The Osmena Peak is part of our 5-day backpacking adventure in Southern Cebu and Bohol. After having a sumptuous lunch of delicious lechon in Carcar City, we took a 1-hour bus ride from Carcar Public Market going to Dalaguete, Cebu. Osmena Peak, formerly known as Tanawan, is located along the Patung Badian mountain range in southern Cebu. This series of mountains is known for its jagged characteristics with its view overlooking the shore of Badian Bay in the west and the island of Bohol in the east. Osmena Peak is the highest of all peaks in this range at 1,013 meters (3,325 feet) and climbing this mountain is easy! This is our DIY travel guide and experience in climbing Osmena Peak. (Updated: December 12, 2018)
How to go to Osmena Peak
Cebu City to Osmena Peak
Go to South Bus Terminal in Cebu City and take a bus going to Bato via Oslob (Bus Fare: PHP 68 or USD 1.30). Tip: Do not take the bus going to Bato via Barili, because this route will go to the western side of southern Cebu (Moalboal, Badian). Inform the conductor that you will alight in Dalaguete Junction. Bus ride from Cebu City to Dalaguete Junction takes around 2-3 hours depending on the traffic. I will show you the location of Dalaguete Junction on the map for your reference. The map marker below shows Ms Ferns Bakehaus, the landmark for Dalaguete Junction.
Once at Dalaguete Junction, proceed at the Mantalongon signage and there’s a group of habal-habal drivers waiting for travelers. Take a habal-habal going to Osmena Peak. One habal-habal can accommodate up to 2 people. Fare is PHP 100/pax (USD 1.92/pax) going to Osmena Peak. If you’re traveling alone, then you have to pay PHP 200 (USD 3.85) for the habal-habal ride going to Osmena Peak. It is also mandatory to wear helmet during the ride for safety. You can rent a helmet for only PHP 10/pax (USD 0.20). The ride from Dalaguete Junction going to Osmena Peak takes around 30 minutes.
From Carcar City
If you’re coming from Carcar City Public Market, go to McDonald’s just in front of the public market, and wait for a bus heading to Oslob. You can take the bus with the Oslob or Bato via Oslob signage. Inform the conductor that you will alight in Dalaguete Junction, fare is PHP 68/pax (USD 1.30/pax) for an AC bus. The ride from Carcar City going to Dalaguete takes around 1 hour. Once at Dalaguete Junction, take a habal-habal going to Osmena Peak.
Oslob to Osmena Peak
Take a bus going to Cebu City and alight in Dalaguete Junction. Take a habal-habal going to Osmena Peak once you arrived at Dalaguete Junction.
Once At Osmena Peak Jump-off Point
After 30 minutes of habal-habal ride, you will alight in the registration area at the jump-off point. If you have travel bags, you can leave your belongings with your habal-habal drivers and they will take care of it. Register your name in the guest list and pay the entrance fee of PHP 30/pax (USD 0.58). Hiring a tour guide is optional, but we do recommend this. For a group 4, you can hire a guide for only PHP 150 (USD 2.88). The price is not expensive and think the payment also serves as a donation for the locals of Mantalongon.
Climbing the Highest Peak in Cebu
Now that you know some nifty details, it’s time for you to know the experience. Generally, the highlight of our Day 1 of Cebu-Bohol Adventure was climbing the Osmena Peak. We arrived in Dalaguete Junction at around 1445H. From there, we saw a number of habal-habal drivers waiting for travelers. We took a habal-habal from the Dalaguete Junction going to the jump-off point and the ride was ecstatic.
The Habal-Habal Ride going to the Jump-Off Point
There are many ways to reach Osmena Peak. The famous route is going through Barangay Mantalongon in Dalaguete, Cebu. Dalaguete is known as the summer capital of Cebu due to its high altitude terrain and its climate is similar to Baguio City in Benguet. It is also known as the Vegetable Basket of Cebu since most of the root crops and vegetables are produced in this place.
As our habal-habal drivers accelerate their motorcycles along the highway, I felt that the wind started to get cold. The trees become denser and mountain slopes start to appear. We reached the town of Mantalongon at around 1500H and the atmosphere is similar to Baguio City. The air is cool yet comforting and you can see locals wearing long-sleeved clothes and sweaters.
After braving the slithering roads of Mantalongon, we finally reached the jump-off point. The location where you will find the registration area is picturesque; surrounded with jagged hills and endless greenery. I compared the panorama to a landscape scene in Game of Thrones.
From the registration center, we wrote our names in the guestbook, paid the entrance fee of PHP 30/pax (USD 0.58/pax), and hired a local guide for only PHP 150 (USD 2.88).
Osmena Peak Climbing Experience
I divided this climb into 3 phases. The first phase is from the registration area going to the rock formations, the second phase is from the rock formations going to the mini store which features a leveled terrain, and the last phase is from the mini store going up to the peak. We have our tour guide, Ate Nita, during our climb and we enjoyed her company.
