Nikki with whaleshark

Cebu to Oslob: 38 Tips From Experience Travelers (2018) Update

Egypt is known for its ancient pyramids while the United States of America is known for its Statue of Liberty. The Philippines, on the other hand, is known for its whale watching destinations. Oslob Cebu happens to be one of those destinations.


When traveling to Cebu, Oslob is a must-visit place. You, however, must be well-informed of the things you need to do and not to do when in the city.


One of the traveler’s frequently asked questions is how to go to Oslob from Cebu City. You don’t have to bring a map to know how; you just have to know the important details and follow the instructions.

This article will bring you to the beautiful town of Oslob in Cebu City and if you are looking to visit us at our Sinulog Festival every first year of January then that would be really amazing!. Start planning your trip and bring this along with you.


Why Should You Go to Oslob?


You’ll find Oslob at the Southern tip of the island of Cebu in the Cebu Strait. Tourists enjoy going to this province because of the crystal clear waters and white sand beaches. The “close and personal” experience with the largest fishes in the world is also a must-do experience.


  1. Visit the Baluarte in Oslob

One of the greatest features of Oslob is the Baluarte. The Spaniards have left behind loads of legacies in the country, and the Baluarte is just one of them. The term Baluarte, which translates to watchtower in English, was built in 1788. There were six Baluartes during the Spanish era, and the Baluarte in Oslob is the only one that remained.



  1. Refresh Your Mind in Sumilon Island

You may also go to Sumilon Island for a visit. Taking a boat from the port, it will only take a few minutes before you get to the island. This island is known to be the home to some of the best sea creatures and reefs that you’ll ever see in the Philippines. Sumilon Island features four diving destinations and multiple other options if you want to go snorkeling. If you want to stay for longer days, you can book a night or two at Sumilon Bluewater Island Resort.



  1. Interact With the Underwater Creatures

A 15-minute drive from Oslob lays the town of Tan-Awan, wherein most of the whale shark watching activities usually take place. You can either go whale-watching or snorkeling with sea creatures.

Lots of people are afraid of getting into the water, probably due to the term “shark” that’s tied to its name. However, once the tourist gets pass the fear phase, they realize how docile whale sharks are, and they end up loving the whole experience.




Best 32 Tips from Experienced Travelers who visited Oslob


Tips from Mark T. of  (


#1 Go there via Public transport: “FROM CEBU CITY TO OSLOB”

  • From Cebu city, head to the South Bus Terminal and ride a Ceres Bus bound to “Bato via Liloan”
    Tell the bus attendant to drop you off at Barangay Tan-awan Oslob for the whale shark which is just along the highway. It is estimated a 3-hour drive from South Bus Terminal. Bus fare more or less PHP 160.00 per passenger



  • At Dumaguete City Public Market, look for a jeepney or multi-cabs going to Sibulan Port.
    At the Port pay the fee for the ferry or fast craft going to Liloan Santander Cebu.
  • At Liloan Port, take or board a Ceres bus going to cebu City and tell the bus attendant or conductor to drop you off
    at Oslob Whale Shark Bay. Most of the time the bus will drop you off at one of the resorts with “Whale Watching” signboard. Please take note, if you enter here, the resort will charge you with a PHP 100.00 fee for the use of locker toilets, cottage, and transportation going to the briefing station.
  • Otherwise, you can walk directly to the Whale Shark Watching Briefing Station to register, pay the fees and attend the short briefing about the “Dos and Dont’s for the Whale shark encounter.



  • Local tourist Fee for whale shark watching is PHP 300.00 This comes with the Life vest only. If you want to swim or snorkel with the Whale, you need to add PHP 200.00
  • Foreign tourist Fee: Whale Shark watching or stay in the boat PHP 500.00
    Add PHP500.00 if you like to swim or snorkel


#4 Highlights:

  • Tick off a bucket-list experience: swim and snorkel with whale sharks in the Philippines
  • Enjoy a combination of Badian’s most famous attractions in a private guided tour
  • Scramble, climb, jump, rappel and swim through the rugged but scenic cliffs of Badian
  • Make a splash as you brave through jumping off towering cliffs as high as 30 feet!
  • Visit Kawasan Falls, a three-stage cascading waterfall and one of the most beautiful falls in the Philippines
  • Round trip hotel transfer is included in the package


#5 Best Places:

  • Tan-awan Oslob – Whale Shark Watching
  • Tumalog Waterfalls – Best to go here when it rains or rainy season
  • Sumilon Island Sandbar – Go there early morning (low tide) to see the white powdery sandbar enclosing the whole island


#6 Tips

  • Avoid sunscreen protection as it might caused harm to the marine mamals. Pat attention to the Do’s and Dont’s during the briefing for your safety of your end and the whale sharks itself.

