. Locals also speak Tagalog (Filipino) and English, so asking for directions and recommendations is pretty easy.

Cebu City is known for Sinulog, the grandest festival in the country held every third week of January in honor of the image of Sto. Nino is said to be a gift to Queen Juana (Hara Amihan), the wife of Rajah Humabon, by the Portuguese colonizer Ferdinand Magellan. The festival dance resembling the current of the river, locally known as sulog, is believed to be of pagan origin and practiced by the locals even before the arrival of the Spaniards. Today, the cross that Magellan planted on the shores of Cebu is the poster image of the city.


How to get to Cebu City?

Several Airlines fly between Manila (Manila International Airport) and Cebu (Mactan International Airport) such as Cebu PacificPhilippine Airlines, and AirAsia or you can take a ferry with 2Go.

  • Visit the page regularly for promos and discounts
  • Much convenient to like their page and set their page to see it first
How to get to South Cebu Badian?

Take any Cab or use Grab from any point in Cebu City to go to South Cebu Bus Terminal this is much better if you're in a group of 3 to 4 people this will cost you around 150 PHP to 200 PHP, and commuting will be so difficult because there's a specific jeepney for each location that you should take note carefully.

  • Take a Ceres bus (air-conditioned) going to Bato via Barili
  • Much better to ask the Guard (find the lady guard) rather than the locals, communication is too hard for them to speak Tagalog or English (not all but the Man who talks to us)
Best Accommodation Before Canyoneering

I strongly suggest that you take Accommodation at the Matutinao Beach Resort which they offer also the Canyoneering, they can offer you better rates and activities.

  • Matutinao Beach Resort is just right in front of Kawasan Falls Entrance beside the Matutinao Church
  • Along the way going the route of Bato via Barili

You're not gonna break the bank on this trip!


Mountain Tour

One of the top destinations in Cebu City is what they call Mountain Tour composed of the Temple of LeahSirao Flower FarmBotanical Garden, and Tops Lookout and these locations are just 30 to 40 minutes away from Cebu City Proper

10,000 Roses Cafe

Well, the 10,000 Roses Cafe gave me an overwhelming feeling to see these roses made of Cotton and Plastic with a matching beautiful sunset (the best time to be there is around 5 pm to 7 pm). This is the best place for the both of you, a romantic place.

The coffee shop which has a view deck on top and is situated in a 3,300-square-meter lot, has another attraction, the Love Locks Fence, wherein lovers or couples have a padlock that they can seal their love for each other by the fence.

City Tour

Your Cebu Adventure will not be completed without having Cebu City Exploration and these are the Sto. Nino ChurchMagellan's CrossFort San PedroTaoist Temple, and Heritage Monument. All of mention can be done by walking around 1 hour to 2 hours except for the Taoist Temple, take a Cab for around 180 PHP (good for a group of 3 to 4)

Alegria Canyoneering

Canyoneering, yes definitely an extreme and fun adventure from the word itself haha! If you missed this activity, please turn back and give it a try.

Since we're lucky to have in Matutinao Beach Resort to get their package, the Canyoneering starts here at this resort near the Matutinao Church, the original price of Canyoneering is 1,500 PHP per person including the guide fee, vest, helmets, and fudgee bar with matching 500mL mineral water (foreigner or Filipino rate), this Canyoneering last for about 4 to 5 hours or unlimited cliff jumping! Note: Wear trekking sandals! HAHAH A friendly reminder.

At the end of the tour, you'll be having your lunch.. heyyyyy this is surprise, NO! Just kidding this is included in the tour rate :D.

Kawasan Falls Bamboo Water Rafting

Now we arrived at Kawasan falls, we should try the Kawasan bamboo water rafting, making sure that I'm not gonna leave Cebu without trying this haha!! The result was, definitely a fun and awesome feeling after hitting the raging water of Kawasan falls. I thought my bones gonna break into pieces and leave me from getting hit by these raging waterfalls hahahahahaa!!

Osmeña Peak of Dalaguete

After we've been to Kawasan Canyoneering, we head straight to Osmeña Peak even though we're tired just to maximmized the time we a lot and to see more of what South Cebu has, yes Osmeña Peak didn't break our hearts.

You'll gonna witness the magnificent view of the entire island on the highest peak of South Cebu "Osmeña Peak" in Dalaguete. Before you get there you'll gonna travel 1-hour habal habal from Badian and 20 to 30 minutes trekking.

Simala Church

Yes at least we arrived here at the Miraculous Church where the Virgin Mary cried a long time ago but aside from this, the place is also known for its truly amazing and spectacular. The Simala Church is like a huge Castle from afar that's how we describe this awesome church found here in South Cebu.

Heritage Park in Oslob

Heritage Park is 15 to 20 minutes away from the Whale Shark Watching Area, you just need to take a jeepney or tricycle to pass along the highway. Since commuting is a bit difficult on this part you may take habal habal to get there (in our case we hired a jeepney).

Once you get there Heritage Park, It's easy for you to explore the entire Heritage Park composed of Spanish Cuartel, Immaculate Conception Church, Baluarte, Walls, Museum, and the Park by the sea.

