Travel + Leisure magazine has ranked Cebu as the 6th best island in the world for 2015, joining two other beautiful Philippine islands of Boracay (2nd place), and Palawan regaining the top spot. While Boracay and Palawan are the top choice island destinations in the Philippines, Cebu is a province the world couldn’t ignore for its powdery-sand beaches, clear blue waters, and beauty beyond compare.
Dubbed as the queen city of the South, Cebu is one of the top cities outside Luzon that has been enjoying economic boom in recent years. Proof of this is the numerous high-rise buildings, and infrastructure development projects now in progress at the city proper plus it being host to big international events like APEC. But more than the sprawling of high class urbanization, the province is also home to beautiful island beaches. Here are a few of the must-visit islands in Cebu, and we urge you to visit them before you die or at the very least, before you grow too old to travel.
1. Bantayan Island
The island is Cebu’s version of the world famous Boracay. It is 150 kilometers north of Cebu City, could be reached by traveling around 4.5 hours from the city. To get there, go to North Bus Terminal and ride a bus bound for Hagnaya. Then ride a ferry bound for Sta. Fe. On the average, one-way transportation cost is P250.00 to P300.00. If you’re looking for affordable resorts, consider Bantayan Island Nature Park and Resort, Kota Beach Resort, Ogtong Cave Resort and Saint Bernard Beach Resort.
Beach Montemar Resort offers a beautiful view of the sea while you are peacefully lying on a hammock. On the other hand, Sugar Beach Resort can give you tranquility while enjoying the sun under its many white-colored umbrellas.
2. Malapascua Island
One of the gems of Cebu, Malapascua, is an island gifted with long white shorelines, emerald green and turquoise blue seawater. It’s considered as one of the best summer destinations in the country. But Malapascua fails to disappoint even on rainy days as life in the island is beyond lying on the beach, sun bathing. There are a lot of things to do here which include wake boarding, thresher shark watching, and scuba diving, among others.
Around 80 kilometers north of the capital, you can get there after three hours of travel. Just ride a bus bound for Maya at the North bus Terminal. From Maya Port, ride a boat bound to Malapascua. The average one way fare is around P250 to P300. The recommended beach resorts for practical travelers are Hideaway Resort, Bamboo Room, Mike & Diose’s Beach Cottage, and Blue Corals Beach Resort.
You can also consider Moonlight Resort and splurge on its crystal-clear waters. Or, you may be longing for that very Pinoy vibe that Ocean Diva effortlessly delivers. You’ll surely enjoy the late afternoon to early evening hours while bright lights keep the place alive.
3. Camotes Island
Another pride of the province, Camotes Island is a white-sand paradise where you can try a lot of things. Dive, snorkel, camp, kite surf or do island hopping to your heart’s desire. It is 90 kilometers north from the city proper, and can be reached at an average travel time of 3.5 hours. Like the first two islands above, you have to ride a bus and a boat to get there. Bus fare is at P250 to P300 only (one-way).
There are also many resorts in the island. If you’re looking for a secluded place, Santiago Resort is the resort for you as you can simply enjoy its swimming pool while having a picturesque view of the ocean when you don’t feel like mingling with other tourists. But if you’re in for an adventurous experience, Vall Hall is the resort for you. Be sure to slide down the sea from the top of the hill here.
Feeling romantic? Or even if not but your favorite colors are neither white, blue or green, head on to Moalboal and get awed with the romantic sunsets this place offers. Then let the adventurous soul you enjoy the seas waiting for those who love snorkeling and scuba diving for these are where the place is known for. Around 100 kilometers southwest of the capital, you just have to travel for 2.5 hours to get there. Take a bus bound to Moalboal but drop off at Basdaku. From there, take a habal-habal or tricycle to reach the island’s beaches. One-way bus fare is from P150 to P200 only.
Many resorts in Moalboal offer tour packages that include activities such as scuba diving. Never miss to experience the famous sardine run when under the Moalboal water or you’ll regret it for life. Trust us.
Certainly, Cebu is not just about white sands and emerald blue waters. If you’re up for an exciting encounter with one of the biggest but one of the kindest mammals on Earth, then you have to go to Oslob, and swim alongside the gentle giant whale sharks. Please don’t touch them however or at least take cautions on not to harm them. We love experiences, yes, but taking care of our creatures shouldn’t come second to it. Oslob is approximately 112 kilometers away from Cebu City or around 2.5 to 4 hours away.
If you were amazed by the beautiful photo of sandbar above (our featured photo) then Oslob is a place for you. The sandbar could be found at Sumilon Island, which is part of Oslob.
If these islands don’t prove that Cebu is a place to visit before you die, what would? Come on, book your flights now and head on to this beautiful province, which offers stunning island beaches, and great water activities for your soul. Believe us, life would be more awesome after each and every travel.
Photos: travelandleisure.com, trekearth.com, cebu-bluewaters.com, provest.ph, ocean-vida.com, thephilippines.com, cebu-bluewaters.com, insights.looloo.com, happydive.net, orientwind.com.ph, and gettyimages.com.