I went back to Bali last weekend ♥
JK, I went to the amazing Bacalla Woods Campsite, which was definitely close enough.
When a viral post on Facebook started advertising for a place in Cebu where you go camping and have the sights look like Ubud, Bali, I knew I had to launch myself there.
Slightly hidden up in the mountains of the town San Fernando in Cebu, Bacalla Woods Campsite is less than an hour ride from the city and a 20-minute motorcycle ride up the mountain. With no cell service and only one house with electricity, it’s the perfect place to unplug and be one with nature.
Created by a group of Cebu artists, Bacalla Woods Campsite was made for those who need a break or just want to hang out with friends outside of the city.
If you want to skip through and read about how to get there and how to contact them, click here. But I guarantee you’d want to read the things you need to know before getting there.
I honestly have never been camping other than that one Girl Scout activity in school where we slept in our classrooms, and I definitely know that a lot of other Filipinos haven’t gone camping either.
So I learned A LOT from going to the Bacalla Woods Campsite. Other than the fact that I only had two hours of sleep because of noisy campers, it was a good trip, and I definitely plan on going back. Bringing with me the lessons I learned after the last time, which I have listed below to make sure you don’t have to go through what I went through.
Does when in Bacalla Woods Campsite:
Be ready for anything
And when I say anything, I mean anything. Especially if you’ve never been camping before. Bring all the things you think you need to go camping: your own tent, mosquito net, an anti-mosquito lotion, your own water bottle, a fully charged battery pack, food to eat, band-aid, and extra clothes.
Make sure to wear good shoes (definitely not the time for heels) and clothes you would not mind getting dirty. And never forget your sense of adventure, because if you’re going out to camp you are not going to stay in your tent the whole day.
Check the weather
I made this mistake and definitely don’t want anyone else going through it. When I left for Cebu it seemed like it was going to be a beautiful day, but it rained hard at night which made me leave my rented tent and rented out a hammock to sleep in instead.
Camping is best when you’re going to stay dry all throughout, more so since you’ll be able to see the stars clearly.
Explore what the camp has to offer
Other than letting you sleep on their land, Bacalla Woods Campsite also offers taking people up on river trekking, biking, going up to Basak Falls, snorkeling, mountain biking and trekking. Every adventure will take you away from the normal hustle of life and bring you closer to nature and yourself.
Respect your fellow campers
You’re all going to be there for one reason or another, and whether it’s to relax or simply take Insta worthy pictures, you need to respect others who are there.
If you’re going to bring speakers or make noise, keep it to a minimum at night, and offer help if someone looks like they need it. You never know what kind of friend you’ll get from a camping getaway.
Don’ts when in Bacalla Woods Campsite:
Leave your trash everywhere
Since it’s a humble camping site and you don’t have maids running around you, make sure to gather all your trash into one place and throw them in the proper bins when you leave. You don’t want animals getting suffocated with your leftover plastic or a bird flying off with your plastic wrappers. #LeaveNoTrace
Go there on a weekend
If you’re aiming for a quiet night in the woods, I recommend against going there on the weekend. Seems like a smart choice given that you are staying overnight, but if you can, try to get there on the weekdays.
There are more campers during the weekend, and I only had a few hours of sleep due to them partying/staying up all night with their music. Plus with less traffic, you can get there in no time.
Forget to take amazing pictures
Of course, try to grab the opportunity and take lots of pictures. Unless you’re there to totally unplug, take pictures of things that amaze you and moments you want to go back to.
Leave without saying thank you
Aside from paying, don’t leave without thanking the people behind Bacalla: artists and people who wanted to share this amazing camping experiences with anyone. They don’t judge anyone (unless you’re there to hide a body), and their arms are open to anyone who walks through their woods.
And now that you know all the dos and don’ts, here’s how to get there:
Before going, I definitely recommend that you download an offline version of Google Maps for San Fernando so you can bookmark Bacalla beforehand.
Go to the Cebu South Terminal Bus Station. You can take a Grab or Uber or a regular taxi to get you there. Once you’re there, take any bus going to the south of Cebu, since San Fernando is right before Carcar, where buses take the east south or west south route.
You can ask the driver to drop you off at San Isidro, San Fernando. You can ask to be dropped off at the entrance going to Hidden Paradise Resort, which is on the same road going up to Bacalla.
You can take a motorcycle ride up from habal-habal drivers who will be lining up near the entrance and tell them to take you to Bacalla Woods Campsite.
If you have a car, just follow along the route from Google Maps and the place has enough parking for multiple cars.
If you can, try to notify and message the people who manage Bacalla at least a day or two earlier that you’re coming, especially if you’re renting out a tent or hammock.
You can reach them through their Facebook page, their email address or their mobile number (0923-825-6945) although since they’re mostly on Bacalla, they won’t respond as fast but will definitely try to get to you ASAP.