Sumilon Island, in Oslob, Cebu

Oslob Cebu Travel Guide: More Than Just Whale Sharks

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Aerial view of top island destination in Oslob, Cebu, Philippines

Explore Oslob in Cebu beyond the famous whale watching tours! Find out the best time to visit, top things to do, where to stay, and what to eat in this travel guide. 

Oslob is located at the southern tip of Cebu. It's a small coastal town but it has become world famousbecause of the whale sharks or the largest fish on the planet that roam its seas, locally known as butanding or tuki.

Since it is one of the very few places in the world where you can see these underwater gentle giants, this transformed the once quiet coastal town into a buzzing tourist destination.

However, Oslob’s whale watching tours are controversial since naturally migratory creatures like the whale sharks are not supposed to be lured to specific spots by feeding them.

This practice not only disrupts their natural behavior and diet but also makes them prone to injuries and poaching. If you want to swim with whale sharks in the Philippines, you can join a whale watching tour in Donsol, whale shark tour in Bohol, Puerto Princesa, or Sogod Bay where the gentle giants are not fed and tours are regulated.

Don’t fret, diving with the whale sharks is not the only awesome attraction you can experience in Oslob, Cebu. You'll find the most surreal sandbar in the Philippines, majestic horsetail waterfalls, coral reefs, secret caves, heritage sites, and Spanish ruins. The real beauty of Oslob, Cebu is not only found underwater but also above the waters.

If you’ve only heard about the whale sharks in Oslob, Cebu then you’re in for a treat because this ultimate guide will give you insider details and secret trails that would take you to all of its hidden gems.



Best Time to Go to Oslob

Sunny beach day in Oslob, Cebu

Oslob, Cebu is pretty sunny year-round but of course, given that the Philippines only has 2 seasons (dry and wet), it’s best to travel during the dry season (November to May). After all, you’ll be doing riding a lot of boats.

The weather during the months of December, January, and February in the Philippines are perfect because it’s not too hot to be out and about.

How to Get to Oslob 

Philippine Airlines flies direct to Cebu

Photo by Philippine Airlines
The best way to reach Oslob, Cebu is to fly straight to Cebu City. Major airlines in the Philippines, as well as some international airlines, fly directly to Cebu. But there are also many ways on how to get there, here are your best options:

There are no direct flights to Oslob, Cebu. The closest airport is the Mactan-Cebu International Airport, which has flights from Manila and other major airports in the Philippines and abroad.

From there, head to the South Bus Terminal and hop on a Ceres Liner bus going to the Barangay Bato, Cebu via the municipality of Liloan. Ask to be dropped off at Barangay Tan-awan in Oslob, Cebu The entire bus ride takes about 3 hours, enough time for a long nap before you start exploring again.

By Ferry

Boarding a ferry boat is a scenic way to travel to Oslob, Cebu. Here are some of the ways on how to do it.

From Manila

If you’re not in a hurry, traveling by ferry boat from Manila to Cebu for 22 hours can be quite relaxing. After all, it’s an overnight ferry so you can get some much-needed sleep on your way to Oslob in Cebu.

OceanJet, and 2GO Travel are some of the ferry boat operators that travel back and forth from Manila to Cebu on a daily basis.

From Bohol

Ferry ride to Oslob, CebuBohol is an island province right next to Cebu and these two destinations are usually combined in travel itineraries because of their close proximity.

The fastest way to go to Oslob, Cebu from the province of Bohol is to take a 2-hour ferry boat. You can check SuperCat and OceanJet for their daily ferry schedules.

From Dumaguete

If you're coming from Dumaguete, traveling to Cebu's Liloan Port is very convenient. First, ride a tricycle en route to Sibulan Port. From there, you can either ride a fastcraft or a ro-ro going to Liloan Port in Cebu.

Once you arrive at the port, there are buses passing to Oslob, Cebu every 30 minutes. Travel time going to Oslob from Dumaguete is about 2-3 hours.

Getting Around Oslob

Habal-habal ride around Oslob, Cebu

There are many ways to get around Oslob resorts and attractions. There are resorts, hotels, and tour companies that offer car rental services. Just make sure you have the requirements to rent a car in the Philippines. You can also explore on foot since some of the attractions are not accessible by car and are just a short distance away from each other.



But the best way to go around Oslob, Cebu is to hop on a habal-habal (motorbike), which is a popular mode of public transportation in many Philippine provinces. A habal-habal is a single motorbike with two planks of wood attached to each side.

