In 2011, Oslob Cebu was placed on the map with an attraction that’s both exciting and controversial. The buzz on swimming with the gentle giants instantly made Tan-awan Oslob one of Cebu’s top tourist destinations after some visitors posted pictures of their adventure swimming alongside the whale sharks on social media.
How to get there?
Oslob is about 2.5 to 3.5 hours from Cebu City depending on your mode of transportation. If your renting a car/van (renting a car, one way is about 3,000php/ Van one way is around 4,000php), it would take you 2-3.5 hours to get to Oslob. You could also take a VHire (Van for Hire) from the South VHire Terminal which costs around 250 per person one way and takes you 3 hours to get to Oslob. Another alternative and the cheapest way to get to Oslob is to take the bus which would take you to Oslob for just 160php for airconditioned buses and around 120php for the non-airconditioned buses. Frequency of the bus liners leaving the South bus terminal to Oslob would be every hour for the airconditioned buses and every 30minutes for the non airconditioned buses.
There are several resorts in Oslob. For this trip we opted to stay at Lagunde Beach Resort in Lagunde Oslob. Its around 10 minutes away from the Tan-awan where the whale sharks are. We booked the house for 3,500php for a night (good for 6-8 people) . Not bad at all! Towels are provided so no need to bring one. ^_^
After checking in at the resort, now it’s time to go around and see Oslob. Going around Oslob is easy. Just hail a tricycle, a multicab or a bus. Fare is roughly 8-12php.
Places of interest when in Oslob:
1.Church of the Immaculate Conception , Cuartel and Baluarte (Boljoon).
The municipality before Oslob, Church of the immaculate Conception in Boljoon was built in the early 1800s and is such a beauty until now. And just across the church is a cuartel, an unfinished building resembling a Spanish-era barracks stand. And at the cuartel you can see the ruins of the watch tower or baluarte.
2. Tumalog Falls
To get to Tumalog Waterfalls, alight at “Eskina Saging” Tumalog Oslob or just tell the driver that you will be going down where you can ride a motorcycle or locally called “Habal-habal” to Tumalog Waterfalls. The habal-habal ride is steep but it’s all worth it when you reach the Tumalog waterfalls or “Mag-ambak Falls” as per our habal habal driver. The motorcycle ride is at 30php one way and another 30php going back down the highland. And don’t forget to advice your habal-habal driver to go back at a specified time to get you for its the only transportation down the mountain. Well you can always walk about .75 kilometers down. 🙂 Or you can bring your car with you up the mountain. There’s a parking space provided before descending to the waterfalls. Taking a cool dip in the water of Tumalog falls is a great weekend chill after a week of hard work at work or school. And the gentle fall of cool water above is just like drops of chubby rain. ^_^
3. Swimming with the Whale Sharks. Last year, we did a blogpost and details on how to get to Tan-awan to see the whale sharks. Here’s the link: http://www.iluvcebu.com/swimming-with-the-whale-sharks/
Just to add on that write up we had last year, the fees as per ordinace No. 091’s-2012 for watcing the whale shark is as follows (45 minutes):
For Locals: 300php – Whale Watching
500php – Snorkeling and swimming with the whale sharks (Includes snorkeling set)
600php – Diving (fee does not include diving gears and oxygen)
500php – Whale Watching
1,000php – Snorkeling and swimming with the whale sharks (Includes snorkeling set)
1,500php – Diving (fee does not include diving gears and oxygen)
And a 50php for resort fee when getting inside a resort.
Here are some of the rules when swimming with the gentle giants:
1. Do not touch and keep a 5 meter distance from the whale sharks
2. Life vest is mandatory
3. Putting of Sunblocks and oil on the spot
4. No flash photography
5. No motor boats
6. Do not jump from the boat
7. Do not throw any trash
8. Do not take anything out from the sea
9. When diving, guide is mandatory
Those are the rules I can remember. But don’t you worry a seminar will be conducted before you can swim with the gentle giants.
Viewing times and swimming with the whale sharks is from everyday from 6am to 12noon.
4. Sumilon Island – Read more about this island from our article from last year. Click here: http://www.iluvcebu.com/sumilon/
Here are some itinerary suggestions:
Suggestion 1: 1 day Oslob tour
(Bring pack lunch,snacks and water)
5:00am —- Hop on a bus/drive from the city to Tan-awan Oslob to see the whale sharks
8:00am — Arrival at Tan-awan and swim with the whale sharks
(Swimming with the whale sharks is timed at 45 minutes and then your boat will send you back to the shore)
10:30pm –Go up the Tumalog highland to Tumalog falls
Eat and swim time
2:00pm — Descend and ride a bus to the Church of Immaculate Conception
2:30pm — Look around the Church of the immaculate Conception, cuartel and baluarte.
3:30pm — Hop on a bus back to the city
6:30pm — back to the city
Suggestion 2: An overnight stay would give you a relaxed itinerary to see Oslob, here is our suggestion.
(Reminder: Pack light)
9:00am —Hop on a bus/drive from the city to Tan-awan Oslob to see the whale sharks
12:00am — Check in at a resort of your choice
(eat and freshen up)
1:00pm — Go to Tumalog Falls
3:30pm – Descend and ride a bus to the Church of Immaculate Conception
4:00pm – Look around the Church of the immaculate Conception, cuartel and baluarte.
5:30pm -Hop on the bus to Lagunde market for fresh fruits and dinner at their barbeque stations.
7:00pm – Back to your hotel
————next day ——–
5:00am — wake up , take a bath, eat breakfast
5:45am — Watch the sunrise at the beach
(If planning to go to Sumilon Island and not staying near Tan-awan, you can check out before leaving your hotel or have your bags, if you have any, at the hotel’s courtesy booth.If you are drove a car on your way to Oslob, leave your car at the resort where you are checked in. But If you opt not to go to Sumilon then check out at 12noon)
6:30am –Go to Tan-awan to see the whale sharks
8:00am – Island hop to sumilon or chill at the resort’s beach or pool.
(12:00noon Check out of the hotel if you opt not to go to Sumilon and drive back to the city)
4:00pm – (If you opt to island Hop to Sumilon) Go back to Tan-awan Oslob or your preferred drop off point back to Cebu island.
4:15pm drive/hop on a bus back to the city
These are just suggestions so you can play around with it and choose which attractions you are comfortable visiting at your preferred time. We hope you find these information helpful in planning your trip to Oslob. Until our next adventure. 😉
Here’s a short video on What to do in Oslob Cebu! Enjoy
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