Dubbed as the “Chocolate Hills” of Cebu, Osmena Peak is one of the most stunning mountains in the Visayas Region. It is one of the highest mountains in Cebu at 1,013 meters above sea level.
From the peak, you can easily see Pescador Island and Moalboal. Be careful of the sharp rocks, and check where you’re stepping.
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We started our trip to Osmena Peak at 3:40 AM from Moalboal. Our Airbnb host, Lisa, at Sambag Hideaway arranged the tour for us. Ryk and I rode at the back of a multicab, a pretty cute version of a pickup truck in Cebu.
A habal habal (motorbike) was out of the question for us since we brought all our camera gear and the road to Osmena Peak is quite bumpy. In fact, bumpy is an understatement. It’s very bumpy times ten times ten times ten. Hahaha.
From Moalboal, we passed by deserted roads with a starry sky above us – the perfect time for astrophotography. If only we reached Osmena Peak before sunrise.
Unfortunately, by the time we reached Dalaguete, the sun already started rising. It was still 15 minutes or so before we reached the jump-off point.
Nevertheless, we were rewarded with a beautiful scenery as our driver hurried. It was already 5:30 AM by the time we arrived at the jump-off point to Osmena Peak.
We paid the fees and proceeded to start the trek to the peak with ate Meley as our guide. She was wearing slippers, laughed when she saw Ryk also wore the same and said that he’s used to the mountains since he doesn’t need a shoe to trek. Well, that’s half the truth.
But, what can we say? We were born and raised in the mountains of the Cordillera Region. Haha.
The trek was barely a “hike”. In 15 minutes, you’ll reach the peak. The trail is pretty easy to follow so it’s a great trek for beginners.
It was nearly 6:00 AM when reached Osmena Peak and there were already a few hikers ahead of us. Bummer. The sun was also already out. But that doesn’t mean we can’t take great photos. Our guide, ate Meley, knew all the right angles, poses and places to take the best photos! So I happily went ahead and became her model as she snapped away using my phone.
Ryk, on the other hand, wasn’t interested in getting his photos taken. He was more interested in taking aerial photos.
So what do you think?
Tips and Reminders
Here are our tips and reminders when hiking Osmena Peak.
Make sure you leave early if you want to see the sunrise at Osmena Peak. From Moalboal, we went out at 3:40 AM and arrived at around 5:20 AM and missed the sunrise by a few minutes. As such, always make sure to check what time the sun rises so you don’t miss it like we did.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can we camp for the night at Osmena Peak?
Yes, yes and yeeees! Had we known, we would have brought our tents with us. If you have your own tent, you’ll only pay the environmental fee, guide fee and camping fee of P50. If you want to rent, there are tents for rent for around P300.
Camping is the best way to go if you want to wake up to an amazing sunrise!
When is the best time to go?
The best time to go would be before sunrise so the weather is cool. This way, you get to see the majestic sun as it rises over the peaks of Osmena. This for me, is the most picturesque time to go hike Osmena Peak.
Plus, you’ll have the peak all to yourself if you’re early. During the day, it can get crowded especially during the weekend.
What are the rates and fees?
Before you start your trek, you’ll need to pay P30 per person for the environmental fee. You will also be required to have a local guide to bring you up the mountain peaks.
There’s no fixed fee for the guide. It’s really up to you but the minimum guide fee as I was told by our guide is P150. After all, the guides queue until a tourist comes. If there are only a few tourists in one day, the guides most often only guide once in two or three days. Think of that before you pay them.
Plus, most of the guides in Osmena Peak are quite familiar with the best spots for photo opportunities so you get awesome photos during your trip.
How is the trail?
The trail is quite rocky but not that steep. It’s a pretty easy trek for any beginning hiker. Wooden walking sticks are available for rent for only P10 each if you want one.
From the jump-off point, you’ll pass by several vegetable and flower gardens. Growing up in Benguet, I was amazed at how the locals managed to plant here despite all the big rocks.
How long is the trek?
From the jump-off point, it will take you 15 to 20 minutes to the peak.
How do I get to Osmena Peak?
From Cebu City
At the South Bus Terminal, ride a bus going to Oslob or Santander/Li-loan. Then get off at Dalaguete Junction. Travel time is at 2 to 3 hours.
From here, hire a motorbike going to the Osmena Peak jump-off point. Travel time from here is around 1 hour.
From Moalboal, you’ll have to either rent a motorbike or a private car to bring you to the jump-off point. Motorcycle transfer is usually priced at P1,000 per person for a return trip. If you want to have a private car bring you there, the price is usually at P2,000+ for two persons.
As for us, our Airbnb host, Lisa of Sambag Hideaway helped arrange our transportation. Since Osmena Peak was just the start of our whole day adventure (Osmena Peak & 7 Cebu Waterfalls), we paid P4,000 for our ride.
Our driver was kuya Xyto. You can contact him at 09352510032 or 09333131859. Let him know you got his number from me. 🙂
If you’re coming from Oslob, ride a bus heading to Cebu City. Then, ask to be dropped off at Dalaguete Junction. Travel time from here is around 1 hour to 1.5 hours.
Then, ride a motorbike (for about an hour) going to the jump-off point.
Where to next
After Osmena Peak, you can opt to go Canyoneering at Kawasan Falls or explore the nearby falls such as Cambais Falls, and Montpellier Falls. But if you’re into hiking, why not hike Osmena Peak to Kawasan Falls. The hike takes around 6 hours.
