Cebu has been one of the most demanding tourist destination in the country. This is no doubt as it comprises top destinations from North to South of Cebu. Whether you’re on the go for beaches or waterfalls, stunning sceneries or historical sites, whale shark watching or sardines run, signature food or hiking mountains, Cebu has it all.
To give you a bit of information, Cebu is one of the most developed provinces in the Philippines with Cebu City as its capital, the oldest and first capital of the Philippines.
Before I start to share with you (Oslob DIY) my secret how I traveled South Cebu on a cheap budget, a big thanks to Nanay Zenny, owner of Sharkys Hostel, who helped a solo traveler like me to get that adventure I wanted without having spending too much.
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How to get there
Given that Cebu is a very popular destination, getting around here makes it very easy too. Transportation is almost available any time of the day. Travelling to Oslob DIY isn’t very hard at all.
From Cebu Airport: Mactan International Airport
Just outside the arrival airport, turn right and the buses are lined up outside. The bus leaves every hour so don’t worry about the bus schedule. If I remember correctly, the bus fare is only PHP40.00 and it will directly drop you at the South Bus terminal in Cebu City where you will ride a yellow Ceres bus to Oslob. Travel time is 4-5 hours and the estimated fare is PHP180.00-PHP250.00.
From Dumaguete Airport:
Charter a trisikad just outside the airport going to Sibulan port, PHP70.00 fare for the whole trisikad is reasonable. Then ride a ferry from Sibulan port to Liloan Port in Cebu (PHP70.00) and travel time is only 30 minutes. From Liloan port there are buses that will stop there headed to Oslob where you can drop off at the whale shark watching. Fare is approximately PHP70.00 and travel time is 1-2 hours.
Getting around Oslob, Cebu
Whale Shark Watching: Oslob DIY
If you’ll be travelling soon to South Cebu Oslob, the first thing you might want to consider to do early in the morning is whale shark watching. Why? The feeding time of the whale sharks is daily from 6AM-12NN only. The best time to come here is during weekdays and early at 6AM. This will minimize the long queue plus you’ll enjoy whale shark watching without the sun burning through your skin. So I highly suggest you to come here first thing in the morning.
Whale shark watching will only take 30 minutes. And just a heads up, the smell is like rotten fish since, of course, they are gigantic fish floating around that spot every single day.
Before each and every batch of tourists, there’ll be a short briefing that will only take 2-3 minutes. A few reminders of the dos and don’ts.
Rates, Inclusion, Tourists
PHP300.00 (6 USD) Whale watching only + life vest (no swimming) Local Tourists
PHP500.00 (10 USD) Snorkeling with the Whale Sharks + life vest Local Tourists
PHP1,000.00 (20 USD) Snorkeling with the Whale Sharks + life vest Foreign Tourists
I got my tour from Nanay Zeny, she was very helpful to me and even came to our dorm the night before to remind us that the assembly time for whale shark watching is at 4AM. She said she could give us as early as 5:30 AM whale shark watching tour. They own the hostel I stayed and it was only 2-3 minutes walk away from the briefing area. Their hostel is literally just outside the briefing area.
This was the only photo I got from my gopro before it got water leakage damage and all files got corrupted
Sumilon Island: Oslob DIY
Here’s a story, I’ve read not less than 5 blogs about sumilon island tour trying to look for a cheap price. The lowest I could get is a joiner tour of PHP800.00. I even asked for my friends who’s been there and the rate given to them was PHP1,500.00. I’ve never been to Oslob before so I have no idea why it cost that much, but I did a research about it and the island is just 30 minutes boat ride and the entrance fee to the island is only PHP50.00. So I don’t understand why it has to cost that much from PHP800.00-PHP1,500.00 given the proximity and entrance fee.
Without any plans and bookings, I went to Oslob and patiently looked for a cheap tour. The first hostel I asked offered me PHP1,500.00 (30 USD) for a joiner rate. I didn’t take it because I don’t think it’s a reasonable price. It was around 8PM that night when I was walking the streets of Oslob alone trying to look for a cheap accommodation with a cheap tour for tomorrow morning. At last, I found Sharky’s Hostel and they gave me a cheap dormitory room for PHP300.00 (6 USD) per night. Also, their rate for Sumilon island tour is only PHP350.00 (7 USD) including the entrance fee, transportation to the port, and a round-trip boat ride to and from Sumilon.
Big thanks to my life saver and pocket saver, Nanay Zeny!
Like I said earlier, Sumilon island is only 20-30 minutes boat ride. A short briefing is conducted before the tour which only takes 2-3 minutes and off you go.
Sumilon Island is one of the best island and sandbars I’ve ever seen. Although there were lots of tourists the time I went there since it was on a Sunday, I still enjoyed swimming since the water is incredibly clear. Watch my travel vlog to Oslob DIY!
After our trip to Sumilon island, we went back to our hostel during lunch time and fed our tummies before heading to Tumalog falls. I was solo travelling that time but I met some few good friends in the dorm I stayed so I was with them when I went to Tumalog falls.
You don’t have to book a tour to Tumalog since you just have to rent a habal habal ride to get there. The drivers will charge you from PHP200.00-PHP250.00. But since our life saver, Nanay Zeny, talked them out to PHP170.00 (4 USD) good for 2 person and round trip only, again we were able to save a few bucks!
The habal habal ride is 15-20 minutes away from our hostel. Pay the entrance fee of PHP20.00 only.
Other Cebu Destinations: Pescados Island, Moalboal: DIY Itinerary, Read more here
Where to stay
For budget travelers like me, you can stay at Sharky’s Hostel for PHP300.00 (6 USD) per night. It’s a mixed dormitory type but you can request to put you in the dormitory for Filipinos if you don’t want to mix up with the foreigners.
Contact Nanay Zeny if you want to reserve your accommodation with them or your cheap tours to Whale Shark Watching, Tumalog Falls, and Sumilon Island.
Sharky Hostel (Nanay Zeny): 0923 151 4909
Travel Vlog to Oslob
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