A paradisiacal island that is bountiful in pristine white-sand beaches, crystal waters and culture is the most accurate way to describe Cebu; a Filipino province in the Central Visayas region. In addition to its obvious stunning beauty, Cebu is buzzing with purpose and activity as it is the most densely populated island in the Philippines and acts as the backbone of the Visayas.
The beaches alone in Cebu are enough to draw people to the island again and again. Hire a boat to the islands in the Bohol Strait to explore and relax on heavenly beaches of soft white sand that are bordered by the bluest of seas. The coastal landscapes in Cebu rival those of Southern Thailand and Bali. If you have time, head to the northern tip of the island and travel by boat to Malapascua Island; an ideal destination for scuba divers, as there is ample opportunity to get up close with thresher sharks and large schools of exotic fish.
Of course, when in Cebu, it is recommended that you visit one of the most historic landmarks on the island, Magellan's Cross. The cross planted by Portuguese explorer, Ferdinand Magellan, is one of the most venerated religious relics in Cebu and is housed in a chapel next to the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño. It serves as the physical embodiment of Ferdinand's catholic legacy. For those keen to learn more about the country's colonial past, take a trip to Fort San Pedro. The former fortress, once a vehement symbol of conqueror Miguel López de Legazpi during the 16th century, has become a tranquil and endearingly worn garden that is perfect for escaping the hustle and bustle of downtown Cebu to enjoy a South Asian sunset.
The port capital, Cebu City, is a vibrant mini-Manila that is overflowing with energy, tradition and character. Don't be put off by first impressions of streets teeming with people and cars, the loud noises and fast-paced nature as beneath the surface you will find a city rich in both culture and heritage.
Day trips into the jungle of Cebu Island come highly recommended. The trip is a remarkable opportunity to discover the lost utopia that is Kawasan Falls; a three-tiered cascade of vibrant blue mountain springs. Kick back and relax on a bamboo raft floating on the lagoon to soak in your awe-inspiring surroundings. Fun for families and couples alike awaits at the Olango Island Wildlife Sanctuary which supports the largest concentration of migratory birds in the Philippines. To witness a flurry of wings and a kaleidoscope of colour, head to the Jumalon Butterfly Sanctuary – a popular, private museum that is home to hundreds of beautiful butterflies that hang on the tips of branches and leaves all over the decadent gardens of famous mosaic artist, Julian Jumalon.
You may also wish to make a trip to the Ayala Center - a six-floored dome that is home to high-end retailers from all over the world, boutique restaurants, cinemas, health spas and more!
Cebu has a wide assortment of culinary delights on offer, ranging from traditional Chinese dishes, Latin luncheonettes and homely bistros serving European classics. Feeling hungry is a foreign concept on this island! For those seeking a vibrant and versatile nightlife, look no further! Cebu is a cocktail of classy rooftop bars, wild clubs perfect for dancing the night away, and an array of casual bars that ooze positive and relaxed vibes.
- Attractive scenery
- Spectacular snorkelling and diving
- Rich history
- Exciting nightlife
- Warm hospitality
- Long stretches of white sand beaches
- World-class resorts