Weekend Excursions: The Top Ten Hiking Trails in Cebu for Beginners

top hiking trails in cebu for beginners

From the powdery white sand beaches to the scenic mountain ranges, Cebu has quite a lot to offer in terms of weekend destinations.  

As the Queen City of the South, a weekend or a holiday in Cebu is guaranteed to be exciting as well as invigorating.

More importantly, Cebu has become a rather feasible city to live considering the city’s accessibility insomuch that going to the beach or the mountainside and back would not take you more than an hour—depending on traffic of course. 

In this regard, almost everything in Cebu City is within proximity making it a delightful city to live in or visit. While mostly known for its gorgeous beaches and delectable Lechon, Cebu also has a fair share of hiking trails for outdoor enthusiasts.

Today, Cebu’s mountains are growing in popularity with more and more individuals participating in weekend hikes.

Known for its scenic mountains and breathtaking panoramic views, Cebu has become an ideal trekking destination for many.

But the best thing about the hiking trails in Cebu is that most of them are in proximity to the city ensuring that your drive or commute will last no more than a couple of hours in the least. 

So, if you have decided to scale and trek the mountains of Cebu, here are some of the beginner mountain trails you should definitely check out.

Top hiking trails in Cebu 

1.)    Mt. Mago (Carmen) 

Location: Barangay Santican, Carmen (Danao City)

Time to reach the summit: 3 hours

 Regarded as one of the easiest hiking and camping destinations in Cebu City, Mt. Mago is a trekking trail that promises a picturesque view of the clouds at its summit.

While suited for beginners, this peak is often frequented by hiking enthusiasts owing to the rewarding sea of clouds view at the end of the trail.

 2.)    Mt. Naupa (Naga)

Location: Barangay Cogon, Naga, Cebu City

Time to reach the summit: 30 minutes

Mount Naupa is known as one of the newbie-friendly mountains in Cebu which makes an excellent option for inexperienced hikers. A trail beloved by many, Mount Naupa is often traversed by both novice hikers and seasoned mountaineers.

With the panoramic views overlooking the town below complemented with a great backdrop, Mount Naupa makes for a very rewarding climb.

3.)    Casino Peak/ Lugsanagan Peak (Dalaguete)

Location: Sitio Lugsangan, Barangay Tabon, Dalaguete, Cebu

Time to reach the summit: 1 hour and 30 minutes

Better known by its moniker, “Cebu chocolate hills”, the Casino Peak of Lugsangan has been attracting trekking and hiking enthusiasts from all over the country and the world. Known for its breathtaking view of green landscapes and peaks reminiscent of Bohol’s very own chocolate hills, Casino Peak is one of the most frequented trails in Cebu.

Be cautious though as while the terrain is classified as a beginner’s trail, it can get rocky owing to the vegetables planted in the nooks.

4.)    Mount Mauyog (Balamban)

Location: Barangay Sunog, Balamban, Cebu

Time to reach the summit: 1 hour

While this is one of the rather difficult trails in this list, Mount Mauyog should definitely be one of the treks you should include in your bucket list as soon as you develop your skills and garner more experience. The climb might be adrenaline-inducing as well as heart-pumping. But you will soon be rewarded with extraordinary brain-like rock formations that could not be found anywhere else in the city. Hi

More importantly, the refreshing mountain breeze is incredibly rejuvenating—a refreshing escape from the perpetual hustle and bustle of the city.

5.)    Ablayan Peak (Boljoon)

Location: Barangay Upper Bacceril, Boljoon Cebu

Time to reach the summit: One hour

Ablayan Peak is one of the trekking trails that is totally reachable by motorcycles—that is how easy and friendly the trail is. However, avid hikers and trekking enthusiasts will want to savor each moment of the climb and immerse themselves in the impressive panorama they would see along the trail.

Located in Boljoon, hikers are in for a plethora of surprises in Ablayan peak with one of them being the alluring rice terraces–which are rather easy to miss when riding a motorcycle to the top.

6.)    Mount Babag (Cebu City)

Location: Cebu City

Time to reach the summit: 4-5 hours

Nothing short of breathtaking, Mount Babag’s summit treats and rewards its hikers to various jaw-dropping panoramic views. While the trail is challenging (with steep slopes and loose soil), the stunning views complemented by the adrenaline-fueled climb are more than enough to make up for the difficulty.

However, this trail is only meant for hikers who wish to take their adventures to another level.

7.)    Kandungaw Peak (Dalaguete)

Location: Dalaguete, Cebu

Time to reach the summit: 45 minutes to 1 hour

Also referred to as its other moniker, “Candongao Peak”, this trekking trail in Dalaguete offers some of the most breathtaking views in Cebu. In fact, once you reach the summit, you are treated to 360-degree views of the city and its surrounding islands such as Bohol and Negros.

Even more, the trek to the summit has a wondrous cave along the way. 

8.)    Mt. Manunggal (Balamban)

Location: Barangay Sunog, Balamban, Cebu

Time to reach the summit: 4-7 hours (first timers), 2-3 hours (seasoned hikers familiar with terrain)

Known as the historic crash site of then-President Magsaysay, Mount Manunggal is also the highest mountain in Cebu City. As the trail is well-established, it is not difficult to trek if the weather cooperates.

9.)    Osmeña Peak (Dalaguete)

Location: Barangay Mantalongon, Dalaguete, Cebu City

Time to reach the summit: 20-25 minutes

Of all the listed trekking trails here, Osmeña Peak remains a favorite among many beginners considering how short the hike is from the jump-off point to the summit. Also known as the most popular hiking trail in Cebu, Osmeña Peak is the pride of Dalaguete.

As the hike is relatively short, most hikers visit during the day and head home by the time they are done or visit Kawasan Falls after.

10.)  Sirao Peak (Busay)

Location: Sirao, Cebu City

Time to reach the summit: 5-6 hours

Also known as Mt. Kan-Irag, Sirao Peak is one of the more popular trekking trails in the list owing to its accessibility and level of difficulty. Reaching the summit can be accomplished with any of the hiking paths available.

However, the difficulty of your hike depends on the path you choose. For beginners, it is recommended that you reach the peak via Budlaan in Talamban but you need to be physically fit in order to do so. 

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