The Animal Kingdom is too vast to take a grasp of every species and their nomenclature that have been recorded throughout millennia. Amphibians, aves, and reptiles are found in many places in the world that a regular citizen like you would have to shell out some cash to go and visit these places. But the birth of zoos, sanctuaries, and adventure parks makes it so that you could witness these beautiful creations personally without the need of a plane ticket. The Philippines is home to thousands of beaches and oceans, and several tourist spots that will make your visit all the more worthwhile. Cebu Ocean Park is indeed a notable Cebu tourist spot, as it is starting to become the city’s best educational tourist attraction for your inner Steve Irwin.
This gargantuan oceanarium is the biggest in the entire archipelago, beating any other marine life spectacle in the country, like Manila Ocean Park. It offers many fun activities and locations you will not get enough of. You can have a trek in a jungle or witness the smartest animals known to man. You can touch schools of fish or groups of stingrays, and even bring home a cute plushie from your visit. You only get one chance to go around the whole park, so be sure to grab a Cebu Ocean Park map and make the most of your time there.
The park is one of the many famous tourist spots in Cebu that is located at Cebu South Road Properties, also known as SRP. The area has one of the brightest futures as plans are in place to improve the entire vicinity as a new tourism hub. It is already home to one of the biggest malls in Cebu City, including an innovative expressway that will soon be completed. Ocean Park is only a finger to the handful of places we can eventually go to.
To get to the park via commute, a jeepney ride to Mambaling would be sufficient. You will have to walk from the intersection, but there are several motorcycle drivers that can bring you directly to the park in case the heat of the sun becomes unbearable. Cebu Ocean Park is found behind SM Seaside City Cebu, right next to the St. Pedro Calungsod Chapel. Its proximity to the mall means you can do some shopping, fine dining, and other fun activities right after your tour.
Here are some of the things you can do while you are at Cebu Ocean Park:
1. Learn more about Animals and their Environment
A stroll under the tall trees accompanied by a cool breeze serves as the park’s starting point. After moving along several cleverly hung chains that will increase your interest and anticipation, you will witness a variety of tanks and glass enclosures filled with different fish, as well as other fauna at the Jungle Trek. This is great for all the knowledge seekers who want to learn some little known facts about some of the most popular animals in the world.
Some of us are not really sure how certain animals fit into the environment, so explaining their importance is very important. You might even be surprised to find out that the animals you used to be afraid of when you were young are very important to the ecosystem. This park is perfect for those who want to conquer their fears of creepy crawlers. You know, the ones that freaked us all out as children. The Creepy Critters come right after the Jungle Trek, and there you will see displays of everything that crawls, from long snakes to huge lizards.
Rounding out your field trip is the Seven Seas, which has even more tanks and aquariums for even more interesting marine wildlife.
2. Get up close and personal with the Animals
If you prefer the passenger seat over the back, then Ocean Park would be the perfect ride for you. For an extra fee, you can be at arm’s length with the fishes and birds, something you won’t get to do when they’re behind the glass. From soothing and solemn to intense and terrifying, this is indeed a great place for you to witness these creatures up close and personal.
The only free option is at the Lorries Loft. Right above the Jungle Trek, overlooking the whole area, is a tower where you can feed three species of lories and lorikeets. This overlooking tower is one of the most picturesque areas in the whole park, as the high vantage point is both majestic and relaxing. Plus, you get the chance to feed the birds with your bare hands. If you are eager to join some of the bird feeders at the park, then this is the spot you should be looking forward to.
For100 you can also experience the Fish Spa, where a whole tank of doctor fish will be nibbling dead skin cells off the soles of your feet. The Sea Trek and Stingray Interaction allow you to get inside the water tanks and swim alongside fish and stingrays. The most expensive, and perhaps the most terrifying, is the Crocodile Cage. You will be put inside a glass tube and dipped into the water, where a 14-foot saltwater crocodile awaits.
3. Enjoy the Animal Shows
A park this big wouldn’t be complete without some animal talent shows. Cebu Ocean Park has an amphitheater featuring eye-popping performances by many animals. Not only will you get to learn about these animals, but you can also volunteer to be up close to them if you want. You’ll be hitting two birds with one stone.
Speaking of birds, you should take that last statement metaphorically, as parrots, pigeons, and eagles are the celebrities within the park. One of the most popular shows they have is the Bird Show, where these winged creatures show off their bird brains. From playing basketball to answering mathematical questions, these birds are the crème de la crème of the aviary kingdom.
The Bird Show usually takes place during the afternoon, so make sure to check the schedule of activities you’d like to take part in so that you won’t miss out on anything.
4. Experience the Deep Tank Lagoon
Arguably, the park’s pièce de résistance is the Deep Tank Lagoon. This 360 degree tunnel is so futuristic, it’s like you’re entering the Lost City of Atlantis. Though you won’t be seeing oversized crabs or megalodons, this part of the park houses many of the famous fish and marine life that we all know and love. A walk along the tube would be considered one of the best things to do in Cebu. This is definitely a fitting climax to the end of your journey as it is stationed near the end of the park, before the Main Tank Gallery and the Gift Shop.
The tube-shaped hallway is one of the most picturesque views in the park, as you will be surrounded by marine life you never thought you would see in the Philippines. The water is clear, the path is clean, and schools of fish swim happily as they live in their natural habitat. It looks like you traversed an entire ocean in only a few minutes, and you didn’t even get wet!
After the oceanarium is the Main Tank Gallery, which is basically another amphitheater, but indoors this time. One of the anticipated things in this spot is the Mermaid Show, where you will see professional divers swim with tails, just like mermaids.
5. Buy some gifts at the Gift Shop
Need a memento for your first visit? At the very end of your journey at Cebu Ocean Park, you will be greeted by some of the cutest little animals you will ever see, but this time they won’t be moving.
There are several souvenirs and cute plushies of everything, from penguins to sharks, that you can buy before you leave. This is a great place to buy something for the young ones at home and the young ones at heart.
This is a monumental tourist attraction that has something for everyone, and it is perfect for the family, for a date, and even for yourself. There is nothing greater than learning, and having fun during the experience makes it even better.
The entrance fee at Cebu Ocean Park is 600 on weekdays and 800 on weekends. If you have a child below 2 feet, they will be free of charge. This is definitely a place you should consider when you are making your itinerary. This is silently becoming one of the biggest tourist spots in the Philippines. As more tourists visit Cebu for its historical sites and attractions, this place will soon become a great departure and a great experience for everyone.