Cebu, Miles

A Taste of South, North, and the City – Cebu in 3 Days

On blogs and travel forums, I noticed how they tell you to make up your mind on whether to go South or head North when visiting Cebu. Well basically, that is really practical because tourist destinations are mostly 3-4 hours away from the city.

South is packed with adventures you cannot resist while there is North that offers endless hidden paradise you may want to burn your skin for. And then there’s the City, the side-trip you wouldn’t want to miss.

So if you were blessed with 3 days to explore the Queen City of South, where would you go?

I’d say, hit three.

Disclaimer: I traveled with friends. Some expenses are based on groups.

Day 1-1
How the Queen City of South welcomed us on our 1st day.

Day 1 | July 22, 2016 | Friday | Moalboal, South Cebu

5:00 AM Arrival at Mactan International Airport
Upon setting foot on Cebu, we headed straight to taxi bay and hire a metered cab to take us to South Cebu Bus Terminal.

5:45 AM Arrival at South Cebu Bus Terminal
We took the bus trip with “Bato via Barili” signage and just told the driver to drop us at Moalboal bus stop.  At 6AM, we’re set for our 1st adventure.

9:00 AM Arrival at Moalboal bus stop
It was a bumpy 3 ½ ride from the city! But the view along the road is good.

At the bus stop, trike drivers flocked over to offer rides to take you to your lodging. Heaven sent, our trike driver knows a cheap stay and took us there.

20160722_094431
Pardon the pale face and everything. Haha

Vivian’s Nipa Hut offers as low as PHP500 for a fan room good for sharing. And that’s what we got.

Our trike driver happened to have a contact that offers yet another cheap island tour. So at 10AM, we’re off to chase Friday sun and sea.

Day 1-5
Sardine chasing, snorkeling, cliff jumping. What else to do?

By lunch time, we asked the trike driver to drop us straight to White Beach, Basdaku in Moalboal. Please take note that this is another tourist spot, therefore, separate payment.

Day 1-4
My eyes couldn’t believe how majestic this cloud formation is! And this is a raw shot using my Nikon.

 

Day1-2
Finally found a piece of heaven on earth.

By 7PM, we roamed around and found ourselves ordering at Little Corner Restaurant.

Day 1-3
Couldn’t let the night pass without a single #nightskyphotography.

 

Day 2 | July 23, 2016 | Saturday | Bantayan Island, North Cebu

2:00 AM Departure from Moalboal
First trip going back to Cebu City is at 2AM. We have to be early because we’re heading to North this time.

4:00 AM Arrival at South Cebu Bus Terminal
Unbelievably, the ride lasted for only 2 hours. But still, super bumpy!

From here, we took a short cab ride to North Cebu Bus Terminal.

4:30 AM Departure for Hagnaya Port
We took the bus ride with signage “Bantayan Island, Sta. Fe, One Stop.”

Day 2-2
Our ride to Bantayan Island.

8:00 AM Arrival at Hagnaya Port
It was a smooth 3 ½ hour ride going to North Cebu. From here, we secured ferry tickets to take us to Bantayan Island.

20160723_075622
Sharing with you the schedule. You’re welcome 🙂

9:30 AM Arrival at Sta. Fe Port, Bantayan Island
And finally, hello North! And like all other destinations, trike drivers flocked up the deck even before you can decide first where to eat. Anyway, since this was a spontaneous trip, we have no idea where to stay. Though there are many available beach resorts in Bantayan, be ready to spend money as it can be as expensive as PHP 1,800 and up per night.

Our trike driver took us to Queen Elizabeth Beach Resort. And we had our fan room for only PHP 600 overnight.

Day 2-5
Wandered around with this buddy. Just keep rollin!

We rented out a bike to stroll the island. And it’s really a MUST.

Day 2-4
Ogtong Cave inside Ogotng Cave Resort. Dipped in to chill.

