Hermit's Cove: A Hidden Paradise in Aloguinsan, Cebu

One Sunday morning, we needed to scratch some wanderlusts' itch. And off we went to Hermit's Cove in the mid-western town of Aloguinsan in Cebu. The place we went to was slowly becoming popular among locals and tourists in Cebu. Thanks to social media and government promotion.




The Journey On The Road Less Traveled To Hermit's Cove

We had two choices of which road to take from Cebu City to Aloguinsan. The easier but longer route would have been to travel via Naga passing through Toledo City and Pinamungajan before reaching Aloguinsan. Since we already left the city in the mid-morning, we decided to take the shorter route through Carcar City and Barili. It wasn't a bad road to take. There were a few rough stretches. But most of the way was paved. Only the unfamiliarity of the road was a challenge. We didn't know how to get to Hermit's Cove as it wasn't mapped on Google yet. The closest we could find on Google Maps was Kantabogon Road.

Hermit's Cove in Aloguinsan Cebu
Hermit's Cove




The town of Aloguinsan is not yet very well mapped out on Google Maps. When using Google Maps and, we suggest to type in Bojo River Cruise since you will take the same road. But Hermit's Cove is further ahead where you turn right when you see a directional sign.

For those who are commuting, follow this guide:

  • Take a bus from the Cebu South Bus Terminal to Pinamungajan. Buses to Aloguinsan are rare. 
  • From Pinamungajan, take a habal-habal or motorcycle for hire to get to Hermit's Cove. Ride only on habal-habal motorcycles that are accredited by the Aloguinsan Tourism Office as indicated by their identification cards. Fares for habal-habal rides are indicated in the photo below.

Fare matrix at Hermit's Cove
Fare matrix




Show 'Em The Money

Just like any tourist place, entrance to Hermit's Cove is not free. A parking fee of PhP 15 was collected for our vehicle. Each person has to pay an admission fee of PhP 50. The fee covers the use of a cottage, the grill, the toilet, the shower, and the beach. A pail of clean water for bathing and washing is available near the portable toilet for PhP 20.

cottages at Hermit's Cove
Cottages


Orientation 

Hermit's Cove is an ecotourism site and locals are tasked to manage and preserve the natural beauty of the place. So after we paid for the fees, Manang Odie asked us to stay for some orientation for first time visitors. She was one of the stewards at the place.

Orientation for first time visitors at Hermit's Cove
Orientation for first time visitors



Manang Odie is part of the Kantabogon Ecotourism Association (KEA). The group is tasked to manage Hermit's Cove. The KEA envisions the place to be a wholesome place. They want people to commune with nature. As suchs several activities are not allowed. Here is a list:
  • No smoking
  • No liquor
  • No gambling
  • No karaoke or videoke
  • No harming or touching of corals, turtles' nests, or other wildlife
  • No graffiti-writing
  • No bonfires or open-fire cooking
  • No sleeping on tables
  • No leaving of non-biodegradable materials
  • No wasting of water on toilet and shower
  • No loud and unnecessary noises
Visitors are enjoined to respect the local culture and way of life. They must follow these simple rules:

  • Dispose of waste properly. 
  • Respect the privacy of other guests
  • Be responsible for their personal belongings.
  • Immediately report accidents and injuries to the community.

Tarpaulin posters where these community guidelines are printed on are placed conspicuously at various areas around Hermit's Cove.


What's In a Name: Why Hermit's Cove 

According to Manang Odie, a hermit once discovered this beautiful place. That is why it is called Hermit's Cove. The name of the hermit was Tabogon. Thus, the barangay was called Kantabogon. Kantabogon is a shortened version of Kang Tabogon. The phrase literally means owned by Tabogon. This explains why the barangay where the hermit lived is now called Kantabogon.

The Beach at Hermit's Cove 

We parked on top of a hill. We then had to descend through an 87-step stone and wood stairway to get to the beach. Once we started our descent, a nice overhead view of the beach was revealed to us.

Vista of the beach at Hermit's Cove
Hermit's Cove


View of the beach at Hermit's Cove
Hermit's Cove

Food

While I was driving, everyone else was asleep. Except for my brother who was helping me navigate through Google Maps. We were so focused on navigation that we totally forgot to buy food. We only remembered when we were just a few meters away from our destination. Thankfully, there were some vendors at Hermit's Cove selling some barbecue. We bought some dolopapa and some pork barbecue. Dolopapa is a type of barbecued squid.

squid barbecue at Hermit's Cove
Dolopapa



In the afternoon, we snacked on some fried cassava chips locally known as caycay. It was sweetened with latik or caramelized sugar.


More Things To Do At Hermit's Cove 

After enjoying the cold waters of the beach at Hermit's Cove, we were just about to get bored. So I approached one of the vendors and asked about what other possible things we can do aside from swimming or bathing in the beach or just basking in the hot afternoon sun. They suggested that we do a boating tour. The boat tour will allow us to explore the rocky Aloguinsan coastline and get a glimpse of the Bojo river delta. We took the suggestion but got the scare of our lives with the big ocean waves. On days with better weather, we could have gone further to bathe in another beach,do some turtle watching and even some early morning dolphin watching at the TaƱon Strait.

Another association also facilitates snorkeling at Hermit's Cove with trained snorkeling guides. On the day we went, they weren't there. That's because it was dangerous to do snorkeling with strong winds whipping up big waves.

Important Contacts at Hermit's Cove

Here are some telephone numbers that tourists can call to inquire about Hermit's Cove:

Aloguinsan Tourism Office: +63 32 469 9042
Kantabogon Ecotourism Association: +63 922 331 3885

Thadz at Hermit's Cove
Hermit's Cove
Have you been to Hermit's Cove? We want to know about your experience. You may share them in the comments below.