Tips from Simon Timmins (


Sidive whaleshark
Taken by SiDive

#7 Be sure to have food when traveling!

  • SDiveLeave early (4:30AM) to avoid not just the traffic but also long queues at the Briefing area in Tan-swan, Oslob.
  • Get a drive-through breakfast at McDonald’s in Talisay or in Carcar(opens at 6AM)
  • Get your lunch on the way back at Barrio Kusina in Dalaguete ( excellent Filipino cuisine)
  • If you are going to stay overnight it’s best to stay in Tan-Awan itself so you are close to the Whalesharks. Oslob town is 15 minutes drive from the Whalesharks.


#8 Places to Visit:

  • First and foremost you must either snorkel with the Whalesharks or dive with them if you have a divers licence. At Sidive we can arrange your diving.
  • Tumalog Falls is just 10 minutes drive from Tan-Awan.
  • If you have more time it’s well worth visiting Aguinid Falls which is in Samboan a 25 minutes drive further south from Tan-Awan. Aguinid falls consists of 5 levels of Waterfalls and will take one hour to complete from start to finish. *In Oslob town there is a Museum and remains of the Spanish garrison on the seafront which is worth a visit.


#9 Loving the Whaleshark Diving:

  • You really should have a dive license before diving with the Whalesharks. You can get your dive license at Sidive in Mactan Island, Cebu in 3 days before you go to the Whalesharks. *Dont go to close
  • Avoid swimming with the current to follow the Whalesharks
  • Stay with your buddy and guide * Dive with an official PADI diveshop.

Tips from Sarah of (


#10 Always leave at 4AM

  • It is always best to leave the city as early as 4AM to arrive at Oslob before it gets too crowded. It is advisable to hire a legit tour operator to make sure that advance arrangement and coordination has been made– this way it makes your trip hassle-free and easy.


#11 Visit Cuartel Ruins

  • When in Oslob, make sure to visit Cuartel Ruins, Tumalog Falls and Sumilon Island. If you have the extra time and budget, a day tour at Sumilon Island packed with island-water activities and buffet lunch included will maximize your 3-4 hours drive from the city.


#12 Be sure to understand that never use sunblock

  • If you plan to dive with the whale sharks make sure not to apply sunblock — arriving early at the area will also lessen your chances of getting sunburn. Attend and listen attentively to the orientation to make yourselves aware of what you can and cannot do. These sharks are harmless, always follow respect and follow instructions.

Tips from Alicia Webb of (


#13 Tips from (

  • Take the bus! It’s a relaxing and comfortable experience, just be sure to bring motion sickness pills if you need them. They will also ensure you enjoy a nice nap along the way.


#14 The Experience is a must

  • The Whale Shark experience!


#15 Practice:

  • Practice your free diving/ snorkeling skills in advance. It helps to be as comfortable as possible in the water so you can enjoy the whales to the fullest. Try to relax and be one with the ocean!

Tips from Girts Kravalis of (

Whaleshark by GK

#16 Tips from (

  • Since you need to be in Oslob early, you will only want to travel from Cebu to Oslob by taxi. I agree, it will cost much more,than bus,but it is worth it. Shark feeding starts at 06:00AM. Best photos can be done,while you are coming first!


 #17 Swimming and diving with the whaleshark

  • Swiming and diving with whale sharks. Not so many places around the world,where you can be so close to these giants of the sea.


#18 Wake up early!

  • Just wake up early. Be there before 06:00AM. Use diving equipment. Most of people come for snorkeling only. You can avoid crowds under surface.


Tips from

#19 Take a Bus!

  • Take a bus from South bus Terminal early at 4am to arrive Oslob at 8am to do more things. Best to start whale shark watching. Bring Cash with you because atm is a little bit far from Oslob.


#20 Never Miss Scuba!

  • Experience Scuba Diving with Whale sharks and discover the hidden beauty of Caceres reef (undersea mountain), Visit the white san bar and crystal clear water in Sumilon Island, Cool down and see the beauty of nature in Tumalog Falls, visit the Heritage Park (Spanish regime times) This place is a true gift from above that we would like to share our place, our culture, and history.


