Mt. Lanaya Alegria Cebu - Best Mountains in Cebu

Hiking in Cebu: 10 Best Mountains in Cebu in 2024

Cebu is home to many mountains, making it a great place for hiking enthusiasts of all levels. In this guide, we highlighted the 10 Best Mountains in Cebu.
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Cebu is home to many mountains, making it a great place for hiking enthusiasts of all levels. In this guide, we highlighted the 10 Best Mountains in Cebu to climb in 2023.

Cebu is divided by a range of low volcanic hills with mostly very little level land. There are over 50 named mountains in Cebu, ranging from the easygoing Mount Busay to the challenging Osmeña Peak. This variety of trails makes Cebu a great place for beginners to learn the ropes of hiking.

In most of these hikes, your reward comes in the form of panoramic ocean views and breathtaking silhouettes of neighboring provinces surrounding the shores of Cebu Island. The western side of Cebu is the Tañon Strait and an imposing shadow of Negros Oriental. On the southeast, you get the Bohol Strait, and the Camotes Sea on the east.

Here are some of the reasons why Cebu is a great place for beginner hikers:

  • The trails are well-maintained and easy to follow.
  • There are many tour companies that offer guided hikes, which can be a great way to learn about the local flora and fauna.
  • The weather is generally mild year-round, making it a comfortable place to hike.
  • The scenery is stunning, with lush rainforests, towering waterfalls, and panoramic views of the ocean.
  • If you are a beginner hiker, Cebu is a great place to start your journey. With its variety of trails and stunning scenery, you are sure to have an unforgettable experience.

Here are 10 of the best mountains in Cebu for day hikes:

1. Mount Labalasan in Dalaguete

Standing tall in the southern town of Dalaguete, Mount Labalasan is the highest point in Cebu, reaching a height of 1,660 meters above sea level. With lush forests, falling waterfalls, and beautiful views, it holds a special place in the hearts of nature lovers.

More commonly known as Osmeña Peak, Mounts Labalasan is situated in the southern region of Cebu, approximately 100 kilometers away from the bustling city of Cebu City. The route to this natural marvel entails traveling along a road that leads to the delightful village of Labalasan.

Entry to Mount Labalasan’s peak requires a modest fee of 50 PHP (~1 USD). For groups, there is a guide fee of 500 PHP (~10 USD) to guide through the trek.

The journey to reach the top of Mount Labalasan covers about 5 kilometers and requires 4 to 5 hours of brave hiking. Along the way, there are some moderate challenges, including steep slopes. The initial part leads through a lush forest, revealing a harmony of leaves, followed by a series of waterfalls. The final part involves a strong climb to reach the highest point.

Mount Labalasan Dalaguete Cebu - Best Mountains in Cebu
The craggy hills of Mount Labalasan, more known as Osmeña Peak in Dalaguete, Cebu

Covered in rich forests decorated with various plants, Mount Labalasan is also embellished with elegant waterfalls along its route. Upon reaching the top, a breathtaking view opens up, displaying the landscape of San Miguel and Alcoy towns, as well as the striking shapes of Cebu and Bohol mountains.

Starting the journey towards the highest point of Mount Labalasan involves facing some challenges, including steep sections at times. The trail is well-maintained but demanding, so hikers should be in good physical shape before setting out on this adventure.

Mount Labalasan stands out as a special treasure in Cebu because it’s the highest peak in the province. The challenging hike brings a feeling of achievement to those who complete it, creating a sense of reward at reaching its highest point. Besides its attraction, the mountain holds a diverse collection of plants and animals, inviting adventurers to uncover its secrets.

A trip to Mount Labalasan is an exciting adventure filled with obstacles that lead to success. Nature’s wonders, like different plants and animals, decorate its hillsides, and the top provides stunning views of the area. If you’re seeking a unique and challenging experience in the heart of Cebu, Mount Labalasan’s appeal is hard to resist.

2. Lugsangan Peak in Dalaguete

More popularly known as Casiño Peak, Lugsangan Peak is a short yet tough hike in South Cebu’s Dalaguete mountain area, Philippines. Located in Lugsangan Village along the Mantalongon Range—the same mountain range where Mount Labalasan is—getting to the peak gives you wide views of the nearby hills and coast, even catching sight of Bohol’s Chocolate Hills.

