Team Out of Town Blog Hub (Outoftownblog.com) – Cebu has always been known as a destination famous for lechon, its city tours, and the beaches when you travel to the north or south of the island (well, at least to me, who’s from Manila). But did you know that it also offers attractions and great finds for those who love farms, gardens, and outdoor adventures?
I was thrilled to discover this kind of itinerary when the Department of Tourism Region VII launched its Outdoor Adventure Trails and Farm Fork Fitness Circuit. The regional tourism office invited media partners and tour operators to visit farm tourism sites, sample their best sellers, and experience outdoor-adventure activities to promote to potential visitors and rebuild their confidence to travel to Cebu.
With that, here’s where you can begin your own farms and outdoor adventure circuit and the activities that you can try:
Take lots of photos at Sirao Garden
Fondly called by the locals as “Mini Amsterdam”, Sirao Garden has always been included on everyone’s bucket list when visiting Cebu. It has garnered many tourists over recent years because of its view deck of the mountain ranges, the brightly colored garden, and its photo spots in the area itself. After a short journey from the city, you’ll reach this garden primarily filled with Celosia flowers and sunflowers.
Try glamping at EVO Nature Camp.
If you can’t get enough flowers and captivating views, try a different mountain experience and stay a night or two at the glamping tents of EVO Nature Camp. This sprawling outdoor recreational venue gives away a breathtaking panoramic flower garden vista tucked within the Gaas mountains in Balamban, approximately 32 km from the city.
The adventure truly awaits those who dare because aside from their glamping packages, they offer camping, horseback riding, and trekking to Cebu’s famous Ground Zero and a waterfall nearby.
Experience a farm staycation at Adlawon Vacation Farm
Located at Adlaon, Cebu City, Adlawon Vacation Farm is ideal for those who would love to escape the busy city life and try a farm staycation. As someone who practically grew up in Metro Manila, the place is a refreshing treat because of the cool mountain breeze, sweeping views of their farm with various crops, and delectable freshly-made dishes.
We finished the 1st day of our circuit here with a buffet dinner of their local specialties and a heart-pumping performance by Lapu-Lapu Arnis de Abanico. The group even taught Arnis to some of us!
Try hiking to Mt. Kan-Irag.
As someone who loves hiking, I was thrilled to see this activity on the list, and I had no idea that Cebu had so many hiking destinations like Mt. Kan-Irag. Also known as Sirao Peak, the 2300-foot Mt. Kan-Irag has the panorama of Cebu City. Its trails are recommended for beginners and those who would love to go camping at its top. Once a golf course, the trails at the start are filled with plantations and flower fields.
Enjoy farm-to-table goodness at Lava Mountain River Farm.
You can live your dreams and relax a la Tarzan or Jane at the stays available in the 4-hectare Lava Mountain River Farm. They offer various sizes of huts or cottage accommodations that bring guests closer to nature. You’ll really be away from it all and unwind in peace all you want because this eco-resort offers an infinity pool, access to a nearby waterfall, and fresh snacks made from their own produce on the farm.
Relax in the countryside at The Dales at Terra Cotta Manor
When stepping on Dales at Terra Cotta Manor, guests will be first impressed by its infinity pool backed by a view of the mountain ranges. Change POV, and you’ll also be wowed by the red-bricked house owned by a local couple who chose to retire in this resort. The Dales at Terra Cotta Manor, located at Bonbon-Sudlon Road, Sitio Lubo, Barangay Bonbon, Cebu City, has now become an attraction apart from being a coffee shop and restaurant that offers English-style cuisine.
Having to try their food offerings, such as their well-loved roast pork, I say it’s worth visiting because the food, the views, and a dip in their gorgeous pool are truly unforgettable experiences.
Explore Olango-Sulpa Islands
Thrill-seekers will rejoice to know about the Olango-Sulpa Islands Tour because of the wide array of activities to try. Sulpa, an islet that is a part of the Olango Island Group, is an adventure haven filled with thriving plants and amazing species of birds.
You can set a day or two to explore this 1-hectare island and try swimming, bird-watching, biking, boating, kayaking, and especially paddling because Cebu promotes itself as the paddling capital of the Philippines. There’s no wonder why; the calm and mesmerizing waters of islands like Sulpa are a perfect venue and condition for stand-up or seated paddling.
During our visit, we had a chance to interact with the community while they taught us their traditional fishing methods and how to make their bread. We got to try the bread with coconut filling, which was definitely a must-try!
But the activity I enjoyed the most was when we watched the birds together with the local waterbird specialists, as they explained a lot about the birds’ migration season in the area. That was one for the books, and it felt like we were in an episode of National Geographic.
This just goes to show that Cebu, although just one province in Region 7, has so much more to offer, and there are endless spots and attractions to explore. In the Philippines, one should never miss going to farms and the outdoors, whether to relax or find some thrill. Cebu is one destination where you can begin your bold and interesting adventures.