Group: Travel

Information about getting to and away from us, travel in the area

Getting to Bohol

There are a few ways to do this at the moment. Simplest is probably to head to Cebu City and catch one of the many fast ferries to Bohol. They run from early morning to mid-evening. However then you have to deal with beautiful Cebu . . . :(.

More adventurous ways are to head for Argao on the east coast of Cebu south of Carcar. From here there are two ferries a day Bohol which leaves at 4am and 12:00pm and sometimes stops at Cabilao Island if you are looking for a small island break. The ferry company is Lite (awful web site!); do a web search to confirm times and service. Price is P500 per adult and takes 2½ hours.

There is also (at the moment, January 2020) a boat that runs daily from Oslob to Panglao Island on Bohol. It leaves at 11:30am daily. For details have a look at the company’s web site. They are at pains to point out that they are not a ferry company which means “don’t depend on it” :).

How can I get from the airport to the Cebu South Bus Terminal?

You can take a taxi, either the ordinary white taxis, the more expensive yellow airport taxis or the very expensive limos. Just ask the driver for the Cebu South Bus Terminal. Cost will be between P300 and P1,000 depending on traffic and which type of taxi you get. Note that taxis in Cebu are generally safe, reliable and will use the meter. You can also get a Grab at their normal rates. The Grab station is close to the taxi rank

It is also possible to take a shuttle bus and there are two possibilities here:

  1. Get to the MyBus shuttle pickup close to domestic arrivals at Terminal 1. Due to never-ending construction this keeps moving but it is usually signposted! This bus leaves every 20 minutes from early morning to late evening. Check the exact times at the stand or Google “MyBus Cebu schedule”. Take this bus to SM City (P40) and from there get a taxi to the South Bus Terminal which will be in the region of P120
  2. There is/was/maybe a shuttle service run by Sugbu Express that goes from Marina Mall on the main road that runs to Cebu City, it’s about 10 minutes walk from Terminal 1, 15 minutes from Terminal 2the airport to the South Bus Terminal. In theory this runs every hour but we’re not sure where from or how reliable this is! The fare is around P50 if you can find/catch this bus – if it still runs! Ask at the terminal, they may be able to give you current information

Note: if there is a long queue for taxis then waiting for the bus may be your quickest option as well as cheapest! Likewise if there is heavy traffic the buses may be faster than a taxi.

Why does Eskapo not support whale shark watching in Oslob?

There are several reasons. The whole issue of fish-feeding is complex with no clear answer. In the end it has to come down to an individual decision however here are some of the reasons we don’t feel that this activity is sustainable or healthy:

  • whale sharks are migratory; encouraging them to stay in one place for extended periods has an unknown effect on their lifecycle and reproductive patterns
  • whale sharks in the wild are filter feeders and ingest a variety of nutrition. The diet at Oslob is of one type and of dubious quality
  • feeding creates unhealthy and unsafe patterns of behaviour. Look at the sores on many of the sharks mouth parts created by “begging” for food from the boats and rubbing their mouths on rough wooden hulls
  • being fed from boats associates boats with food. In Oslob there are no propellors to injure the whale sharks however this is not the case in other areas. Look at the scars on the backs of some of the sharks . . . .
  • although there are guidelines for approaching and interacting with the sharks, due to the nature of the experience these are not easy to enforce
  • up to 1500 vistors a day has an impact on the area in terms of solid waste management as well as the impact on the sharks
  • there are places in the region where “wild” whale shark sightings are common. The Tanon Strait is an important migratory route and there are regularily seen by divers in Moalboal-area. Primary destinations for sustainable whale shark watching are Donsol in Sorsogon, Luzon and Sogod Bay in Southern Leyte. Sogod Bay particularly is easy to get to from Cebu

Positive points:

  • it is very easy to do and can involve almost no effort or input. If you time it right you can land at Cebu airport very very early, get in a pre-booked car, be deposited in Oslob, jump the queue by using a local resort, have your 15 minute experience, get in your car back to the airport and be heading home in the afternoon
  • it’s trivial to take some great photos and be the envy of your friends
  • the whale sharks are not forced to be there – the reason they stay is free meals
  • local businesses make a lot of money from the activity
  • local fisherman are not hunting the sharks any more – hunting has been banned for years but used to happen from time-to-time

In the end it’s your decision but please be aware whale shark watching in Oslob is not the environmental wonder that it superficially appears to be and has significant downsides.

