Singaporeans think of Cebu Island and its white sandy beaches when we hear the name “Cebu”, but there’s more to the province than just one island. This Filipino province is home to some of the most gorgeous natural wonders in the world. 

Cebu is known for waterfalls, clear beaches, tall mountain peaks and abundant nature experiences. There’s so much to see and do, you’d be shocked that you haven’t made Cebu your getaway destination sooner, especially when there’s a direct flight available from Singapore. Without further ado, here are what we consider the best nature-related things to do in Cebu.

1. Hike to the top of Cebu — Osmena Peak

Osmena Peak stands at 1,013 metres above sea level, making it the tallest point in Cebu. From this vantage point, visitors can take in the rough rugged terrain of the Mantalongong mountain range—the sharp lines of limestones cutting through the horizon, backlit by the glitter from the ocean behind. This view makes it no wonder that hiking is one of the absolute must-dos while in Cebu. 

Sunrise is particularly magical from the top of the mountain, but don’t take our word for it. This is something you’d have to experience for yourself. Fortunately, it’s only a short 20-30-minute walk from the base to the peak, which means you don’t necessarily have to wake up in the middle of the night just to make it for sunrise. 

If you’re not confident of your navigation ability (don’t be, there are clearly marked trails!), there are tours available. Not only do they pick you up from your hotel, but Kawasan Waterfall is also included in the itinerary. That way, you’re enjoying two sights in one trip.

2. Swim with thresher sharks — Malapascua Island

Cebu’s also well known for offering the chance to swim with majestic animals, such as thresher sharks and whale sharks. 

While the practice surrounding the latter is highly controversial and embroiled with ethical concerns, swimming with the former is considered fine. This is because Pelagic thresher sharks naturally visit the waters surrounding Malapascua Island all year round. Unlike with whale sharks, there are no artificial attraction methods (such as feeding) to lure the sharks closer. 

It’s easy to spot them, with their distinctive long tail fin, but also because of how often they’d jump out of the water, not unlike a dolphin. They’re also most active in the early morning.

Depending on the time of the year, you might also get to see other marine animals, such as hammerhead sharks, manta rays, reef sharks or even banded sea snakes. 

While most of the dive spots are only open to those with diving certifications, there are some that are suitable for novices—such as Whitetip Alley and Chocolate Osland—and you’ll still get to seek sharks. Just ask your dive centre (there are plenty on the South side of the island) to bring you to these specific dive spots!

3. Cliff-dive off waterfalls — Kabutongan Falls

If you are a fan of adventure dungeon-type games, you’ll enjoy an adventure through Kabutongan Falls for sure. It’s one of Cebu’s most hidden gems, and by hidden, we really mean it’s hidden in the furthest section of Malabuyoc’s Barangay Looc’s forest. 

The main feature of Kabutongan Falls is all its hidden caves behind the waterfall, as well as its multiple cliff jump points—one is around 5 metres tall, while another is roughly 8-9 metres tall. The water’s a shimmery turquoise that looks almost unreal. Soaking in it, surrounded by the sounds of nature all around you, really makes the experience something special.

Getting there is half the fun too. The journey there involves hiking, trekking and even canyoneering to make it past the thickets and streams. There’s even a section that requires rope rappelling! 

According to past visitors, all that only takes half an hour. If you’re worried about your physical ability or safety though, guides are available on site for hire. 

Entrance fee: PHP100 (S$2.40)

4. Scuba dive into a sardine ball — Moalboal

While Malapascua has thresher sharks, Moalboal has sardines! 

No one really knows for sure why such a huge school of sardines flock to such warm waters, but they’re here. Every day, they partake in a phenomenon called the sardine run. It’s literally tonnes of fish swimming together and forming a giant ball of fish, we promise it looks a lot cooler than we’re making it sound. 

Thanks to the close proximity of the sardine ball to shore, you don’t have to spend extra on renting a boat or a tour just to see them. All you need is a pair of goggles and swim out to view the sardine ball from above. 

If you’ve got scuba diving gear though, even better. The view of the sardine ball from below is even more impressive, with the way the light filters through the water and glints off the surface of the fish. 

If you’re really lucky, you might even get the chance to swim alongside sea turtles and dolphins too! The best time of the year to go is between November and May, when the weather’s the clearest and the water is the calmest.

5. Meet wild animals — Cebu Safari and Adventure Park

Maybe you’d like to enjoy nature and wilderness in a more controlled setting, that’s valid too! In that case, head on over to Cebu Safari and Adventure Park. 

It’s located just 30 minutes from Danao city centre, making it a convenient one-day trip, especially for those travelling with kids. This safari is over 170 hectares large and is home to over a thousand animals from 120 different species. Tigers? They’ve got them. Meerkats? They’re there too. 

There’s even a white lion safari, an African savanna experience and bird shows too! Kids would be particularly delighted to know there’s a petting zoo, with goats, cows and ducks lined up at the ready for some loving.

As for the “adventure” part of their name, the park has no shortage of adventure rides available. ATV rides, zip lines, sky bikes, aerial walks, zip coasters and even more are available. All you’ve got to be is daring enough to get down and dirty.

Tickets are available for sale online, but children and senior citizen discounts are only available onsite. 

Address: Barangay Corte, Toril, Carmen, 6005 Cebu, Philippines
Opening hours: 8:00am to 5:00pm

6. Relax on the beach — Sumilon Island

If you’d like nothing more than to just sit back and relax on the beach, then Sumilon Island is the best place to visit. It’s a small little island just off the coast of Oslob with mad views, and far away from the crowds of Mactan beach. 

The water is remarkably clear, the sand is pristine white—it’s the most picture-perfect, Instagram-ready beach you’ll find on your Cebu trip. 

There’s only one resort on this island—Bluewater Resorts—but it offers both fancy resort stays and magical glamping experiences. You won’t find yourself lacking for sure. By virtue of being the only resort on the island, they also provide day trips, snorkelling, fishing, paddling and other activities to keep you entertained.

Otherwise, just lying on a towel and enjoying the sun, sand and sea is a pretty good way to spend time there. It’s a holiday, after all, and holidays are for resting.


There are so many nature adventures just waiting for you from across the South China Sea, it almost makes you wish you lived in Cebu instead! That said, if this is your first time in Cebu, we’ve got an additional guide to prepare you for the trip.


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