Osmeña Peak, the highest mountain in Cebu is a cluster of green jagged hills like a deformed twin of Chocolate Hills of Bohol hugging the shorelines of Badian.
This part of Dalaguete is reminiscent of Benguet. A serene town with low temperatures dotted with pine trees. A remote village inhabited mostly by vegetable farmers sporting their jackets, boots and jeans. And you will meet children eagerly helping their families in their farm work. Here you’ll see vines crawling in trees and gardens, rooster cocking and cozy wood houses.
Here’s a travel guide to Osmeña Peak and Kawasan Falls to help you plan your trip:
HOW TO GET TO OSMEÑA PEAK FROM CEBU
Take a bus bound for Oslob or Santander/Li-loan at South Bus Terminal in Cebu City. Bus fare is about PHP 106 and travel time is approximately 3 hours. Tell the conductor and/or driver that you will get off at Dalaguete junction for Osmeña Peak. Landmarks are 7Eleven and Julie’s Bakeshop fronting each other (see photo below) at Mantalongan.
At Dalaguete junction, hire a habal-habal (motorbike) directly to Osmeña Peak trail head. Fare is PHP 100 per person one way, the motorbike can accommodate 2 persons, so if you are alone, you have to pay for two (PHP 200 per way). To simplify, PHP 200 per way per motorbike to Osmena Peak. Roundtrip motorbike fare is PHP 400, good for two persons. Travel time is about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
At the jumping-off point to Osmeña Peak, tourists/hikers need to sign at the Osmeña Peak Tourism Center/ Hiker’s Center (see photo below) and pay the Osmeña Peak entrance fee of PHP 30 per person. Always ask for official receipt.
Local guides will also approach you, there is no regulated guide fee, the guide will most likely tell you it’s up to you, but usually PHP 150 per guide will do.
Hike to Osmeña Peak summit from the jumping-off point is about 20-25 minutes only. The hike is fairly easy, by far my easiest hike.
Osmeña Peak is usually foggy in the morning, so best to schedule your hike in the afternoon. Osmeña Peak is also a good spot for sunset watching.
There is a camping ground in Osmeña Peak if you plan to stay there overnight, bring your own tent. Camping fee is Php 50 per person. Otherwise, Osmeña Peak can be done as a day trip, see itinerary below for Osmeña Peak day trek.
HOW TO GO TO OSMENA PEAK FROM OSLOB
At the highway in Oslob, take a Ceres bus bound for Cebu. Tell the driver you are getting off at Dalaguete Junction for Osmeña Peak where you can see 7Eleven and Julia’s Bakeshop fronting each other. Travel time is about 1 to 1.5 hours.
At Dalaguete Junction, hire a habal-habal (motorbike) to take you to Osmeña Peak jumping-off point. The motorbike can accommodate 2 persons, so PHP 200 per way per motorbike to Osmeña Peak. The roundtrip motorbike fare is PHP 400. Travel time is about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Sign in the logbook of Osmeña Peak Tourism Center/ Hiker’s Center (see photo below) and pay PHP 30 per person for the Osmeña Peak entrance fee. If you wish to camp overnight, there is a PHP 50 per person camping fee, bring your own tent.
You can hire a guide for your security and to assist in taking your souvenir photos at Osmena Peak. The trek to Osmeña Peak summit from the jumping-off point is about 20-25 minutes only. The hike is pretty easy, so Osmeña Peak is usually done as a day trek.
HOW TO GO TO KAWASAN FALLS IN BADIAN FROM OSMEÑA PEAK
There are two options to go to Kawasan Falls in Badian from Osmeña Peak, by hike or by motorbike.
Near Mantalongan Market in Dalaguete, there is a trail to traverse to Kawasan Falls in Badian, but it will take about 6 hours to do this hike.
If you are not keen on doing that tedious traverse to Kawasan Falls from Osmeña Peak, you can rent a habal-habal (motorbike) to take you to Kawasan Falls from Osmeña Peak/ Dalaguete for PHP 1,000 per motorbike (good for two persons so PHP 500 per person). In other words, if you are doing Dalaguete junction to Osmeña Peak to Kawasan Falls, you can hire a motorbike for PHP 1,000 (good for two). That rate is reasonable as the travel time from Osmeña Peak to Kawasan Falls is about 2 hours.
Entrance fee to Kawasan Fall is PHP 30 per person and bus fare from Badian to Cebu is PHP 147, travel time is roughly 3 hours.
WHERE TO EAT IN OSMEÑA PEAK
You can dine at Mantalongon Market for about PHP 40 per meal. You can also buy water there or at the small store near the trail head (they sell cold soft drinks for PHP 15 per bottle). Bottled water is also available at the Hiker’s Center for PHP 35.
