The most important island of the Visayas region, Cebu’s coasts offer everything from top commercial resorts to fishing village Bed & Breakfasts, with lush mountains and whale sharks in between. We came to Cebu Island for its mangoes, but we stayed for its waterfalls, canyoning and driving adventures.
Cebu City is the second largest city in the Philippines, but we were delighted to discover how quickly we could escape its urbanity. Unlike Manila, which seems to stretch for hours in every direction with concrete, corrugated metal, exhaust fumes, and traffic, you can withdraw to the water from Cebu’s airport and arrive into quiet nature within an hour of arriving, retreat to a 5-star commercial resort within half an hour, or start driving south for 2-3 hours to a fishing village.
We found that Cebu Island had a nice blend of urban and rural, civilisation and nature. We felt like travelers in Cebu rather than the prison-like experience of being stuck in traffic around Manila. Even just from the ring road around the island you can see far more diversity than the same distance from Manila. People and places were easier to reach, and we had more freedom to explore on our own.
Cebu’s airport is located on Mactan Island, an island connected by several bridges to Cebu City. It’s just another concrete island full of traffic congestion, but it’s peppered with large commercial resorts including some kid-friendly ones and a waterslide park. This was a tempting option, especially for older kids, but we were in need of a quiet bubble of tranquility after spending two weeks with barking dogs.
Here are our highlights of Cebu Island:Olango Island – tranquility and privacy for a family getaway Fishing villages and driving adventures Canyoning in Kawasan Falls