Found in Lugsangan village, it is 10 kilometers away from Dalaguete town center. You can reach it by car or motorbike from Moalboal or Oslob, which are about 50 kilometers away. No charge to hike up Casino Peak, but there’s a small 50 PHP (~1 USD) parking fee per vehicle.

The best way up is to drive or ride a motorbike from Moalboal or Oslob. From either spot, follow the road to Mantalongon. After about 5 kilometers from Mantalongon, take a left onto the road to Lugsangan. The trail’s starting point is on the right side of the road, just before you reach Lugsangan village.

Lugsangan Peak in Dalaguete, Cebu - Best Mountains in Cebu
The view at the top of Lugsanga Peak, more commonly known as Casiño Peak in Dalaguete, Cebu (Photo courtesy of TheLittleLai)

The hike to the peak is around 1 kilometer, and it can take about 30 minutes to 1 hour. The path is well-kept and easy to follow, but watch out for some steep parts. Being in decent shape matters.

Around Lugsangan Peak, everything is lush and green. The path goes through forests of trees, ferns, and bamboo, plus you’ll spot a few waterfalls along the way.

Rating the hike as moderate is fitting. The trail’s taken care of, yet there are a few steep stretches. Being in good shape and wearing the right shoes are key.

Lugsangan Peak stands out because of its sweeping views of the nearby hills and coastline, which include the iconic Chocolate Hills of Bohol. The sight from the top is genuinely awe-inspiring, offering a serene spot to unwind and savor nature’s beauty.

For a splendid outdoor adventure, Lugsangan Peak fits the bill. The summit views are astonishing, and the hike isn’t overly demanding. If a special and fulfilling hiking experience in Cebu is what you’re after, then Lugsangan Peak should definitely be on your list.

3. Mount Manuggal in Balamban

Mount Manunggal stands in Balamban, Cebu City’s neighboring town to its west. This mountain attracts local and foreign hikers looking for a demanding yet gratifying ascent. Its peak sits at 1,003 meters above the sea, treating you to the breathtaking sights of Cebu City and Mactan Island.

Located in the Balamban hills, Mount Manunggal is about 45 kilometers from Cebu City. The starting point for your hike is in Barangay Gaas, reachable by van or jeepney from the city.

The entrance fee to Mount Manunggal is 50 PHP (~1 USD). Additionally, a group requires a guide for 500 PHP (~10 USD).

Mount Manunggal in Balamban, Cebu - Best Mountains in Cebu
The view at the top of Mount Manunggal in Balamban, Cebu

Climbing to the summit of Mount Manunggal covers about 4 kilometers and demands 3-4 hours to conquer. The path is well-kept and easy to follow, though steep in spots. You’ll venture through a forest initially and cross a grassy expanse in the latter part.

Mount Manunggal is a lush, green world. The woods house a mix of plants and creatures, like boars, monkeys, and birds. The grassy peak treats you to outstanding vistas.

This trek’s difficulty is moderate. While some segments are steep, they don’t demand advanced skills. Both beginners and experienced trekkers can relish the challenge.

Mount Manunggal’s allure lies in its distinctive, demanding journey and panoramic views. The mountain’s rich biodiversity adds charm, making it an ideal spot for nature enthusiasts.

For a stimulating hike accompanied by stunning panoramas, consider Mount Manunggal. Its vibrant ecosystem offers a splendid backdrop. If you’re searching for unique things to do in Cebu worth the effort, Mount Manunggal awaits.

4. Kandungaw Peak in Dalaguete

Dalaguete is known among local hikers for its tri-peak that consists of Mount Labalasan (Osmeña Peak) and Lugsangan Peak (Casiño Peak). Rounding up this tri-peak is Kandungaw Peak, located about 15 kilometers from Dalaguete town center and about 70 kilometers from Cebu City.

With an elevation of 897 meters above sea level, Kandungaw Peak offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains, valleys, and coastline. The entrance fee to Kandungaw Peak is 50 PHP (~1 USD) per person. There is also an environmental fee of 10 PHP per person.

The environment around Kandungaw Peak is lush and green. The mountain is covered in trees and vegetation. There are also several waterfalls and streams in the area.

