It’s no wonder that the Philippines have been growing in popularity in recent years as more and more people discover the stunning islands, gorgeous beaches and amazing clear waters. Cebu is the Philippines most densely populated island and is easily accessible by plane from Hong Kong and Singapore. Cebu City is bustling with people and is an economically important location in the region. While Thailand and Bali have long been meccas for beach lovers, Cebu has now emerged as the dream exotic holiday destination for many.
Cebu Island is just under 200 km long and just 32 km wide, and the medley of rugged mountains, coastal plateaus, soft hilly hinterlands and countless gorgeous white sandy beaches would just take your breath away.
How to Get There and How to Get Around
You can fly into Mactan-Cebu International Airport and when you get there, a taxi will bring you to your resort, but that can be rather expensive. Public transport is by tricycle or by jeepney and this is how the locals get around.
Cebu is of course also accessible by boat from a variety of different locations such as Manila and Ozamis. Cebu Port is located on the strip that separates Mactan from Cebu City.
Where to Stay
There are hundreds of beach resorts in Cebu Island, one more beautiful that the other, from luxury five star beach hotels, to gorgeous and reasonably priced self-catering resorts, you will find it all in Cebu.
Tourist Spots Cebu – The Must See Sights
- Scuba Diving and Snorkeling in the North: Cebu is one of the prime scuba diving and snorkeling destinations in the world. You might end up swimming along whales, be amazed by stunningly colorful corals and forget the world and all your troubles.
- Tumalog Falls and Kawasan Falls: One more stunning than the other, clear rushing waters, tranquility and exhilaration in equal measures – a must for any visitor
- Pescador Island: Located just a few kilometres off the western coast of Cebu, Pescador Island is another paradise for scuba divers and snorkelers. This tiny island that seemingly has little to offer has an abundance unknown in its surrounding waters, from ocean caves that resemble cathedrals to the most delicate, colorful and varied corals,right through to all of the amazing sea creatures that gently mind their own business as you snorkel by peacefully. It will be a trip that you will never forget and the beauty will gently wash over you and never let you go.
- Tops Lookout: Even the ride up to Tops Lookout is an experience. If you are brave, you will entrust your life to one of the motorbike taxis and be rushed up the side of Mount Busay, for the less adventurous, there is the option of taking a taxi cab and even that can be hair-raising. Of course it is all worth it, when you finally get there and soak up the breathtaking views of Cebu City, the changing light, the tranquility away from the hustle and bustle and you know that a camera will never capture the essence of what your eyes are feasting on. Try to go just before sunset as light will turn to darkness and the city below will light up and emphasize the contrast between nature’s calm and human vibrancy.
- Temples and Churches: The colorful Taoist Chinese Temple is located in Cebu City and was built by the Chinese community in 1972. Unlike other temples, it is open to non-worshippers too. The entrance is a replica of the Great Chinese Wall and the dragon statues on the grounds of the temple as well as emerging from the roof make for an impressive if not somewhat intimidating sight. Services are held throughout the day and on Sundays and Wednesday monks climb 81 steps representing the 81 chapters of the Taoist scriptures. You will also find a number of beautiful Catholic churches, not least of all the Basilica del Santo Nino. Catholicism was brought to the Philippines by Ferdinand Magellan in the 16th century and the Magellan Cross serves as a reminder thereof. The cross has been chipped away by pilgrims ever since its healing powers became renowned.
- Historic Sites: The LapuLapu Statue is one of the most famous sights in Cebu and this is a statue of the tribesman LapuLapu who lead his men to defeat Spanish invaders in 1521 during the Battle of Mactan. The Yap-Sandiego Ancestral Home was built by a Chinese family in 1675 and is open to visitors today.
Cebu will make for much more than a beach holiday and it is no wonder that so many visitors vow to return.