While planning my trip to Cebu Island in the Philippines, I knew I had to add Osmeña Peak to my itinerary. I had seen photos of this beautiful viewpoint before and knew it couldn’t miss from my Cebu itinerary. Osmeña Peak is the highest mountain in Cebu and a bit of a tricky one to plan a visit to, if you’re looking for advice on how to explore Osmeña Peak, you’ve come to the right place! In this Osmeña Peak guide I’ve included everything you need to know about visiting Osmeña Peak, including how to get there, details about the Osmeña Peak day hike, rough cost outlines, what to bring and more.
Before you go, don’t forget to check my Philippines packing guide to make sure you have everything for your trip!
What is Osmeña Peak?
The highest mountain in Cebu, Osmeña Peak is the “peak” spot from which you can get stunning 360-degree views of Cebu island. It’s the most famous and beautiful viewpoint on Cebu.
From here you can see cool rock formations and farms stretching for thousands of kilometers that are reminiscent of the scenery of the famous chocolate hills of Bohol.
How to get to Osmeña Peak
Osmeña Peak is an hour and a half to two-hour drive from the municipality of Moalboal. The drive is bound to be rough as the road is pretty ugly in certain spots with lots of bumps and steep turns, so strap on your seatbelts, travelers! You can see the exact location of Osmeña Peak here on Google Maps.
You can rent a private car to and from Osmeña Peak for 3,000 PHP. This Osmeña Peak tour package includes stops at waterfalls along the way back.
Aside from renting a private cars, renting scooters is also a popular mode of transportation to and from Osmeña Peak. Scooter rental costs 200 PHP a day for manual scooters and 400 PHP a day for the automatic ones. Let me warn you, though, only take the scooters if you are a confident in your driving as the road is pretty unforgiving.
If you don’t know how to drive a scooter and you don’t have a car, don’t fear. Another popular way to go is to hire a habal-habal (motorbike with a driver). Each habal habal can take a maximum of two passengers for 200 PHP per way. Even if you are alone, you need to pay the 200 PHP. Roundtrip costs 400 PHP. It takes around 45 minutes to 1 hour from Dalaguete junction all the way to the Jump off point of Osmena Peak day hike.
You can also reach Osmena Peak on an organised day tour that includes a stop at Kawasan Falls.
Best time to visit Osmeña Peak
Majority of visitors would want to visit Osmeña Peak at sunrise. However, depending on the time of the year, it can be very foggy in the morning – this happened to us, and there was no view at all! Aside from the fog hiding the view, it was freezing and cold. Waking up at 3AM, driving for 2 hours and then hiking for 20 minutes to not have a view isn’t particularly fun.
Plan at what time to do your Osmeña Peak trekking according to the month that you are visiting. If it’s the warmer summer months of April or May, sunrise is ideal. But during the cold December and January months, avoid going at sunrise and visit just before sunset instead.
Just before sunset is a perfect timing – the air is a bit cooler, and you are not hiking under the blazing heat of the sun. Additionally, you have the opportunity to see the epic sunset views. You can also visit during the day, however, bear in mind that the even if it’s a short hike, it will be pretty hot.
What is the Osmeña Peak hike really like?
In terms of hiking effort to rewarding views ratio, Osmeña Peak day hike is a piece of paradise that is easily achieved. When you arrive at Osmeña Peak you will need to sign at the Osmeña Peak Tourism Center / Hiker’s Center and pay 30 PHP in order to get in.
There are a lot of guides available there if you want one to get one. There is no standard regulation regarding the price for guides. The guide will most likely tell you that the price is up to you to decide, but 150 PHP is usually enough.
However the hike is very short and well-marked, it will be easy to navigate your way and you will be fine even without a guide. But of course, if you want more security then you always have the option to hire a guide to tell you about the area, plus this is a good way to help the community too (let the community earn, it’s not that expensive after all).
The actual Osmena peak hike is only 20 to 25 minutes. The trail is well-marked and easy to follow. There will be some instances when you would need to climb over some rocks but there is nothing too intense. It’s an easy hike that can be easily done by people at any fitness level. Once you get on top, breathtaking views will take your breath away away – all around. It’s definitely worth the hike.
There is a camping ground for Osmeña Peak if you plan to stay overnight. Camping fee is 50 PHP and you would have to bring your own tent. However, Osmeña Peak can be done as a one-day trip if your schedule and budget is tight.
My suggested Osmeña Peak day hike itinerary
Driving for four hours in one day just to see Osmeña Peak is a bit much in my opinion. Instead, make a day out of it! Here is my one-day itinerary suggestion for Osmeña Peak.
1. Rent a private car for 3,000 PHP. It is ideal if you are travelling with someone, so that you have someone to split the expenses with. Waterfall stops are included in the Osmeña Peak tour package.
2. Start at sunrise, around 6AM, so that after a 45 minute – 1 hour drive you can get to Kawasan Falls before the big crowds. Some activities that you can enjoy are: swimming in the falls, chilling with your friends, potentially diving and/or canyoneering. You can easily spend a few hours enjoying Kawasan Falls.
3. Once you’re fed up with Kawasan Falls drive for 30 minutes and you will arrive at Cambais Falls next, where similar activities can be enjoyed.
4. If you leave Cambais Falls at around 2PM in the afternoon, you will get to Osmeña Peak just in time for a bit of afternoon views and the sunset! Hike for about 20-25 minutes, and wait for the sun to go down over Cebu!
What to bring to Osmeña Peak
Travel lightly on your Osmeña Peak trekking adventure. You don’t want to be hauling around any heavy luggage if you can’t find anywhere to leave them on the jump off point.
Be sure to wear comfortable clothing. Take into consideration the weather of the particular day that you are going and plan using that information. Will it be sunny? Will it be cold?
Protect your skin from the harmful UV rays by packing a sunscreen lotion with you. Don’t forget your swimsuits if you plan on visiting the waterfalls along the way.
Here is a checklist for your travel bag to Osmeña Peak!
Where to stay to visit Osmeña Peak
The town of Moalboal is the best place to stay on Cebu Island for backpackers. It’s well positioned in the centre of the island so that you can easily reach all the main attractions in the centre and south of the island. The town itself is lively, has some great restaurants and a very chill vibe. We stayed at MoHo Hostel in Moalboal and had a great stay. The dorms are spacious with tents for every bed so you have some privacy, just be prepared for some noise in evenings! The bar at MoHo sells rum and coke for 25 PHP which makes it a popular party hostel, with local diving instructors and backpackers from other hostels coming there every night for drinks. If you want something more quiet my friend Annie stayed at West Coast Beach House and said she loved it.
Have you been to Osmeña Peak before? How did you find it? Let me know in the comments below! Osmeña Peak is the “peak” spot from which you can view all the breathtaking views that Cebu has to offer. The Osmeña Peak day hike is short and easy to follow, it’s a must-visit considering the views that you get rewarded with. Turn your trip to Osmeña Peak into a one-day waterfall-hopping by availing the private rental car option and stop at some epic waterfalls on your way to Osmeña Peak.
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