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Top 7 Things to Do in Oslob aside from Whale Shark Tours

Top 7 Things to Do in Oslob aside from Whale Shark Tours

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Tumalog Falls in Oslob, Cebu

Explore tourist attractions in Oslob, Cebu beyond the famous whale shark watching tours. Find out what other activities are in store for you here in this article. 

Oslob 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 (locally known as ‘butanding’).



The whale shark watching or diving experience is actually wrapped in controversy. Feeding these migratory gentle giants to lure them to travelers might disrupt their natural behavior, sometimes even getting injured because of non-regulated tourism practices.

Beyond whale shark tours, this top destination in the Philippines 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 ones like island hopping tours in Cebu

The list below will walk you through places that are often overlooked whenever people talk about Oslob.

1. Explore the Amazing Sumilon Island​

Aerial view of Sumilon Island near Oslob, Cebu

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.

Swim at the White Sand Bar

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. 

However, 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!

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.

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.

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.

Snorkel and See the Coral-Rich Underwater Wonderland

Woman snorkeling in Oslob, Cebu

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.

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.

2. Swim at Tumalog Falls​

People enjoying the Tumalog falls in Oslob, Cebu

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.

3. 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. It’s one of the most photographed attractions in Oslob.

4. Take Photos of the Cuartel Ruins

Cuartel Ruins in Oslob, Cebu​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.

5. Have 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 experiences in Cebu 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. If you’re visiting the Mainit Spring, make sure you come early because it closes at mid-afternoon.

6. See the Surviving Our Lady of Immaculate Conception Church

Our Lady Of Immaculate Concepcion church in Oslob, CebuDuring 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.

7. 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.

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

Island Hopping, & deep blue sea of Oslob, Cebu, PhilippinesNow 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, try and use some helpful 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 Cebu tours and activities to add to your travel itinerary so you can maximize your trip.