There’s also Sergio’s Farm, famous for its sunflowers, which you can visit around Dalaguete.
If you’re into chasing waterfalls, Ryk and I managed to visit the top seven waterfalls in Cebu just after our hike at Osmena Peak. But I wouldn’t recommend the trip to anyone who likes to take things slow. I’ll be writing a post on this one.
Where to Stay in Cebu
When planning your trip to Cebu, it’s best that you book months before your travel date. This is to ensure that you have a place to sleep the night in. Here are some that I’d recommend for you to book.
- RedDoorz Plus near Mango Avenue Cebu – Check Price and Availability
- Pillows Hotel Cebu – Check Price and Availability
- Uncle Tom’s Cabin – Check Price and Availability
- Escario Central Hotel – Check Price and Availability
- Grazie’s Studio Apartment – Check Price and Availability
- Murals Mactan – Check Price and Availability
- Liquid Soul Dive Hostel – Check Price and Availability
- Taro Hometel – Check Price and Availability
- Little Norway Guesthouse – Check Price and Availability
- Acrige Apartelle – Check Price and Availability
- Zhamira Avior’s Condominium – Check Price and Availability
- Beyond Island – Check Price and Availability
- Cebu R Hotel – Mabolo – Check Price and Availability
- One Central Hotel – Check Price and Availability
- Mandarin Plaza Hotel – Check Price and Availability
- Harolds Hotel – Check Price and Availability
- Alpa City Suites Hotel – Check Price and Availability
- Allure Hotel & Suites – Check Price and Availability
- Zerenity Hotel and Suites – Check Price and Availability
- Summit Galleria Cebu – Check Price and Availability
- St. Mark Hotel – Check Price and Availability
- Cebu Hotel Plus – Check Price and Availability
- Carl‘s Island Inn – Check Price and Availability
- Kota Beach Resort – Check Price and Availability
- Kandugyap House By The Sea – Check Price and Availability
- Carolina del Mar – Check Price and Availability
- AJ Family Vacation Home – Check Price and Availability
- Soderberg – Check Price and Availability
- Ocean Safari Suites – Check Price and Availability
- Bai Hotel – Check Price and Availability
- Seda Ayala Center Cebu – Check Price and Availability
- Marco Polo Plaza Cebu Hotel – Check Price and Availability
- Red Planet Cebu – Check Price and Availability
- Golden Prince Hotel & Suites – Check Price and Availability
- Bayfront Hotel Cebu – Check Price and Availability
- Quest Hotel and Conference Center Cebu – Check Price and Availability
- Diamond Suites & Residences – Check Price and Availability
- Tongo Hill Cottages – Check Price and Availability
- Ravenala Beach Bungalows – Check Price and Availability
- Oceanfront Paradise Resort – Check Price and Availability
- Pearl of Santa Fe – Check Price and Availability
In case you’re planning on booking via Airbnb, here’s a P2,200 ($44) discount on your first booking when you sign up on Airbnb via this link.
Where to Eat
After our hike, we asked our driver, kuya Xyto, to bring us someplace for breakfast. He recommended Aling Dani’s beside Dalaguete Agri Pinoy Trading Center. With how delicious and how big the servings were, you’d be surprised to find out we only paid P160 for 6 dishes and 5 rice! Even I was taken surprised! We highly recommend this place if you’re starving.
Responsible Travel Tips
When traveling to one place, make sure you practice responsible tourism. Here are some tips to do so.
1. Respect the environment
Don’t litter. Please hold onto your trash until you find a garbage can.
2. Avoid single-use plastic
Bring your eco bag and refuse single-use plastic.
3. Shop local
Keep the traditional crafts alive and support local artisans. Buy from them. And try not to haggle, P20 may seem small to you but it can mean a lot to them.
4. Always ask permission
Be sure to ask for permission first when taking photos or videos especially when it comes to children
What to Pack for
- Eco-friendly Reusable Water Bottle
- Light Rain Jacket (especially from June to November)
- T-shirts, a nice top, and a long-sleeved shirt
- Day Bag
- Power Adapter
- Universal Waterproof Phone Case
- Packing Cubes
- Microfiber Towel
- Travel Insurance
- Money Belt
- hiking shoes
- reusable straw and reusable bag (no to single-use plastic!)
Related Article: The Only Travel Packing List You’ll Ever Need (Trust Me)
Our Camera Gear
- Mirrorless Camera: Fujifilm XT3
- Lenses: Fujifilm Fujinon kit lens (18-55mm) | Fujinon 35mm f2 | Fujinon 50mm f2
- Drone: DJI Mavic Pro 2
- GoPro: GoPro Hero Black 7
- Power Bank: Romoss Powerbank
- Camera Backpack: Case Logic Camera and Laptop Backpack
- Monopod: Ifootage Cobra 2 a180
- Mic: Rode VideoMicro
- Gimbal: Zhiyun Weebill-S
You might also enjoy…
- 30 Crazy Fun Things To Do In Cebu, Philippines
- Mactan Island Hopping: 2019 Travel Guide
- Malapascua Island: A Travel Guide For Non-Divers
- Bantayan Island 2019 Travel Guide: All You Need To Know
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Johanes is a digital nomad and a web content writer who loves to go on spontaneous travels. She also likes to go camp under the stars and play with her dog and cats.