Osmena Peak in Dalaguete is Cebu’s highest point, and has the most beautiful viewpoint in Cebu, Philippines. It’s easy access means anyone of any age or fitness level can marvel at the spectacular 350° panoramic views, and is one of the awesome things to do in Moalboal.
Often compared to Bohol’s famous chocolate hills, a hike to Osmena Peak will reward you with rolling hills, valleys, jagged limestone cliffs, and the beautiful blue ocean in the distance. It’s part of the Mantalongon mountain range, and the “peak” is its highest point.
Named after the famous Osmena Clan in Cebu, the cluster of green jagged hills with sharp protruding peaks looks like giant Hershey’s kisses. At 1,072.6 metres above sea level, Osmena Peak is one of the most visited attractions in Cebu, and is the perfect place to visit for nature and adventure lovers.
Osmena Peak can be visited any time of day; sunrise, sunset or during the day so it is easy to fit it into your Cebu itinerary.
In a series of articles showing day trips from Moalboal, a visit to the highest point in Cebu is a must-see attraction that shouldn’t be missed. Moalboal Eco Lodge share all you need to know about Osmena Peak.
Entrance Fee: P50
Walking Stick: P10
Parking Fee: Free
Toilets on site: Yes
Food/Drinks for sale: There is a snack and refreshment stall near the top of the peak
Difficulty level: Easy to moderate
Footwear: Walking Sandals/shoes are best but if it is dry season, you can do it in trainers or flip flops if you are confident walking on uneven ground
Additional Information: Take a torch if you plan to visit at sunrise or sunset – do not rely on your phone battery
Tip: There is a gas/petrol station in Dalaguete main town if you need to refuel.
From Moalboal, Osmena Peak is located in Dalaguete (pronounced “Dalaget”), about 1.5 to 2 hours away from our Eco Lodge (directions at the bottom of this post). You can drive yourself on a scooter, although I will confess you may get a numb bum if you are not used to spending hours on a bike. If you do not know how to ride a scooter, are not confident, or simply do not want to sit on a bike for 4 hours, you can take a tour or hire a taxi driver.
Osmena Peak can be visited any time of day, and will provide stunning panoramic views. Sunrise is beautiful, but watching the sunset over the ocean towards Moalboal will make a gorgeous Instagram photo. During the day is also spectacular, even when it’s cloudy.
You can combine a day trip to Osmena Peak with one of the nearby waterfalls such as Cambais, Montpeller Falls, Dalaguete Sunflower Farm, or if you are feeling adventurous, canyoneering at Kawasan Falls. Most tours will visit these hot spots, and if there is time they will squeeze in a sunset to Lambug Beach.
What makes Osmena Peak such a popular attraction is you don’t have to hike for hours to reach it, and there is a road which takes you directly to the base of the peak. To say it’s a “hike” to the peak is a bit of an exaggeration if I’m honest, it’s more of a steep hill walk along a stony dirt track. Any one of any fitness level will be able to achieve it, but take it slow if you are unfit, have health conditions (asthma etc), or if you have weak knees.
The hike or walk will take around 15 – 30 minutes depending on your hiking speed, and how many photos you stop to take along the way.
For adventure lovers and hikers, if you have 3.5 to 6 hours to spare, you can hike from Badian or Kawasan Falls to Osmena Peak through the Mantalongon mountain range where you will pass through villages and farmlands. It’s a wonderful way of observing how locals live in the mountains, and the air is so fresh.
If this is your first trip into the mountains of Cebu, you are in for a wonderful surprise. The journey driving up twisty mountain roads will take you through stunning scenery, passing oceans, tall Christmas trees, and deep lush green valleys. The air is noticeably cooler, and clouds begin to roll in when everywhere else below has blue sky.
Although remote, there is a lot of activity in this area. The mountains are where you will find the majority of Cebu’s farmlands, and at certain times of the year you will see various crops growing such as cabbage, spring onion, pumpkins, lettuce or aubergine on your journey to Osmena Peak. Locals will be harvesting crops, carrying them down the mountains, bundling them up on the roadside, and driving them on scooters to waiting trucks at Dalaguete town proper where they are transported around the island of Cebu.
Arriving at Osmena Peak
Osmena Peak has a sign post so you will know when you reach the car and scooter parking area.
Walk up the steep path leading to the registration office, pay your entrance fee, and use the toilet if you need it. You have the option to hire a guide and a walking stick. You don’t really need a guide as you can follow the trail, but your entrance fee is for the municipality, and the guides receive income from tourists.
The hike to Osmena Peak
We visited during the day so didn’t need a flashlight, but if you plan to come for sunrise or sunset it’s best to take a torch and not rely on your phone light (in case it runs out of battery!)
The stony trail starts nice and easy and not too steep. A few minutes into our walk we passed a man carrying a big basket of lettuce which was strapped around his head.
As we continued further up the trail towards the peak, the path began to zig zags up the mountain. We saw various vegetables growing on the slopes and in fields, so this must have been where the cabbage carrier harvested the crops.
A large limestone rock loomed high into the beautiful blue sky which was dotted with white fluffy clouds.
Further up the trail we passed a small refreshment and souvenir store. If you want a fridge magnet to remind you of your trip, or a bottle of Red Horse beer to enjoy at the peak, you can buy it here!
From the shop, the peak is about 5-10 minutes away, and this is probably one of the steepest parts. When we reached the top we were able to see 360° all around us. Beautiful lush green rolling hills with pointed peaks as far as the eye can see, and in contrast there were sharp jagged limestone cliffs.
If you are lucky, in the distance you can see the ocean and Moalboal peninsular, but on our visit there was rain in Moalboal so we were unable to see it. Sunset in this direction is something very special.
