The Philippine island of Cebu is one of the most visited regions in the archipelago. Its well-known beach resorts are a haven for weary tourists who are ready to enjoy water sports, sunbathing and swimming.

The island hosts Cebu City, the former capital of the Philippines and still a prominent city. Most tourists head straight for Badian or Mactan islands, the latter of which overflows with world-class resorts backed by upscale shopping, dining and entertainment districts.

Visitors on a shoestring will have better luck with the southern stretches of mainland Cebu, where hotels and resorts are interspersed with fishing villages. This region attracts more locals and is much less expensive.

Outdoor activities abound on Cebu Island. Trekking is possible through the interior jungle, with the most popular hiking trail heading to Kawasan Waterfalls. The beaches feature white sand and, depending on the region, a variety of facilities. Jet skiing, windsurfing, kite surfing and boating are all possible.

Cebu is one of the best diving destinations in the Philippines. Coral reefs are everywhere, and the white sand is the perfect backdrop to the array of colorful fish. Dive shops offering equipment and certification courses are concentrated on Mactan Island, but can be found several places around the island.

Getting There & Away

Tourists flock to Cebu, but it is also a transportation hub offering excellent onward links. The second largest airport in the Philippines operates here, with flights available to Manila (1 hour) as well as to cities around the continent. Be advised that the airport is on an outlying island about 30 minutes outside of Cebu City.

Cebu is also well-connected by sea. The port at Cebu City is the largest, and journeys to Manila can take many hours. Cebu is a prominent launching point for journeys to Boracay, Mindanao and other islands south of Manila.

Things to Do

Cebu Attractions

Mactan Island

This coral atoll is synonymous with five-star resorts and opportunities for scuba divers.

Kawasan Waterfalls

These falls are located in the south of the island near badian and are perfect for picnics, a massage and a refreshing swim.

Caves

The three major caves open for exploration in cebu are lantoy cave, cave busay (a 600-foot tunnel) and barili cave.

Olango Wildlife Sanctuary

Located on an outlying island by the same name, this wildlife sanctuary hosts migratory birds.