Osmeña Peak is the highest point on the island of Cebu, and home to possibly the most interesting landscape there as well. The hike is exceedingly easy, and is a must visit because of the interesting scenery. Just over 1,000 meters tall, the jagged ridge that Osmeña Peak sits on can be seen from a long ways off.
Osmeña Peak is in southern Cebu, and is commonly visited from Oslob or Moalboal. We refused to visit Oslob as the whale shark encounter there is unethical in our opinions, so when we visited we came from a town near Kawasan Falls, Moalboal. Renting a motorbike and using an offline GPS app, we rode for two hours from Moalboal toward Osmeña Peak over some pitted roads and along a mountain ridge. We parked along Mantalongon-Lugsangan Road and hiked from there, trying to elongate our walk to a few hours instead of using the parking area closer to the peak, which is near Mantalongon Market. If you hike from the market you’re looking at a 20 minute walk, as we did it we could only stretch that into 45 minutes one way. If you’re visiting from Cebu City or Oslob, take a Ceres Bus south from Cebu or north from Oslob and get off at Dalaguete Junction, where you’ll grab a habal-habal (ojek,boda boda, motorbike with a driver) to the starting point.
The walk up to Osmeña Peak is gradual and easy. If you’re dropped at the starting point you’ll pay a 30 peso per person entrance fee and have the option of hiring a guide, which we found unnecessary. We walked up from the main road prior to the starting point and accidentally bypassed it, but easily ended up on the path. The only tricky part to the path the way we went is finding the small dirt path that cuts through a cabbage patch from the concrete road, however walking from the official starting point bypasses that confusion.
Walking along the path reveals strange steep peaks all around the area. The green mounds of earth look similar to the Chocolate Hills of Bohol, but more dramatic. In the distance a round topped hill appears to be Osmeña Peak, and most people stop there to admire the views.
When we reached the top we were rewarded with an out of this world view of a foreign terrain. While it was cloudy when we visited, which is common in the mornings, we weren’t looking for a view of the ocean below, but admiring the spiky peaks all around us. We also noticed a few local kids running up another peak north of us, which appeared to be higher than where we stood.
We headed over toward the higher point, which was marked with a wooden branch acting as a flagpole sticking out of the ground. We walked through some high grass before reaching a rocky ridge with a sheer drop on the other side. Climbing the ridge brought us to the actual highest point, as confirmed by the local children who had been visiting for years.
The views over the valley below were phenomenal and the cliff made for a hair raising viewpoint. Seeing this ridge from the ocean looked interesting when we were in Moalboal, seeing it from up high was absolutely beautiful. Heading back down we passed goats and water buffalo, along with lots of crops being grown. After a brief hike and a long visit atop Osmeña Peak, it was time for a long motorbike ride back to Moalboal. Kawasan Falls in on the way, which is a must-see if you haven’t yet and are near Osmeña Peak.