The Casino Peak hike, 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 of Casino Peak to 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 five-minutes drive down the road.
If you are planning to visit Osmena Peak, I highly recommend taking the time to check out Casino Peak as well. Chances are you might even like this viewpoint better and I guarantee there will be fewer people at Lugsangan Peak, with a view that is equally as amazing!
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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.
Casino Peak is best visited from the nearby beach towns of Moalboal or Oslob, which is between 50km – 60km away and approximately one-hour and thirty-minutes 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.
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 also very windy with a lot of blind corners so be sure to take extreme care when riding.
Must Read → 15 Things To Do In Cebu
Note: I recommend loading the pin location of Casino Peak 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 down a habal-habal (motorbike taxi) and kindly ask the driver to take you to Casino Peak 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.
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The best way to explore Cebu
ARRIVING AT CASINO PEAK CEBU
When you arrive at the Google Maps pin location of Casino Peak 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 to Casino Peak is only 30 pesos and there is no fee for parking your scooter or car.
I had a chat with the owners and said, “It’s pretty awesome that Casino Peak is located in your backyard”! They laughed and said, “Yes it would seem that way but the land is owned by the government, though we get a small cut of the pie to manage the ticket stand and maintain the trail”.
The man and her wife are really lovely people and they pointed us in the right direction of the trailhead to begin our hike to Casino Peak.
The entrance to Casino Peak in Cebu
HIKING TO CASINO PEAK
As I mentioned earlier, the hike to reach the top of Casino Peak only takes around ten to fifteen minutes depending on your level of fitness. It’s not the hardest nor longest hike in the world, but it is quite steep and strenuous.
The Casino Peak 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 pair of 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 owner’s 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 Casino Peak summit.
Grassy fields on the Casino Peak Hiking Trail
Almost at the top of Casino Peak
CASINO PEAK 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 of Casino Peak!
I must admit, I have never seen a viewpoint quite like the one from Casino Peak. These fascinating hill formations are other-worldly and it boggles me as to how they came to be… The distant peaks are seemingly endless as they stretch across the land like the spine of a Stegasaurus dinosaur.
There is a narrow ridge along the top of Casino 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 Casino Peak 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!
At the summit of Lugsangan Peak Cebu
Endless peaks across the land
Ridge walking atop Casino Peak in Cebu
PIN LOCATION OF CASINO PEAK
WHERE TO STAY NEAR CASINO PEAK
Moalboal has hundreds of accommodation options to choose from, so I have narrowed it down to a few of the best places to stay in Moalboal 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. A stone’s throw away from the ocean, this accommodation offers a swimming pool, restaurant and bar, free wifi and ocean views. There are double rooms, triple rooms, family rooms and bungalows available at Dolphin House Resort. Snorkeling, diving, activities and bike rental can also be organised at reception. Best place to stay for families, friends and couples.
Mid Range: Pescadores Seaview Suites
One of the most recommended places to stay in Moalboal. For less than $40 a night, 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. Great place to stay for friends and couples.
Budget: Chief Mau Hostel
The best budget accommodation in Moalboal! Centrally located just minutes from the beach and one hours drive to Osmena Peak, Chief Mau hostel offers dorm rooms and private rooms for as little as $8. There 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, billiards table and an in-house restaurant and bar serving up the best western food in Moalboal. There is free wifi throughout the property. Perfect for solo travelers and friends.
FOR ALL OTHER PLACES TO STAY IN MOALBOAL, SEARCH ON AGODA OR SEARCH ON BOOKING.COM
BEST TOURS IN CEBU
Another option for accommodation on Cebu is to stay at an Airbnb, which generally has some great deals.
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LONELY PLANET – PHILIPPINES
One of the best books to take on your trip is the Lonely Planet Philippines Travel Guide!
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MORE PHILIPPINES TRAVEL GUIDES
- Philippines Guide: 3 Weeks Philippines Itinerary
- Cebu: 15 Things To Do In Cebu
- Bohol: 31 Epic Things To Do In Bohol
- Siargao: 15 Things To Do In Siargao
- El Nido: El Nido Island Hopping
- Coron: Coron Island Hopping
- Boracay: 15 Things To Do In Boracay
- Siquijor: 3 Day Siquijor Itinerary
- Bantayan: 15 Things To Do In Bantayan
- Malapascua: 11 Things To Do In Malapascua
- Camiguin: 13 Best Camiguin Tourist Spots
- Romblon: 12 Epic Things To Do In Romblon
- Tablas: 10 Things To Do In Tablas
- Carabao: 7 Best Things To Do In Carabao
- Dumaguete: Best Dumaguete Tourist Spots
- Sumilon Island: Sumilon Island Itinerary
WHAT TO PACK FOR CEBU
Everyday Backpack: One of the best backpacks on the market! The Nomatic 20L Backpack is perfect for on the go adventures. Featuring multiple storage spaces for valuables, drink bottles, chargers, notebooks and more. This sleek backpack was designed for you.