SAMPLE OSMEÑA PEAK ITINERARY
|11:00 PM||ETD Cebu South Bus Terminal|
|02:00 PM||Dalaguete Junction. Hire habal-habal to Osmeña Peak.|
|03:00 PM||ETA Osmeña peak trail head. Pay hiker’s registration fee. Hire guide.|
|03:30 PM||ETA Osmeña Peak summit. Photo op and appreciate the view.|
|04:30 PM||Hike down|
|05:00 PM||ETD for Dalaguete Junction|
|06:00 PM||ETA Dalaguete Junction|
|06:15 PM||ETD for Cebu City|
|09:15 PM||ETA Cebu City|
SAMPLE OSMEÑA PEAK TO KAWASAN FALLS ITINERARY
|08:00 AM||ETD Cebu South Bus Terminal|
|10:00 AM||ETA Dalaguete Junction. Hire motorbike to Osmeña Peak.|
|11:00 AM||ETA Osmeña Peak trail head. Register and Pay Php 30 per person. Hire a guide.|
|11:30 AM||ETA Osmeña Peak summit. Photo op and soak in the view.|
|12:30 PM||ETD Osmeña Peak|
|01:00 PM||ETA Osmeña trail head. ETD to Mantalongan market for lunch.|
|01: 15 PM||Late lunch at Mantalongan Market with habal-habal driver|
|01:45 PM||ETD to Kawasan Falls in Badian via habal-habal.|
|4:00 PM||ETA Kawasan Falls. Pay entrance fee. Swim.|
|05:30 PM||ETD for Cebu City. Ride Ceres Bus to Cebu City|
|9:00 PM||ETA at Cebu South Bus Terminal|
SAMPLE OSLOB TO OSMEÑA PEAK TO KAWASAN FALLS ITINERARY
|2:00 AM||ETD Cebu South Bus terminal|
|7:00 AM||ETA Oslob. Register for Oslob whale shark watching.|
|7:30 AM||Swim with the whale sharks.|
|8:30 AM||ETD For Dalaguete. Ride Ceres Bus to Cebu City.|
|10:00 AM||Alight at Dalaguete Junction. Hire motorbike to Osmeña Peak.|
|10:45 AM||ETA Osmeña Peak jumping-off point. Register and pay entrance fee. Hire a guide.|
|10:55 AM||Star hike to Osmeña Peak.|
|11: 20 AM||Osmeña Peak summit. Photo op.|
|12:20 PM||ETD Osmeña Peak Tourism Center.|
|12: 50 PM||ETA Osmeña Peak trail head. Ride habal-habal.|
|01:10 PM||ETA Manatalongan Market. Late lunch.|
|01:40 PM||ETD Kawasan Falls in Badin via habal-habal.|
|04:00 PM||ETA Kawasan Falls. Pay entrance fee. Swim.|
|05:30 PM||ETD Cebu City. Ride Ceres Bus.|
|08:30 PM||ETA Cebu South Bus Terminal.|
OSMEÑA PEAK TRIP BUDGET
Here’s a sample budget for Osmeña Peak day hike.
|Bus Fare (Cebu- Dalaguete-Cebu)||PHP 106 per way x 2 = PHP 212|
|Motorbike to Osmeña Peak from Dalaguete Junction||PHP 200 per way x 2 = PHP 400|
|Osmena Peak Registration Fee||PHP 30 per person|
|Osmena Peak Guide Fee||PHP 150 per guide|
OSMEÑA PEAK TO KAWASAN TRIP BUDGET
Here’s a sample budget for Osmeña Peak day hike and Kawasan Falls via motorbike.
|Bus Fare (Cebu- Dalaguete)||PHP 106 per person|
|Motorbike (Dalaguete-O Osmeña Peak-Kawasan Falls)||PHP 1,000 per motorbike|
|Osmeña Peak Registration||PHP 30 per person|
|Kawasan Falls entrance fee||PHP 30 per person|
|Bus fare (Kawasan/Badian – Cebu)||PHP 147|
|TOTAL||Php 1, 313|
OSMEÑA PEAK TRAVEL TIPS
♦ Best time to do the Osmeña Peak hike is in the afternoon as it can get foggy in the morning. I did Osmeña Peak twice in 2012, it was foggy on my first attempt. On my recent trip, we went there around 3:00 PM.
♦ Osmeña Peak is also a great spot to catch the sunset. If you have the luxury of time, you can do the hike late in the afternoon and wait for the sunset. But be extra careful when going down.
♦ Wear proper hiking shoes, if you don’t have one, running shoes is okay. Do not wear slippers as the trail is quite rocky.
♦ If you want to avoid the crowd, go to Osmeña Peak on weekdays, avoid the weekends as it can get pretty crowded.
♦ Bring bottled water to keep you hydrated, but you can also buy one at the store in front of the trail head, cheaper than buying at the hiker’s center.
♦ Bring your own tent of if you want to camp in Osmeña Peak, camping fee is PHP 50.
♦ To help the local community, hire a guide.
♦ Do not leave or throw your trash at Osmeña Peak, please.
♦ There are souvenir shirts, ref magnet, key chains and mugs for sale at Osmeña Peak Tourism Center.
♦ You can do Kawasan Falls traverse from Osmeña Peak for about 6 hours or just hire a habal-habal (motorbike) for PHP 1,000 (PHP 500 per person x 2 persons) to take you there. If you plan to do this, bring your swim wear!
♦ Do not let the driver wait too long, they might charge you extra for the long wait time. It’s the source of living, so as much as possible, they want to take more visitors to the peak. Local residents use the habal-habal as mode of transportation too, please respect their time. An hour at Osmeña Peak for photo and to soak in the view will do.
♦ Ceres Buses to south Cebu at South Bus Terminal runs daily from 2:00 AM to 12:00 midnight. To avoid the long lines during weekends and holidays, travel on weekdays and avoid the holidays!
WHERE TO STAY IN CEBU CITY
The Center Suites
Escario St. Extension, Gonzales Compound, Brgy. Camputhaw, Cebu City
AMAX INN CEBU
Aniceto Seno, Mandaue City, Cebu
Cebu Grand Hotel
N. Escario Street, Vibo Place, Cebu City
Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino
Salinas Drive Lahug, Cebu City, Cebu, Philippines, 6000
Radisson Blu Cebu
Serging Osmeña Boulevard corner Juan Luna Avenue, Mabolo, Cebu City
Osmeña Peak Side trip:
ALSO READ: OSLOB SWIMMING WITH THE WHALE SHARKS
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