Hike to Osmeña Peak in Cebu

Osmeña Peak is the highest point in the island of Cebu, a province in the Philippines. Standing 1,013 meters above sea level, this stunning site offers a dramatic view of jagged cliffs with a view of the sea in the distance. Locals often liken the view to Bohol’s Chocolate Hills. But instead of rolling curved mounds, the hills here have sharp protruding peaks. Set amidst the limestone cliffs, the hills resemble a field of gigantic green Hershey’s Kisses. It’s unlike anything I’ve seen during previous hikes.

osmena peak dalaguete cebu summit travelup

Admittedly, the trail going to Osmeña Peak is one of the easiest hikes I’ve done. The 700-meter climb from the entrance in Mantalongon, Dalaguete, which is now reachable by 4 x 4 vehicles and habal-habal (motorcycle taxi) can be done in 15-20 minutes. But the view is really special. The scenery reminded me of Batanes while the climate was as crisp and cool as the highlands of Benguet and Baguio.

osmena peak dalaguete cebu trail hills

In fact, Mantalongon in Dalaguete is considered the “Little Baguio of Cebu” with its fertile land, cooler climate and vegetable fields. Along the way, we saw farmers carrying large baskets of freshly harvested vegetables. The Mantalongan vegetable market is the bagsakan or wholesale trading post for cabbages, carrots, bell pepper and other vegetables. It’s also the most common starting point for treks, if you don’t want to hire a habal-habal driver to go up to the base camp.

osmena peak dalaguete cebu cabbage basket

osmena peak dalaguete cebu cabbage man

There are different entry points to Osmeña Peak. Ours was Badian, which is 98 km southwest of Cebu City. From here, Dalaguete is on the eastern side of the island. After joining a barkada Canyoneering at Kawasan Falls, I tagged along on their visit to Osmena Peak later that day.

osmena peak dalaguete cebu group shot summit

Our journey to Osmeña Peak started with a very scenic motorcycle ride. There were three of us behind the habal-habal (motorcycle taxi) driver ferrying us to the peak. The ride was bumpy, but it passed through some beautiful twisty mountain roads in the barangay roads of Alegria, with stunning views of fields and hills along the way before reaching Mantolongon.

osmena peak dalaguete cebu winding road

After a somewhat steep ascent through a rough road, we eventually reached the base/hiker’s registration area, where local children all clamored to help guide us up the peak for a fee.

osmena peak dalaguete cebu hills trailYou don’t actually need a guide because it’s a very easy hike, but it wouldn’t hurt to give the locals an additional source of income. The older guides also double as photographers and seem to know all the best angles for your souvenir photos. In fact, Marky, our guide took so many group photos with all our smartphones and cameras and even directed us where to look, how to stand and framed photos carefully with plants and rocks in the foreground, resulting in some very nice pics.

osmena peak dalaguete cebu pose 1 osmena peak dalaguete cebu pose 2 osmena peak dalaguete cebu pose 3 osmena peak dalaguete cebu pose 4

While the hike itself is pretty easy, for Manila-based travelers, getting here entails some planning and costs (mainly airfare). You need to fly to Cebu City, then travel by land to the South of the province roughly three hours away. But if you’re in Cebu City already and have time to spare, you can squeeze a visit to Osmena Peak in a half-day trip. If you have more time or want an extra challenge, you can also traverse through Badian, which requires an 8km route to the peak or traverse to Kawasan Falls on the way back. Some mountaineers opt to camp out overnight so they catch the sunrise early in the morning.

LOCATION:

Osmeña Peak is located in Barangay Mantalongon, in the Municipality of Dalaguete, Cebu, Philippines. Dalaguete is about 85 kilometers from Cebu City (2.5 – 3 hours away). The South Bus terminal is about 30 mins to 1 hour away (depending on traffic) from the Mactan-Cebu International Airport.

HOW TO GET THERE: (the easy way)

  • From Cebu City, go to the South Bus Terminal.
  • Ride a bus going to Oslob or Bato (fare is about P170+) and ask to be dropped off at the Dalaguete junction. Travel time is roughly 2.5 – 3 hours.
  • Hire a motorcycle (habal-habal) going to the wet market in Mantalongon (20 minutes). From there, you can either:
    • Trek from the market to the peak for about 2 plus hours, or
    • Hire another motorcycle going to the peak (30 minutes). Fare is P200 per person (round trip). Walk up the rest of the way for about 15-20 minutes.
  • Go back the same way. Most motorcycles wait for you.
  • Alternatively, if you’re coming from Badian, you can get to Osmena Peak directly from there by habal-habal. Rate costs P500 per person. Travel time to the base is about 1 hour.
  • There’s an option to traverse back to Kawasan Falls in Badian instead of riding a habal-habal back. The hike can take 5-6 hours. (Here’s an itinerary if you want to traverse)

habal-habal to osmena peak from badian passengers

WHAT TO WEAR:

