oslob cebu

Explore tourist attractions in Oslob, Cebu beyond the famous whale shark watching tours. Find out what other adventures are in store for you here. What activities can you do in the stunning Sumilon Island? What are the specialties of restaurants in Oslob and which ones are the best? Your itinerary planning to Oslob, Cebu will be easier when you read this article.

Oslob, Cebu was once a small, sleepy coastal town located in the southern part of Cebu but has become a tourist hotspot because of the Oslob whale shark (butanding) watching or diving experience that is actually wrapped in controversy. Feeding these migratory gentle giants to lure them to tourists is a no-no because it disrupts their natural behavior, and sometimes even getting injured because of non-regulated tourism practices.

Beyond whale shark tours, Oslob offers more attractions and activities that have made it one of the top destinations among adventure seekers, nature lovers, and travelers from around the world. Thousands of people visit every single year just to see what the small coastal town has to offer.

Here are some of the awesome places, top activities, and hidden gems that you should include in your epic travel itinerary aside from the usual Cebu tours. The list below will walk you through places that are often overlooked whenever people talk about Oslob, Cebu.


Explore the Amazing Sumilon Island

oslob sumilon island

The 24-hectare Sumilon Island is located in the southeastern edge of Oslob, Cebu. Much like the butanding, Sumilon Island and its surreal sandbar are some of the top reasons travelers make the trip to Oslob, Cebu. And when you get there, you'll understand why people keep coming to this tiny slice of island paradise. Here are some of the top things you should do in this romantic, laidback island in Cebu.

1. Swim at the White Sand Bar at Sumilon Island

The sand bar is actually part of the privately-owned Sumilon Bluewater Island Resort. But don't worry, you can still swim at the sandbar even if you're not a guest.

For a minimal fee, the resort owner allows tourists to enjoy Sumilon Island’s most remarkable asset. The sandbar is a popular lunch stopover for tours. But don’t expect bamboo chairs and tables here. The sandbar is bare and tourists just take their packed lunch aboard the boats.

After a light lunch, you can walk the entire perimeter of the sandbar, swim in the azure waters, and take breathtaking photos for the ‘gram. On the main island, you’ll find a small cliff to climb where you can get better photos of the entire sandbar. But most people just stay in the sandbar area to swim, snorkel, and take a lot of photos.

If you’re thinking of proposing to someone this year and you happen to be planning a trip to Oslob, Cebu, the sandbar at Sumilon Island is one of the most romantic and magical places to do it! And if you’re staying at the Sumilon Bluewater Island Resort, the staff can even help you arrange it.

2. Go Kayaking in a Lagoon

There are a lot of places in the Philippines you can go to for a fun kayaking experience. One of them is the natural lagoon on Sumilon Island that is surrounded by towering mangroves. The area feels secluded, away from the hustle and bustle of island living, and kayaking is a low impact water sports that you can try regardless of skill level.

You can kayak on your own, with a buddy or a guide and navigate the calm waters of this natural, almost secret lagoon in Sumilon Island. If you’re traveling with family, the lagoon is a nice, safe place where the children can have supervised play in the waters. And when you’ve had your fill, you can move on to explore the caves.

3. Join a Cave Tour

Cave tours are very popular in the Philippines. There are several natural caves on Sumilon Island that local fishermen use as a temporary refuge from storms. In fact, the word sumilon means "to take refuge" and the fishermen were actually the ones who gave the island its name.

You'll hear people talking about the Yamashita Cave, which actually refers to a group of caves, explored and unexplored, which are believed to be the hiding places of ill-gotten wealth of former Filipino president and dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

Dark and secluded among the banyan trees, you’d need some gear, including a headlamp, to explore the cave further. There’s also a rock shelter on Sumilon Island with a statue of the Virgin Mary. The area has been turned into a grotto and many people come here to pray.

4. Climb the Lighthouse

Sumilon Island has a simple, rugged lighthouse that you can climb. On top, you’ll get a fantastic 360-degree view of the entire island. The sandbar looks even more surreal from the top! If you’re into photography, this is one of the top places to get those money shots!

5. Snorkel and See the Coral-Rich Underwater Wonderland

oslob snorkeling

Sumilon Island is a sanctuary for marine life in Oslob, Cebu. Here, you will find underwater species in their natural habitat, including blacktip sharks. The dive sites here are bursting with corals and tropical underwater species.

Back then, the corals here were heavily damaged by the dynamite fishing activities of Muro Ami fishermen. But the combined efforts of the locals, research groups, and the Bluewater Sumilon Resort, the 39-hectare dive sites are back to its former glory as well as the aquatic species.

Visit Tumalog Falls and Other Popular Tourist Spots in Oslob

The Sumilon Island in Oslob, Cebu is small and trekking is one of the best ways to explore its hidden gems, secret caves, heritage sites, and the stories behind these places. Here are some of the popular tourist spots in Oslob included in the island trek tours.