Kandungaw Peak in Dalaguete, Cebu - Best Mountains in Cebu
The view at the top of Kandungaw Peak in Dalaguete, Cebu

The hike to Kandungaw Peak is moderate. The trail is well-maintained and easy to follow. However, the climb is steep in some parts. It is advisable to bring plenty of water and snacks, as well as sunscreen and insect repellent.

Kandungaw Peak is unique because it offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains, valleys, and coastline. The peak is also a popular spot for bird watching.

Kandungaw Peak is a beautiful mountain that is worth visiting. The hike to the peak is challenging but rewarding, and the views from the summit are breathtaking. If you are looking for a unique and challenging hike in Cebu, Kandungaw Peak is a great option.

5. Mt. Naupa in Naga City

Mt. Naupa stands as a small hill cradled within the heart of the City of Naga. This unassuming hill has piqued the interest of local hikers and visitors alike, thanks to its relatively easy climb that leads to a breathtaking view encapsulating the surrounding landscape.

Situated within the embrace of Barangay Cogon, Mt. Naupa resides merely 10 kilometers distant from the urban core. The most direct route involves a tricycle ride from the city center to the threshold of the hike, marked by the Cogon Chapel.

A small entrance fee of 50 PHP (~1 USD) facilitates entry into the realm of Mt. Naupa’s allure. Moreover, for the guidance of enthusiasts, an additional fee of 20 PHP (~0.5 USD) is incurred.

The trail to the summit of Mt. Naupa spans approximately 1 kilometer and takes about an hour to complete. The pathway, carefully maintained and easy to follow, traces a two-phase route. The initial segment leads through a canopy of mango trees within the sheltering forest. As you move to the latter part, the terrain opens up, revealing scenic views that include the surrounding summits.

Mt. Naupa in Naga, Cebu
The view on top of Mt. Naupa in Naga City, Cebu (Photo courtesy of TheLittleLai)

The surroundings around Mt. Naupa are filled with rich shades of green. The forest in this area is home to different kinds of plants and animals, including monkeys, birds, and colorful butterflies. The top of the hill reveals a wide view that, on clear days, looks out to the distant sea.

The trek to Mt. Naupa boasts a manageable level of difficulty. The course, well-kept and easy to follow, does present a challenge in its final stretch of 100 meters leading to the peak.

Mt. Naupa’s uniqueness as a popular hiking spot originates from its easy climb, coupled with views that captivate. The mountain’s appeal is enhanced by the nearby camping sites near its highest point, offering an inviting opportunity for camping enthusiasts.

Inviting everyone with its charm, Mt. Naupa extends an offer for a day adventure or a weekend stay. As the mountain reveals its beauty in breathtaking views, it becomes a haven to break away from the busy city life, providing a peaceful break within the embrace of nature.

6. Sirao Peak in Cebu City

Sirao Peak can be found in Barangay Sirao, Cebu City, at a distance of approximately 10 kilometers from the city center. The entry fee to access Sirao Peak is 50 PHP (~1 USD), and an additional environmental fee of 20 PHP (~0.5 USD) is also required.

Reaching Sirao Peak offers two distinct avenues. The Busay Trail is the most favored path as it’s the easiest to follow. It commences at the Busay Tourist Center and takes roughly an hour to arrive at the summit. The Budlaan Trail is a more demanding route, requiring 3-5 hours to reach the peak. The trailhead is situated in Barangay Talamban.

Blanketed by luxuriant green foliage, Sirao Peak extends captivating panoramic views of the city and the encircling mountains. Furthermore, the peak is a habitat for an array of flora and fauna, including orchids, butterflies, and avian creatures.

Sirao Peak in Cebu City, Cebu - Best Mountains in Cebu
The view of Cebu City from Sirao Peak’s campsite (Photo courtesy of Alma Alfafara)

The Busay Trail offers an accessible hike suitable for individuals of varying fitness levels. On the other hand, the Budlaan Trail is better suited to experienced hikers due to its higher level of challenge.

Sirao Peak’s allure resides in its distinctive and picturesque setting, marked by splendid vistas, an invigorating hike, and a diverse array of plants and animals. The site presents a splendid escape from urban clamor, allowing visitors to bask in the natural splendor of Cebu.