What I like about Bantyan is that you can beach bum almost everywhere. I mean, we spent the whole afternoon along the shores of Kota Beach and no one will scold you for that.

Day 2-1
I always bring a book with whenever I hit the beach. This time, that’s my company. 🙂

And btw, Camp Sawi was shot here. I wonder how many tourists will flock here once they have seen the movie… Just like what happened to Sagada when That Thing Called Tadhana hit the big screen.

Day 2-3
And for my favorite part… Milky Way hunting, Bantayan Island version.

Day 3 | July 24, 2016 | Sunday | Cebu City Tour

5:30 AM Departure for Sta. Fe Port
Following the ferry schedule, we left the beach house at 5:30 AM to be able to catch the earliest trip sailing back to Hagnaya Port, which is at 6:00 AM.

7:00 AM Arrival at Hagnaya Port
We had our breakfast here and waited for the bus.

Disclaimer: Our good hiking friend from Cebu took care of our itinerary for the city tour. Thank you so much, Jeff! 😉

11:30 AM Arrival at North Cebu Bus Terminal
Jeff fetched us from the terminal and we went to JY Mall where habal drivers offering city tours are located. Since we have a local with us, drivers gave us a rate of PHP250 for 3 tourist spots. Not really bad.

1st destination: Temple of Leah

Day 3-2
Temple of Leah can get too crowded. So I just took a shot of these ladies.

2nd destination: Sirao Flower Farm

Day 3-3
Sirao Flower Farm is really beautiful. However, it is too crowded. I found a hard time capturing a scene without any humanoids around.

3rd destination: Sirao Peak

Day 3-1
Did a short trek to Sirao Peak, overlooking Cebu City’s skyline on the right and more mountains on the left.

By dinner time, we headed back to JY Mall and grabbed our dinner.

4th destination: La Vie Parisienne

Day 3-4
A stone-throw away from JY Mal is this famous and artsy wine shop.

 

*Breakdown of expenses:

Day 1
PHP 230 – cab fare from airport to South Cebu Bus Terminal
PHP 10 – South Cebu Bus terminal fee
PHP 107 – ordinary bus fare going to Moalboal
PHP50 – trike fare/per pax from Moalboal bus stop to lodge
PHP500 – Moalboal fan room accommodation/ for 2 pax
PHP1500 – Pescador Island Hopping inclusive of gear rental/ for 2 pax
PHP400 – trike fare from Pescador to White Beach Badasku/ for 2 pax
PHP50 – trike fare/per pax from White Beach to lodge

Day 2
PHP50 – trike fare/per pax from lodge to Moalboal bus stop
PHP107 – ordinary bus fare from Moalboal back to South Cebu Bus Terminal
PHP100 – cab fare from South Cebu Bus Terminal to North Cebu Bus Terminal/ for 2 pax
PHP160 – air conditioned bus fare going to Hagnaya Port
PHP170 – ferry fare going to Sta. Fe Port, Bantayan Island
PHP5 – Hagnaya Port terminal fee
PHP5 – Sta. Fe Port terminal fee
PHP100 – trike fare from port to lodge/ for 2 pax (this is actually PHP20 per head, but since we had several stops looking for cheap stay in, we gave extra)
PHP600 – Queen Elizabeth fan room overnight / for 2 pax
PHP100 – whole day bike rental (it’s at PHP150 originally, but we managed to get a PHP50 off)
PHP100 – Ogtong Cave resort entrance fee

Day 3
PHP40 – trike fare/per pax from lodge to Sta. Fe port
PHP5 – Sta. Fe Port terminal fee
PHP170 – ferry fare going to Hagnaya Port
PHP160 – air conditioned bus fare from Hagnayan Port back to North Cebu Bus Terminal
PHP250 – habal fare for Cebu City Day Tour
PHP25 – Sirao Flower Farm entrance fee
*exclusive of food and other personal expenses | we stayed in Jeff’s abode on the 3rd day, thus no accommodation expenses.

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