Sweating up the hairpin turns on your rented mountain bike, it might be difficult to appreciate the view of Cebu below. But once you’ve reached the Rainforest Park on top, your effort is rewarded with a magnificent vista: the mountains, the hardy patches of rainforest, the Azure Sea, and the city of Cebu sprawled out below you.
Cebu City has its own version of Brazil’s Mardi Gras, the Sinulog Festival, held on the third Sunday of January.
Up close, Cebu – the Philippines’ second largest city – offers plenty of surprises. Discover a butterfly sanctuary in the crowded downtown. Mingle with prisoners during social nights at the local prison. Find yourself the butt of the host’s jokes at late-night comedy bars. Cebu has a much more laid-back vibe than frantic Manila. While visitors ride horse-drawn carriages around the stately Old Town, locals flag down colourful Jeepney buses – the perfect vehicle for a 21st century Cebu adventure.