For those seeking a demanding hike with breathtaking scenery, Sirao Peak is a must-visit destination. It also serves as an educational platform for exploring the local plant and animal life. When planning your trip to Cebu, ensure to include Sirao Peak on your itinerary.

7. Libo Hills in Alegria

Hidden away in South Cebu, you’ll uncover the Libo Hills, a delightful place that features rolling hills, rich forests, and stunning views of the Tañon Strait and Negros Island. Libo Hills is a fantastic spot for anyone interested in hiking, camping, and enjoying the beauty of the stars.

Located in Barangay Lepanto, Alegria, it takes around 3 hours by car from Cebu City. Access to Libo Hills requires a nominal fee of 50 PHP (~1 USD). For those planning to camp, an additional charge of 200 PHP (~4 USD) applies.

For a straightforward route to the Libo Hills summit, opt for a hike. The trail spans roughly 2 kilometers and can be completed in about an hour. There are multiple trail options to choose from, tailored to varying levels of experience.

The sunset view at Libo Hills in Alegria, Cebu (Photo courtesy of Zidkenu Burda)

The environment within Libo Hills is lush and verdant. The hills are blanketed in trees and flora, and the area is adorned with waterfalls and streams. The air is pure and invigorating, often filled with the delightful melody of birdsong.

The hike to the Libo Hills summit presents a moderate challenge. While the trail is well-maintained, some sections are steep. If hiking isn’t your usual activity, it’s advisable to start with the shorter trails.

Libo Hills stands apart due to its untouched nature. The hills are covered with forests, and the number of tourists is still limited. This makes it a perfect spot for those looking for a peaceful and calm getaway.

Libo Hills is a wonderful and unique place that’s definitely worth exploring. Whether you really enjoy hiking, love camping, or just want a place to relax and enjoy the view, Libo Hills is a great option.

8. Mt. Lanaya in Alegria

Mt. Lanaya rises proudly in the town of Alegria. This peak holds the record as the highest point in the province, soaring to a grand height of 1,966 meters (6,448 feet). The mountain’s charm comes from its lush forests, cascading waterfalls, and stunning views. A popular spot for hiking, camping, and mountaineering, Mt. Lanaya calls out to adventurers.

Positioned in Cebu’s southwest expanse, approximately 65 kilometers distant from Cebu City, Mt. Lanaya graces the landscape. Alegria’s town center lies about 15 kilometers away. Travelers can traverse the distance via car or motorcycle. Alternatively, public buses journey from Cebu City to Alegria, providing accessible transit.

Gaining access to Mt. Lanaya requires a small entrance fee of 50 PHP (~1 USD). Additionally, there’s a simple environmental fee of 20 PHP (~0.5 USD). While guides are not a must, they are suggested, especially for first-time trekkers. If you opt for a guide, it costs 500 PHP (~10 USD) per day.

Following the trail to the top of Mount Lanaya is straightforward and not too hard. The hike covers around 4 kilometers, taking about 2 to 3 hours to finish. The journey starts at the Barangay Hall in Legaspi, Alegria. As you walk, you’ll follow a path along the ridge through the forest. While some parts are steep, the hike is doable.

Mt. Lanaya Alegria Cebu - Best Mountains in Cebu
The imposing view on top of Mt. Lanaya in Alegria, Cebu

Inside the forest of Mt. Lanaya, there’s a mix of different plants and animals. Trees like narra, mahogany, and acacia grow on its green hills. Birds like hornbills, kingfishers, and eagles live there too, adding their sounds to the surroundings.

Climbing up top is marked as “moderate” in how tough it is. The trail is well maintained and really easy to follow making the trip not too hard, but there are a few steep parts that make it a bit of a challenge. If you want to go on this hike, it’s important to be in decent physical shape.

Mt. Lanaya stands out for its remarkable way of showcasing the surrounding landscape’s captivating beauty. When the weather is clear, you can catch a view that extends all the way to Cebu’s coastline. Moreover, the mountain houses a diverse range of plants and animals, making it an ideal destination for outdoor adventures like hiking and camping.

Mt. Lanaya’s beauty is evident in its shape, showing nature’s greatness. Reaching its highest point involves a moderately challenging journey, offering amazing views from the top. If you’re seeking a mix of challenge and breathtaking scenes, Mount Lanaya is a welcoming destination.

