Oslob is a coastal town in the southern part of Cebu, and it’s one of the best places to visit in this province especially if you’re after unique & adventurous activities such as whale shark watching. Here’s a Oslob day trip itinerary you can use as a rough guide!
How to get here
From Cebu, head to the South Terminal and board a bus to Oslob (~P155, 3 hours). Trips start as early as 1AM. Make sure to inform the driver to drop you off at the whale shark watching area in Oslob.
Alternatively, you can also ride a van instead (~P150, 2.5 hours). Vans can be found at the GT Express Terminal along Junquera Street, near the University of San Carlos. You will be dropped off at Oslob town center. You might have to take another transport to get to one of the resorts.
Staying in Cebu? Look for discounted hotels in Cebu here.
Itinerary for Oslob day trip
Here’s a summary of our Oslob day tour:
Early morning (6-7AM)
– Whale shark activity
– Visit Sumilon Island
– Lunch (if you didn’t bring packed lunch to the island, then get lunch back in the mainland)
– Visit Tumalog Falls
– Sunset viewing in Osmena Peak
If you’re coming from Cebu City, it’s best to leave at 3 or 4AM.
After your day trip in Oslob, you may opt to go back to Cebu City or proceed to Kawasan Falls where you can enjoy swimming and canyoneering. You can also stay there for overnight.
- Bus from Cebu City to Oslob – P155 per person
- Whaleshark watching and resort entrance fee – P500 + P100 per person
- Boat rental to Sumilon island – P2000
- Ride to Tumalog falls and entrance fee – P140 per person
- Bus from Oslob to Dalaguete – P60 per person
- Habal-habal from Dalaguete to jump-off point in Osmena Peak – P100
Anyway, here’s a little more of our Oslob day trip itinerary!
Whale shark watching in Oslob
Oslob is famous for one thing — it’s whale shark tourism. Here you can see whale sharks (locally called butanding) up close and even take pictures with them!
Once you get off at Oslob, you can proceed to one of the resorts which offer boats to get you to the whale shark area. You can also drop off your items for safekeeping there. We chose MB Sunset Views Resort since it was nearest our drop-off.
Before the activity, tourists are required to attend a short orientation about the dos and don’ts in whale shark watching. The most important points to remember are: (1) do not touch the whale sharks and keep a reasonable distance and (2) do not apply sunblock because sunblocks contain harmful chemicals.
The whale shark activity costs P500 and lasts about 30 minutes. It’s best to bring an action camera, but if you don’t have one, you can ask your tour coordinator for unlimited GoPro shots saved in a CD for P550.
Whale shark watching activity starts at 5:30AM and closes at midday, so make sure to go there in the morning preferably before 11 AM. Actually, the best time is early in the morning before the currents get strong.
I was amazed that the whale shark area itself isn’t far from the beach. It’s easy to see the boats from where we were standing before we boarded the boat.
Our experience was quite fun. We wore lifevests and took pictures with the whale sharks, aka the gentle giants of the sea. The current was strong though so it’s a bit difficult to navigate in the water.
Your guide will help you get pictures with the whale sharks, by the way. Our guide pushed me down while another took photos of me with the whale shark. If you know how to swim, leave off the life vest in the boat to get a good picture.
The whale sharks were just gliding in the water in ones or twos and threes, with mouths hanging open. Indeed, they are very gentle. In the confusion — the strong waves pulling us in the sea and the tourists crammed in the area, my friend and I accidentally kicked a whale shark while trend and neither of us were attacked.
Although the local organizers prescribe a distance of 4 meters away from the shark, it’s easy to touch or get close to the whale sharks unintentionally. Just as our case above. Also, at one point Hali dived down and got hit by the tail of a whale shark swimming past.
Update: Is this an ethical activity?
After this trip, I’d read about whale shark watching in Oslob and found out it is actually an unethical activity. Keeping the whale sharks in Oslob year-long is harmful to them . If you still want to have a whale shark encounter, a good alternative is going to Donsol, Sorsogon, where whale sharks are left in the wild.
Here’s further reading on ethical animal encounters around the world.
Visit Sumilon Island
After the whale shark activity, have a quick breakfast back in the resort and then contact a resort staff to arrange a boat for a trip to Sumilon Island. Sumilon Island is just several minutes away from the main beach.
Sumilon Island is famous for its fine, white sand bar. You can find the 4-star Bluewater Sumilon Island Resort here. However, day tour boats do not have access to the resort itself and may only stay in the sand bar.
If you’re on a day tour, you may only stay in the sand bar.
We stayed here for a few hours, and it was time well spent. The water was clear and then turns a beautiful deep blue. The waves were strong. Beside the sandbar there’s an area with picture-friendly seaweeds as well.
Chase waterfalls in Tumalog Falls
After visiting Sumilon Island, have a quick lunch and then proceed to Tumalog Falls.
It’s a 15-minute ride from the resort area. From the jump-off point/entrance, you can walk down a steep pathway with sharp turns or simply hire a habal-habal for a death-defying ride (P50, back and forth).
Tumalog Falls is an 80-100 meter high waterfall. It has umbrella-like formations (similar to Ulan-Ulan Falls in Biliran) with the water falling gently from above. The water is collected into a man-made pool and flows down to lower elevations. The pool is a beautiful light blue. It’s shallow and freezing cold, which will make your teeth chatter.
We chose to walk to get here and enjoy the scenery. It was fun, although we regretted it on the way back since it was very tiring.
Tumalog Falls is very lovely. It’s so high that it was difficult to capture the entiretly in the camera. It’s also one of the best waterfalls I’ve seen as of yet. I highly recommend including this stop in your Oslob day trip itinerary.
Interestingly, I had googled Tumalog Falls after the trip and noticed that the cement pool walls were a recent addition. I think I would’ve preferred it au naturale, but that’s the price of commercialization. As long as the locals and local tourism office keep it in great condition, I’ll be happy.
Sunset viewing in Osmena Peak
If you’re still up for one more activity, you may finish your Oslob day tour in Osmena Peak.
To get here, ride a bus en route to Cebu and ask the driver to drop you off at at Dalaguete (pronounced Dalaget), which is 3 towns away. From there, hire a habal-habal or multicab to take you to Osmena Peak.
Osmena Peak is one of the highest points in Cebu. It’s famous for its natural rugged peaks and a favorite stop for those who want to see the sunrise or sunset.
You can choose to hire a guide. The trek is relatively easy and takes only 20 minutes to reach the peak.
We skipped this part since we were all tired already and we had a small boy in our group. However, it’s still a good way to end your Oslob day tour.
Has this Oslob day trip itinerary been helpful to you? Let us know in the comments below!
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P.S. This post is part of our 5-day Cebu-Siargao trip. See other places we’d been to:
- Hidden lagoons and beaches in del Carmen, Siargao
- Siargao Island: Magpupungko Pool and General Luna
- Cebu’s Taoist Temple
You might also be interested in the ff. places in Cebu:
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