There are a lot of tourist attractions that you can see when you visit Cebu. There’s Magellan’s Cross, Mactan Shrine, Taoist Temple, Tops and many more. These places are within the city limits. But if you want to see more of Cebu, you have to go out of your way and check out the beaches that surround the island.
Blessed with beautiful beaches north to south, east and west, Cebu is definitely a haven for tourists and locals alike. And for someone who doesn’t have the luxury of time to witness everything that Cebu has to offer, here’s one itinerary that you could consider when dropping by the Queen City of the South.
You have to go to the South Bus Terminal along N. Bacalso Ave and look for buses that goes to the town of Argao. Yes, I will take you to Argao, a town rich in culture, history, and other interesting places…
So, to start the day – probably 6am, you need to go to the South Bus Terminal and look for buses that plies the route going to Argao. There are airconditioned and non-airconditioned buses to choose from. And a few kilometers on the same road, you can find the Citilink Terminal if you’d rather ride a van for hire (v-hire) to bring you to Argao.
While on the road, you will see a lot of beautiful old churches which you’ll surely admire. Before reaching the town of Argao, you’ll pass by the town of Carcar. You will know you’ve reached this place when you’d see a lot of peddlers hopping on your bus (considering you took the bus to reach Argao) trying hard to sell you ampao (rice crispies), chicharon (fried pork rinds) and those colorful bukayos (sweet young coconut). These are delicacies which this town is known for and everything is a must try too! And if you happen to bring a private vehicle, I would suggest you stop over their public market and buy lechon for Carcar is one of the towns in Cebu that sells the best tasting lechon ever! (the thought of their lechon makes me hungry already *sigh*) You can feast your stomach with lechon on the road to Argao or you can simply eat them during lunch time too 😉
St. Michael the Archangel: a 200-yr old+ church in Argao
After 2 hours and some minutes, your bus conductor will announce your arrival in Argao. First thing you can do is visit their 200-year old church, the church of San Miguel Arcangel, which is just a few meters from the main road.
In case the church is closed, you can try your luck by opening the side door entrance to the church to see its interiors. If that won’t work, then you can secretly go to the sacristy and get in from there 😆 Just be sure to observe proper silence while inside the church, ok?
You can also check out the town plaza which is just located beside the church. After that, you can hire a trike to take you to the Riverstone Castle.
Riverstone Castle in Argao
The Riverstone Castle is a place where you can spend the night for family outings or simply drop by during the day for photo shoots.
a crocodile lives underneath the castle’s pathway
This castle is made of stone and on top, there are rooms for rent which is ideal for group outings or team buildings. Me and my colleagues stayed here for a night when we had our department’s strategic planning. There’s also a pool inside the castle grounds, a number of caged animals (crocodile and an eagle to name a few), a play ground and a videoke machine!
After checking out the Riverstone Castle, you can either wait for a trike to bring you back to the town proper (which may take forever) or simply ride a habal-habal, a regular motorcycle which is so flexible it could carry 4-5 passengers in it 😆 Ask the driver to take you to the town center and take your lunch there.
the flexible habal-habal
By this time, your stomachs might probably be grumbling for food. This is where the lechon you bought in Carcar would come in handy, in case you did buy one and if you haven’t eaten everything yet. There are a lot of food stalls in the town proper. You can buy puso (hanging rice), pork or chicken barbeque and lechon too. Yes, Argao also sells lechon 😆 Lechon is everywhere in Cebu! There are also eateries in the area if your tummy is sensitive to these types of food. When you’re done with your lunch, be sure to buy drinks and chips and hire a trike to take you to Mahayahay Beach.
Mahayahay Beach is no extraordinary beach. In fact, you will get disappointed with it once you see its brown to black sands. So what’s so significant about it? Nothing. It’s just a beach. hehehe.
And for a beach bum like me, I’d really prefer white sands over black ones. When swimming in the waters, I’d prefer seeing where my feet lands which explains my preference for white over black. But when I tried swimming in the beach waters of Mahayahay, I was in for a surprise! Not only did I like it but in fact, I really, really liked it! I guess I was too judgemental when I saw those black sands. hehehe. It’s all sandy, except for a few small rocks. There’s not even any sea urchin in there (i think).
big waves will push you back to the shoreline
Besides, the waves in this part of the province tend to get rough at times and you’d have a hard time swimming away from the shore. You’ll just be washed back in its shorelines. It’s up to you how you’d take those strong waves. In our case, we simply enjoyed them and let them push our backs to the shorelines no matter how hard we resisted them.
skimboarding, the youth’s past time in Argao
The best thing about this beach is that this is one of the best places in Cebu to go skimboarding (as if i know how. lol). At around 3-4 in the afternoon, you will start seeing kids going out and racing towards the shoreline with their skimboards on their side. And you will see young kids who are gracefully skimming their way towards those big waves. Before you know it, the shoreline will be packed with skimboarders.
Oh, I forgot. If you are into skimboarding, you can either bring your skimboard here or rent one in this place. But you have to secure a skimboard as soon as you arrive in Mahayahay Beach. Tendency is that when the kids go out and play, they won’t be too eager to have their skimboards rented.
skimboarders waiting for the right timing to attack the waves
After you’ve had enough of skimming, you can then start heading back to the city. This could be somewhere around 5pm to 6pm.
don’t forget to eat torta from Argao
Wait, before you go back to the city, you should head to the nearest torta store in Argao. Argao is home to the best torta in Cebu. You can even bring this back home for pasalubong if you want to 😉
There. There are still a lot of interesting places to visit in Argao. It’s for you to discover these when you get here. For now, you just have to wait for the next bus that will bring you back home. You’ll arrive in the city probably around 8:30pm and you can then grab a late dinner in one of the cheap food places in Cebu such as the famous Larshian place in Fuente Osmena for more grilled food, or head to Casa Verde at Ramos Street and have a taste at one of the best-tasting baby back ribs in Cebu. Yum!
The city of Cebu and its province holds a lot of Best One Day Itineraries in the Philippines. You can head to the next neighboring beaches north, south, and west of Argao. You can also rent a boat and hop on to the different islands that surround the island of Mactan. This time, I think you are ready to plan your own adventure 🙂
This is my entry to Pinoy Travel Bloggers’ Blog Carnival themed Best One Day Itineraries which is hosted by the Travel Photographer Karlo de Leon of 4AM Chronicles. Click on the Blog Carnival Logo on the left to see more interesting posts regarding the Philippines’ Best One Day Itineraries.