Cebu, Philippines · 45 hotels available
Argao may be a simple and quiet town to you, but you’ll be surprised with the experiences this Southern Cebu town offers. Explore the town’s many unknowns and appreciate a side of the Philippines that you haven’t seen before.
Argao, a square-sized town if you look closely on the map, is located in the southeast part of Cebu. The town is bounded by the Bohol Strait in the east, so you’ll definitely have plenty of access to white-sand beaches. It’s also exactly midway between Cebu City and Santander, the southern tip of Cebu Island.
This province also has a lot of natural tourist hotspots, so be prepared for an adventure of a lifetime away from the hustle and bustle of city life. The town’s name is supposedly derived from the name of a mangrove tree, which is abundant in the area.
Traveling to Argao requires a combination of air and land travel. Take a daily flight out of Manila to Mactan-Cebu international airport. From there, you can take a bus, van, or a special taxi to Argao. Travel time, not considering traffic in Cebu, will take around two hours.
Travel around Argao via tricycle, which is what a closed sidecar attached to a motorcycle is commonly called in the country. On the other hand, you can also explore some of the town’s attractions via foot. Don’t miss taking a snapshot of the Cabecera de Argao marker upon arriving Argao, though.
You can find a lot of evidence of the over 300-year ruling of the Spanish here in Argao. Check out Casa Real (Municipal Hall), which is the oldest existing town hall of all of Cebu, and the Argao Hall of Justice (APTA Building). The brick roofing, and stone columns and steps are more than enough to time-travel to that era.
While you’re in the area, pay a visit to the nearby Unity Plaza and Community Well, both of which bore stories of the town’s role in Philippine history. Puerta Marina and Capella Murtuaryo are also heritage sites worth visiting, thanks to their signature Spanish architectural structure.
There are so many natural tourist hotspots in Argao that it makes it so difficult to plan an adventure-filled itinerary. But a good place to start is Bugasok Falls, where you can diving, swimming, rappelling and even canyoneering to your heart’s content.
“Bahay ng Kapre,” or the Balay sa Agta Cave, can give anyone a thrill besides its name, which was derived from a local mythical creature. Explore the cave and be astounded with the huge number of insect bats that make the place their home. If you do plan to visit here, look out for the various stalactite and stalagmite formations, and the cave’s skylight.
If you’re a fan of medieval structures, check out Riverstone Castle and San Miguel Arcangel Church. Feel like a king or a queen at Riverstone Castle, which is a stone castle complete with medieval knights and kings in full costume. San Miguel Arcangel, on the other hand, may look like a decrepit old church at first, but has an impressive ceiling mural inside that would remind you of the great work done at Sistine Chapel in Vatican City. You can also try skimboarding, which is surfing in shallow waters.
Head out to Linuyang in Mountain Coal Resort and order linuyang, which is a specialty dessert of banana, coconut, and sugar mash. Order a steaming hot cup of brewed coffee or the signature Argao hot chocolate to pair with this local dessert, and your afternoon merienda (snack) is complete.
You can also check out any local hawker stall if they sell sinangduloy, which is corn and sweet potato mixed together. Locals actually serve this as rice to pair with different viands or ulam.
Torta is also the town’s signature food, which is composed of mixed flour, egg, sugar, butter, milk, and lard. Unlike the ensaymada, this unique pastry has tuba, or fermented rice wine, as a key ingredient, giving it a unique flavor.
Also, try ordering seafood from any local restaurant sutukil style. Sutukil stands for the three ways seafood can be served: sugba-tuwa-kilawin (or grilled, stewed, and raw).
Nightlife in a town like Argao is pretty tame. Some resorts or restaurants in the area have open bars where you can dine, drink, and be merry with the town’s local liquor or beer. Videoke, which is singing karaoke off a video with lyrics, is one source of nighttime entertainment you can also partake on. The beach strip also has a line of barbeque stalls where you can have your filling of grilled street food with your cold drink.
Argao’s strategic location has encouraged a lot of resorts to open up. Looc Garden Resort, for example, offers clean and simple room accommodations starting at PHP800. Guests can also rent a motorboat or a kayak to explore the nearby beach.
On the other hand, Mountain Coal Resort offers a unique experience for its guests who will book their rooms here. Because it is located on a mountain, you can opt out of an air-conditioned room and enjoy the breezy air. The resort’s outdoor pool uses spring water, which is an awesome alternative to the beach’s salty water. There’s also a canopy walk for you to enjoy the jaw-dropping views of the mountain.
Woodruff Beach Resort located in Tulic, Argao, offers air-conditioned apartments, a swimming pool, restaurant with international menu, and bar with a breathtaking views of the sea.
From Cebu City, take the early bus going to Argao to avoid the traffic. Better choose the air-conditioned bus for a more comfortable ride.
Aside from the tourist hotspots, you can also show support to the town by buying local products like their hablon fabric.
Be mindful of your trash, especially in the town’s natural hotspots. You can bring a plastic bag and tissue to store your trash for the day and dispose them properly at a later time.