It’s a minor hike, so any type of outdoor clothes will do. For the motorcycle ride, it’s best to be wearing shorts or pants. I saw other women hiking up in dresses though :p For footwear, wear closed shoes or outdoor sandals. The trail can be a bit muddy or slippery, so rubber slippers are not really recommended.

osmena peak dalaguete cebu group photo

WHAT TO BRING: (for daytrip)

  • Camera and smartphone
  • Drinking water (you can buy water at the base/sari-sari store when you register)
  • Shades
  • A cap/headware
  • Money

TRAVEL TIPS & USEFUL INFO:

  • Registration Fee at the tourist assistance center in Dalaguete is P20 per person.
  • It’s customary to give a small token or tip of appreciation to your guides.
  • It can get very foggy and misty at Osmena Peak in the mornings. To get a clear view, schedule your visit in the afternoon. We left after canyoneering in the morning and got back to Badian in time for sunset at the beach, so it’s very doable.
  • While going up the trail, travel on durable surfaces. Walk single file in the middle of an established trail, even when wet or muddy.
  • Pack out all trash, leftover food and litter. Dispose of waste properly.
  • Leave what you find. Leave plants, rocks and other natural objects as you find them.
  • For those camping, avoid building campfires. Use portable stove/burners instead since dry grass catches fire easily and fire can easily spread through any dry vegetation.
  • Respect wildlife. Observe wildlife from a distance. Never feed animals.
  • Store food securely. Protect wildlife and your food by storing rations and trash securely.
  • Be considerate of other visitors. Respect other visitors and protect the quality of their experience by avoiding loud voices and breaks away from other visitors.
  • Camp on durable surface. These include established campsites, rocks, gravel and dry grasses.

osmena peak dalaguete cebu summit travelup 2

45 thoughts on “Hike to Osmeña Peak in Cebu

  1. Hi! can you guide us in our trip?
    Our planned trip is on Sept. 9-11 taking last flights for both ways;
    1. Kawasan falls trip early am of Sept. 10
    Question can we have kawasan falls and Osmeña Peak on a one whole day?
    from Osmeña Peak can we go straight to Cebu City? where we can shop and have our dinner before our flight home? Thanks for your blog it is inspiring and informative kudos!!!!!

    • Hi Tesy, yes I was able to do Canyoneering at Kawasan Falls in the morning and visit Osmeña Peak in the same day. From the peak, hire a habal-habal to the Dalaguete junction where you can ride a bus going back to Cebu City. There are so many places to eat in Cebu City. It really depends on your budget and location. It’s not centrally located and a bit hard to find using public transpo but I recommend Abaseria Cafe and Deli for native Filipino food and buying souvenirs. If you run out of time, there’s always the airport, which has Zubuchon :p

      • Kara, do you think we can have falls n peak in one day if we arrive at about 10 am to kawasan falls? our flight is at 10 pm arriving 11 pm we opted to have the night at echo tech then leave at 7 am to catch the bus to kawasan falls. Arriving KF at 11 am is it possible to see the peak and go back to the city at 6 pm arriving the city at 9-10 pm? We are planning to go around the city in our last day and eat dinner at the floating restaurant is it in Cordova? I don’t know if my memory is correct. My husband wants to experience the food and ambiance. thank you for your advices.

        • Hi Tesy, yes it’s possible though you won’t have time to do Canyoneering. You can just visit the main waterfall before going to Osmena Peak. I haven’t been to the floating restaurant yet, so I’m not sure.

          • Hello Kara, do you know a cheap hotel (but clean n safe) near the airport that is open 24 hrs. on second thought Eco Tech might have curfew hours. and how near is the bus terminal to the airport? and the nearest hotel. I wanted to be well informed since I am the leader here. Mahirap masisi, i’ll bring along my 10 year old grandson, my son and husband who is mareklamo. Im still working so my plans were rigid and précised so we will only stay at the most 3 days, and hope to cover as much. Thanks for helping me.

          • addendum to the first querry :
            Is there a hotel at the Osmeña Peak area where we can stay?
            I figure it out if we can be at the Peak at 5 pm after canyoneering and stay there the whole night, then from there in the morning straight to the city proper for the Sto. Niño, shopping and dinner before going to the airport back home at 8pm. our flight is also 10 pm back MNL. Wow! if I can lead my companions to this itinerary its wow! what a feat hehehehehe ……. THANKS

          • It’s not really a hotel, but I stayed in Matutinao Beach Resort in Badian, which is nearer Kawasan Falls than Osmena Peak. Maybe you can switch your IT around to do the hike first, then do waterfalls in afternoon, or go back after. Osmena Peak is a site for camping so I don’t think there are any hotels nearby. Matutinao Beach Resort is along the highway, so you can take a bus back to Cebu City directly from there. It took me 1 hour to get from airport to bus terminal because of traffic in the city. Please understand that the IT you want to do involves a lot of travel time which can be tiring. I hope you don’t blame me if your family complains about the arrangements. I’m just sharing my experiences here.