Are there any beaches nearby?

Eskapo Verde doesn’t have a beach though there are a few private beaches in the area. The nearest public beaches are Lambug Beach, Panagsama Beach and White Beach. Have a look at some online photos and see which you prefer.

To get to Lambug Beach if you don’t have a motorbike then it’s easiest to get a public bus to Badian then a tricycle from the market area to Lambug. It’s about 10km away and takes perhaps 15-20 minutes to get there. The beach is mostly quiet with a few places to eat and (of course) karaoke by the road, but the beach is long so just walk for a while and you’ll escape any noise. Good white sand and blue water . . . what more do you need? :).

How to get to Montpellier or Cambais Falls, Alegria

From Eskapo Verde just jump on any Ceres bus heading for Bato or Samboan. The ride takes about 30 minutes, get off the bus about 1km south of Alegria at the Blue Innovation petrol station. There are many habal habal bikes there who will take you up to either falls. It’s about a 15 minute ride to the entrance of Montpellier Falls which is marked by a nice mural on a hut almost hanging off the side of the mountain :). Follow the path down. You will pass some people’s houses, just keep going. If you’re not sure ask anyone, the locals are very friendly and will be happy to point you in the right direction.

After about 15 minutes walk you’ll hear the falls and then see them.

Montpellier Falls, Alegria
It looks like around a 30m drop, there is a large pool that is very suitable for swimming and you can climb up behind the falls for a great view through the falling water. And a hard-core head and shoulder massage as well! The best part? Only our family group was there on a Tuesday afternoon in March :).

Cambais Falls is around 15 minutes further up into the mountains. There is a municipal fee collection point, parking and guides available. The falls are a easy 15 minute walk from the parking through farm land along a grass or dirt path. The falls are on several levels and have a lovely cascade at the upper level. The whole area is shaded and there are some tables for picnicing, though no stalls or vendors :).

Getting away from Eskapo Verde – if you must :)

The easiest way whether you are heading north to Cebu or south to Oslob, Siquijor or Dumaguete is to wave down a Ceres bus heading in the right direction. You should allow at least four hours to get to Cebu City and about three hours to get to Oslob. To get to the ferries for islands to the south from Bato or Liloan will take about 1½ to 1¾ hours.

Please remember that it is most sensible to organise your time to travel in Philippines for earlier rather than later. Buses and ferries are much less frequent or stop after sunset and it’s more complicated to arrange alternatives in the dark. Please allow plenty of time for delays, especially if you have a flight to catch.

Oh and if you are travelling domestic, it is usually simple to book a last minute flight which gives you flexibility that you will lose if you tie yourself down to a pre-booked itinerary

Getting from Cebu City to Eskapo Verde?

  • From the South Bus Terminal in Cebu take a yellow Ceres line bus (every 30 minutes). Get a ticket to Barangay Bugas, Badian. Cost is about P130 (ordinary) or P150 air-con and takes around 4 hours. The first bus to us leaves at 1am, the last bus around 10pm. There are air-con buses running from 4am until 6pm. Bus schedules from Cebu
  • When you get to Moalboal (about 6km north of us, 5 minutes on the bus) ask the conductor to let you off at Eskapo Verde or at PD Road in Bugas. Our access road is opposite and signposted. Follow the signs and you’re here 🙂

Getting from Oslob to Eskapo Verde?

  • From Oslob, take the bus to Santander or Bato, change or transfer there to the Cebu via Barili bus. Get a ticket to Bugas, Badian. Note that the last bus in our direction leaves around 7pm
  • When you get to Badian (about 4km south of us, 5 minutes on the bus) ask the conductor to let you off at PD Road in Bugas. The trip takes 1.5-1.75 hours
  • Our access road is opposite PD Road and signposted. Follow the signs and you’re here.