CEBU just landed among the top 20 most beautiful islands in the world, according to leisure magazine Condé Nast Traveler. We think Cebu can even rank higher if it gets its act together, easily landing in the top 10.
The southern part of Cebu alone is blessed with awesome natural wonders that are too many to count. The challenge, of course, is keeping these sites as pristine as possible and in their most natural state (Badian’s once grand Kawasan Falls, ravaged by reckless “development” is a cautionary tale). Anyway, here are five reasons why you should pack your gear — given you’ve fulfilled your All Saints’ Day duties — and head right away to the southern part of Cebu for an amazing staycation.
1. Kanlaob River. Those who have tried can’t get enough of canyoneering in this gem of a place in Alegria, a three-hour drive from Cebu City. The adrenaline rush of jumping off cliffs, navigating on and across boulders, and dipping into cold fresh water that’s bluer than the sky, it’s absolutely priceless.
2. Lambug Beach. Just a few minutes drive from Alegria, Lambug Beach in Badian is one of the few remaining stretches of public beach in Cebu. After half-a-day’s canyoneering, Lambug has a number of affordable cottages to relax those tired muscles and grab some meal. Another option is Tingko Beach, several towns away in Alcoy.
3. Tumalog Falls. Usually a side-trip for those who’ve finished whaleshark watching in Oslob, Tumalog Falls is a destination on its own. The shallow pool of water is perfect for children, who can spend hours drenched under a broad curtain of gently falling freshwater.
4. Osmeña Peak. The natural rock formations that can be accessed from the mountain village of Mantalongon in Dalaguete are nothing short of breathtaking. The view of sharp karst “hills” extends all the way to Badian and Tañon Strait. This daytime escape spot is also a favorite of backpackers who camp at designated slopes.
5. Carcar Lechon. While not really a site, Carcar’s famous lechon is an attraction in itself. One cannot possibly visit southern Cebu without stopping by the Carcar Public Market to grab a kilo or two of this crispy, roasted succulence. Of course, nothings stopping you from adding packs of Carcar’s equally popular chicharon to your grocery list. (Freon L. Ollival)