Universal Power Adapter: Don’t leave home without one! I highly recommend getting this Universal Power Adapter so that you are able to charge all of your electronics when you’re on the road. Compatible in Asia, UK, Europe, Africa, USA, SA and Australia.
Hidden Money Belt: I never go on a trip without one! The best thing is they are always out of sight, hidden beneath your clothing. With RFID blocking, they are perfectly designed to keep your credit cards, cash and other valuables safe when you’re out adventuring!
Waterproof Phone Case: A waterproof phone case is a must-have item! This universal case will keep your phone safe from water damage, sand and scratches during your adventures. Suitable for all smartphone models.
Portable Charger: One of the best portable chargers on the market! The Anker Power Bank keeps your phone and accessories charged on those longer adventures. Featuring 2 USB charging ports, rechargeable battery, works with iPhone, iPad, Samsung, Oppo and Android.
Microfibre Travel Towel: To pack a towel or not to pack a towel? A standard bathroom towel can take up a lot of space in your travel bag. Get your hands on a quick-dry Microfibre Travel Towel which is perfect for the beach, backpacking, camping and general traveling.
Rain Jacket: A light-weight rain jacket is an absolute must when traveling! North Face waterproof rain jackets come in both men and women sizes, featuring a breathable mesh lining and adjustable hood that can be tucked away inside the collar.
Kindle: The best alternative for books! Kindle e-readers are perfect for long haul flights, reading on the beach or a quiet evening away from the bars. Kindle’s are waterproof with rechargeable batteries and adjustable light settings to suit indoor/outdoor conditions.
Packing Cubes: My favorite item in my backpack! Perfect for organizing your shirts, pants, jackets, socks, underwear and more. This 5 Set Packing Cubes makes packing easier and more efficient, adding extra space in your bag for your next trip.
Activated Charcoal Tablets: Want to avoid food poisoning? Most of us have been a victim of travelers diarrhea from eating street food. Organic Activated Charcoal Tablets are fast-acting and will rid your system of the bad bacteria that causes stomach upset.
MY CAMERA GEAR
Everyday Camera: The most affordable mirrorless camera on the market! I personally use the Sony A7ii Mirrorless Camera on all of my adventures. It’s compact, lightweight and super easy to use for all levels of photography. A 28-70mm Sony lens is also included.
Drone Camera: Take your photography to new heights! The DJI Mavic Pro 2 Drone is at the top of the game when it comes to high-quality images and video, easy to control functions and traveler-friendly capabilities. I guarantee you won’t regret purchasing one.
GoPro Hero 8: One of the most popular cameras on the planet! I love using the GoPro Hero 8 for all of my underwater shots and fast-paced adventures. The GoPro Hero 8 captures the best moments with its wide range of functions that are very simple to use!
Camera Bag: My favorite camera bag I have ever owned! The Lowepro Protactic 450 AW II Camera Bag features a waterproof rain cover, drink bottle holder, padded compartments for cameras, drones, lenses, accessories and it also has a laptop pocket.
Selfie Stick: Everyone loves a good selfie, right!? The Sandmarc Metal Edition Selfie Stick is sleek, stylish and can extend to 1.2m. I find it much easier to take photos and videos with the GoPro when it is mounted to the Sandmarc Selfie Stick!
Camera Tripod: The Joby GorillaPod is suitable for all cameras. This tripod is easy to use and perfect for setting up a time-lapse video or even using it as a selfie stick. The legs are flexible so you can wrap it around a tree or a pole to get creative with your shot.
GoPro Dome: Have you ever wanted to capture those under/over water shots with the GoPro? This epic underwater GoPro dome housing is the best camera accessory to have to create the perfect 50/50 shot. I use mine every time I am in the ocean!
Memory Card: The best thing about SanDisk Extreme Pro is that it delivers maximum speed for images and videos. Having 64GB of storage means that you can store hundreds of files on this SD card for 2-3 days and not have to worry about running out of space.
External Hard Drive: As a photographer, my images and video files take up a lot of space on my MacBook so I use the WD Elements External Hard Drive to store everything. With 4TB worth of storage space, this is more than enough for 1 year worth of content.
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FINAL THOUGHTS OF CASINO PEAK
I hope you enjoyed reading this article and if you have any questions at all about Casino Peak in Cebu, please leave me a comment below and I will get back to you as soon as I can.
Happy Hiking! 😃
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