Casino Peak (also referred to as Lugsangan Peak) is one of the best adventures to be had in the South Cebu region in the Philippines.
It’s a short ten-minute hike to the summit where you’ll be welcomed with panoramic views of nearby rolling hills and pristine coastline below.
Casino Peak often gets forgotten about when people visit the mountainous region of Mantalongon as the more popular Cebu tourist spot, Osmena Peak, is located just a five-minute drive down the road.
If you are planning to visit Osmena Peak, I highly recommend taking the time to check out Lugsangan Peak as well. Chances are you might even like this viewpoint better and I guarantee there will be fewer people here, with a view that is equally as amazing!
WHERE IS CASINO PEAK?
Casino Peak is located in the Dalaguete mountain region in South Cebu, Philippines.
Dalaguete is 100km southwest of Cebu City and public buses run every hour on a daily basis from Cebu South Bus Terminal to Moalboal, Oslob, and Dalaguete. The cost of the bus is around 150 pesos.
It’s best visited from the nearby beach towns of Moalboal or Oslob, which is between 50km – 60km away and approximately 1.5 hours drive.
HOW TO GET TO LUGSANGAN PEAK
The best way to reach Casino Peak Cebu (Lugsangan Peak) is to rent a scooter in Moalboal or Oslob and make your own way up to the hillside city of Mantalongon in the Dalaguete region.
There are many scooter rental stores located in Moalboal and Oslob where you can get your hands on some wheels for around 400 pesos per day with a full tank of gas.
The majority of the roads in this region are tar-sealed though I came across many washouts and potholes along the way which I had to slow right down for.
These mountainous roads are very windy with a lot of blind corners so I highly recommend purchasing travel insurance. Safety first!
Note: I recommend loading the pin location of Casino Peak Hiking Trail on Google maps before you make tracks out here, as the phone network coverage up in the mountains is very weak and you may lose signal.
‘Maps Me’ is a great offline map application that you may want to consider downloading from the app store, which would work best in scenarios like this.
Another option is to take the public bus from Cebu City to Mantalongon, a small city located on the top of the mountain, and the journey time is around three to four hours, depending on traffic.
From the bus station in Mantalongon, you can hail a habal-habal (motorbike taxi) and kindly ask the driver to take you to the jump-off point, which is a short 5km up the road. The cost of a habal-habal is around 100 pesos.
Alternatively, you can rent a car for the time you plan to spend in Cebu and travel around the island at your own pace.
Search All → Car rentals in Cebu
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ARRIVING AT CASINO PEAK CEBU
When you arrive at the Google maps pin location, you’ll see a local farmer’s house and a small bungalow with a sign that reads ‘Lugsangan Peak Information Desk’ which is the official ticket office and entrance to the trail.
The entrance fee is only 30 pesos and there is no fee for parking your scooter or car.
The man and his wife were really lovely people and they pointed us in the right direction of the trailhead to begin our hike to the peak.
CASINO PEAK HIKING TRAIL
As I mentioned earlier, the hike to reach the top only takes around ten to fifteen minutes depending on your level of fitness.
It’s not the hardest or longest hike in the world, but it is quite steep and strenuous.
The hiking trail consists of grass, dirt, and jagged rocks so I would recommend wearing closed-in shoes for this hike.
I, however, learned the hard way and slipped over a few times in flip-flops, instantly regretting not having a good pair of walking shoes with me that day.
Along the trail, you’ll likely see some goats grazing in the long grass and when you reach the plateau at the top, there is a crop field with many rows of cabbages which I later found out belonged to the owners I had met at the beginning.
You may think you have arrived at the top when you reach this point of the trek and I also thought the same because the trail isn’t clearly marked.
However, continue navigating your way around the rocky outcrop on the right-hand side and you’ll find the path to the summit.
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WHAT TO EXPECT AT THE SUMMIT
The last section of the hike is a bit of a scramble up the rocks where we had to get our hands dirty but it was all worth it when we reached the summit!
I must admit, I have never seen a viewpoint quite like this one. These fascinating hill formations are otherworldly and it boggles me how they came to be.
The distant peaks are seemingly endless as they stretch across the land like the spine of a Stegasaurus dinosaur.
MUST READ: BEST TRAVEL ACCESSORIES FOR ANY TRIP
There is a narrow ridge along the top of the peak that you can walk across but do so at your own risk. It’s quite a big drop if you were to accidentally slip up.
The weather wasn’t the best when I visited and it actually rained for about ten minutes when I was on the summit.
Regardless of the shitty conditions, I still thoroughly enjoyed the adventure and it was an experience I will never forget!
WHERE TO STAY IN MOALBOAL
Moalboal has hundreds of accommodation options to choose from, so I have narrowed it down to a few of the best places to stay to fit the needs of budget backpackers, luxury travelers, and everyone in between.
See the list of accommodations below that I personally recommend:
Luxury: Dolphin House Resort Moalboal
Dolphin House is the best luxury accommodation in Moalboal, located a stone’s throw away from the ocean. Features included a pool, a restaurant and bar, free wifi, and ocean views.
There are double rooms, triple rooms, family rooms, and bungalows available at Dolphin House Resort.
It’s recommended for families, friends, or couples looking for a luxurious stay.
Mid Range: Pescadores Seaview Suites
One of the most recommended places to stay in Moalboal, Pescadores Suites offers double rooms, twin rooms, and a garden villa.
There is an outdoor swimming pool and sun terrace, restaurant, mini-market, table tennis, billiards, board games, karaoke room, and wellness spa.
It’s a great place to stay for friends or couples.
Budget: Chief Mau Hostel
The best budget accommodation in Moalboal and is centrally located just minutes from the beach.
Chief Mau hostel offers dorm rooms and private rooms with free wifi. The owner Trish is super lovely and goes out of her way to make all of her guests feel welcome and comfortable.
There is a shared lounge with hammocks, a billiards table, and an in-house restaurant and bar serving up the best western food in Moalboal.
For solo travelers, couples, or friends on a budget, this is the spot for you.
For More Options In Moalboal, Search On Booking.com
BEST TOURS IN CEBU
WHAT TO PACK FOR THE PHILIPPINES
When visiting the Philippines, here is a list of items I highly recommend bringing with you:
Must-Have Travel Essentials
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Reusable Water Bottle
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