Tours in Oslob (swimming with the whalesharks), tours in Kawasan (waterfalls adventure or paired with Canyoneering) and tours in Moalboal (island hopping to Pescador, experiencing the sardine run) are often the highlights of people who take trips to Cebu nowadays. Oslob, Kawasan and Moalboal may be toured in a day’s time; otherwise, travel itineraries can be broken apart such that one’s vacation in Cebu will be more leisurely.
Due to South Cebu’s popularity, Green Earth Tours and Travel has dedicated a special page solely for itineraries in Oslob, Kawasan and Moalboal as well as several variants which tourists can mix and match with their travel arrangements.
Below are descriptions of the various bestsellers in south Cebu, that comprise our Suroy Suroy sa Sugbo series.
SOUTH CEBU TOUR HIGHLIGHT: OSLOB SWIMMING WITH WHALESHARKS
Oslob was once a sleepy town in the tip of southern Cebu. This changed when whalesharks were first seen in the waters of Tan-awan, 10 kilometers away from the Oslob town proper. Since then, droves of tourists, both local and foreign, flocked to Oslob to do the Whaleshark Interaction Tour or simply watch the gentle giants of Cebu swim in the waters. The Oslob Whalshark tour has since then generated income for the government and the locals themselves, who are conscious of taking care that the whalesharks be left unharmed.
Regulations are in place and tourists who swim with the whalesharks are documented and given a briefing before the start of the activity. Some of the strict rules are:
- Not to ride on or touch the whalesharks. There are corresponding fees for violators, and there are locals and volunteers who patrol the waters to see that this rule is observed.
- Not to wear sunblock when swimming with the whalesharks. Violators will be asked to shower before they are allowed to board their boat
The Oslob whaleshark interaction activity is limited to 30-minutes only. For those who have a lot of time, there are a lot of activities in Oslob and surrounding areas which may be paired with the main tour highlight like:
- Visit to Sumilon sandbar – This is the most common option, because all one needs to do is take a quick boat ride to the sandbar and enjoy the waters. The boats taking tourists from Tan-awan to the Sumilon Sandbar will not wait for them. Instead, the boats will just ferry tourists from Tan-awan to Sumilon and back.
- Visit to Sumilon Bluewater Resort – Sumilon Bluewater, as it is fondly called, occupies majority of the island. One can do a lot of activites while at Bluewater, like kayaking, swimming or hiking around the island.
- Visit to Tumalog Falls – Also a favorite pair when swimming with the whalesharks. Tourists can head to Tumalog Falls to witness the beauty of the cascading falls, do some sightseeing, and take pictures. One can’t swim in Tumalog though, because the waters are not that deep. That said, a visit to Tumalog Falls while in Oslob is highly recommended.
- Visit to Oslob church and cuartel – Oslob is a charming and quaint town. For those who like a bit of history and old flavor, head on to the town center to see the market, or say a prayer in the 19th century Parish Church of the Immaculate Conception, or take pictures at the cuartel and baluarte
SOUTH CEBU TOUR HIGHLIGHT: MOALBOAL PESCADOR ISLAND HOPPING
Moalboal is one of the more popular towns in Southern Cebu. Moalboal is approximately 3 hours away from Cebu City. It boasts of white beaches and out-of-the ordinary tour activities like island hopping to Pescador Island, snorkeling at the sardine run sanctuary and visiting the turtle sanctuary. If one travels from Cebu City to Moalboal very early in the morning, there is even a chance for one to see dolphins in the while during the Moalboal Island Hopping Tour.
Island Hopping in Moalboal does not take a long time. On the average, the Moalboal excursion takes only 3 hours, excluding of course the travel time.
Be pleasantly surprised when you visit Pescador Island, which is actually the tip of a mountain submerged in the sea. The island juts out around 6 meters above sea level only. Snorkeling and diving are ideal at Pescador Island. There are a lot of dive sites in Moalboal, and a lot of diveshops dot Basdako, Basdiot and Panagsama beach. Free-diving is a special interest activity popular in Moalboal as well.
The sardine run is a spectacle worth traveling 3 hours from Cebu City, all the way to Moalboal. It is a sight like no other, and tourists would certainly want to bring an underwater camera along. The good news is one does not have to dive in order to witness the formations and silhouettes of the million-strong sardines. One can snorkel and get to see the famed sardine run in Moalboal still. Of course, as this is the natural environment, sightings cannot be 100% guaranteed.
Lastly, Turtle Point in Moalboal is an activity worth undertaking. The large turtles will leave one amazed as this re-affirms the rich marine diversity in Moalboal making it ideal for island hopping and diving.
Going back from Moalboal to Cebu City, do not forget to pass by Molave Milk Station which offers fresh milk and ice cream straight from the farm. Short order meals are also available at Molave Milk Station. If time and traffic conditions permit, tourists may also pass by Carcar City for pasalubong shopping.
SOUTH CEBU TOUR HIGHLIGHT: KAWASAN FALLS TOUR AND CANYONEERING ACTIVITY
Long before tours in Oslob got popular, the Kawasan Falls Tour was already a mainstay south Cebu highlight. The idyllic views along the way—a healthy mix of countryside, mountains and the sea are already wonderful treats in themselves. On the way to Kawasan from Cebu City, tourists will also get to see centuries-old houses, and sample delicacies if they prefer. Among the most famous are chicharron, ampao and bocarillo. Some even buy kilos of lechon to bring with them to Kawasan Falls.
Upon reaching Badian, vans normally park at the church parking lot and from there, guests would begin their trek to the base of Kawasan Falls. The trek, which is done under the shady of the trees that line the path and with the sound of the clear waters of Matutinao river as background, takes around 20 to 30 minutes.
Depending on the time of arrival, one was the option to take lunch first, or go ahead and plunge into the cool waters of Kawasan Falls, which offer a relaxing respite from the relatively long walk. Tours to Kawasan Falls include raft rental, while the use of life vest is optional.
Guests to Kawasan Falls will board the raft and be pulled towards the falls, where they can get a hydro-massage brought about by the gushing water. The waters are not shallow, and it is recommended that those who do not know how to swim don a life jacket as safety precaution. Local guides will assist guests during the rafting activity in Kawasan.
A popular add-on for the Kawasan Falls Tour is the Canyoneering Activity, which involves jumping from vantage points averaging 15 feet. The tallest jump is at 40 feet. This is Canyoneering in Badian (also known as Canyoneering in Kawasan) involves a total of 4 jumps and the experience of seeing and swimming in the 3 levels of Kawasan Falls. This is distinguished from Canyoneering in Alegria, which as 7 jumps, but no view of the Kawasan Falls.
Power up after the activity by passing by Carcar City and sampling local delicacies like the crunchy chicharron. Else, snooze until you reach the city and hopefully get recharged in time for a good night around Cebu’s various food strips. Whatever it is, the Kawasan Falls Tour and Canyoneering Activity are sure to be etched on your minds for a long, long time.