It’s an authentic way to see and experience provincial life in Oslob, Cebu, and surely a must-do when you visit!

Where to Stay in Oslob

Resort in Oslob, Cebu

Oslob, Cebu may be small but thanks to the increasing influx of travelers coming from all over the world, there are many options for hotels, hostels, and even guesthouses to choose from. Here are some of the best in Oslob depending on your budget and preferences.

Luxury Accommodations

If you’re to Oslob for a relaxing retreat, these luxury hotels will simply do the trick!

Granada Beach Resort

Spacious rooms of Granda Beach House Photo by Granada Beach Resort
It’s one of the best modern-looking but still quite romantic hotels in Oslob, Cebu. It’s perfect for couples and friends looking for tranquillity and relaxation. The spacious air-conditioned rooms are painted white with tasteful rustic furnishings: four-poster king-size bed, sofa, and a private bathroom.

Aerial view of Granada Beach House in Oslob, CebuPhoto by Granada Beach Resort
The best parts are the large, open windows and balconies that look out to the sea. The in-house Cliff Top Bar and Restaurant serves international cuisine and local favorites. Guests can also enjoy the private pool and the snorkeling and diving activities the hotel offers.

Eden Resort

Accommodation in Oslob, Cebu: Eden ResortPhoto by Eden Resort

This is one of the top Oslob resorts that are close to the city center. The overall vibe here is elegant. Eden Resort in Oslob, Cebu is best for discerning travelers who are very particular about their stay.

They have 13 air-conditioned rooms to choose from equipped with everything you need for a luxurious stay: flat-screen TV, private bathroom, and a minibar to name a few.

Guests will love soaking in the hot tub or pool after a long day of fun activities. How about a massage at the in-house spa before you sleep? Their in-house restaurant and café also provide guests with fresh, delicious meal options at any time of the day.

Mid-range Accommodations

The hotels are perfect for travelers who want a comfortable stay but do not want to splurge on accommodations alone. After all, there are many things to do in the province other than Oslob whale watching. Check out these hotel/resort options when you visit Oslob, Cebu.

Seafari Resort

This resort hotel is one of the hidden gems in Oslob if you’re looking for top-rated comfortable accommodation. It’s perfect for the discerning millennial traveler but maybe not so much for vacationing families with small children.

The Seafari Resort sits on top of a small cliff, so guests are rewarded with stunning views of the sea every single day. But it also means you need to take 200 steps up and down the small hill to get back to your rooms.

But the amenities are top-of-the-line. The suspended infinity pool looks out into the ocean. The air-conditioned apartment-style rooms are spacious, well equipped with the luxury basics like flat-screen TVs, dining area, and private bathrooms.

Staying here makes you feel like you have your own condominium unit in front of the sea!

Gingging Hotel & Resort

Now, this hotel is perfectly comfortable for people traveling with small kids and seniors. Apart from the deluxe single room, they have spacious family rooms and dorm-type rooms for big groups. All the rooms have air-conditioning, flat-screen TV, private bathroom, and it comes with room service.

The amenities at Gingging Hotel & Resort in Oslob are superb, especially the in-ground swimming pool, gazebos, terraces, and the on-site bar where you can order beer or cocktail.

Budget-Friendly Accommodations

If you want to spend your money exploring Oslob, Cebu, here are some top-rated, budget-friendly accommodation for your stay.

Garden Stay Beach Resort

If you want to stay near one of the beaches in Cebu, this beachfront Oslob resort has air-conditioned rooms with private bathrooms. Guests can enjoy the in-house bar, sun terrace and balconies, and the free Wi-Fi all for a very affordable price.

There’s also a baggage storage option, which is good if you’ve already checked out but want to explore more before leaving. The resort is also a short distance from a French restaurant called VLK Pizzeria & Creperie Restaurant.

Amit Hostel

Starting at PHP 800.00 per night, you can stay at one of the air-conditioned rooms at Amit Hostel with amazing ocean views and free Wi-Fi.

Best of all, you don't have to fall in line to take a leak because all the rooms at the inn come with a private bathroom. The hostel has a shared kitchen where you can cook your own meals. It’s a great value-for-money accommodation in Oslob, Cebu.

