March 10, 2013

The Adventurer's Guide to Carcar, Cebu

(Note: The Adventurer's Guide is a new feature in this blog. This travel guide series aims to give quality and relevant travel information and tips to all types of travelers who are planning to visit the featured destination.)

The first travel destinations that I will feature are the towns in Southern Cebu. It's because just recently I backpacked around Southern Cebu in 2 days- the cheapest way possible. I also calculated all travel expenses while exploring the southern part of Cebu.

The Destination: Carcar, Cebu
Carcar is a historic city in the province of Cebu. Hence, it is popularly known as the "Heritage City of Cebu." Carcar hosts a lot of heritage structures which were built during the Spanish and American periods. I love this place because of its historic past. Carcar is about 40 kilometers south of Cebu City. It is a town turned into a city in 2007.

Cebu City to Carcar - PhP40-50 (non-aircon bus, approximately 1 hour travel time)

Places to Explore

1. Carcar City Museum
It is previously known as the Carcar Dispensary. It is a beautiful, intricately-designed structure that was built during the American period. In 1929, the construction of the building started and it was inaugurated in 1937. Carcar Dispensary's architecture is truly remarkable. It has artful latticework, semicircular transoms, carved barandillas, and mini-canopies with colorful stained glass window panes. In order to be reused, the edifice was turned  into a museum and was inaugurated during the city's first anniversary. Admission is free. No picture taking and video taking inside the museum.

Beside the museum is the monument of Don Mariano A. Mercado, Carcar's Mayor who helped build the Rizal Monument, Carcar Dispensary, and Rotunda.

2. Rizal Monument
It is a prominent landmark in the central district of Carcar. It is located in front of the city hall, museum, and the elementary school. It has Dr. Jose Rizal's words translated into Cebuan.

3. Heritage Structures
Carcar has lots of them: Cui's Residence, Noel's Residence, Gantuangco's Ancestral House, Timoteo Barcenilla House, Marfori-Cui Ancestral House, Aleonars Ancestral House, Mercado-Villarosa Ancestral House, Alegrado's Ancestral House, Valencia's Residence, Juario-Villarosa Ancestral House, Monument of Leon Kilat, Mercado Mansion, Balay nga Tisa, Sarmiento-Alfafara Ancestral House, Mancao-Panuncialman Ancestral House, Upland Elementary School.

Mercado Mansion

Leon Kilat Monument marker

Upland Elementary School

4. Carcar Kiosk and Rotunda
It is also a prominent landmark of Carcar. It is along the national highway and this is the area where the roads from southeastern and southwestern Cebu converge.

5. Carcar Public Market
Carcar's mouth-watering treats can be found here. It is just a few meters away from the Rotunda.

For Your Taste-buds
A walk around Carcar will not be complete without tasting their delicious delicacies: ampao, bucarillo, chicharon, and banana chips. Prices range from PhP15 to 50.

Carcar's chicharon, bucarillo, banana chips, and ampao.

Travel Tips:
1. Take the early morning bus from Cebu City's South Bus Terminal to avoid traffic. You can choose between aircon and ordinary buses.
2. Tell the driver's aide (konduktor) to drop you near or before Mercado Mansion. Turn right and walk your way up towards Rizal Monument.
3. Some ancestral houses are found along the national highway.
4. After visiting Carcar, I recommend that you visit next the towns in southeast or southwest of Cebu.
5. Buses and jeepneys are plying the Carcar to Cebu City route until around 8 or 9 pm.

Where is Carcar, Cebu on the map?
Map by: Wikipedia

I hope this Adventurer's Guide is helpful to you.

If you have questions and inquiries, comment below or e-mail me at

View my previous post of Carcar:
-- Twilight Snapshots of Carcar, Cebu


  1. I enjoyed Carcar. The sites, the history and the chicharon!

    1. Wow! I am happy you've visited this place! :)

  2. Namiss ko ang Carcar bro :) more than 2 years aq sa South Cebu. Sarap ng litson dito :)

    1. Ah as in? You've stayed in Southern Cebu pala! This place is really beautiful and historic! :)

  3. to die for ang lechon nila brad! ehehe

    1. hahaha, they say! but I haven't featured it here.. :)

  4. epi, unsa man ang pinaka maayong DISH dinha sa carcar?

    1. They say it's the lechon. I like to eat their special ampao. :)

  5. unfortunately, you missed out on including the church. i don't know if its because you're adventist but a quality travel guide should be something useful and informative and not just scratch the surface. sorry to say this but misleading ang title. that's why whenever bloggers post about 'travel guides,' i always take it with a grain of salt.

    1. Thanks for your comments and observations. Yeah, I usually exclude churches on my posts. It's not that I am Adventist, it's my style-- a unique and different approach. I hope you also understand my point. I am making these travel guides simple and easy to understand.

  6. Great pictures! There are so many places to visit in Cebu, and most of them are easy to go to when you have your own ride. You do not need to worry about traffic and the time it will consume to get there. I rented a motorcycle at, and I can say that it is one of my greatest experiences in Cebu. I was able to visit this city and Oslob, and other historical places. It's such an adventure filled with fun and excitement!

    1. Yeah, you're right! Local and foreign tourists usually rent a motorcycle to travel around Southern Cebu. It was great that you did it!

    2. Hi may i ask if its just walking distance to go to the additional places to visit in carcar? Coz we will visit cebu nxtmonth, and i'll add carcar to our itinerary. Thankyou! :) Godbless.

  7. adding to the list of places to visit when you're in Carcar
    1. Bahay Na Tisa
    2. Mancao Ancestral House
    3. Mainit and Mabugnao Spring
    4. St. Catherine's Shrine
    5. Daughters of St. Teresa's monastery ( where the tomb of Bishop Teofilo Camomot, the next Filipino Saint) lies
    6. Seaweeds plantation at Bolinawan
    7. Valladolid Shoe Factory (Little Marikina)

    1. Wow! Thank you for all these recommended places to visit when you're in Carcar!