Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Cebu City - Full Itinerary DIY 3 Days

Last May 16 2015, me and my best girl friends opted to go to Cebu to see the great Butandings (whalesharks). We were able to book a promo seat fare with Cebu Pacific. Our 2 way trip cost us P2245 per person. This was a very impromptu travel plan unlike our other travels. We were planning what to do in Cebu 2-4 days prior to the trip. Overall I spent P12817 for this Cebu Trip including all expenses and gifts.
Day 1 - Canyoneering
Day 2 - Whaleshark Snorkeling
Day 3 - Chillin'
We arrived almost midnight of May 16. From there we prearranged a hotel pickup with our accommodation for 2 nights. The hotel pickup for Hotel Stella cost P1000 one way, maximum capacity was 6 people. The owner's Fortuner picked us up. It was nearly 1 AM when we got to the hotel. We checked in into a room for 4 and prepared for our canyoneering trip in a few hours. Our room was very simple, it had 1 queen bed + 1 single bed + 1 single mattress on the floor. It had ample space for our bags and the shower had hot water. It was all we needed. The only "concern" was the airconditioning was poor, the room doesn't get cold. Given that the Philippines is really hot and all we do is backpack...we all wanted a cold room. Sadly this was not the case. Then again, Hotel Stella provided ample living conditions given the very low price we paid of P512 per person per night. 
Hotel Stella random shots
We slept for 2 hours and woke up 4:30 am to get to the Cebu South Bus Terminal, which is 5 minutes away by taxi. Before that we asked the reception to pack us our free continental breakfast (toast and coffee sachet). When we got to the bus terminal, we asked around where the line for Alegria is. We will be meeting our local tour guide Nonoy (09361335001) there. Luckily we were the first in line and the bus leaves at 5 am, we were just in time and we got the first seats in front. We paid P130 per person and slept through the 4+ hour trip. When we got to Alegria, we texted Nonoy and he got there in a motorbike in about 15 minutes. We split into 2, 2 of my friends rode with Nonoy's friend and my friend + I rode with Nonoy. It was my first time to ride a motorbike and it was thrilling. We rode for about 15 minutes or so through streets and an off road to where Nonoy's house was. There we changed to our "canyoneering" outfit (rush guard and shorts) and gave them our excess stuff for keeping. They gave us helmets and life vests to wear. It was recommended that you only bring drinking water and a water/shock proof camera with you. We paid P50 each of the motorbike ride or habal-habal. 

