Top 10 Awesome Tourist Attractions In Cebu: Festival, Adventures, 5 Islands
Robert Brand | May 16, 2017
Cebu is one of those idyllic island tropical getaways. Located in the Visayas, it offers a bit of everything. From historic sites to amazing gorgeous beaches. This is my hands down favourite places to travel to in the Philippines. In this video I showcase the best of what Cebu has to offer. I narrowed it down to the top 10 tourist attractions in Cebu. I know with lists like this, not everyone will agree, it all comes down to personal choice. Not only that, keeping it to a list of 10 I’ve had to leave off some other fantastic things to do in Cebu. Even keeping it to just 10 it is my longest video I have ever made as there is just so much to show. I hope this will wet your appetite to want to visit this beautiful place in the Philippines.
For most Mactan Island is the first place you see if you arrive into Cebu. As this is where Cebu’s airport is located. It is home to Cebu’s most luxurious resorts as well as some mid ranged ones as well. While the beaches on Mactan don’t match up to the beauty of Cebu’s other famous beaches - in fact they are at best ordinary. If you want a nice beach in Mactan you will have to visit one of the upmarket resorts such as the Shangri – La, and it needs to be noted that it is a man-made beach. Enjoy Filipino hospitality at its best as you relax at some wonderful resorts. In the video I give a quick run-down of some of most popular resorts to stay in Mactan. The island offers plenty in the way of tourist activities including water sports, island hopping and visiting some of Cebu’s most historic sites.
This festival is the biggest festival in Cebu. Its origins go back to when the 1st Spanish arrived into Cebu and gave Queen Juana (of Cebu) the image Santo Niño (a status of the baby Jesus) as a gift in 1521. She was supposed to be so happy she danced around with joy with the Santo Niño. During the festival there are colourful street dancers each having a “queen” who dances holding the Santo Niño. It’s a fantastic festival to watch and enjoy. In the video I wanted to show the religious side of the festival as it gives an even better insight to Cebuano culture and what the Santo Niño means to Cebu and its people. If you head down to the Basílica Minore del Santo Niño during the festival (The oldest Roman Catholic Church in the Philippines) for the Novena Mass. Being there to watch the mass was the most rewarding and memorable part of the festival. It was emotional, uplifting and joyous, especially when the mass ends (see video). To this day, when I think back to it, it brings a smile to my face.
This town in southern Cebu has some great underwater adventures not only for divers but also for snorkelers. Just offshore there is a reef that has plenty of corals and fish as well as turtles. I love the snorkelling here. White beach area has a nice beach (compared to Pagnagsama) so you can enjoy this spot more. There’s plenty of accommodation options around here, as well as at Pagnagsama Beach (see video for ideas).
Canyoneering in Badian Cebu has exploded in popularity in recent years and with good reason. It’s some of the most fun you can ever have! If you ever have buckets lists, this would be one of those for things to do in Cebu. Take a motorbike ride up into the mountains, then with a guide, basically wind your way down the river. There’s lots of jumping, sliding, swimming and hiking. An awesome adventure that I recommend anyone to do (subject to your level of fitness). The canyon tour eventually finishes up at Kawasan Falls, one of Cebu’s most beautiful waterfalls. Which is next on my list.
Whenever I think of a tropical paradise, images of gorgeous beaches and waterfalls always come to mind. Cebu fits this image perfectly. It has some truly wonderful waterfalls dotted around the island. Kawasan Falls being its most famous. It makes for an easy day trip from the city and a perfect way to spend the day. Kawasan has 3 levels with the 1st one being the most popular. If you want to stay overnight at Kawasan Falls, there are some basic rooms available for rent (see video). Cebu has plenty of other waterfalls including the gorgeous Tumalog Falls, which is right near the whale sharks in Oslob.
This is one of Cebu’s biggest, yet most controversial tourist spots on the island. They can almost guarantee sightings of the whale shark as they locals feed them. Instead of migrating past this area the whale sharks now stay put. This is where the controversy arises as conservationists believe this is interfering with the normal migration patterns of the whale sharks. You can search on Google for more on this. With all that said, swimming with the whale sharks is still one of the most popular things to do in Cebu. It’s just an amazing thing to do and something you will never forget. Put it on your bucket list as well!
#4 Sumilon Island
You can actually see this island from Oslob and it makes for a popular activity after the whale sharks. The resort on the island offers day use, which allows you to swim at its beautiful sandbank (one of the top sandbanks in the Philippines), use some of the resorts facilities and lunch. The Bluewater Resort has a number of nice rooms that you can stay at, including some villas with splash pool. If you tire of the beach (unlikely!), there is a lovely infinity swimming pool to sit or to enjoy cocktails by. It’s a wonderful island to stay at.
One of Cebu’s less touristy islands is the Camotes. It as some of Cebu’s best beaches including Bakhaw Beach and Santiago Bay. Both beautiful places to spend your vacation at. There are some reasonable places to stay at including my favourite Mangodlong Paradise Resort. The Camotes are made up of 4 islands and there are plenty of things to do and see including caves, waterfalls and secluded beaches. It’s a fantastic spot in Cebu if you want to get away from mainstream tourism.
This tiny island in Cebu’s north is a divers paradise, famous for the thresher shark. But there are plenty of other things to do on Malapascua for non-divers as well. Firstly the beautiful Bounty Beach, a fantastic white sandy beach to laze, swim or just watch sunsets from. Then there are some amazing island hopping trips to some stunning nearby little islands including the famous Kalanggaman Island. Stay at some really nice beaches resorts (see video for some recommended resorts in Malapascua) and enjoy this amazing island. One the best islands in the Philippines.
This is my most favourite place in Cebu. I just love this island and I’m always raving about Bantayan Island in my videos. For me it’s that perfect piece of paradise. Friendly laid back locals, amazing beaches and a real relaxing island feel to the place. It has some nice beach resorts (see my video for some recommended resorts in Bantayan), nothing luxurious but mostly just simple beach cottages by the ocean. To get a real feel to the place, hire a motorbike and ride around the island. Just awesome! It also has some lovely nearby islands that you can do day trips to including my favourite - Virgin Island. If I had only one place to visit in Cebu this would be it!
As I’ve said there are plenty of other things to do and see in Cebu, this is just a start!
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