It was my first time to travel solo and I will never regret to have chosen North Cebu as my first solo backpacking destination. Cebu is a friendly place to try anyone’s dream of travelling solo. Aside from pristine beaches and majestic waterfalls, Cebu also boasts picturesque destinations and not to mention helpful friendly locals. I guarantee that anyone will surely love Cebu after exploring this stunning place. I would definitely go for a second tour one of these days!
In this article, I’m going to discuss everything you need to know about exploring Cebu in a budget-friendly way. So, if you wanna know my secret how I survived my first day travelling solo in Cebu, keep reading.
How To Get There
Before getting tensed about travelling solo and all, first you have to book your flight. Get yourself a ticketed flight then plan your trip. I got my flight for only PHP453.00 one-way fare from last year’s Cebu Pacific Piso Fare (it’s the time when Cebu Pacific base fare price goes down to PHP1.00. It’s why they call it piso fare and all that’s left to pay are the taxes and fees). So I booked my flight last December of 2017 and my flight was ’til September 2018. I don’t really mind waiting as long as I get a cheap fare and besides I wanted to travel more and pay less. So if you’re a person like me who doesn’t mind waiting a long time for their flight to come, then you could do the same.
Philippine Airlines and Air Asia. If you want to search for the cheapest airfare inside a month, you can use Skyscanner as it filters the best/cheapest flight of your preference. Book your flights through the platforms below!piso fare only comes thrice a year and if I’m not mistaken it’s during the months of March, September, and December. Travel dates are usually after a year. If you can’t wait to book for your flight, Cebu Pacific gives promo fares very often, you just have to visit their website frequently to check for promo fare updates. A regular fare to Cebu ranges from PHP1,300.00 to PHP1,500.00, hence, a round trip airfare costs roughly PHP3,000.00 per pax. Nonetheless, there are other airlines where you can book your flight such as
How I Explored North Cebu For Only PHP600.00
This is probably the cherry on top of this article. Anyone wants to travel more and pay less. I got my habal-habal tour for only PHP600.00 and it covers all 3 destinations: Sirao Garden “Little Amsterdam”, Top of Cebu, and Temple of Leah.
Renting a habal-habal is the best way to get around Cebu especially if you’re travelling alone. From JY Square Mall, Cebu City, you can find a lot of habal-habal drivers around and the price ranges from PHP400.00 – PHP800.00 depending on the destinations you will choose. I got 3 destinations which is why my tour cost me PHP600.00. Not bad for all three since the tourist destinations are a bit far from the city of Cebu.
You can contact my habal-habal driver and tour guide, Kuya Nash Bahian, at 0965 5521 166 or you can contact him through Facebook: Nash Bahian. PS, Kuya Nash is a very friendly local and he’ll take good pictures of you. So if you’re travelling solo like me, he can do the job pretty well!
North Cebu Day Tour
Travel cheap using this itinerary, I was able to squeeze in 10,000 Roses Cafe in Day 0 of my itinerary. See how below.
Tip: Travel on weekdays early in the morning to minimize tourists and enjoy the place with few people.
Day 0: MNL-CEB (10,000 Roses Cafe)
05:40 PM Exact time arrival in Cebu Airport
05:50 PM Ride a yellow multi-cab outside the airport, drop off at Savemore Opon Market. Multi-cab fare is PHP8.00 and travel time is 10-15 minutes only.
06:05 PM Ride a multi-cab from Opon Market bound to Cordova, fare is PHP15.00 and travel time is 30-40 minutes.
06:45 PM From Cordova, ride a trisikad to 10,000 Roses Cafe, fare is PHP10.00 and travel time is 5-10 minutes.
07:00 PM ETA 10,000 Roses Cafe, pay the environmental fee of PHP20.00 per pax.
10,000 Roses Cafe
08:00 PM ETD 10,000 Roses Cafe to Cebu City, Tropical Breeze Hostel
I took a habal-habal ride from 10,000 Roses Cafe to my hostel in Cebu City near JY Square Mall since there are no other option to get out from the cafe but habal-habal or hiring a taxi that costs PHP500.00. Since I’m alone, I can’t afford renting a taxi so I took the other option of renting a habal-habal and I paid for PHP200.00. But if you’re in a group, the best option will be hiring a taxi.
09:00 PM ETA Tropical Breeze Hostel, dinner, and prepare for bed
10:00 PM Lights out
DAY 1: North Cebu Day Tour
05:00 AM Wake up call
06:00 AM Breakfast at JY Square Mall McDonalds. Tropical Breeze Hostel is just 3-5 minutes walk to JY Square Mall where you can meet up with Kuya Nash for your North Cebu Tour/Mountain Tour.
07:00 AM Start of Mountain tour
09:30 AM End of Mountain Tour, head back to Tropical Breeze Hostel
Sirao Flower Garden “Little Amsterdam”
This is the first destination of the Mountain Tour and is the farthest of all 3. The travel time up to this beautiful garden is 40-45 minutes. Take note that there are 2 sirao gardens, the original sirao garden which is the little amsterdam and the PCGS. There will be an entrance fee of PHP50.00 for each flower garden you will enter but those 2 are optional.
As for me, I only checked the original sirao garden because based on my judgement from the outside, it looks better and has the windmill I came for.
Top of North Cebu
The second destination is the Top Skyline or Top of Cebu which is 20 minutes away from Sirao Flower Garden. The entrance fee is PHP100.00. This is the highest peak in Cebu City and it overlooks the whole city of Cebu in its view deck. It’s better to come here at dusk or night to see the stunning flashlights from the whole city of Cebu. The Top Skyline is also circular in shape and has a wide space where you can stay and watch the city from above. It’s close to greenery trees which attracts a serene atmosphere and a cool breeze of wind to add up on a relaxing getaway.
Temple Of Leah
This was our last destination and it was 10 minutes away from Top of Cebu. The entrance fee is PHP50.00. Temple of Leah is the Taj Mahal of Cebu. It was built as an act of love from a husband to his late wife.
Trivia: The temple holds the memories of Leah Albino-Adarna, the late wife of Teodorico Soriano Adarna. The two are grandparents of actress Ellen Adarna.
The Temple also has a stunning view of the city of Cebu just like Top of Cebu. It is truly one of the most visited places in Cebu because of its Roman-style structure. Although, when I came here the temple is still under construction which is why I wasn’t able to take a picture of the right wing of the temple. But still, my visit here was worth it. I’ll probably just come back here in a year or two.
Read more: Moalboal Travel Guide, Travel Cheap to Oslob
Where to Stay in Cebu
There are a lot of hotels and hostels where you can stay in Cebu City and you can find them through Agoda. I got mine for PHP342.00 for 1 night and it’s a 12-bed dormitory. I don’t really mind where to stay as long as there’s a comfy bed where I can sleep, a proper ventilation, and so long as it’s safe, I’m good to go. But if you’re looking for a room of yourself, you can still book through Agoda and just filter the preference you want.
Mountain Tour Travel Vlog
Your virtual guide to your North Cebu Mountain Tour is up on YouTube! Also, go subscribe on my YouTube Channel. 🙂
And that’s it for my Mountain tour! It was roughly 2 hours to visit all 3 and after that I came back early to my hostel to check out, grab a lunch, and head to South Bus Terminal to ride a bus bound to Moalboal for my next adventure. I’ll be posting another budget travel guide and vlog on YouTube about my next adventure so stay tuned! 🙂
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