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Getting Around Cebu: A guide on traveling to Cebu City, North or South Cebu

CEBU CITY is highly urbanized and its streets are usually busy, but don’t fret! Getting around the metro or to the North or South Cebu is relatively easy. Follow the instructions below for your convenience.

Cebu City: Built in honor of a man’s undying love to his late wife Leah: Temple of Leah, which is still undergoing construction, has drawn thousands of visitors due to its renaissance inspired temple with 24 chambers, museum, gallery and library that keep all of Leah’s favorite collection. If the ongoing construction is not a bothersome, check out the place preferably during late afternoon or sunset. For more information visit their site: http://templeofleah.com/
The Basilica was founded in 1565 which keeps the oldest image of Sto. Niño (the child Jesus Christ) that was presented by Ferdinand Magellan to Queen Juana, the chief consort of Rajah Humabon during her christening on April 14, 1521. Over the years, the image has acquired an increasing number of devotees which could easily fill the Basilica. To accommodate the devotees, a pilgrim center was built in the same compound. The devotion to the child Jesus is mostly celebrated during the Sinulog festival which happens every 3rd Sunday of January.

Getting Around Cebu City

The three main modes of transport in the city are the public utility jeepneys (PUJs) which follow specific route depending on its assigned code (download Cebu Jeepney Map app to get assistance of the assigned routes and codes), the taxi cabs which can travel within or outside Cebu city (taxis are metered), and motorcycles or habal-habal which get you the fastest to your travel destination. Minimum fare for PUJs is P8, for motorycycle is P10 (1 kilometer distance) and for taxi flag down rate is P40 and an additional P13.50 per kilometer of distance traveled with with P2 per minute of travel time.

How to get from Cebu City downtown area to South or North Cebu

  • For South Cebu, ride any jeepney with the following code on its signboard: 12I or 12G or 10M or 10H, and ask the driver to drop off at the South Bus terminal where you will hop unto the bus of your destination.
  • For North Cebu, take a 01k jeepney to get to North Bus terminal. The terminal is 2-3 blocks ahead from SM City. Always confirm from the driver to ensure you are heading to the right destination.
South Cebu: An underwater shot of the gentle whale sharks of Oslob.

From Mactan International Airport to South Cebu

Access to South Cebu is via South Bus Terminal which can be reached from the airport through the following options:

Option 1 (Cost-effective but takes more time because it primarily uses public transport.)

Take a multi-cab at the airport and drop off at Marina Mall. Fare is about P10 and travel time is 10 minutes. At the mall, ride a v-hire (van) to SM City Cebu for P25. V-hire operates from 8AM to 9PM. Travel time to SM is 20 minutes. Once there, go to the terminal and take a 12G or 12I or 10M or 10H jeepney and inform the driver to drop you off at the South Bus Terminal. Fare is P10. The South Bus Terminal is a few steps farther from Elizabeth Mall.

Option 2 (Most cost-effective and time-saving if you travel in group)

From the airport, take a regular taxi (not the yellow ones) to SM City Cebu. The taxi stand is located outside the arrival area. Exit the airport and turn right for a few steps. You will line up to wait for your turn. Travel time is 20 minutes and fare is about P200. Once at SM, go to the terminal and take a 12I or 12L or 10M or 10H jeepney bound to the South Bus terminal. Travel time is 30 minutes, depending on the traffic. Fare is P10. (Note: If you want to go via taxi all the way from the airport to the terminal, fare is roughly P250.)

Option 3 (The most convenient)

Uber or Grab taxis are available in Cebu. You can either use the app or go to the booth (for Grab only) outside the arrival area to book for South Bus terminal. Fare is about P250. Travel time is 30 minutes.

Option 4

SM offers a MyBus service which will require a reloadable tap card that would cost for P200. The card, which is available at their stations in the airport and at SM malls, gives P100 load that can be used for multiple persons per ride. Fare to SM City is P25. MyBus runs as frequent as every 30 minutes from 6:00AM to 8:00PM. Once at SM, you may take a 12I or 12G or 10M or 10H jeepney at the SM terminal or take a taxi to the South Bus terminal. Travel time for both is roughly 20-30 minutes and taxi fare is P100.

South Cebu: With a background of a dreamy waterfall at the fifth level of Aguinid waterfalls in Samboan.

Once at the South Bus terminal, take a bus bound to your location in the south. In a nutshell, there are two (2) routes the buses take: via Barili if you are bound to the towns of Barili, Moalboal, Badian, Malabuyoc, Ginatilan and Samboan; and via Liloan if you are bound to Oslob. To know the right bus and schedule for your location, click here.

(Note: Only a motorycle-for-hire can cross one town in the east to another in the west. But this option is pricey (usually would cost P500 when travelling to an opposite nearby town) and risky as travel would require scaling through the highlands.)

North Cebu: The white, coralline sand of Kota beach at Santa Fe, Bantayan Island

From Mactan International Airport to North Cebu

Access to North Cebu is the North Bus terminal. To get there, take a white taxi or a MyBus service outside the airport. Fare is about P140  and P25 respectively. If you want to go local, take a yellow multicab (small jeepney) from the airport and head to Marina mall where you can ride a jeepney bound to Mandaue coliseum. From the coliseum, take another jeepney with a “Makro” or “North Bus” signage. Total fare is P24.

North Cebu: Sunset at Paradise beach in Bantayan Island is one of the finest you can find in Cebu.

At the North Bus terminal, take a Ceres bus or a v-hire (van) to Hagnaya port if you are bound to Bantayan island or to Maya port if you are bound to Malapascua island. Travel time is about 4 and 5 hours respectively.

For Bantayan, fare is P225 for aircon bus and P170 for vhire. First bus trip departs at 5AM while last trip is P5PM. You will arrive at Hagnaya port, book a ferry to Bantayan island for P170. Travel time is 1 hour. (Note that there are Ceres buses that have a direct trip to the island. The disadvantage is that each bus is assigned to a certain ferry. In case the ferry will not arrive on time, your trip will be delayed.) Last ferry trip from Hagnaya port to the island is between 5-6PM.

For Malapascua, fare is P200 for aircon bus and P200 for vhire. First bus leaves at 5AM while last trip is between 6-7PM. You will arrive at Maya port where you will book for a public outrigger boat to Malapascua island. Fare is P100 and travel time is P30 minutes. Last boat trip to the island is between 5-6PM.

Check out more posts for Cebu:

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