During the hike, Ate Nita shared stories about Osmena Peak. The place got its named from the late former president Sergio Osmena who used to ride horses in the Patung Badian mountain range. The peak becomes a major tourist attraction in Southern Cebu due to its picturesque scenery and cool climate.
At the first phase of the climb, we saw cabbages planted at the side of the trail similar to the cabbage farm in Atok, Benguet. The climb was a little bit tiring due to elevated steps and slippery rocks that we need to avoid. Generally, the trail is already established and safety is assured with their railings and guide ropes installed in certain locations.
When we reached the rock formations at the end of phase one, we were awestruck from the view of the countryside of Mantalongon. The shadows of the hills covered the town giving it a cooler environment; like an artwork painted by nature.
From the rock formations, we entered phase two; which is easier than the first. Here, the terrain is levelled like a plateau and we saw the jagged hills up-close covered in green grass. There’s a mini store at the end of phase two where we bought some sweets and biscuits for energy.
Finally, the climb going to the peak in phase three is short but steep. I also saw some campers who planned to stay overnight in the place; I wish I would experience it too. After a few steps and drops of sweat, we finally reached the summit of Osmena Peak.
At the Summit
The view from the peak is truly rewarding; it’s an eye-candy of mountains, endless greenery, seas, and other islands of this beautiful archipelago. At the west side of the peak, you will see the calm Badian bay with the Zaragosa Island adjacent to the municipality. Around 20 kilometers from Zaragosa Island, you’ll see the enormous Negros Islands. At the eastern side of the peak is the provincial island of Bohol where the nocturnal tarsiers can be found.
The peak is also populated with limestone formations similar to other high altitude areas in the country. We spent around 30 minutes at the summit savoring the amazing view and the cool mountain winds. At around 1630H we started our hike down going back to the jump-off point.
Going Back to Dalaguete Junction
There are available mini stores at the jump-off area where we bought refreshments after our tiring climb in Osmena Peak. We recovered for around 10 minutes while enjoying the coolness of our buko juice. After recuperating, we thanked Ate Nita for guiding us during our climb, approached our habal-habal drivers, and drove back to Dalaguete Junction. The ride from the jump-off point going back to Dalaguete Junction costs another PHP 100/pax (USD 1.92/pax) for a group of two or PHP 200 (USD 3.85) if you’re riding alone.
We returned in Dalaguete Junction at 1730H. From there, we waited for a bus bound to Oslob on the way to our next adventure.
Our Summary of Expenses: Osmena Peak
This is our expenditures during our trip in Osmena Peak. Please take note that expenses for food and drinks are not included in this list. (Conversion: 1 USD = PHP 52, as of December 12, 2018)
|Bus from Carcar City to Dalaguete Junction||PHP 68/pax (USD 1.30)|
|Habal-habal ride from Dalaguete Junction to Jump-off point in Osmena Peak||PHP 100/pax (USD 1.92)|
|Registration fee (Osmena Peak)||PHP 30/pax (USD 0.58)|
|Guide Fee (PHP 150 group of 3)||PHP 50/pax (USD 0.96)|
|Ride back from Jump-off point to Osmena Peak||PHP 100/pax (USD 1.92)|
|Helmet rental for the whole ride||PHP 10/pax (USD 0.19)|
|TOTAL EXPENSES||PHP 358/pax (USD 6.88)|
Our Sample Itinerary: Osmena Peak
This is the itinerary we used for our trip in Osmena Peak.
|1330H||ETD From Carcar City (Took a bus going to Dalaguete Junction)|
|1445H||ETA Dalaguete Junction, then take Habal-habal going to Jump-off point|
|1515H||ETA Jump-off point in Mantalongon|
|1530H||Start of Climb|
|1600H||Summit of Osmena Peak|
|1700H||ETD From Jump-off point to Dalaguete Junction|
|1730H||ETA Dalaguete Junction|
Handy Travel Tips in Osmena Peak
- To save from expenses, it’s better to travel in groups of 4. This is ideal in sharing of expenses without the nuisance of traveling in bigger groups.
- Make sure to wear comfortable clothing during the hike for ventilation.
- Protect yourself from the harmful rays of the sun by applying sunscreen.
- Keep yourself hydrated by bringing water-filled reusable bottles to prevent dehydration and heat exhaustion.
- Observe cleanliness and be a responsible traveler at all times.
- Once at the jump-off point, you can leave your belongings with your habal-habal drivers. Your habal-habal driver going to the jump-off point is also your driver going back to Dalaguete junction.
- Bring only necessary items during the hike (cell phones, wallets) and place them in a smaller bag.
- Don’t forget to bring your camera. The place is truly picturesque!
Did you find this adventure exciting? Share this to your friends and plan your next trip now! 🙂