With some of the best beaches and scuba diving in Southeast Asia, it can be hard to tear yourself away from the coast in Cebu—particularly if you only have a single day to explore. But there’s plenty of natural appeal on the island’s interior as well. Here’s how to maximize 24 hours in Cebu.
Cebu Transcentral Highway, Cebu, Cebu Island
For travelers with a passion for trekking, the most exciting way to ascend Mt. Kan-Irag is via the challenging Budlaan Trail. The safest way to climb is as part of a tour, which guides you over the boulders and waterfalls of the Budlaan River. If you’re happy to skip the exercise, you can access Sirao Pictorial Garden and Little Amsterdam—two mountaintop gardens with a myriad of excellent photo opportunities—by car or van.
Things to Know Before You Go
Mt. Kan-Irag is a must-visit for nature lovers and avid hikers.
Wear comfortable shoes and plenty of sunscreen.
If visiting the peak by car, arrange round-trip transport before you leave as taxis at the top are few and far between.
Try to head to the mountain early to avoid Cebu City’s notorious traffic.
How to Get There
From Cebu City, you can take a taxi to the start of either the Budlaan or Busay trail, or continue all the way to the top to Sirao Pictorial Garden. Alternatively, some people choose to camp overnight at the top.
When to Get There
Cebu island experiences its driest weather between the months of December and March, when temperatures are cooler and rainfall is significantly less than during the midyear monsoon season. If taking the longer and more challenging trail, trekkers should leave early in the day to allow plenty of time to ascend and descend before nightfall.
Continue the Adventure in Cebu
If you’re a thrill seeker, no visit to Cebu is complete without going canyoneering in Badian. Accompanied by a guide, you’ll slide backwards down mini waterfalls, plunge into turquoise pools from heights of up to 49 feet (15 meters), and jump from the highest tier of Kawasan Falls. It’s not for the faint of heart, but it’s guaranteed to be one of the most exciting day trips you’ll experience in the Philippines.
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