With a handful of historical landmarks, multiple shopping areas, growing business districts and a number of exceptional beaches, getting around Cebu can get confusing. So before you run around the city and start to look like a lost tourist, here are a few reminders to help you when you finally step out and explore the Queen of the South.
Jeepneys are the major mode of transportation when getting around Cebu. They are cheap and will cost you around 8 pesos per ride. They all have conveniently-located routes that cover most of the nooks and crannies of the city as tourists will get to mingle with the locals and have a taste of the Cebuano lifestyle. For a rather different and exciting means of transport, the tartanilla or horse-drawn carts can be ridden as well and will give tourists the chance to experience how life was for the early Cebuanos. Remember to negotiate with driver first before taking the ride, though.
For the more reserved tourists and business travelers, taxis have been the preferred mode of traveling around the city by land. Aside from their availability, they are also cheap and efficient as most of the drivers know their way around. Most taxi cabs are metered with fares starting at 30 pesos with an additional 2.50 pesos for every half kilometer. There is also an addition 2.50 for every 5 minutes you make the driver wait for you. Most trips will take you not more than 100 pesos to get around anywhere in the city, maybe even less. It may help if you give the driver an additional 10-20 pesos for his good service and maybe a bit more if he helps you carry your bags or luggage. Most cabs don’t have change so be ready with your spare when getting around Cebu on short trips.
Whenever possible, avoid private cabs as these drivers tend to take advantage of tourists by charging them ten times more than the regular rate. These cabs are usually found in high-class hotels that are marked as hotel taxis. They may also be the first things tourists decide to take when arriving in the city by plane. Don’t be fooled. Hailing a metered cab anywhere around the city is easy so finding one won’t be a problem.
Buses are preferred when traveling to and from the north and south parts of the city. They tend to run only along this route. Tricycles are also available in some of the rather congested areas. Where jeepneys can’t go, tricycles dominate the roads. They are a good and cheap mode of commute when you’re headed to a nearby destination.
Aside from the city, Cebu has a lot of surrounding islands which makes island-hopping a popular activity for tourists. The banca is a motorized outrigger that is used by people to get from one island to another over the waters and is definitely a worthwhile hire for those who like to travel by boat. There are dozens of island-hopping services in Cebu that can take you to several islands and marine sanctuaries where one can go diving, snorkeling, bird watching or just go exploring. Island-hopping packages are usually available in day tours with the option of having a lunch meal at a restaurant on a particular island. The men that maneuver these bancas know the entire Cebu area by heart. All you have to do is tell them the activities you would want to do for the day as they’ll be happy to accommodate your desires.
So, may it be by jeep, tricycle, cab or boat, getting around Cebu has never been this easy. Avail of the wide range of transport services and you’ll get a unique experience as well as be able to enjoy your stay in Cebu hassle-free.