The weather when you visit will largely depend on the time of year. You could have a crisp clear view stretching for miles over the ocean towards Moalboal, or you could have a grey sky, and if you are unlucky – fog with no view at all.
On my first visit during a tropical storm, there was rain and fog which made it feel as if we were hiking in the Lake District or Dartmoor in England. We could have been anywhere in the world.
If there are no other tourists, everything is silent. It’s a wonderful peaceful place to be, perfect for anyone who wants to meditate, to sit in silence and enjoy nature all around, or for a proposal. Osmena Peak is a popular place to ask that special someone to marry you!
For people who haven’t experienced isolation before, the feeling is unusual and interesting, but the panoramic views are breath taking.
We spent some time at the peak admiring the views over to Bohol in one direction, and Moalboal and Negros in the other. It was a long journey to get here so we didn’t want to rush, and enjoyed just being here taking it all in.
Then it was time to make our way back down. The walk down is even more beautiful than the journey up, because you get a chance to see the rolling hills in front of you the entire time.
About half way down, in the distance you will have an uninterrupted view of Guadalupe, and depending on the time of year, there is a field of Anthurium (also known as Tailflower, Flamingo flower or Laceleaf
If you are hungry during your day trip to Osmena Peak, in Mantalongon, Dalaguete you will find bakeries if you want a pastry, or there is a covered area selling fried chicken, pork kebabs on sticks and rice.
If you have time to spare when you visit Moalboal, you should add Osmena Peak to your Cebu itinerary. This gentle hike through beautiful mountainous countryside is different to anything else you will experience and is a must-see.
Note: Take only photos, leave only footprints; there are no bins here so take your trash away with you. Be a responsible tourist, and don’t litter this lovely slice of nature.
DID YOU KNOW you can get similar views from another peak nearby called Casino Peak? If you have the chance, why not see both and compare?
What is the height of Osmena Peak?
You may have noticed that various information will give you a different height for Osmena Peak. Some articles state it’s 1,013 metres above sea level, however the first time I visited there was a sign stating it was 1,042 above sea level, however when I went in December 2020, a sign displayed 1,073.6 metres above sea level.
When is the best time to visit Osmena Peak
The best time to visit depends on the time of year and the weather. Prior to COVID-19 travel restrictions, depending on the season and day of the week, as many as 100 to 1000 people would visit Osmena Peak, so if you want to avoid the crowds (when they return), choose wisely. Sundays are the busiest day at any attraction in Cebu so avoid this if you can.
For sunrise, March, April and May are the best months as there is little to no rainfall, but it may be misty. These are the hottest months of the year.
For sunset, December and January are the best months (if it hasn’t been raining).
June to October is rain and typhoon season, so the trail can become slippery and wet. The weather may not give you the best view if the clouds start rolling in which sometimes happens late morning.
Sunset and sunrise are beautiful time if you have the right weather, and camping is available nearby if you want to be here for sunrise.
Despite all the above advice, the weather is unpredictable. I know people who have visited in August and had a gorgeous blue sky with a perfect view, yet we went December when the day started sunny (we were sunburnt), it was overcast when we reached the peak.
Please note: Due to COVID-19 restrictions, not all attractions are open, so check first before you visit. As you will know, the Coronavirus situation changes quickly, and new Executive Orders are issued regularly to ensure people remain safe and healthy during this pandemic.
How to get to Osmena Peak, Dalaguete
There are different ways to get to Osmena Peak, so if you take the wrong road just ask a local. Osmeña Peak is located in Barangay Mantalongon, in the Municipality of Dalaguete.
From Moalboal, head south along the Highway for about an hour. You will drive through Badian, the Municipality for Kawasan Falls and keep an eye out for the next Municipality of Alegria.
On the left look out for a sign for Cancalanog Falls and take this road up into the mountains for around 45 minutes until you reach Osmena Peak.
If you miss this turning, no worries! Keep going until you see the large white “Welcome to Alegria” sign on the right, and at the PPF petrol station take a left turning up a hill. Keep on driving until you pass Montpeller Falls (about 10 minutes away) and Osmena Peak will be about 30 minutes from here.
Although the majority of the road is on flat concrete, you will go off-road in areas which can be a bit steep and bumpy in parts. Drive slowly and carefully and you will be fine.
Tip: Download Google Offline Map for the area, and type in Osmena Peak which will navigate you to your destination.
Where to stay in Moalboal
When visiting Moalboal, Moalboal Eco Lodge is the perfect place to stay. Located in the middle of a peaceful field with no traffic noise, it’s close enough to amenities, but far away so you can have a good night’s sleep. There is plenty of space to observe physical distancing at the Eco Lodge.
Nestled in amongst palm trees, bamboo and coconut trees, Moalboal Eco Lodge have beautiful Bamboo Cottages suitable for solo travellers, couples and friends. We have two private rooms and a spacious 4-6 bed family room, a breakfast area, kitchen, and a stunning hammock/yoga/sunset deck. Take a look at our rooms!
Visit our Eco Shop* for all your plastic free,
zero waste, palm oil free travel products!
(*10% from every purchase is donated to Moalboal Dog Rescue)
For help regarding travel and Visa requirements, visit our Travel Information page
Want More Day Trips from Moalboal?
Tumalog Falls, Oslob
Ethical Dolphin Watching, Alegria
Kawasan Falls, Badian
Basdaku “White Beach”, Moalboal
Mantayupan Falls, Barili
Lambug Beach, Badian
Montpeller Waterfall, Alegria
Taginis Falls & Budlot Spring
Simala Shrine Castle Church, Sibonga
Interested in diving?
Freediving and Scuba Diving? Benefits of Learning Both
Swimming with Sardines in Moalboal
Thresher Shark Diving, Malapascua
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