|Lifestyle - Popular Destinations|
|Written by Leahona|
The Queen City of the South, Cebu is a place that offers many historical destinations. This is the oldest city in the Philippines that was established when the Spaniards came to colonize the country. Aside from a city that is full of historical events and places, Cebu City is the second city in the Philippines next to Manila City. This is also the second most significant metropolitan center in the country.
Cebu has many attractions and destinations that tourists will truly enjoy. Travelling to Cebu City and seeing the many historical sites will make you travel through time and experience the charm of the old world. This city is not just about historical places there are modern places and attractions that will keep you on your feet. This itinerary is for a 4 days and 3 nights stay in the city. Going to Cebu solo is not really a fun idea go together with your loved one, friends or family to save expenses and to make your travel much memorable and fun.
Plan an early trip or maybe a late night trip to Cebu. Your first two days in Cebu can be spent on an island beach resort, and Cebu has many nearby resorts to offer. An early trip to the city is advised so you can get to the resort early morning or before lunch and this gives you ample time for sight-seeing or other activities.
Upon arriving in Cebu City, take a taxi (make sure it is metered) to North Bus Terminal near SM Cebu. Look for a bus that travels to Hagnaya Pier, these busses can be Ceres Coach Bus or Cebu AutoBus Corp. They run all day from as early as 5am, the fare ranges from Php70-80. Aircon busses rarely travel to Hagnaya that is why it is better to leave early in the morning to avoid the harsh sun and pollution. Travel time is approximately 2.5 hours up to 3 hours. Once you arrive in Hagnaya Pier, you will ride a ferry to Santa Fe, Bantayan Island and this is a 75min. ride.
There are several resorts in Bantayan, but you would like to get a resort that is near the beach and Santa Fe. This makes it easier for you to leave for Cebu the next day.
Budyong Beach Beach Resort is located in Santa Fe, Bantayan. This resort offers basic amenities and they have individual single and duplex type cottages. A beach front cottage for 4 persons with air condition is Php1700 a night and their fan rooms for 4 persons is Php1000. All their cottages are near the beach, making it easy to walk to the shoreline or have a dip in the sea. Their resort offers basic amenities, and a restaurant that serves good food.
Upon arriving in the resort you can have lunch at Arjaymay, a food stall the serves delicious grilled seafood. The prices are reasonable and the ingredients are fresh.
After lunch, you can tour the Bantayan town and visit the centuries-old Bantayan Church which is the Saint Peter & Paul’s Church and other old houses. You can also visit the Bantayan Market for their known dried squid and danggit. These can be great souvenirs and gifts to your family and friends back home. You just have to make sure that these are wrapped well to hide its salty smell. You can have snacks at Kermit’s, a known burger house in the island with great food at reasonable prices.
Back to Santa Fe, you can visit the Ogtong Cave in Santa Fe Beach Club. The entrance fee is Php50. After exploring the cave, you can go back to your resort for swimming and marvel at the beautiful sunset of Bantayan Island.
There are a number of restaurants in Bantayan and food is never a problem. Most restaurants are owned by Europeans who have decided to stay in the island for good. You can have dinner at D’Jungle where they offer buffet every Friday and Saturday for only Php300 per head including bottomless iced tea.
You can have breakfast at your resort and you need to start the day early so you can visit the other islets around Bantayan Island. One island that tourists often visit is the Virgin Island. You can arrange for a boat transfer from your resort to Virgin Island and it can cost around Php1000-Php1500. The entrance fee to the island is Php50 per head. You can stay as long as you want and enjoy the sun, sand and the sea.
Back to Bantayan Island you have to prepare to head back to Hagnaya Port. You can have lunch at Khel’s BBQ that offers great grilled food and with hanging rice known as puso in Filipino.
After the ferry ride from Santa Fe to Hagnaya Pier and bus to Cebu, you will arrive in the city before sunset.
You can now check-in at a hotel in Cebu for you stay at for the remainder of the trip. Roseate Pensione House offers affordable room rates with the choice of staying in a room with a panoramic view of the city. This pension house is located in the heart of the city. Their family room with a panoramic view of the city costs Php1680 per night, and this has 2 double size beds with refrigerator.
For dinner, you must try the known Lechon Cebu. Lechon is roasted suckling pig, and one restaurant that is known to offer great tasting lechon is the CNT Lechon located in front of SM Cebu. The price of the lechon per kilo costs around Php320-400. This is definitely a must try and many find the lechon sumptuous even without dipping it in sauce.
You can decide if you will call it a night or party in some of the known bars and clubs in Cebu. Some of the known hangout places in Cebu are Club Vudu and Paseo.
Spend your 3rd day with a tour of Cebu City. You will get to know the city better and learn more of its historical facts.
A visit to Magellan’s Cross is a must for someone travelling and having a vacation in Cebu. This is a landmark in the city. This is a cross planted by the early Spanish and Portuguese explorers and this was ordered by Ferdinand Magellan. This is actually a small room where the cross is located in the middle, but it is sure worth the visit.
Pay a visit to Fort San Pedro, a military defense structure. The entrance fee is Php40 and you will see more of the legacy left behind by the Spanish conquerors of this country.
Next stop is the Basilica Minore Del Sto. Niño. This is a 16th century church and probably one of the oldest churches in the Philippines. There is a museum inside the basilica where antique items are on display. You would also learn about the history of Christianity in Cebu.
There are two museums nearby that you can visit the Ballanong Balandi and Jose Rizal Museum. Ballanong Balandi houses several artifacts including Cebu’s old pavements and in front of the building is the mobile used by the late Pope John Paul II when he visited Cebu decades ago.
It is time for lunch and again there are many cheap food stalls in the city that offers delicious food. Barbecue is by far a staple in Cebu and you can find cheap and delicious barbecue in Larsians.
A great way to end your tour of the city is by visiting TOPS, this is 2000 feet above sea level situated on the cool hills of Busay. You can have a panoramic view of the city and feel the cold air. This location has many cottages where you can have picnics. You can rent a taxi going to the area and back to the city for about Php700.
A must try activity in the city is the Edge Coaster and Sky Walk Extreme in Crown Regency Hotel. This is the world’s first edge coaster and the country’s only sky walk. You will feel the thrill and excitement as you are at the edge of your seat on the Edge Coaster and walking on clear glass thousands of feet high. If you want to experience both exciting rides the entrance is Php750 with free t-shirt.
Enjoy juicy steaks and other delicious meals at Casa Verde. This restaurant has many specialties and one of them is their famous Brian’s ribs, big slabs of baby back ribs covered in the restaurant’s special sauce. You must also try their cream cakes.
Your last day in Cebu can be spent shopping for souvenirs and visiting some of Mactan’s tourist destinations. You can rent a taxi to bring you to Mactan and visit some of its tourist destinations.
Dried Mango is definitely a known delicacy of Cebu and visiting is a good way to learn how these tasty dried fruit is made.
Then a visit Mactan Monument and Lapu Lapu Shrine. Datu Lapu Lapu was the first known hero of the Philippines who defeated Ferdinand Magellan, the first Spaniard who came to conquer the country.
Cebu City is truly a city with many beautiful attractions. This city is rich in culture and this can be seen in the many historical landmarks scattered in and around the city.