We then proceeded with the "canyoneering" tour. This again is an experience that cannot be defined nor captured in words, it is best to experience this on your own. Though pictures serve as a great reminder, it is also good to go here without any gadgets. So that you have your privacy with nature and for safety when you jump off cliffs. The canyoonering tour should lats about 4-6 hours depending on the pace of the group. Ours took 6 hours since we had a lot of stops for photos and "catching of breath" before jumps. It was a very simple trek even though its long. You would not feel the fatigue since you shift from rocks to waters. It was exhilarating. Overall we jumped off 7 cliffs/canyons whatever you call it. The last highest jump was 40 feet. Though people say its better to know how to swim, I am living proof that its okay to go here and jump off even though you can't swim. My life vest always brings me back up after a jump and I was not scared in all 7 jumps. The area was very serene and pure that I felt at home, I felt safe that I can do anything, and I felt free. It was the best feeling ever. After the 25 ft jump, we walk for about 30 minutes to the Kawasan Falls where people can dine for lunch. We opted to just eat when we reach Cebu. We had bread and we felt like it was enough. Kawasan Falls was also beautiful but we just passed by it since we wanted to rest back in our hotel. When we got back to the base 2PM, we paid P700 each to Nonoy for the tour and gave him extra P50 each for his great service. We washed ourselves and ate more chips while waiting for the bus to Cebu. Sadly bus trips to cebu are very in demand that we see buses very full each time they pass. We wanted to take an aircon bus back to cebu but after 1 hour of waiting, we decided that its safest to take whatever "free" bus that comes along and that is a non-aircon bus. We paid P140 each person to get back to cebu. It was one of the worst rides I have taken but I charge it to experience. We were so tired from the trek that we all slept uncomfortably through the 5 hour trip. It was very crowdy and hot, too hot in fact that I think I have fainted more than once. The hot sun, the dirty wind, and the noisy chickens onboard did not stop me from sleeping with my mouth open. We got back to the bus terminal by night time, almost 9 pm. We went to the nearby Elizabeth Mall to grab dinner but then its all closed out except for the grocery. We went across to Jolibee to eat dinner instead. Once that is done, we went to the grocery and bought ourselves some food for our Oslob trip. The taxi's by this time is hard to come by, so we used Grab Taxi to get us back to Hotel Stella. Paid P200 for the trip back to our hotel. 
In action
See that water behind us? Its gorgeous and cold.
Yes, we jumped from that.
Shot from above.
Adventure with these girls
Our trip
We woke up early again, we checked out and left our stuff in the reception for pickup later when we get back from Oslob. We then took another taxi to the Cebu South Bus Terminal. We paid P155 for the bus fare to Oslob. It was another 4-5 hour bus ride. We got to Aaron's resort by 9 AM. Just right on time since whaleshark feeding/watching was only until 12nn. When we got there, we paid P500 for snorkeling with the whale sharks and P100 for the resort entrance. If only I can dive, I would gladly pay P600 to dive close to the whale sharks. You may also pay P500 to have your photos/videos taken by the fishermen with their own devices. Good thing my friend has an underwater camera, we just asked the fishermen to use them for no additional fee. We changed to our swimming clothes immediately and went to the briefing area. You cannot wear any lotion or sunblocks if you want to swim. Shortly after the briefing, we went to the snorkeling area. Initially we wore life vests but realized it was a burden. So we opted to remove them and just hold onto the bamboo of the bangka. This way we can dive a bit and have better photos. We did snorkel and dive with the whalesharks for a good 1 hour and had many many photos and videos taken. The baby whalesharks were huge, I can only imagine how their moms are like. Sadly their moms have migrated the time we came, so we were left only with the baby (30 year old) butandings. They swim very VERY close to you and can even bump into you. I was careful and didn't make any contact with their rough skin. My friends were lucky to be bumped into them by accident, they had the feeling and scratches as memory. We paid extra P50 each to our guide as a thank you for their service. When we got back, we were offered to go to Tumalog Falls for P120. We accepted, once we got there we paid P20 each for the falls entrance and P50 for the Habal-habal ride to the falls. Tumalog Falls was really beautiful and even though its the only thing to be seen there, it was worth it. We stayed for a good 30 minutes just taking in the cold water and the falls then we went back to Aaron's resort. We washed up and had lunch at a nearby house/restaurant called Johnny's. Average price is P150 a meal, it was good and filling. We then waited outside the resort to wait for an aircon bus back to Cebu. We waited for about an hour or so, a tricycle offered to bring us to the nearest bus station or get us to the first available aircon bus that comes our way. We accepted and paid P50 each. We were glad we took the offer of the tricycle driver since we saw how much people were waiting along the way, we were able to ride an aircon bus about to be filled up on the road. We paid P160 to get back to Cebu. From the terminal, we rode a taxi to Hotel Stella to get our things and move to Crimson Resort and Spa. It took almost an hour to get to Crimson. We paid P320 to the taxi driver.
Aaron's Beach Resort

Kawayan, I love you.
Its so close <3
Going back to shore.

Johnny's Counter
Tumalog Falls
Lunch at Johnny's
Crimson Resort and Spa is by far the best resort I have ever stayed at. It was really beautiful inside and out. The staff were all attentive and helpful. The design of the place was well thought of. The amenities and facilities were all perfect. I loved the mini beds by the beach. My friend booked a room via Agoda and was able to get almost 55% off from our room. The room was just for 2 people but we managed to squeeze in 2 more. Their smallest room was more than enough for the 4 of us. We checked in and went to Saffron Cafe for dinner. I ordered their Adobo and Soul Cleaner drink, spet about P500
The Crimson Room
Much awaited Dinner
Never Gonna Leave This Bed

Next day was a lazy day since we did not anticipate that Crimson will be so far from the city, we decided to forgo all of our city tour plans (Mactan city tour, simala marian shrine, yap sandiego house, and basilica sto nino). We woke up around 7 am and spent it swimming at the 3 pools of the resort. Then we walked around the area and took photos. We finished around 9 am and we took turns taking a slow bath since our room has a bath tub. At around lunch time we had a heavy lunch at Saffron Cafe again, I ordered Tofu Curry dish for P475. We packed our stuff and waited for the free Insanity Workout session at the gym 1:30 pm. It was supposed to last for just 30 minutes but since both my friend and I are the only participants we ended at 2:30 pm. We did weights and workouts. It was intense but it felt good. We rushed washing up after since we had a reserved ride to SM Cebu by 3 PM and its on a first come first serve basis. It was about 45 minutes to SM Cebu and I slept the whole time. When we got there, we reserved a way back at 7:00 PM. We did our last minute shopping (mostly grocery) and dinner. By 7 we were on our way back to Crimson. When we got back to the resort, we just waited by the beach until around 10:30 PM. We used Grab Taxi to call our cab and paid P180. By around 11 PM we were at the airport, waiting for our 2 AM flight. We bought take home frozen 1kg lechon at Zubuchon for P670, its at the departure area. Once checked in, I slept the whole time while hugging my bag. I am getting really good at sleeping at weird positions and places. I woke up around 1 AM when Cebu Pacific was giving out free water and noodles for the flight delay. I ate them and waited with anticipation while its nearing boarding time.
Love the view!
Insanity Workout
SM Cebu
Flight Delayed
Realizations during the trip:
  • I had one of the best buko pie's at the bus from Oslob and it only cost me P10.
  • Cebu's chicharon (the one from the famed Carcar city) is not much different, I personally preferred the one from Bulacan (Dolores)
  • Cebu's people are really friendly and nice, I enjoy their company and stories
  • Cebu has bad traffic.
  • SM Cebu Grocery is selling a giant turon w/ langka for only P15! It was worth every peso. It sustained me during my long waits.
  • Buy fruits for trips. I bought 5 apples for this trip and they fed me until boarding the plane. It tasted better than any chips bought. Best snack for hikes.
  • Nothing tops lechon or crispy pata. You just cannot go wrong with it.
  • You do not need to spend much to experience great memories. Cebu has a lot of adventures and you do not need to spend too much.
  • Enjoy everything while its happening. Live life to the fullest.
  • Still have a lot to learn and do.
Some of the things I bought home.


