With some of the best beaches and scuba diving in Southeast Asia, it can be hard to tear yourself away from the coast in Cebu—particularly if you only have a single day to explore. But there’s plenty of natural appeal on the island’s interior as well. Here’s how to maximize 24 hours in Cebu.
A circular concrete structure, with simple eateries, cafés, bathrooms, and a licensed bar, Tops Lookout can feel a long way away from Cebu City—but it’s an easy ride by private vehicle. The eateries usually open around mid-afternoon, while benches, telescopes, and picnic areas enable you to make the most of the view. Many travelers opt to make a night of it by dining at one of the more upscale restaurants in the surrounding hills.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Tops Lookout is a great choice for photographers and Instagrammers.
- There’s a small charge to enter, payable in cash on arrival.
- The bathrooms are on the simpler side: Bring tissue.
- Bring a light jacket or cardigan as the hills can get cool at night.
How to Get There
Tops Lookout is high in the hills of Busay, about a 9-mile (14-kilometer) drive north of downtown Cebu City. There’s no public transport and the road is steep and winding, so many travelers may prefer to book a driver or join an organized tour.
When to Get There
Aim to arrive at Tops Lookout a little before sunset, so you can appreciate the view before the sun goes down, then stay to see the city after dark. Visibility can be poor during Cebu’s rainy season, typically June through August.
What To Do Around Tops Lookout The Busay area is home to a range of interesting attractions. Instagrammers love the Sirao Flower Garden, with windmills, tulips, and a photogenic giant hand. The Temple of Leah, built by a businessman to honor his deceased wife of 54 years, is a spectacular structure, while the large Taoist Temple pays tribute to the strength of Cebu’s Chinese community.
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