Sumilon, Oslob: Do-It-Yourself Travel Guide (Read this First!)

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I would like to share with you my travel notes on our trips to Sumilon Island in Oslob, Cebu.

Read this first specially for those travelers who are organizing their own itinerary. This guide includes tips, recommendations, cost information, and schedules that you would need to create your own awesome experience.

Related Blog Posts:

Check out the Sumilon, Oslob: Do-It-Yourself Travel Guide:

1. Carcar Stopover

Oslob is about 3-4 hours drive southeast of Cebu City. I would recommend to stop over in the beautiful city of Carcar for a restroom stop in Jollibee and to buy Cebu Lechon and their famous Chicharon.  

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You can buy the lechon in the Cafeteria or Carinderia section at the back of Carcar Market.

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Buy from Guiling’s Special Lechon at P280/kilo of Lechon.

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Tip: bring your own tupperware container so that you can seal the freshness of the Lechon and get more of the Lechon drippings 🙂 

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Buy the big puso of rice (P70 for 10 pcs).

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Buy Chicharon from Mat-Mat – choose from the stall located in the rotunda or the one in front of the market.

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Carcar Chicharon (P500 per kilo) is deadlier with big crunchy pieces of skin, fat and pork meat. It’s a nice pasalubong 🙂

2. Butanding Watching in Oslob

Read this first: Butanding Watching, Is it Really More FUN in Oslob?

Please Note: Feeding of whale sharks in Oslob, Cebu and elsewhere considered an irresponsible tourism practice by Green Fins and COBSEA – Coordinating Body on the Seas of East Asia, United Nations Environment Programme. see: COBSEA Official Letter.

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The Whale Watching Operators in Oslob are now color-coded. Go for the Blue Operator which is also what Bluewater Sumilon Resort uses.

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You have to attend an orientation first before going into the water.

Butanding Watching is P300/head and +P200/head if you will snorkel. Underwater photography is allowed but with no flash and additional Underwater camera fee of P100. Snorkel rental is P100.

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The best time to go is at 6am when there are less crowd. Most of the crowd arrive 8am until 1pm.

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The boats can accommodate 4-6 persons. You need to wear your lifevest.

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I like their new system where they line up all the boats like multiple rows of viewing gallery.

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The butanding (being fed by the fisherman) goes back and forth and you can watch it under the water with your snorkel.

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30 minutes is more than enough to enjoy watching the butanding up close and personal.

3. Trekking to Tumalog Falls:

Read this first: The Raw Beauty of Tumalog Falls in Oslob, Cebu

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There are only two ways to go to Tumalog Falls – via a private van or via habal habal (P100/person).

(Note: Bluewater Resort charges P2,500 for a Tumalog Waterfalls excursion.)

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You have to go early in the morning before 9 so that you can enjoy the falls and have your own fashion shoot.

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Tip: Watch the Butanding first early in the morning, then have breakfast and go to Tumalog falls right after.

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Otherwise, once the crowd arrives, you won’t enjoy it anymore.

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Bring your own banig, towel, merienda, drinking water and tungkod for trekking.

Next: Sumilon, Oslob: Do-It-Yourself Travel Guide (Part 2)

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Full Disclosure: Nothing to disclose. We paid for our meals and travel expenses to Sumilon Island in Oslob.

P.S. If you have been to Oslob, please share your own tips or link your blog posts in the comment section.


28 thoughts on “Sumilon, Oslob: Do-It-Yourself Travel Guide (Read this First!)

  1. Just a question, if the butandings are fed by the fishermen, doesn’t it make the fish “dependent” on it, and thus would disturb the fish’s natural behavior?

  2. Hi Ivan,
    Thanks for sharing that link. Will put that link in the blog post so that people are aware and decide for themselves.

  3. Hi Anton,
    If I remember correctly, snorkel fee is only P20 (not 200).
    and for the rest of the fees:
    Underwater camera – P100
    Snorkel rent – P100
    Going to Tumalog falls via habal-habal costs P100/person
    and typo? “Most of the crowd arrive 8pm until 1pm.”
    Hope this helps 🙂

  4. Hi Anton! I’m an avid reader of your blog, and I’m located in Vancouver Canada. 🙂 I’m planning a trip to Cebu for Sinulog and I wanted to go to Oslob for the whale sharks after. I see you’ve had a lot of experience so I was wondering if you could share some information with me!
    I heard that the buses from Cebu city (to Oslob) leaves at around 3am? So is it recommended to be at the bus terminal by 3am so we can make it to the whale sharks? Would I have to make a reservation to see the whale sharks? Is there a specific resort that we would have to go to, to see this?
    Looking forward to hearing from you! 🙂

  5. Overall, our entire trip is really relaxing and astonishing. Seeing those Whale Sharks (Gentle Giants) swimming near you is a breathe-taking experience. I really love it! I would come back to Oslob every vacation

  6. hello, this is a very informative post!. I and hubby were really looking forward to a sulit yet very affordable honeymoon. Plans like travelling abroad like HK or Singapore and even Bali were an unending debate for us. Then, i thought of suggesting about spending it with him to the south and thought of Oslob resorts. While i was browsing over the internet, I totally remebered the Butandings in Oslob and fortunately read this blog and saw your fun pix as well.Thanks also for the tips and what to expect on the trip. I’m taking notes as well. Hope to be with hubby this year and at last celebrate our one of a kind honeymoon not far away from home. =D

  7. So after swimming with the whale sharks I need to take a motorcycle to the falls right? How long would it take me to walk from the sharks to the falls? Too far to walk?

  8. Hi, great post! How do we go back from Oslob to Cebu City?
    You think the wahle shark watching is banned by May 2014, cause we plan to go there by then?
    Thank you.

  9. Hi, would you know any hotels where we can stay while in Oslob?
    Aside from whale watching and Tumalog, are there any tourist sites we can go to?
    We are thinking of either stating 2 night in Oslob or 1 night oslob 1 night cebu city. 🙂

  10. Love your photos, it is so stunning and perfect capture! I love how interesting and not boring is your article to read. It makes me want to go back to Oslob and while on the road, I will do as what you did, stopover at carcar, since Carcar is such a nice place for food lovers and their lechon is so yummy and also the Chicharon, it’s so crunchy and savory. Thanks for sharing such awesome post!

  11. Hi Anton, thank you for the informative posts.
    We plan on riding the public bus going to Oslob. Does the bus make a quick stop in Carcar?
    Are there readily available habal habal going to the falls?

    1. The bus don’t stop in Carcar I believe. Yes on habal habal to the falls. There are a few more falls, there are ready transport there.

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