34 comments:

wickedjunee said...

hi! is that Ram in your upper photo? the guy wearing blue jersey shorts with the number 77?

Janine Ella said...

Hala! I'm not sure where I read about Hermit's cove first pero maayo nalang nagpost ka ani Sir Thadz! Ibookmark ko ni imong blog for sure for future references! Currently looking for places here in Cebu for short weekend getaways lang. :)

xx, Janine | A Blissful Blog

Cheryl F said...

I've read about this somewhere or basin sa FB to but will definitely put this on where-to list next summer. Cebu has lots of beautiful places to visit and some of them are not famous pa. Hhhmmm. I just hope puede magdala toddlers dri. I usually explore with my family, and with that including 3 little kiddos.

Thaddeau II Engaling said...

Daghan pa gyud places sa Cebu nga di pa mainstream pero nindot. Let's keep discovering the beauty of Cebu.

Thaddeau II Engaling said...

Yes, that's Ram

Thaddeau II Engaling said...

True, there's a lot more to discover in Cebu. And yes pwede ra bata diri. But ang PWD og Mga oldies maglisud kay naay 87 step descent and ascent

Hoven Andre Encontro said...

woww, nice ang place and di sya mangurakot ang mga tao unlike sa uban beach resorts na barato lage mao ang mga locals pasagdaan ramu og ang place ma destroy, pariha sa alcoy nndot sya sauna nya pag balik nako hugaw na kaau ang sand daghan ciggar butts og leftover foods na gi langaw :( hope di jud ni pabayaan sa locals :)

Thaddeau II Engaling said...

I feel you gyud about sa Tingkobeach in Alcoy. Sadly hugaw na gyud siya. The good thing sa Hermit's Cove, it's the community who takes the role of steward

Carlo Andrew Olano said...

I am planning to go to this place soon. I hope it is as nice as your pictures. ;)

Thaddeau II Engaling said...

My photography skills are average at best. My photos do no justice to the beauty of this place.

Rose Angelie said...

Looks very serene ang place. I think perfect ni for family getaways since wholesome nga place, no drinking and all. :) BTW quick question, lahi sad nang DaanTabogon? or part na sila? Di ko familiar kaayo sa atong places but I've been to DaanTabogon once, last summer, so maybe I'd pay this a visit if duol lang sila.

Thaddeau II Engaling said...

I'm not familiar with Daan Tabogon. According to accounts by locals, Tabogon was the name of the hermit that discovered the place hence the naming of the barangay as kantabugon or a shortened version of Kang Tabogon

Katherine Anne Cutar said...

The beach looks fantastic! I heard about the place and a friend of mine said that he'd bring us there. Can't wait!

Thaddeau II Engaling said...

I understand the excitement. I pray you get there soon.

Rica Lanojan said...

Super duper nice any place, :) dghan pajud diay kaayo no wala maexplore sa Cebu., this is really a very informative post, pati habal2 fare naa buy nakapaskil. ;) plus the beach looks tempting: ) will add this up on my Cebu travel bucket list. :)

Best regards,
Rica| www.switbbydoll.com

Thaddeau II Engaling said...

True, there's a lot more to explore in Cebu. And we hope to keep exploring and sharing it to the world through this blog

Hanna Frejoles said...

I've never heard of this place before! Will definitely this to my list of places to visit in Cebu. :)

Flei der Maus said...

Wow! Hermit's Cove looks stunning! It's nice that they have rules to maintain the wholesomeness and peace of the place. This is perfect for anyone looking for a relaxing getaway!

Thaddeau II Engaling said...

Worthy addition to your bucket list!

Thaddeau II Engaling said...

You will love this place!

Vernon Go said...

I've only heard of waterfalls in alegria but didn't know they had this beautiful beach tucked away!! Awesome!

Jaz said...

I've heard so much about the Hermit's Cove and now my it has also piqued my interest to maybe go here when the right time comes. BTW, can we do overnights here?

Thaddeau II Engaling said...

It's really remote, I drove to a hill then lo and behold, Hermit's Cove!

Thaddeau II Engaling said...

You can pitch a tent here Jazz but no commercial resorts in the area.

Ramzy Magbitang said...

Seems like a pretty cool place, and I appreciate the neat and thorough breakdown of your trip there. Might visit the place some time soon and I'll probably just take a look back at this post!

Thaddeau II Engaling said...

Go when the weather is not erratic, we missed the boating fun because of the big waves

Romeo Nicolas Bonsocan said...

Amazing kaayo ang Cebu! I would love to visit this place in the coming months. Thanks for the good words, Thandz. :)

Thaddeau II Engaling said...

Cebu is amazing indeed! Let us all enjoy it's beauty while we still can

Marie Imperial said...

Yey! Kahibaw nako what to expect this Saturday. Molaag mi ni Gay didto Sir Thadz! I had fun reading the list of NOs!

Emjae Fotos said...

Truly this is slowly getting into my news feed lately thanks to social media. I hope there will be other activities to do there so all the fees will be worth it. Still kudos to those who properly maintains the place before it gets mainstream.

Cesar Ian Fuentes said...

Sir Thads, I think I had commented on this post before. This is my official guide when I will hit Aloguinsan this month. But do I need to do a reservation if I visit the Hermit's cove?

Thaddeau II Engaling said...

Halaaa, kamo ra duha?? Enjoy mo!

Thaddeau II Engaling said...

It's only 50 pesos entrance...view pa lang sunlit na \m/

Thaddeau II Engaling said...

No reservation needed at Hermit's Cove. Also check out canlaob spring