Anonymous said...

Hi! Can i ask for a summary of your total expenses? my sister and I are planning to go to Cebu and I like your itinerary. And also pwede bang mag Canyoneering kahit dalawa lang kami? thanks! :)

Jeatte Go said...

Hi there!!!

Summary of expenses? Its a bit tricky since I purchased way too much unnecessary stuff. I was able to blog the important expenses like Canyoneering (P700). Its safe to budget P1000 for each local activity. I do not think its safe to do Canyoneering with just you and your sister, the path is tricky and you will need a guide to assist and lead the way. I suggest for your safety, get a guide. :) All the best and have a safe trip!

Also!! In case you plan to stay at Crimson hotel, they have an online promotion now. just saw it last night. hehe.

Jai said...

Hello there!! I love this post. Very informative! :) I just need your help. My friends and I (4pax total) will be going to Cebu for 3days and 3 nights (I just realized we're leaving Cebu on the 4th day around 2AM).

We'll arrive in Cebu around 1-2PM on Feb 15th. What do you suggest we do first.. Because I know that Canyoneering and swimming with the Whalesharks have to be early in the morning. Is Crimson Hotel too far from the 2 locations? I hope you don't mind because we don't have an idea AT ALL - where do you suggest we go first? :)

Thank you in advance!! xx

Steph said...

Hello there! how did you arrange for the canyoneering in kawasan? and where did you leave your bags? is it safe??

Jeatte Go said...

Hello Jai!

Yes both Canyoneering and whalesharks are far from the city. I suggest that you stay at a nearby hotel at Oslob or Alegria cause I know they are near each other. You will save a lot of traveling time if you stay within the area... and just go back to Cebu City when you are done with both activities, and do the usual Cebu tourist stuff like visit temples and eat lechon. Thank you for reading my blog. :) Hope you have a great trip!

Jeatte Go said...

Hi Steph!

We just contacted the local tour guide Nonoy (09361335001) and we agreed to meet up at a certain bus stop. We left our bags at the "kubo"/ house of Nonoy before we changed clothes and left for the hike. There was a caretaker his sister (I think) at the house, so our stuff was not left unattended. We only brought the essentials with us like camera, water, and some money. I think its safe since they get a lot of tourists and if they steal it will ruin their name. But to be sure, i suggest bringing along a mini water proof bag or necklace and put your essentials there. I did that.

Jeatte Go said...

Also steph, the life vest given by Nonoy has a mini net pocket. You can put stuff there. I suggest you put your "essentials" in a small good ziplock and place it there. Its not clear in the photos.

kim said...

Hi again! I was the one who commented first. :) im planning to contact your local tour guide Nonoy, i wonder how much it will cost us in Canyoneering since its only me and my sister. :) do you think its safe for the two of us?

paz said...

You said u booked a room for 2 and yet 4 stayed there...wala bang extra charge sa Crimson ? We often have difficulty booking a room & end up booking 2 rooms kasi 4 kami. We also book often with AGODA.

Unknown said...

Thank you for sharing your experience and itinerary here and this is very helpful. Me and my bf will be in cebu this weekend but im still torn if we should experience canyoneering because of the risks but when I saw your photos it made me changed my mind. You think how much will they charge us if there are only 2 of us? And you think can we manage to go to alegria directly to canyoneering after we do whale watching in oslob? Ive heard its near the area i think 1 hour away from oslob..

Pam said...

Hi!! I'm planning to go to Cebu in December and your itinerary sounds perfect! I also just want to ask if you were able to stay at Crimson Resort without paying for additional heads? There's 3 of us in the group. Thanks in advance and also for such a great blog!

