Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Osmeña Peak: Travel Guide to the Highest Peak of Cebu

Unlike Benguet and Bukidnon, the Province of Cebu could not boast of tall and grandiose mountains. Its highest peak, however, despite being  an easy hike, offers otherworldy view that can only be seen in this side of the country. Osmeña Peak, standing at a modest 1,072.6 meters above sea level, is Cebu's highest mountain situated in Brngy. Mantalongon, Dalaguete. Here,one can enjoy not only the cool climate but also marvel at the expansive view of Mantalongon Range's jagged, moss-covered hills and grasslands as well as the distant view of Badian Island.

Osmeña Peak is also one affordable outdoor destination whenever you're in Cebu City. You could actually go there for a day hike and spend less than a thousand pesos. This travel guide contains essential information on how to get there, things to bring and estimated expenses.

How to Get There

From Cebu City South Bus Terminal, take a bus bound for Oslob or Santander. Tell the driver or conductor that you will alight at the Mantalongon junction in Dalaguete (pronounced "Dalaget"). Bus fare is about Php100-Php110 pesos. Due to Cebu's heavy traffic, travel time is about 3 hours. Dalaguete-Mantalongon junction landmarks are 7Eleven and Julie's Bakeshop. There are also plenty habal-habal (motorcycles for hire) waiting for passengers at the junction.

Fare up to the foot of Osmeña Peak is Php200.00 one-way per motorcycle which can be shared by 2 passengers (or Php100.00/person). If you are traveling solo then you have to pay the Php200.00 one way fare or Php400.00 round trip. You can ask the driver to wait for you if you plan to immediately return to Dalaguete town proper after ascending the peak.

In our case, since we went swimming with the whale shark in Oslob the day before, we stayed overnight in one of the few accommodations in Dalaguete. We contracted the habal-habal driver to pick us up at dawn in our lodge and take us to the jump-off in Brngy. Mantalongon.

From Dalaguete-Mantalongon junction, travel time is about 45 minutes. Habal-habal motorcycle can take you up to the Registration Area at the foot of Osmeña Peak. Entrance fee is Php30.00 and there are also available local guides with no fixed rate (Php150-200.00 per guide will do).

From the registration area, the hike to the peak is only about 15-20 minutes. The trail is well-established and a guide is actually not necessary. But I encourage you to hire one as this is one way of providing income to the locals whose main way of living is vegetable farming.

View at the Peak

It was actually very windy and foggy during our hike. Since it rained the day before our climb, the trail was also slippery. When we reached the peak, I was disappointed that we could not see any view due to the thick fog.

We patiently waited for about half-hour until the fog eventually cleared and revealed a really awesome sight. Truly good things come to those who wait....

Despite its modest elevation and being a short and easy hike, Osmeña Peak is a worthwhile outdoor destination in South Cebu. I was definitely awed by the view of its jagged and rocky hills which looked like some twisted versions of Bohol's Chocolate Hills. I also loved the cool air in Barangay Mantalongon which made me feel like I am in Cordillera, my most favorite region in the Philippines.

Travel Tips:

1. Wear appropriate hiking apparel, windbreaker or jacket, and trail shoes. Bring flashlight if you're hiking at dawn and raincoat to protect you in case of rain.

2. Bring water and trail snacks . You can buy at Dalaguete town proper or in the Public Market of Barangay Mantalongon.

3. Don't forget to take your trash down for proper disposal. Always practice the Leave No Trace ethics when exploring outdoors.

4. There is a camp site just below the peak for those who want to stay overnight.

5. There is a longer trail could take you to Kawasan Falls in Badian. Ask the local guides for details.

6. Manatalongon is known as the vegetable basket of Cebu. You can buy some fresh produce at cheaper prices.

Sample Day Trip Itinerary:

2:30 AM - Cebu City South Bus Terminal to Dalaguete (Php100-P110 bus fare)
5:30 AM - Alight at Dalaguete-Mantalongong Junction. You may eat light breakfast and buy some necessities at the nearby 7Eleven branch.
5:45 AM - Habal-habal ride to Mantalongon (Php200.00 per motorcycle for 2 passengers or Php100.00 per person)
6:30 AM - Osmeña Peak Registration Area. Pay the entrance fee of Php30.00 and start your hike. You may hire a guide at Php150 fee (no fixed rate. You may give more if you're generous).
7:00 AM - Arrival at the peak. Sight-seeing and picture taking.
8:00 AM - Descend back to the registration area.
8:30 AM - Habal-habal ride back to Dalaguete town proper.
9:15 AM - Arrival in Dalaguete town proper. Wait for bus bound for Cebu City.            
1:00 PM - Arrival in Cebu City

Summary of Expenses

Bus Fare Cebu City-Dalaguete - Php 110.00
Breakfast/Water/Trail Snacks - 150.00
Habal-Habal Round Trip - 400.00 (200.00/person only if traveling with a companion)
Entrance Fee - 30.00
Guide Fee (optional) - 150.00 (75.00/person if with a companion)
Bus back to Cebu City - 110.00  

TOTAL: Php 950.00 (solo traveler)      
                      675.00 (if traveling with a companion)


  1. I love the landscape. I can't wait to travel in Cebu.
    From Manila I wrote an article about "How to Plan Travel Itinerary Online"

  2. Great post! I've been to Oslob, Cebu but missed swimming with the sharks. I especially love the itinerary; I might copy it as well when I get back to Cebu. Thanks for the very informative post.


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