1. Swim at Tumalog Falls

oslob tumalog falls

There are many waterfalls in Oslob, Cebu but the most majestic of all is the Tumalog Falls. This picture-perfect natural wonder is a classic example of what they call a horsetail waterfall. The descending waters are always in contact with the rocks creating a beautiful, curtain-like or veil effect.

Tumalog Falls is so popular that you’ll see people taking photos everywhere. Every angle is just picture-perfect and the waters are cool for swimming. Tumalog Falls is part of many Oslob tours. One of the best ways to reach it is by riding a habal-habal. You can stay here for a few hours and just cool off after a long day of walking and exploring.

2. Explore the Baluarte Ruins

The Baluarte Ruins is tucked away on Sumilon Island, next to the lighthouse. It’s the remnants of six 19th century Spanish watchtowers that dates back to 1788. Back then, people use the baluarte (which means watchtower) to warn the villagers of Moro raiders and bandits.

3. Take Photos of the Cuartel Ruins

oslob cuartel ruins

The Cuartel was built in 1860 as a military barrack for the Spanish soldiers. But when Spain’s rule in the Philippines ended in 1898, the construction was never finished even after the Americans and Japanese came. Today, the unfinished structure stands as one of Oslob’s heritage sites. Beautiful, unfinished, and eerie at night. But during the day, the Cuartel Ruins provides a rustic background for pre-wedding photos.

4. Take a Dip at the Mainit Springs

The Mainit Springs in Cebu is located in the municipality of Malabuyoc, but since it is close to Oslob, many people make the side trip to explore it. Travelers swear that it’s one of the most beautiful hot springs in Cebu that you experience.

It is part of many Cebu tours and you can inquire at your hotel/hostel on how to get there. It is both accessible via bus, a short 20-minute walk up a small hill, or just rent a habal-habal.

The water temperature ranges but sometimes, it can go up to 42 degrees. Be careful and take your time lowering your body into the hot water. Entrance fee is just PHP 20.00 per head. If you’re visiting the Mainit Spring, make sure you come early because it closes at 4:00 PM.

5. See the Surviving Our Lady of Immaculate Conception Church

During the colonial era in the Philippines, churches have been used as headquarters, artillery emplacement, makeshift hospitals, and more. If only the walls of these age-old structures could talk, imagine just how many stories they could tell.

In Oslob, the Our Lady of Immaculate Conception Church dates back to the 1830s. Aside from laying witness to centuries of oppression, war, and distress, the church had been ravaged by two fires.

The fire incident in 2008 destroyed the church’s interiors. Amazingly, the image of its patron saint was spared because it was enclosed in a glass case. The 73 icons located near the centuries-old bell tower also survived.

Today, you can visit the newly renovated Our Lady of Immaculate Conception Church. Despite being relatively new, its history of birth and survival will definitely leave you in awe like the other churches included in pilgrimage tours.

6. Spend an Afternoon Exploring Museo Oslob

After your trip to the Cuartel Ruins, do stop by at Museo Oslob to see some of the artifacts and antiques on display. These are the items you can find in one’s home, like old pianos, old furniture, and old mirrors. But these items were contributed by the locals, which make up their town’s history. Like most of the museum tours in the Philippines, you can visit Museo Oslob for free.

Unwind and Relax at These Oslob Resorts

oslob where to stay

Visiting Oslob, Cebu isn't just about diving with whale sharks. People often come here to see the majestic sea creatures but they come back because of the resorts that offer the best of adventure and relaxation. Here are some of our top picks for you to check out.

1. Bring the Whole Family for Some Water Fun at Secter Place

This 9-room guesthouse is perfect for large grounds, even corporate outings. You can lounge around the in-ground swimming pool all day long. There’s a small garden where children can play and it’s big enough for team building activities. Each of the 9 air-conditioned rooms come with its own private balcony. Secter Place has a fully equipped kitchen, barbecue facilities, private bathrooms, storage for the luggage, and a flat-screen TV with cable channels. If you’re traveling with a big group like your extended family, Secter Place’s 9-room guest house is a great option.

2. Enjoy the Memory Foam Bed at AJ’s Place Beach Resort

The rooms at AJ’s Place Beach Resort is modern but still has that rustic vibe. Their air-conditioned rooms come with queen-size memory foam bed, perfect to dive into after a long day of diving, swimming, and trekking. The 40-inch flat-screen TV is also a welcome retreat after all that nature tripping. The rooms have private bathrooms with hot and cold showers. AJ’s Place Beach Resort has a long list of tour packages you can choose from whale shark diving to island hopping.