Jeatte Go said...

@kim - hey kim!!! sorry. i was not prompted that you responded. Yes, contact Nonoy directly. Just make sure to do it early and not night time, and somebody knows where you are going. There are no guarantees on safety since it will be a private tour. But Nonoy seems like a nice guy (based on my perspective).

Jeatte Go said...

@paz - i think crimson has extra charges. sadly, my friends and I sneaked in :(

Jeatte Go said...

@unknown - i dont know if Nonoy will charge you more. better text him directly. yes! go direct!!! you will save a lot of time! we should have done that before.

Jeatte Go said...

@pam - thanks for the compliments. glad my blog helps people. ^_^ i think crimson has charges on extra heads.

Unknown said...

Good Day Miss Jeatte,

Do you have a detailed itinerary for this trip? thanks.

Yadie Culanding said...

Hi, i really like your post. Thanks for sharing! there's one thing I wanna ask.. "Can someone really enjoy canyoneering if they don't know how to swim?" coz I dunno or forgot my swimming lesson. Thanks in advance.

Jeatte Go said...

Hello unknown,

This is my itinerary.. hope it helps you.

Hi Yadie,

Yes, they will give you a life vest and it is perfectly fine to do canyoneering without learning how to swim. I am not good in water, and i just held onto my lifevest. haha. still enjoyed the trek. :)

Rai Vincent Mendoza said...

May minimum number of persons po ba na kailangan to get the tour from kuya nonoy? I'm planning to go there with my girlfriend.

Cebu City Tour said...

This is very useful cebu tour itinerary. Thanks

Anonymous said...

Hi mam. Do you have a alternative number of Kuya Nonoy? Cause his number is cannot be reach. Thanks in advance.

Anonymous said...

Hello..are entrance and exit fee included from the php700? Thanks! ☺

Tanya said...

Hi!! Just read your blog...very informative..thanks for that, one thingid like to ask is canyoneering safe for children? We will be traveling to cebu with our 2 chikiting ages 9/10. Or is there any shortcuts going to kawasan without doing the canyoneering..thanks in advance..Cheers!!

Anonymous said...


I'll be going to Cebu on June 18 - 23, 2016 (solo traveller).
Anyone interested to join me, please feel free to send me a sms. - 09166006036

Let's get LOST. :D

Anonymous said...

Hi! Bakit lumipat pa kayo ng Crimson hotel? I mean, bakit di nalang kayo nag-stay sa Crimson for your whole trip?

Nice blog btw. :)

Anonymous said...

Will copy your itinerary, the best at sulit pa.. Thanks!

Jeatte Go said...

Thanks everyone for checking out my blog!! safe travels to all of you <3

We stayed at Crimson for a day since we wanted to celebrate my friend's birthday in style/luxury haha. even if its just for a night. ^__^

Hi Rai, as far as I know.. there are no minimum requirements.

Hi Tanya, I think the trip is safe for kids as long as they listen well to instructions. For shortcuts, you can ask locals there. I am sure they will be glad to help you.

jeffrey jabat said...

Sinong nag arrange ng tour nyo?
At sino pwedeng makontak?

Okay lOkay ba malaman ang full details?

Thank you and God Bless

Anonymous said...

I can't contact Kuya Nonoy...
Help me to find a good local tourist guide..we'll be there on the 5th of Aug...please!!!!

Anonymous said...

I can't contact Kuya Nonoy...
Help me to find a good local tourist guide..we'll be there on the 25th of Aug...please!!!!

Anonymous said...

My husband and I will be in Cebu on Oct 10 to 13,2016,anyone would like to join us please ?
PM me please
kasi mas marami daw tayo sa canyoneering mas mura also we would like to
visit sana Kalanggaman and Malapascua island pero okay din kami kahit saan kasi first time namin to travel together .
Thank you and salamat po sa post nyo ,very helpful and informative :)

Yssa Paat said...

Hi! Is Kuya Nonoy's contact number still active? If not, do you have any updated number of his? If none, do have anyone or someone that you can recommend? Hihi. Thanks! ��

Elmer Belarmino said...

Will be in Cebu this coming Nov 24 to 29. Anyone who would like to join? :)

Cynthia Valdez said...

Hi would like to know of sino contact nyo in oslob whale watching? is it also kuya nonoy?

Jhunz Cebu said...

We can help you get to Oslob. Cebu Tours

Cebu Tours said...

Thank you for this post blog. It help a lot of bloggers and travelers know what destination they can visit.

WEI QI CHUA said...

Hello! May I know how can I contact Nonoy??
Thank you in advance!!

Cebu Travel Advisory said...

Hi, if you like a hassle free tour, you can try us for free consultation, we provide customized and affordable tour packages.

Yano Rivera said...

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