          • Now, I see senses from my IT, my last question— Is it okay I mean the view the fun when we see the Peak in the morning? and from the airport how can we go straight from the Peak? Thanks Kara I appreciate everything.

  2. Hi kara, do you happen to know what time is last trip from Dalaguete to Cebu City? I’m also trying to do kawasan falls and Osmena peak in one day. I’ve been reading a lot of blogs, but none so far has included any tips on how to get back to cebu city. thanks.

  3. Hello! We’re planning to do Osmeña Peak first then to canyoneering the next day. I’m currently looking for a place to stay the night after our OP hike before canyoneering in the morning. how affordable and accessible the Matutinao beach is from OP and Kawasan? 🙂

    • Hi Fatz, Matutinao Beach Resort is right across the street to the entrance to Kawasan Falls, so it’s a good choice. They also offer Canyoneering packages there with discounts for those staying in resort. My full review of the resort with rates is here and canyoneering experience is here.

  4. Hello! We’re planning to do Osmeña Peak first then to watching the whaleshark on Day3.. do i need to stay at oslob or badian? any ideas?

  5. Hi Kara,
    From Badian to Osmena Peak, is it Php500 one way? Do we also need to do a 2-hr hike to reach the peak?
    Thanks! 🙂

    • Hi Luigi, it’s P500 back and forth from Badian to Osmena Peak. The habal-habal will wait for you. The hike is just 15 minutes from the jump-off point reachable by motorized vehicles now.

  6. Hi Kara,

    Is there a habal-habal from Dalanguete junction that will drive you straight to the jump off point of Osmena Peak (wherein you will no longer hire another habal-habal in the the wet market in Mantalongon)? Thanks.

    • H Jen, we hired a habal-habal directly from the resort we were staying in, but according to other travel bloggers, you can hire them directly from the Dalaguete junction for P250-350 per head up to the registration area where you continue on foot (15 mins hike).

      • Hello Kara! i have been to Kawasan Falls and then to osmena Peak last Sept 12, 2016. from where we hired tour guides for the Falls we went to the Peak via habal habal for 500 2 ways inclusive of registration of 30 pesos per pax.

        People who handle Kawasan Falls Hiking accepts only people from 12 years old to 45 years old. I am lucky that i was considered because i am by now 63 years old. and we have a kid who is 8 1/2 years old. We were happy that we survive the hiking and had fun. There were several stores which they call 7-11. They offer hot dogs, BBQ and puso’ (rice), soft drinks and water for a minimal costs. Thanks Kara for the guidance. Tesy

        • Hi Tess. Great to hear that you and your family enjoyed the trip to Cebu. Kawasan Falls and Osmena Peak are just beautiful destinations! I always get comments asking for help and never hear back again from readers, so thank you for coming back to comment and sharing your experience and tips. 🙂

      • hi po! pwede po bang maghintay yung van sa mantalongon market? we’ll have van transfer po kasi. para more or less 200 pesos nalang ang babayaran sa habal-habal. thanks po!

        • Hi April, it’s up to you to negotiate with the drivers, but if that’s a public van, di siguro yun papayag na maghintay kasi baka matagalan kayo. Just ride another van pabalik.

          • Last time I went (July 2016) they were paving the road. Maybe by this time, accessible na by van all the way to the jump-off point and you don’t have to transfer to a habal-habal anymore. Not sure though. Let me know after your trip, so I can update this post to help other travelers!

  7. Hello Kara, may I ask if how much is the habal2 from badian to the peak (Php500), is it vice versa already? And the bus rate also from Dalaguete to Cebu? Thank you so much for the help.

    • Hi Angeli, the P500 rate given to us was from Kawasan Falls in Badian to Osmena Peak, per person, back and forth na. The bus fare from Dalaguete to Cebu is something like P90-100 per person.

  8. Hi Kara we’re planning to go to Osmena Peak but using our own private car. Do we still have to ride habal habal going to the registration area? Thank you so much!😊

    • Hi Pearl, last time I went there (May 2016), they were paving the road leading to the registration area. Not completely sure, but you can probably drive all the way by car now.

    • Hi JRC. I really don’t like recommending Oslob and the whaleshark interaction there, but yes it’s possible. From Osmena Peak, ride a habal-habal to Dalaguete Town Proper, then catch a bus on the highway going to Oslob.

  9. Hello! Was your trek to osmeña peak included in your canyoneering package or you just decided to go there after the canyoneering activity? 😁

  10. Hi. Do you have any idea what the earliest time of departure of the bus from Cebu South Terminal going to Oslob or Bato and on the way back, are the buses allowed to pick up passengers along the way? Thank you!

  11. Hi, I know closed shoes is the right footwear but Slippers are still allowed right? I mean wala namang magbabawal na umakyat ng naka tsinelas?

  12. Hi kara, how can we get to osmena peak if we are from La Playa Resort in matutinao Badian?.Ano po ang pinakaaccesible na way?thanks…

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