Located right in the heart of the Visayas, Cebu is Philippines’ biggest island and home to the country’s second-largest city: Cebu City. If you enjoy being suffocated by fumes I advise taking a jeepney there during rush hour, if not, you might want to skip the city and head directly to the interesting spots. There are many amazing places to visit in Cebu province. The west is famous for world-class diving, the north is sparkled with beautiful islands and white sand beaches, the mountainous parts are great for trekking, and the south-east is perfect to meet nose-to-nose with whale-sharks. Read on to discover all the best Cebu tourist spots and how to organize your Cebu itinerary.
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Places to visit in Cebu province + Cebu Tourist Spots :
1 – Bantayan Island
Quiet and remote Bantayan is an island located north of Cebu, famous for its amazing white sand beaches and its waves, making it a kite-surfing paradise. Bantayan is one of my favorite islands in the Philippines and in my opinion the best place to visit in Cebu Province.
The island is starting to get some attention from international tourists but it’s still a pretty laid back island with a fishermen vibe attached to it. It’s the perfect place to relax on the beach for a couple of days and enjoy the sun. The locals are really friendly and always happy to see foreigners.
2 – Camotes Island
Quiet and beautiful Camotes islands are made of three main islands: Pacijan, Poro, and Ponson. They are named after the camotes or sweet potatoes, which thrive abundantly on the islands there. Ponson is pretty remote with its inhabitants living a really basic life, it’s also hard to get there as there is no regular boat going there. Poro and Pacijan are more developed but it’s still mostly villages, there’s no ATM there and frequent power outages.
These two islands are rich in springs, waterfalls, and caves, Pacijan also offers some nice beaches. The islands are still really far from being a big tourist destination. Most people coming to visit are people from Cebu. The locals are really nice and super welcoming. It’s the perfect place if you want to get out-of-the-beaten-path.
3 – Oslob
Oslob has become famous for its whale-sharks watching, only a couple of meters away from the shore, and is one of the most popular tourist spots in Cebu. These mammals are impressive, their mouth can be as large as one meter, but don’t worry they only eat plankton and small fishes. Seeing these beautiful animals swimming around is just a wonderful experience. Oslob whale sharks watching is a must-do activity if you’re in Cebu.
Whale sharks watching is not the only activity you can do around Oslob. There are a couple of nice waterfalls and beaches along the coast such as Tingko beach in Alcoy and Tinago falls in Tan-Awan is worth a stop.
4 – Kawasan Falls
Kawasan is probably the most famous waterfall in Cebu and one of its best tourist spots, it’s a must-go if you’re nearby. The color of the water is amazingly blue, the fall is wide and tall, and the pool is large and deep. It’s also the perfect place to get a massage. You can just rent a bamboo boat and go under the fall, the water pressure will do the rest. The guys renting and operating the bamboo rafts can show you how to position yourself for the best massage ever.
5 – Toledo
Toledo outskirts offer a lot of opportunities for nature lovers. The place is rich in mountains and hilly forests. One of the best spots is Tagaytay Hill, from there, you can get an amazing view over Malubog lake. There are also a couple of nice waterfalls around the city.
If you happen to be in the city on June 12th, you’ll get the chance to participate in the Himulayan Festival. The procession and festivities are held every year to celebrate the history of the city as well as the city’s patron saint, St. John of Sahagun.
(Bonus) – If you like diving:
6 – Malapascua
Malapascua is famous for its amazing diving, you can see a lot of different species, among the more famous are the thresher sharks and the mandarin fish. Unfortunately, as more and more people visit the island, Malapascua is in bad shape and the beaches are not what they used to be.
7 – Moalboal
Moalboal is one of the best diving spots in the Philippines, famous among backpackers, the place has a good vibe and the underwater world is breathtaking. The visibility is high, you’ll see many different types of colorful corals and many fishes. Moalboal is the only place in the world where divers can see enormous shoals of sardines. You’ll also see different types of frogfishes, many colorful mandarin fishes, and my favorite: pygmy seahorses.
Visiting Cebu Province is relatively easy. Here’s a 2-week sample Cebu itinerary:
- Day 1 and 2 (optional) – Visit Cebu City and Mactan Island;
- Day 3 – Whale sharks and waterfalls in Oslob
- Day 4 – Kawasan Falls (spend the night in Moalboal)
- Day 5 and 6 – Moalboal (count a few more days if you want to dive)
- Day 7, 8 and 9 – Toledo
- Day 10, 11, 12 – Bantayan
- Day 12, 14, 15 – Camotes Islands
- Day 16 – Back to Cebu City
This Cebu itinerary is a loop, you can do it the other way around. If you have less time, visit Oslob, Kawasan Falls, only spend a day in Moalboal and then directly head to Bantayan. It should take you a week.
Related articles to help you plan your trip to the Philippines:
- Negros Province best tourist spots
- Samar – Great adventures and stunning landscapes
- Everything you need to know before going to the Philippines
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