Cebu is a great place for outdoor adventures, and outdoor activities are popular with locals and visitors alike. The easiest way to explore nature is to go to Planet Action, a small outfit located in the southern diving village of Moalboal, run by a Jochen Hanika, a German, and his sidekick Mario, who is the only Cebuano I know who speaks English with a German accent.

Planet Action offer a whole range of activities such as canyoning, trekking, horseback riding, kayaking, and river climbing. River climbing, in case you haven't heard about it, has been gaining popularity in recent years; it involves scrambling up slippery boulders and wading through pools. Cebu is ideal for river climbing; there is a huge number of mountain streams perfect for the purpose all over Cebu island. A favorite location is Badian, home to the famous Kawasan Falls. Most such tours start at about 9:00 AM and last until about 4:00 PM.


The trekking in Cebu is excellent. There are lots of other fantastic treks with breathtaking scenery. The most famous route is the one to Kawasan Falls, near Badian. You can go right across the breadth of the island, by starting in Dalaguete. From there head to Barangay Mantalongon, then start hiking towards Osmea Peak, and on towards Badian. It will take you the whole day, at least. You could also start in Badian.

Now, you don't want to get lost and live off bats and grass until you find your way back to civilization, so you ought to get in touch with an organization. There are a lot of mountaineering clubs in the Philippines. One of Cebu's local organizations is CAMP (Cebu Assailants of Mountain Peaks). The University of the Philppines Mountaineers (UPM) also has a branch in Cebu. PALMC (Philippine Airlines Mountaineering Club) organizes treks all year round, though I assume they expect you to fly to various destinations in the country.

Don't worry if you're not that experienced; some of the treks are rather easy one-day treks.


Cebu is rapidly becoming a bona fide rock-climbing destination. More and more Cebuanos are taking up rock-climbing. They all hang out at Baseline, a gym near Fuente, which has a rock-climbing wall where they all practice before heading to the mountains. Look for the long-haired dude to hook you up.

Apparently most of the rock-climbing activity goes at Cantabaco, along the limestone karst near Toledo. Take a bus or v-hire to Toledo, and get off at Lutopan, then head to Cantabaco.

Here is an incomplete list of some rock walls in Cantabaco.

SNAKESKIN 2 60m 5.7
R.I.P. 4 ? ?
FIELDS OF GOLD 2 60m 5.6-5.7
VULVA ? 21m 5.5
HAIT 1 ? 5.7
O BABE ? 60m 5.8-5.9
GUYABANO 1 21m 5.5
MISERABLE 2 45m 5.5

Apparently new rock walls are being explored in Barangay Malubog, called thus because it's always foggy in the early evenings. The easiest way to reach that place is from the trans-central highway.

Spelunking / Caving

There are still a good number of caves in Cebu that are as yet unexplored. Planet Action undertakes caving tours to Barili, not far from Moalboal.

The neighboring island of Bohol is the spelunking mecca of the Philippines. If you want to spelunk to your heart's desire, I'd recommend a day-trip to Bohol, which is only one hour from Cebu by boat. Bohol has some magnificent caves, with stalagmites and stalactites, with lakes and rivers, with bats and blind little newts, in short the works. There's a big cave in Sudlon, home to a colony of bats. In Jagna is a really deep cave, which descends 15 stories beneath the surface. Near Danao is a cave where rebels hid out against Spanish invaders during the Dagohoy Rebellion; apparently some skeletal remains remain inside.

The people to get in touch with for caving in Bohol are the Bohol Exploration Club, or Boex. Guides will select the right caves for you, and even rent you equipment.

Adventure tours in Cebu
To find out more about rock-climbing or spelunking in Cebu, get the Action Asia Adventure Travel Guide to the Philippines, published by Action Asia Travel Guides.

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