9. Mount Kapayas in Catmon

Nestled in a place called Sitio Kampanya in Barangay Kapayas, Catmon, around 60 kilometers from Cebu City, Mount Kapayas is a canvas of thick forests, waterfalls that flow down like steps, and wide, open views.

Getting in to see Mount Kapayas costs just 50 PHP (~1 USD). If you plan to camp there, there’s an extra fee of 100 PHP (~2 USD) for each person who wants to stay under the trees.

To reach the top of Mount Kapayas, you have two choices: taking the bus or using your car. If you decide on the bus, start by taking a Ceres Bus from Cebu North Bus Terminal to Catmon. It costs 150 PHP (~3 USD) for the ride. When you get to Catmon Proper, take a tricycle to Sitio Kampanya for 50 PHP (~1 USD).

If you choose to drive, head towards Catmon. The trip from Cebu City takes around 1 hour and 30 minutes. Once you’re in Catmon Proper, just follow the signs that will lead you to Sitio Kampanya.

Mount Kapayas in Catmon, Cebu - Best Mountains in Cebu
The view on top of Mount Kapayas in Catmon, Cebu

Mount Kapayas is wrapped in thick rainforests, like a cozy blanket. The tall trees reach high, and the air feels cool and refreshing. There are also waterfalls, like Kapayas Falls and Mananga Falls, that add to the beauty of the place.

If you decide to hike up Mount Kapayas, it’s a medium-level challenge. The trail is well taken care of, and you’ll go up the mountain slowly as the ground gets higher bit by bit. But remember, some parts go up steeply now and then, so you need to be in decent shape to manage them.

Mount Kapayas has a special charm that offers various attractions. Whether it’s the lush hug of rainforests, the pull of waterfalls flowing down, or the stunning wide views, this mountain invites people of all fitness levels to come for a hike.

Exploring Mount Kapayas means meeting nature’s beauty. It’s a place where hiking and camping come together in the outdoors. Visiting this remarkable mountain is an invitation to discover, a journey that’s really worth it.

10. Mount Mauyog in Balamban

Many know Mount Mauyog for its tough trail and pretty views of nearby mountains and valleys. It’s a good challenge for people who like hiking. The mountain is also a safe place for many different plants and animals, even the rare Philippine eagle.

Mount Mauyog is located about 60 kilometers from Cebu City. To climb the mountain, you pay 50 PHP (~1 USD), and if you want a guide, it’s 500 PHP (~10 USD) extra.

The climb to the top of Mount Mauyog is about 5 kilometers long. It’s a tough hike with lots of uphill parts. But don’t worry, the path is well taken care of and easy to follow.

Mount Mauyog in Balamban, Cebu - Best Mountains in Cebu
The view on top of Mount Mauyog in Balamban, Cebu

The best time to visit Mount Mauyog is from November to May when it’s not rainy. The weather is usually sunny and nice, making it perfect for seeing great views. Around Mount Mauyog, there are lots of green plants and animals, including the rare Philippine eagle. As you walk, trees and bushes surround you, and you’ll even find waterfalls along the way.

The hike can be kind of medium to hard. Most of the time, you’ll be going up. Sometimes, it gets really steep, and you might need to cross rivers here and there. This means you’ll need both strength and determination.

Mount Mauyog stands out because of its exciting trail and pretty views. Other than the tough parts of the hike, there are a lot of different plants and animals, like the special Philippine eagle.

When you reach the very top of Mount Mauyog, you’ll see amazing views. When the sky is clear, you can see all of Balamban, plus the big Cebu and Bohol mountains.

No doubt, climbing Mount Mauyog is tough, but it’s really worth it. The fantastic views from the top and the memories you’ll make are unforgettable. If you want a challenging hike with incredible sights, Mount Mauyog is the perfect pick.

Got questions about your trip to Cebu? Let us know in the comments!For updates, follow CEBU INSIDER on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

Lawrence Aaron Secjadas is the author of this guide.

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Cebu Insider Team
Cebu Insider Team

Cebu Insider aims to deliver accurate and up-to-date Philippine travel guides to digital nomads, expats, full-time travelers, and remote workers.

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