Fort San Pedro

Enter the eerie triangular fortress that overlooks Cebu city’s marina, hear about its fascinating story, tour its garden and stay for sunset views.

Fort San Pedro is a fascinating defensive structure dating back to the 16th century. It was among the first military fortifications in the Philippines and was built to withstand raids by Moro pirates. Wander through the elegant walled garden and appreciate the tranquility in this quiet haven near the water.

Join a free guided tour of the small fortress to learn from the docents about its rich history. The structure spent time as a rebel base, a prison camp and a zoo. Peruse the various documents, photos and artifacts that show the fort in its former states. The collection includes paintings and sculptures from its Spanish colonists.

Enjoy the calm setting here that takes you away from the rush of the city center. The fort’s pretty walled garden has a wishing well. See impressive cannons remaining from the initial 14 emplacements.

The initial fort was built from wood, before the current stone incarnation replaced it in the 18th century. Identify the herbs, spices and other plants now grown in the garden by the Cebu Garden Club. Some plants have been selected to attract butterflies. Stand quietly to watch their colorful flutterings.

Relax across the street in the large Plaza Independencia and inspect the sculptures and flowers dotted around a grassy park. A tall obelisk rises from the center of the park. Capture photos of the changing hues of the sky as the sun descends over the fortress and the bay. Climb to the roof of the fort for the best views of the park and the surrounding area.

The site opens to visitors daily from morning to evening. Pay a small fee to enter and get discounts for students and seniors.

Fort San Pedro is located in the southeastern part of the city overlooking the harbor. It stands beside Plaza Independencia and is near the Minor Basilica of the Holy Child and the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral. Take a bus or jeepney to Pier 1 or La Nueva and walk to the fortress.