Hiking Trails: Mountains to Climb in Cebu for Beginners
Cebu is considered as one of the best places to live in the Philippines and for good reason. It is home to a lot of attractions within the city and its beaches are among the many reasons why people come flying to the province every single day. But, even Cebu’s mountains are now growing in popularity.
One of the nice things about coming to Cebu is that everything is just within reach — city, beach, mountain — wherever you look, you can access it within minutes.
But, let’s focus on mountains this time around — and here are among the best ones in the island, suited even for beginner hikers!
The highest peak in Cebu, Osmeña Peak stands at 1013+ MASL and yet is one of the easiest hikes in the province. Getting here requires taking a 3-4 hour bus ride and a 1 hour-ish motorcycle ride to Barangay Mantalungon in the southern town of Dalaguete. The cool temperatures and spectacular views make it popular for selfietrips but a lot of people also come here to camp or traverse to Kawasan Falls on the other side of the island.
Sirao Peak is one of the easiest and also one of the toughest and most scenic trails in the entire island, depending on which path you take. The easier route takes around 30 minutes but a harder route, which includes a visit to a hidden falls, takes an average of four hours to complete.
Just a little further after Cebu’s Taj Mahal, the Temple of Leah, is a small campsite that can be accessed just five minutes or less from the foot of the hill. It doesn’t offer much except for the great city view and the cool breeze at night.
Mt. Manunggal is a historic place as it was where the plane of former President Ramon Magsaysay crashed back in 1957. The trail to the campsite isn’t very difficult and you might, in fact, walk on more concrete than dirt. Still, it’s a nice feeling to be in some place historic, right?
Another beginner-friendly trail is Mt. Naupa in Naga, Cebu. Going to the campground takes around two hours or so from Cebu City, including a short bus ride, motorcycle ride and a 30-minute hike. The trail is the same one that residents use in the area and is extremely easy, even kids can hike it without a problem.
For a slightly challenging trail, Mt. Babag is the best place to go. What I love about this trail is that it’s mostly covered so even if you walk under the heat of the sun or under a slight drizzle, it wouldn’t be a problem (it will get very muddy when the latter happens, though). The hike takes around three hours to complete and ends up near Chalet Hills.
Mt. Hambubuyog offers a fairly easy but long and exposed trail for beginners. However, if you want a short albeit steeper route, there is always the Calvary Trail available for you. It takes a little bit more of physical fitness to climb Mt. Hambubuyog as a majority of the trail, if not all, is exposed (meaning, you will walk under the sun).
Cebu definitely has a lot of things to offer to its visitors and there are certainly more mountains to climb in the island as well.