Hermit’s Cove in Aloguinsan Cebu
Looking for an untouched paradise in Southwestern Cebu? Want to bask under the sun, walk along a long stretch of sand overshadowed by tall coconut trees and reconnect with nature? Want a weekend escape that’s only two hours away from Cebu City?
The King of Sinulog is off to Hermit’s Cove located in Barangay Kantabogon in Aloguinsan. Local stories say that an old hermit once lived in this remote area and that there have been unexplained mysteries surrounding the place. Before the wooden staircase was developed, old residents used a footpath to reach the cove. Read on as I share to you the rest of my experience at this town’s best kept secret.
From Mactan Cebu International Airport, hail a white taxi cab to Cebu South Bus Terminal and pay about PHP350 for more than an hour ride. Hop on a yellow Sepo bus plying to Aloguinsan, tell the bus ticketer to drop you off at Aloguinsan Public Market and pay about PHP80 for a 2-hour land travel. From there, you can ride a motorcycle to Hermit’s Cove and pay PHP50 per person for a 20-minute bumpy ride. For less hassle, you can rent out a van that will take you there directly and pay about PHP3,500 for a day.
Arriving at the cove after winding up and down a very treacherous road, we were then welcomed by the members of the local cooperative supported by the LGU Tourism office who are running the place. If you’re planning on going there with a private vehicle, make sure it’s in the best condition for off-roads and has a 4-wheel drive option. By the way, there’s an ample parking space capable of accommodating about 20 vehicles. Grabbing our bags to the nipa shed, we listed our names on the guest list and were then given a little orientation about the rules. Basically, the message is to leave everything as how you first saw it, clean, beautiful and unadulterated. Entrance fee is at PHP50 per person which already includes free use of the cottages. Sadly, overnight use is not allowed anymore.
There are no restaurants or eateries in the area, however there are occasional barbecue stalls. There is one sari-sari store by the beachfront which sells basic necessities and also fresh catch from the neighboring fishermen which you can personally prepare in an adjacent cooking area using only firewood or charcoal. There are open cottages that could accommodate about 50 people. There is also an open bathing area, portalet and a toilet with septic tank behind the sari-sari store.
Things To Do
Anything under the sun as long as you are not disturbing anyone or destroying the ecosystem. There are also snorkeling and swimming gears available for rent. There are also boats for rent if you want to do a little island hopping or dolphin watching if you’re lucky.
Where To Eat
My advice is to buy everything back at Aloguinsan Public Market since there are eateries that sell ready-to-eat meals at affordable prices. Even though the fresh catch at the cove is cheaper, it is also seasonal. If you are looking for a decent place to eat however, you can either go to The Farmhouse for a green culinary experience or at Lunhaw Farm Resort. A typical meal for two would cost around PHP400.
Where To Stay
You have four accommodation options when in Aloguinsan. Hidden Beach Resort offers rentable tents for PHP300 a night or rooms at PHP600 a night. Next would be the Green House that offers rooms at PHP500 a night. Al Maxi Apartelle, the yellow building, also offers rooms at PHP800 a night. If you’re looking something of hotel caliber with a swimming pool, you can book a stay at the private villas at Lunhaw Farm Resort at PHP3,000 a night through (032) 469 9042.
Ride the first departing Sepo bus at the terminal at about four in the morning to avoid the traffic. That way you would arrive at Aloguinsan by 6AM and have a long day ahead. Buy everything from the public market since it’s cheaper there. When in Hermit’s Cove, choose the spot under the wooden stairs for natural shade and privacy. Try snorkeling since there’s a beautiful marine sanctuary a few meters from the shore. Ask for a dolphin watching tour if there is and don’t forget to ask for a better price.
Overall, if you’re an adventurous type of person and are looking for a quick escape from the hustle and bustle of city life, then Hermit’s Cove is perfect for you. Just grab your backpack and go.
Kantabogon Eco-Tourism Association (KEA) – 09235042066
Aloguinsan Municipal Tourism Office – 4699312