#21 No Sunblock!

  • No sunblocks and no touching. Just enjoy the site with love and respect.

Tips from Nikki Chong of (


#22 Take your Medicine for Sickness

  • Prepare the underwater camera (If don’t have, can probably rent in there.)


#23 Visit Simulon

  • Sumilon Island. The island very clean and nice.

#24 Take lifejacket Off

  • Take off the life jacket if you’re good in swimming so you can have a good underwater picture.
Tips from Syrene Lawan of (

#24 Traffic, Vehicles, Foods, People Experience and FUN!

  • Stay out of traffic. How? Start your day early. Go on a trip by 4:00 am or 4:30 am to avoid traffic and of course, you can do so much more if you have lots of time to spare.
  • While on a bus or a van or car, always look for some cool places or sceneries. You know, on the way to Oslob you will really appreciate the beauty of nature. And just by looking out your car’s window you can witness them already.
  • Try to mix with other people, be friendly or just try to socialize with them. By that, you’ll be able to witness another genre of nature which is the nature of human beauty. It does not speak about physical beauty or what, but it speaks about how unique individual is. You will identify yourself when you are with the other people right? And what’s the best is, aside from knowing them or having new friends you will also learn from them. Your perspectives in life will change and you will realize that you are beautiful inside and outside. Though sometimes you may have insecurities with some of them or not liking them as you continue your journey you will realize in the end, that you are growing emotionally and that’s the best thing you will ever be received as a reward. Going up on a hill or diving in a deep ocean or doing some treacherous stuff will not the only adventure that you will have. Knowing nature is much simpler than knowing humans. So mix them both and you have the best time of your life.
  • Enjoy and never regret things. Always anticipate the unexpected. Always respond and never react. And in bad times, never complain but rather find solutions.


#25 Never forget the haven of wonderful sceneries and wonders

  • Southern Cebu is the haven of wonderful sceneries and wonders. There are beautiful places that you can always visit anytime. But I always have dream places in my mind. Those places where I can forget about life’s stuff or problems. Those places where I can breathe and relax. We all know that sumilon island is not just an island. It’s an island that holds nature’s true beauty. If you are an enthusiast, you can definitely enjoy a day or even spend the whole weekend vacation with your friends or family in the Island without getting bored. Hiking, trekking, deep sea diving, windsurfing, snorkeling, biking those are just some of thing you can do there.
  • Another to mention is the tumalog falls. No one can express how wonderful it is. Like ur in the middle of the majestic place full of mystery. Imagine a tall wall, consider a hundred meters high with drizzling of cold water cascading downwards forming like fairy dust and perfectly falls into a shallow turquoise pool. How spectacular it is.
  • And lastly the whale shark in Tan-awan. Anticipation had been mounting for us when we went there. Who would not? You’ll get to see the whale sharks up close, isn’t that amazing? For us being there was not just to go with the trend or just to see them. But for us, we went there to know more what we don’t know. Especially about these species and about the ocean because there are things that are yet unseen.


#26 Stay calm while Diving!

  • When diving with the Whale sharks, please be better calm. This type of species is totally sensitive. The practice that we are doing today is actually harmful to them. But since we are given this chance to see it personally and for real, let’s just do it nicely if you want your great-grandchildren to witness them too. Don’t be scared by these bus-sized creatures. They are totally harmless, they are not gonna eat you nor swallow you. These are called gentle giants and even though they have teeth but the purpose of those are still unknown. Like I said, These creatures are inherently curious and will sometimes swim towards humans. If they do, do your best to calm and swim aside. Having such an opportunity as that is one of the best parts of your life so enjoy to the fullest.

Tips from LovelyPlanetPH (

Lovely Planet

#27 Staying in groups? Use a Private Car!

  • If you’re a group or a minimum of 2 pax, it’s best to take a rent a private car tour with driver from Cebu to Oslob! That way, you can comfortably sleep and rest in your own private vehicle, since you will be leaving early in the morning. Also, the main advantage of this is that, since Oslob is full of tourists, if you will only be taking a public bus going there and back, you will have a hard time taking a bus going back to Cebu! Going there is easy, but going back will be a big hassle since the buses from the South going to Cebu already full!

#28 Never miss the Carcar Market!

  • When going to Oslob, it’s best to drop by at Carcar Public Market and buy some Carcar Lechon, so you can have some delicious lunch in Oslob! Also, after your Whale Shark experience, do drop by at Sumilon Island, and then Simala Church going back to Cebu.