What to See and Do in Oslob

Boats serving travelers in Sumilon Island, Oslob, Cebu

If there are superstar islands in the province of Cebu, then Sumilon Island in Oslob is definitely one of them! Famous for its surreal sandbar, this tiny island has a lot of hidden treasures waiting to be discovered!

Oslob’s Sumilon Bluewater Island Resort offers many activities for nature lovers, including kayaking in a lagoon surrounded by tall mangrove forests; joining a cave tour, and snorkeling to see the underwater wonders including a thriving coral reef.



Woman snorkeling in Oslob, CebuThere are also many waterfalls in Oslob, but if you just had to choose one, we recommend checking out the majestic Tumalog Falls with its water descending like curtains.

For a small coastal island, you'd be surprised that Oslob, Cebu also has a lot of heritage sites like Baluarte and Cuartel Ruins. And speaking of historic structures, Oslob, Cebu also has its centuries-old church: Our Lady of Immaculate Conception Church. First built in the 1830s, this church has survived 2 fires!

What to Eat in Oslob

Freshly cooked chicken inasal

With more and more people from around the world visiting this small coastal town in Cebu, many restaurants, both old and new, are serving new cuisines alongside Filipino dishes for a gastronomic food trip.

If you want to have some French crepe at the beach, go to Chez Tonton. There’s also Le Bistrot, a restaurant with a cozy, romantic vibe. You can get Italian favorites here like pizza, pasta, as well as Filipino comfort food.

And speaking of Filipino dishes, what could be more comforting than a pork barbecue meal or some chicken inasal (barbecue chicken). Brice BBQ & Grill serves up those classics and more. But if you're looking for sisig, head to La Terrasse, which is said to serve the best one in Oslob, Cebu.

If you're looking for something new and modern, you can visit Adelaida Pastries. You can get some chicken wings, cakes, pastries, and even a pineapple and cranberry ice drink.



Practical Information and Tips

  1. If you’re flying to Cebu City first, take the earliest flight possible then hop on a bus as soon as you can. This way, you can get to Oslob, Cebu before it gets too crowded.

  2. Mingle with the locals. Learn a few Cebuano words and phrases like oo (yes), dili (no), maayong buntag (good morning), and daghang salamat (thank you very much). It’s a great way to socialize and immerse yourself in the local culture.

Sample Itinerary in Oslob

People enjoying the Tumalog Falls, Oslob, CebuOslob, Cebu is small and it’s usually part of a longer tour itinerary that includes Moalboal, Badian, and Alegria in Cebu. Here’s a sample itinerary to help you plan your trip.

Day 1: Arrival + Island Tour + Food Trip

  • 04:00 AM - Board the bus from Cebu City going to Oslob 

  • 07:00 AM - Arrival in Oslob. Catch breakfast at La Terrasse restaurants 

  • 09:00 AM - Early check-in at Granada Beach House 

  • 10:00 AM - Start Sumilon Island Day Tour (kayaking, snorkeling) 

  • 12:00 NN - Lunch on board the boat near the Sumilon Island sandbar 

  • 01:00 PM - Resume Sumilon Island Tour (island trekking) 

  • 03:00 PM - End of Sumilon Island Day Tour 

  • 04:00 PM - Freshen up at the hotel, relax 

  • 05:30 PM - Head to Brice BBQ & Grill for early dinner 

  • 07:00 PM - Order a nightcap at the hotel 

  • 08:00 PM - Call it a day, start bright and early tomorrow 

Day 2: Falls Experience + Heritage Tour + Departure

  • 06:30 AM - Early swim at Tumalog Falls 

  • 10:00 AM - Late, leisurely breakfast at the hotel 

  • 12:00 NN - Hotel check out 

  • 01:00 PM - Lunch at Adelaida Pastries Try the pineapple and cranberry ice drink! 

  • 02:00 PM - Heritage Tour (Baluarte, Museo Oslob, Cuartel Ruins) 

  • 05:00 PM - Board the bus back to Cebu City

Experience the Best of Oslob, Cebu 

Sumilon Island, in Oslob, CebuThe coastal town of Oslob, Cebu is more than just a dive spot to see the majestic whale sharks. From natural wonders, heritage sites, and gastronomic adventures, use this ultimate guide to navigate your way through Oslob, Cebu. Experience more than just what the town has to offer beneath the waters.

Explore the many tourist spots and activities in Oslob, Cebu beyond swimming with whale sharks. Check out tours and activities in Cebu to plan your ultimate getaway to Oslob.

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