Tumalog Falls

(Photo courtesy by Lia Dulay, Instagram: @iamleeyah26)

Just WOW from the jump-off, we could already see the Tumalog Falls, and it was really huge like a giant curtain. We rode a habal habal just to get there at the bottom for around 50 PHP (if I am not mistaken). Getting there was actually the strange part because the habal driver had no chill getting down the hill "Om my god! It's a f^^king cliff" hahaha!!!

We're sad to see that Tumalog Falls is in a deep brown color due to soil erosion and continued rainfall, this is according to the locals of Oslob. But hey, there's a right time to see the true beauty of Tumalog Falls surely will be back soon. Oh wait, there's a fish spa over there, give it a try!

Moalboal Island Hopping

Complete your Central Visayas without leaving Cebu with Island Hopping in Moalboal and falling in love with Snorkeling on Pescador Island, Moalboal Sardines Run Diving, and Dolphin and Sea Turtle Watching. Note: Dolphin Watching is only available in the early morning around 6 AM.



DAY 01
Note: Mactan Airport to Temple of Leah (Approx: 1hr 30mins), Temple of Leah to Sirao (Approx: 30mins), Sirao to Tops (Approx: 30mins), Tops to 10000 roses (Approx: 2hr), 10000 to South Cebu Bus Terminal (Approx: 1hr 45min)
  • 1100: ETA Mactan airport
  • 1330: Temple of Leah
  • 1500: Sirao (Closing: 6 PM)
  • 1630: Tops (Closing: 11 PM)
  • 2000: 10000 Roses (Closing: 11 PM)
  • 2130: South Cebu Bus Terminal
DAY 02
Note: Cebu South Terminal to Badian - Ceres bus To Bato via Barili (Approx: 3hr 30min) and Tumalog Falls to Cuartel Ruins for Heritage Tour (Approx: 30min)
  • 0230: ETA Matutinao Beach Resort
  • 0245: Check-in Matutinao Beach Resort
  • 0730: Simala Church
  • 1130: Lunch
  • 1240: Start of Heritage Tour ( Cuartel, Immaculate Conception, Baywalk, and Baluarte )
  • 1530: Tumalog Falls
DAY 03
Note: Matutinao Beach Resort (the also offer habal-habal) to Osmena is 700 per head 2 persons per habal-habal
  • 0630: Call time, Breakfast
  • 0730: Start of Canyoneering Adventure
  • 1300: End of Canyoneering Adventure, Lunch at Kawasan
  • 1400: ETD for Osmeña Peak, Dalaguete
  • 1500: Osmena Start Trail
  • 1600: Back to Matutinao Beach Resort
  • 1800: ETD For Moalboal Accommodation Moalboal Tropics
DAY 04
Note: Since strictly 12NN is the checkout, we manage to leave our things on the front desk and go ahead to Island Hopping
  • 0600: Call time, Breakfast
  • 0900: Start of Island Hopping
  • 1200: Back to Moalboal Tropics
  • 1330: Lunch, Back to Cebu City
  • 1830: ETA Cebu City, Check in Allson's Inn
  • 1930: ETD, Dinner at Larsian Barbeque
DAY 05
Note: Allson's Inn doesn't have any guest bag dropoff so we leave our things at SM Travel Lounge
  • 0530: Call time, Breakfast
  • 1000: SM Travel Lounge
  • 1020: Start of Twin City Tour, Lunch (Sto. Nino Church, Magellan’s Cross, Fort San Pedro, San Diego-Yap Ancestral House or Museo Sugbo, Taoist Temple and Heritage Monument)
  • 1600: Pasalubong at Taboan Public Market
  • 1700: SM Travel Lounge (pickup baggage)
  • 1900: ETA, Mactan International Airport


  • Cebu Mountain Tour plus 10000 Roses: 3,000 PHP, 500 PHP/pax transportation for 6pax, 270PHP Entrances Temple of Leah, Tops, Sirao, Botanical Garden and 10000 Roses hosted by JDE Transport
  • Cebu City to Matutinao Beach via Ceres on South Cebu Bus Terminal: 186 PHP
  • Canyoneering and Accommodation: 2,650 PHP/pax hosted by Matutinao Beach Resort
  • Kawasan Water Rafting: 600 PHP (Balsa & Guide) 100 PHP/pax
  • Habal-habal Osmeña Peak: 700 PHP
  • Osmena Peak Entrance Fee: 180 PHP
  • South Cebu Tour: 2,500 PHP, 416.67 PHP/pax
  • Matutinao Beach Resort to Moalboal: 60 PHP
  • Moalboal Tropics Accommodation: 2,900 PHP, 484 PHP/pax
  • Moalboal Island Hopping: 2,500 PHP, 416.67 PHP/pax hosted by Joel Torres
  • Moalboal to Cebu City Ceres Bus Airconditioned: 150 PHP
  • Allson's Inn Accommodation: 2,500 PHP, 416.67 PHP/pax
  • SM Travel Lounge: 25 PHP
  • Cebu City Transportation using Grab: 300 PHP
  • minus from SM City Cebu to Mactan International Airport Airport: 25 PHP
TOTAL: 6,911 PHP

Hey, I'm Jesther Bas, also known as @jestherthejoker into this innovative world of technology. I'm also a traveller with a goal to capture or discover different cultures and uncover untold stories of the world. Interested? Buy me a coffee!

Jesther Bas
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