The Philippines is my favorite country of all the ones I have visited. I absolutely loved my time there. The beaches are so incredibly beautiful with their white sand and bright blue water. It is so cheap and easily navigable. The flights between islands are literally like $25! There is so much to do, though I spent most of my time laying down on the beach and reading, which is my favorite thing to do when I am anywhere near the coast. The culture is very cool and I found the architecture absolutely amazing.
I was travelling with my friend Lily who also enjoyed the same things, so it worked out perfectly! She also became my sugar mama on this trip when my bank card froze on me so I had no money ;). Don’t worry, I paid her back once we got home. Clearly, I am singing the country’s praises. Now lets talk about Cebu.
Where to stay?
I actually would recommend not staying in Cebu city when visiting Cebu island and looking for somewhere you are going to be spending more your time. It may be an island, but it’s not so small that everything is easy to get to. We stayed on Mactan Island, which was great. Cebu has many great beaches to stay that probably would be nicer if you are going to be there for a longer length of time. However, we liked Mactan because of it was close enough we still got to see around Cebu City and where the airport is located since we weren’t staying too long. We actually didn’t find any hostels we wanted to stay so we got an Airbnb for a very affordable price. The Airbnb was great and in a very trendy in the Mactan area. The condominium we stayed in had restaurants below and offered a shuttle service to the nearby beach.
What to do?
Like I mentioned before, we were not planning on staying in Cebu very long, but one of the biggest reasons we stopped over on this island was to Snorkel with Whale Sharks! This is on the south end of the Cebu and is not easy to get to through public transport. I recommend either hiring your own car, or going the more expensive route like we did and paying for it through an excursion. This was pricey, especially for the Philippines, but it made the most sense for us since neither of use were comfortable driving there and we didn’t have lots of time to spend getting down there. Oslob Whale Shark tour company was great; they picked us up and drove us down, got our snorkeling tickets, provided breakfast and lunch, took us to a Kawasan Waterfalls, and even acted as a personal photographer for us for the day and made sure we got lots of pictures. I will say, we were so excited about the Whale Shark watching that we did not look into the practice of it enough. The sharks are baited there, which does disrupt their natural migration patterns. Also the water and nearby beach was packed! It is much more like snorkeling in a exhibit, rather than naturally. Just FYI.
We also spent the day lounging and eating at the Movenpick Hotel and their private beach. I will preface this and say, I don’t actually know if this is allowed. We heard about the Ibiza Beach Club and we wanted to check it out and ended up spending the entire afternoon sitting on the beach and ordering some drinks ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.
Fiesta Bay is a popular little beach thing in the area. I don’t actually recommend going here! There is an entry fee, which I was shocked about and not much to do there. It is all very kiddish. However… this is a crazy story! We were sitting next to this random couple and this boat captain goes up to them and asks if they want to go on a private snorkeling tour, then tells them they can bring their friends, aka us. Now we didn’t know each other, and we joked at them like ya, bring us on this private snorkeling tour. In the end, we did actually decide to split this tour with them! We got an entire massive boat made to hold entire groups of people to the 4 of us at like $30 a person! They took us to multiple spots, however, if you wanted to actually *dock* it cost extra. We actually didn’t mind because one of the islands we docked at had an all you can eat, fresh, seafood buffet and the other, we ended up just jumping off the boat and swimming for free. Did I mention that day was some of the best snorkeling I have ever done? Totally worth it and we had a great day out on the water!
You can’t forget to walk around Cebu City. The architecture and history here was so cool! You can go to Fort San Pedro, the Basilica, museums, cathedrals, and honestly, just wonder the streets which is what we did. We also ate at this random outdoor BBQ spot we came across. I wish I would have written the name down or took a picture of it to share with you guys because it was so good!
Like I mentioned, we were not in Cebu long, and there are many other famous and more beautiful beaches and spots to visit around the island!
Thanks for reading about Cebu! I hope I inspired some of you to visit the Philippines one day soon when Covid-19 is under control! This was an incredibly cool experience, and honestly, not even the best place I went to in the Philippines. Guess you are just going to have to keep reading my blog to find out my favorite spot ;).