 #29 The Love for GoPro! Bring it when you have one!

  • Don’t forget to bring your GoPro or any water-proof action camera with you! You’ll regret if you miss taking a photo and video of yourself swimming with the gentle giants!



Lovely Photos from

Tips from Job Marc Opalla of (

Job Marc

#30 Travel Early in the morning!

  • I’ll assume the whale shark is your main goal of traveling to Oslob. If that is so then you should travel early in the morning, like 2:00 to 4:00 AM so that when you arrive in Oslob, the sun has just risen (thus, it will not be too hot). Also, you would have arrived at the perfect time since locals say whale sharks are at their high time between the hours of 6:00 to 8:00 AM.


#31 Never touch the whale sharks!

  • Whale sharks, in general. No particular place. Just whale sharks. They are magnificent creatures, almost surreal at their gigantism but touching at their subtely.

#32 Always follow and understand the instructor’s orientation!

  • Pretty much everything you have to do will be given to you during the orientation. Follow all of that because they wouldn’t be advised if they are not necessary. What I’d prefer to advise is more on the sentimental part: stop focusing too much on getting that perfect shot. Maybe one or two is enough. But take time to really look at the whale shark; marvel at it, imprint it in your memory. You only have 30 minutes of interaction but trust me, with the right focus, the experience could stay with you for a lifetime.

Tips from Benjoe Vidal of (
Benjoe And Aj

#33 Ride a Ceres:

From Cebu city, ride a Ceres bus from South Bus terminal going to Bato via Liloan. Ask the driver to drop you off at Brgy. Tan-awan in Oslob for the whaleshark. Travel time from Cebu city to Oslob is approximately 3 hours. Since there’s a lot of visitors and tourist who also visit Oslob to see the whale shark, you have to wake up as much as early in the morning because you have to register and take an orientation first before you go to your designated boat. The orientation last about 10-15 mins.

#34 Visit More Places in Oslob!

Aside from whale shark watching. In fact, there are more places worth to visit in Oslob.

  • First is the Tumalog Falls
    It’s no wonder why the province of Cebu visits by so many tourists, both local and foreign because of its magnificent attractions, the paradise-like and unique natural wonders that you can find in each Municipality of Cebu. One of these unique attractions is the fresh and cool turquoise pool and the cascading waterfall of Tumalog falls in Oslob.
    Looking up to the falls was so relaxing, starring the water falling from above was so amazing. The breathtaking cascade of fresh crystal water that climbs down the mushroom-like formation of rocks into the turquoise pool is extraordinarily impressive
  • Nuestra Señora de la Inmaculada Conception
    one of the oldest churches in Cebu. It is located just a few meters from the municipal hall of Oslob. It was constructed in 1830 and was finished 18 years later.I was amazed by its design and the architecture was pretty awesome, the quality of the materials used to build this church is truly durable despite all adversity that happened in the past decades.
  • Spanish Cuartel Oslob
    another historical structure you can be seen in the area is the ruins of Spanish Cuartel. Located on the right of the church of Oslob. The Cuartel was built in the Spanish era around the 1800s, the cuartel serve as a barracks for the Spanish troops or Guardia Civil assigned in Oslob. Unfortunately, when the Americans arrived in the Philippines, the Spanish left the cuartel and the construction was terminated.
    The coral stone used for its construction came from remnants of the collapsed tower, the walls of the tower centimeter-thick still stand. The facade built of coral stones features a double row of arches. These two Spanish structures are still in Oslob and it’s very interesting to Visit.
  • Sumilon Sandbar
    Sumilon Island is a small island located in the southern part of Cebu. I must say that you should not skip Sumilon Island if you’re already in Oslob. It’s lies about 20-30 minutes boat ride away from Tan-awan in Oslob.This fascinating island in Cebu is one of the top destination and one of the most popular among the tourist because of its perfect white powdery and smooth sandbar. The sea is so amazing because it’s divided into three colors. Navy blue, turquoise, and something like light blue-green. The Island is quite a paradise not only for me but also for the marine life living around Sumilon Island.

#35 Never Touch the Sharks!

Do not touch the whale shark, sun cream/sunblock or other chemicals that will harm the whale shark is prohibited. Don’t panic and remain at least 3 meters away from the shark. Lastly, do not block the whale shark’s path.
Diving in Oslob

Tips from Gary Lim of (

#36 Avoid Traffic on hectic hours

  • Get yourself to the Cebu South Bus Terminal to get the bus, and remember, go early and you won’t go wrong! We recommend taking the earliest trip out, around 4am, seeing as you’ll want to avoid the early morning traffic from the city. Because why get stuck in traffic when you could be diving with the sharks?

