Island Getaway | Top Cebu Islands to Visit

Collage of top Cebu Islands

Among the things to do in Cebu is to visit these top Cebu islands.

For those who want to learn all about Cebu, one of the first things they’ll discover is what is Cebu known for. One possible answer to that is the beaches. All in all there are 167 Cebu islands, each offering something different. But out of the 167, there are some that stand out among the crowd.

If you are yearning for a tropical getaway, perhaps even go Cebu island hopping, here are some of the islands you have to visit:

Visit the stunning coast of Malapascua Island.

Malapascua Island

This northern island is primarily known as a premier diving destination because of its vibrant marine sanctuary. But the main attraction would have to be the thresher sharks, which you can find all year round. These elusive and solitary creatures are known for their caudal fins, which are almost as long as their bodies.

Aside from the marine wildlife, the beaches of Malapascua Island are just as stunning. The most well-known would have to be Bounty Beach, but if you want to avoid the crowd then head to Langub Beach.

What’s even more impressive is that the island still isn’t as commercialized as other island destinations. This is partly to protect the biodiversity of the island.

Stroll along the white sand beaches of Bantayan Island.

Bantayan Island

While there is no doubt how beautiful Boracay is, the problem is its popularity draws in hordes of people all throughout the year. As a result, tourists are looking for other islands that are just as picturesque but with fewer people. It didn’t take long for the travellers to discover the beauty and tranquility of Bantayan Island. The beaches in this island are just as clear and the sand just as white as the shores of Boracay.

The island is divided into three major municipalities, namely Santa Fe, Madridejos, and Bantayan. Out of all of them, Santa Fe has the most accommodations and luxury resorts. However, there are more budget-friendly resorts with beaches that are just as stunning.

But while you’re in Bantayan island, one of the things to do is explore its mangrove sanctuary. And because it is one the primary sources of seafood in the province (and even as far as Manila and Mindanao), don’t miss the opportunity to try some authentic seafood dishes, such as sun-dried danggit. No wonder some would consider Bantayan as the best island in Cebu.

Bukilat Cave in Camotes Island

Discover what awaits you in Camotes Island.

Camotes Island

This island may be small, but what it lacks in size it makes up for in beauty and attractions. Much like Bantayan, the beaches have crystal clear waters and fine white sands. But it’s also got caves, underground springs, and rock cliffs.

Camotes is also the perfect island to visit when you’re strapped for cash. It has several public beaches; the most popular of which is Santiago Bay. It’s also an ideal destination for couples, where they can take a boat ride on Lake Danao (also known as Lover’s Lake).

Since the island is tiny, you can visit a lot of its attractions within a day. After visiting them all, you can simply lounge on a beach. In short, this is perfect for people simply looking for some rest and relaxation.

Take a plunge in the blue waters of Carnaza Island.

Carnaza Island

Not many people know this island as the northernmost tip of Cebu. Because it is so out of the way, there aren’t that many people who know about Carnaza Island. A large portion of this island is owned by former Cebu governor Lito Osmeña, which is partly why this island is so secluded.

Add to the fact that Carnaza isn’t easily accessible by road, it’s understandable why people would skip it entirely and directly proceed to Malapascua. This tiny coastline is perfect for a quick stopover before going to or coming back from Malapascua.

Since Carnaza is relatively a privately owned island, you’d have to find accommodation either in Daanbantayan (not to be confused with Bantayan Island) or, as mentioned earlier, in Malapascua.

Shoreline of Sumilon Island

Stroll along the picturesque sandbar of Sumilon Island.

Sumilon Island

Out of all the Cebu island destinations on this list, Sumilon is the only one located in the south. Just like Carnaza, this island is small enough that you can explore almost everything it has to offer within a day. And because it is near Oslob (approximately 15-20 minutes away by motorized boat), it is the perfect place to unwind after you’ve gone whale-watching.

The most well-known attraction in Sumilon would be its white sandbar. Take note, though, that the entire island is privately owned by a resort, and one of their policies is for non-guests to pay a fee to visit the sandbar.

However, if you don’t mind staying longer, you can book a room and explore the other attractions, such as its historic lighthouse and four dive sites. Imagine having an island paradise all to yourself.

With clear waters, fine sand, and diverse wildlife, you too would be convinced that Cebu is a tropical paradise. The entire province has many more hidden gems, but you can pick any of these places for your first visit.

On a side note, there are no direct flights to any of these places. You’d have to board buses (and probably ferries) to get to Cebu islands, and all of them are a few hours away from Cebu City, so you might have to leave early in order to purchase tickets at the bus and pier terminals. But once you get there, you definitely won’t regret taking the trip.

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