April 4, 2013

The Adventurer's Guide to Boljoon, Cebu

(Note: The Adventurer's Guide is a new feature in this blog. This travel guide series aims to give you quality and relevant travel information and tips regarding the featured destination.)

The first travel destinations that will be featured 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: Boljoon, Cebu
Boljoon (pronounced as Bol-ho-on) is a municipality in the southeastern part of the province of Cebu. It is about 103 kilometers away from Cebu City. Boljoon was established in 1599 and is one of the oldest towns in Cebu province. This town is also considered as one of Cebu's Heritage Frontier because of its rich heritage and beautiful past.

The breathtaking view of Boljoon captured from the top of Ili Rock.

Cebu City to Boljoon - PhP120 (ordinary bus, approximately 2.5 to 3 hours travel time)

Places to Explore
1. The El Grande Baluarte (Watchtower)
It is the largest watchtower in Cebu (and maybe even in the Visayas and the Philippines). This served as the main headquarters of Padre Julian Bermejo. The lower portion of the watchtower was also used as a prison house. Today the watchtower still stands and is also known as the Kampanaryo.

2. Other Watchtowers
Actually, there are 4 watchtowers in Boljoon: The El Grande Baluarte, the one on top of the Ili Rock, Baluarte sa Fuente, and the watchtower near Kayangon Point. It pays if you can see the magnificent ruins of the watchtowers.

Above: Ili Rock watchtower ruins
Below: Baluarte sa Fuente

3. Boljoon Parish Museum
Beside the church is a museum which showcases Boljoon's wonderful heritage. The museum dispays relics and remains from the ancestors which were excavated by a team of archaeologists.

4. Boljoon Church Archaeological Site 
Just outside the church, you can see the site where the archaeologists excavated the remains.

5. Plaza Bermejo
Named after Padre Julian Bermejo, the priest who created the watchtower system in the Visayan communities during the Moro raids in the past. This beautiful plaza is near the sea wall.

6. Boljoon Heritage Walk
When in Boljoon, you should never miss seeing the heritage and historic structures of the town. This short walk includes their church, two ancestral houses, a bridge, a watchtower, a school, a public baño, and an enchanted rock.

-- You can walk on your own and follow the Heritage Walk signboards or you can hire a local to guide you.

7. Ili Rock (Ilihan)
One of the most popular landmarks in Boljoon. If you are riding the bus from Cebu City, the rock is so prominent when you are nearing the town's Poblacion. If you have time, you can trek on top of this rock to see a better view of the town.

8. Arbor Marine Sanctuary
Boljoon has a quite a number of marine sanctuaries and one of them is Arbor Marine Sanctuary. I recommend that you snorkel and dive in these areas to see the amazing marine life of the town.

9. You can also explore these places: Club Fortmed, Granada Beach Resort & Spa.

For Your Taste-buds
Try the street foods in Boljoon which include chicken barbecue and chicken intestines.

Photo Credit: Journeying James

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. You can tell the driver's aide (konduktor) to drop you near the church or the municipal hall.
3. You can also visit Boljoon's Tourism Office near Plaza Bermejo so you will be guided in your tour around Boljoon.
4. Try browsing their website at www.boljoon.com.

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

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

Chillin' in Boljoon.
Photo Credit: Journeying James

If you have questions and inquiries, comment below or e-mail me at rokx_iphe@yahoo.com.

View my previous posts of Boljoon, Cebu:
-- The Heritage of Boljoon, Cebu
-- A Sunset and Sunrise in Boljoon, Cebu
-- The Historic Watchtowers in Boljoon, Cebu
-- Experience Boljoon's Heritage Walk
-- 12 Reasons Why You Should Explore Boljoon, Cebu


  1. phraim. How many hours travel from Cebu City proper to this place.?

    1. Sir Bonz, thanks for dropping by! Travel time is 2.5 to 3 hours. :)

    2. If you take the south terminal bus it will take about 3 hours.

  2. Ate there cheap inns where once can stay here?

    1. Hi Paula! Yep, there are cheap inns here. And I think they are beach fronts. :)

  3. they have free wifi at their plaza. hahahaha... the town looks dense with houses from the top hmm...

    1. You are right, Lakbay! Their plaza has free wifi. It's a breathtaking view from above.

  4. clap clap. naglaway ko nagtanaw sa arbor da. lamia isnorkelan dha oiiii.. :D

    1. Hi! Thanks for dropping by! hahaha, Arbor Marine Sanctuary is truly a great site for snorkeling, kahit a few meters lang sa beach. :)

  5. hello! my mom and i will be visiting cebu this sept 13-14th. m planning to visit Boljoon for a day tour.what time is the bus going there and is there someone who can tour us around? please let me know.much appreciated

    1. Hello Alma! Your plan in visiting Boljoon for a day tour is great. There are many buses plying from Cebu City to Boljoon. Bus trips usually start at early morning. With regards to a guide, you can go to the Municipal Tourism office to ask a guide. But some "trisikad" drivers can tour you around especially for the Heritage Walk. Thanks for your query! I hope you will enjoy your trip there! :)

  6. hi mangutana lang ko kung tagpila ang cottage kung mag over night mag stay sa beach or naay hotel dha sa boljoon para tulogan.im anabelle from sweden

    1. Check out Noordzee, 300 peso only and right on the beach po

    2. Hello Anabelle! I have not tried renting a cottage during my overnight stays in Boljoon. But I think Noordzee is good. I have been to Club Fort Med, it's a resort and it's a good place too! :)

    3. Hey Anonymous, thanks for your tip here! :)

  7. Good day! I just wana ask if it's convenient for me to make a quick stop in car car to have a taste of their famous chicharon and lechon on my way to cebu via bus? Will it be easier to get another bus there? Thanks!

    1. Hello! Yeah, there are many buses, ordinary and aircon, that will pass by Carcar going to Cebu. You can definitely stop by Carcar. :)

  8. Such a wonderful place to go and visit, Indeed, Cebu is one of the best place to explore and visit the city offers many sites to see from beaches to great attractions. =)

    1. Yes, you are right, Xylem! Cebu is one of my favorite provinces in the Philippines! :)

  9. Is it ok if we will go to Boljoon late in the afternoon? are there lots of inns where we can spend overnight? my family are planning to go to Cebu on aug 23. Thanks.

    1. Hello! If you'll go there late in the afternoon, I think you'll arrive there very late already. It's a 3 hour trip. There are inns. One suggested Noordzee, but I've been to Club Fort Med.

      Enjoy your trip here! :)

  10. Hi! First I want to commend you on such a well-written article! I love how informative it was. �� Second, I was thinking of going here next month so, may I ask you on how to get back to Cebu City from Boljoon? And how much is the snorkeling fee in Arbor? The sea looks awesome! ��