Aloguinsan Cebu: Hidden Natural Attractions Near Cebu City
Rural towns may not have gigantic malls, IT centers, and corporate buildings, but they are rich in natural, historical, and cultural attractions that never fail to amaze. One such town is the charming Aloguinsan, Cebu at the western side of the island.
Here are the top things to do and attractions in Aloguinsan, which can all be visited in a day.
Bojo River is a must-visit destination as it is Aloguinsan’s most famous natural attraction. Ride a banca (outrigger paddle boat) on a clean, brackish river surrounded by healthy mangroves and verdant hills.
The highlight of the river cruise is the picturesque inlet at the end of the river, which flows out to Tañon Strait. While enjoying your ride, your English-speaking guide, who is a local fisherman, will give you a crash course in ecology and marine biology.
2The Farmhouse in Aloguinsan
Just a stone’s throw away from Bojo River is The Farmhouse. Have a culinary tour in an actual organic farm as you are guided around their livestock area, chicken coop, vegetable farm, and tilapia pond. Farmers might even perform a traditional harvest dance, sing a lively bounty song, or demonstrate banig weaving and puso (hanging rice) making.
The tour ends with a sumptuous buffet lunch using fresh ingredients that are harvested from the organic farm. If you want, you can even buy some fresh vegetables for yourself!
3Town Market and Municipal Grounds
Is that a modern mall in the middle of a quiet, rural town? No. Aloguinsan’s public market looks so different from typical markets due to the building’s minimalist and contemporary design. Buy food, souvenirs, household items, and other knick-knacks at bargain prices.
Then, if you head out to the municipal grounds behind the market, you’ll be treated to a postcard-perfect view of Tañon Strait and Negros Island.
This well-maintained heritage plaza is ideal for late afternoon walks with sweethearts, family, and friends. Bring some locally prepared budbud (sticky rice cooked in coconut milk and wrapped in banana leaves) paired with an ice-cold soda to treat that grumbling tummy while you’re touring the park.
Of course, don’t miss visiting the highlight of the plaza, a carefully preserved coral-stone baluarte (watchtower) which has been standing proudly since the Spanish era.
Hermit’s Cove in Barangay Cantabogon is a well-hidden sandy cove that is blessed with fine, white sand and massive limestone cliffs. While the beach itself is stunning, the real gem is below the waves. As it turns out, the area just beyond Hermit’s Cove is part of an immense reef that stretches across the southern part of Cebu.
See colorful fish, spiky staghorn corals, strange sponges, vibrant starfish, and other marine organisms in the wild. If you’re lucky, you may even spot graceful turtles or giant groupers.
Its name is apt! Hidden Beach, a private but affordable beach resort in Barangay Bonbon, is concealed behind farms and coconut groves. But don’t let the 30-minute hike from the main road deter you from visiting this popular local destination because Hidden Beach is definitely beautiful. There are nipa cottages and bamboo tables by the beach, too, where you can prepare your delicious Filipino-style picnic meals.
How To Get To Aloguinsan Cebu
There are two easy ways to get to Aloguinsan.
Option 1: Ride an Aloguinsan-bound bus at the Cebu South Bus Terminal. However, this could take awhile because there are only a few buses plying the route.
Option 2: Ride a Toledo-bound bus at the Cebu South Bus Terminal. Once you arrive in Toledo City, ride a jeepney to Aloguinsan. It is best to start your trip early at around 4 a.m. so you’ll have plenty of time to tour around Aloguinsan.
Travel time is around two hours from Cebu City.
4:00 a.m. – Depart Cebu South Bus Terminal
7:00 a.m. – Arrive at Aloguinsan Town Market, breakfast, buy supplies
8:00 a.m. – Register at the tourism office
8:30 a.m. – Bojo River Cruise
10:00 a.m. – Aloguinsan Farmhouse
11:00 a.m. – Hermit’s Cove, lunch
2:00 p.m.– Hidden Beach
5:00 p.m. – Baluarte Park
6:00 p.m. – Depart Aloguinsan
Take note of these entrance fees:
PHP 30 – Aloguinsan Farmhouse
PHP 400 – Bojo River Cruise
PHP 100 – Hermit’s Cove
PHP 10 – Hidden Beach
Philihappy Pro Tips
Tip #1: The best and easiest way to go around Aloguinsan is to drive a motorcycle around the municipality. If you don’t have a motorcycle or if you don’t know how to drive one, you can ask a motorcycle-for-hire driver to take you around. You can ask for help from the tourism office to provide you a legit one.
Tip #2: Before heading out to the Aloguinsan Farmhouse, Bojo River, and Hermit’s Cove, register first at the Aloguinsan’s tourism office. The LGU has opted to centralize their processes to better monitor the tourists and to protect these natural attractions. This rule has been effective since March 2016. But for all other destinations in the list above, you can proceed without registering.
Tip #3: If you want to snorkel beyond the shore of Hermit’s Cove, you need to hire a pump boat. Get in touch with the tourism office to assist you; they will be the ones to provide guides, snorkeling equipment, and the pump boat itself.
For a day of tropical, countryside experience, visit Aloguinsan, Cebu. With its proximity to Cebu City and affordable prices, the town is an ideal destination for weekend warriors, backpackers, and people who simply want to have a day detached from urban stress.