3. Try the Grilled Dishes at Bangcogon Resort & Restaurant

This 3-star guesthouse has private terraces for that great ocean view. All the air-conditioned rooms have private bathrooms designed with the traveler’s comfort in mind. There are some rooms that have mountain views as well! Their in-house restaurant has amazing selections of grilled or barbecued dishes, which are perfect for an island vacation.

4. Experience the Backpacking Lifestyle at Anglers Hub

If you’re traveling solo and you want to experience the backpacking lifestyle, book a bed at Anglers Hub. They have 20 bunk beds to choose from. It’s great for your budget and your social life. Located at the beachfront, Anglers Hub is a newly built hostel. All the rooms are air-conditioned and your bed comes with a free breakfast! Not a fan of backpacking? No worries, if you’re traveling with family or a big group, you can also book all the beds in the room for extra privacy. The dorm-style rooms are spacious, clean, and furnished with the bare necessities.

5. Have a Luxurious Stay at Bluewater Sumilon Island Resort

This beautiful resort on Sumilon Island has everything you need for a luxurious stay in Oslob, Cebu. Apart from having the stunning sandbar in your backyard, it’s also the best starting point for your island tours, especially if you want to see the Yamashita Cave, Cuartel Ruins, and the Baluarte Ruins. Book a room here and enjoy private dining at the lagoon, unbelievable sunsets at the sandbar, and a lavish breakfast buffet set featuring Filipino favorites including hot tsokolate with puto (hot chocolate drink with rice cake). The resort has this amazing infinity pool built at the edge of a cliff that faces the sea. Imagine swimming here during sunrise and sunset. If you want a luxurious stay in Oslob, Cebu, this is one of the best places to check into.

Have an Appetizing Meal at These Oslob Restaurants

There are many restaurants in Oslob that dish up the best of what island life has to offer. The increasing number of tourists from all over the world continue to impact the food and beverage industry in Oslob. Today, you’ll find a lot of restaurants offering various cuisines including French alongside Filipino favorites. When you’re looking for places to eat, try these top favorites.

1. Enjoy French Favorites at Chez Tonton

Want some crepes in front of the beach? Why not? Here at Chez Tonton, you’ll find French desserts with some Italian favorites like pizza and pasta. Everything they serve is fresh. The portions are good and the actual food isn’t that heavy, just right for beach life. It’s a favorite lunch stopover for island tours especially because the prices are affordable starting at PHP 150.00 per dish.

2. Order the Sisig at La Terrasse

Sisig is a popular Filipino dish traditionally made with parts of the pig’s head, chicken liver, onions, chili peppers, and calamansi. At La Terrasse, they make it with chicken and squid meat instead and served sizzling. The restaurant serves a lot of comfort Filipino dishes at affordable prices starting at PHP 155.00 per dish. Al fresco dining, cute, and laidback, you’ll enjoy the beach vibe and the savory food they serve.

3. Have a Romantic Dinner at Le Bistrot

Cozy and romantic, Le Bistrot is a good dining option any time of the day. But its romantic interiors are best enjoyed during dinner, especially if you’re traveling to Oslob, Cebu with a loved one. They have combo seafood dishes, tuna pizza, and meat platters for big groups. They serve Filipino and Asian favorites starting at PHP 150.00 per dish. Not bad prices for a romantic date, right?

4. Order the Pineapple and Cranberry Ice Drink at Adelaida Pastries

This modern and cute restaurant is one of the hidden gems in Oslob, Cebu. In fact, it’s a breather from all the other al fresco restaurants serving good eats by the beach. Adelaida Pastries has a very homey, modern, and chic ambiance. And the food is very tasty! They have cakes, pizza, chicken wings, and yes, even cranberry and pineapple shakes! The restaurant is dedicated to its plastic-free campaign. They don't allow plastic straws and disposable water bottles. The food prices here start at PHP 103.00.

5. Order the Chicken Inasal at Brice BBQ & Grill

oslob where to eat

Want some red wine with your pork barbecue? Head to Brice BBQ & Grill, which is just in front of the Aradive Resort. It’s one of the newcomer restaurants but it serves classic Filipino favorites like pork barbecue, chicken inasal (barbecued chicken), and longganisa (local sausages) rice meals starting at PHP 150.00.

Plan the Most Epic Trip to Oslob, Philippines This Year!

Now that you know what other best places and epic experiences you should add to your Oslob, Cebu itinerary, it’s easier to create your itinerary. To make your trip more meaningful, why don't you learn some useful Cebuano phrases such as maayong buntag (good morning) and daghang salamat (thank you very much)? Learning to speak the local dialect is a great way to show the locals that you care. Check for other nearby trips in Cebu you can join if you have more time to explore.

Use this article to come up with your best Oslob trip ever! Check out Oslob tour packages so you can maximize your trip and come back smitten with the island life.