#37 Never Miss to visit the amazing Parks of Oslob

  • The whalesharks of Tan-awan are great of course, but Tumalog Falls and the Heritage Park are also interesting stops. You can rent a habal-habal to take you around, and along the way, keep a look out for breathtaking views of the sea and the nearby Sumilon Island. All of these can be done in a single day.

#38 Remember The Nickname (Tuki)

  • Diving with the tuki (whale sharks) is really fun – much like plunging into a giant aquarium. Whale shark activity starts at around 6.30am and the last call is at 12pm. Meanwhile, the peak time for visitors is from 8.30am to 11am. Remember, as gentle as they are, do not attempt to touch the sharks – chances are you might get hurt. Don’t swim near the tail, and do not shock them with flash photography.

When Should You Visit Oslob?

The Philippines has two seasons: dry and wet seasons. So, if you plan on visiting Oslob, it would be best to do it on February to September. The rainy season is from October to January.


Where Can You Stay in Oslob?

You can find both cheap and high-end hotels and lodges in Oslob. As a traveler, finding a place that fits your budget is just as important as finding a place that suits your needs. Some hotels offer airport pickups, or you can just take a taxi or bus transfers.

To stay nearer to the whale shark activities, you can either book a room at Brumini Beds and Beach Resort, or at BCD’s Place. These hotels are located at Tan-Awan, which puts you in a pretty good spot if you want to engage in whale shark watching activities. Aside from having air-conditioned rooms, it’s also relatively cheap.


Things You Shouldn’t Do When at the Whale Shark Watching Site

If you intend to go whale shark watching, then you’ll need to attend a short orientation about the things you can and cannot do while in the whale shark seeing the site. To give you a head start, here are some of the things that you are prohibited from doing:

  1. Don’t Touch the Whale Sharks – Start to move away if it appears that you are getting too close with the whale sharks.
  2. Don’t Feed the Whale Sharks – The fishermen are more familiar with the regular diet of the sharks. With that, you should let them be the only ones to feed the sharks.
  3. Don’t Play Tag With the Whale Sharks – This means to say that you shouldn’t chase the sharks. Just allow them to swim around unhindered. Chasing the sharks may cause them or you to become injured.
  4. Don’t Use Sunscreen – The water’s condition in the whale shark’s feeding area could be affected due to your sunscreen.

How to Go to Oslob from Cebu City

How do you go to Oslob from Cebu City? How long will the travel from Cebu City to Oslob take? These are just two of the most common questions travelers ask. Knowing how to go to Oslob from Cebu City before your trip helps you maximize your time for your tours and scheduled itinerary. You can also prevent getting lost and avoid wasting your time waiting for a bus ride.


Here is how you go to Oslob from Cebu City:

  1. Via Bus

From the Mactan airport, you can go to the Cebu South Bus Terminal, which you can find just beside the Elizabeth Mall. The trip will take you 30 minutes. From there, look for an Oslob-bound bus. There will be signboards to guide you regarding which bus to take to Oslob. The trip to Oslob from Cebu City will take you about 3 hours. Take note that the bus leaves as early as 4:30 AM to avoid morning traffic.

  1. Via Taxi

You may also hire a cab to take you to Cebu City to Oslob. Drivers are usually well-versed with the places. So, all you have to do is tell the driver the exact location of where you want to go and asked to be dropped there. Taxis are quite expensive, but if you are running out of time for your visit or you just can’t wait to experience Oslob, it is recommended.


How Long Should You Stay?

There are more activities in Oslob than what is featured in this article. So, to make the most out of your experience, you should stay at Oslob for a minimum of a week. That will give you enough time to get a taste of everything Cebu city to Oslob has to offer.


What Should You Wear?

To keep yourself safe from the scourging heat of the sun, you should wear a rash guard. Apart from the sun protection, it will also keep you warm during the cold Tumalog Spring.


Final Tip

There are loads of things you can do at Oslob. However, to maximize your experience, you need to be familiar with the nuts and bolts of going to Oslob. Be fully informed of how you go to Oslob from Cebu City to save time when you’re already in the city. Follow the tips in this article so that you won’t be left out with the greatest adventures you can have in the destination.

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