Cebu Island comprises high-end shopping, cherished historic structures and more than 150 surrounding islands and islets. From scuba diving to island hopping and swimming with whale sharks, Cebu Island offers a diverse playground for travellers.
Things to do in Cebu Island
The oldest Catholic institution in the Philippines, Basilica del Santo Nino draws large numbers of tourists to see 17th-century religious relics, ancient paintings, elegant archways and intricate stained-glass windows. Visit Cebu’s Taoist Temple to partake in the Taoist ritual of dropping two blocks of wood in front of the shrine to determine whether you’re allowed a wish.
Stop by Jumalon Butterfly Sanctuary to see flowers, plants and the delicate island butterfly species, then head to Mountain View Park to enjoy a massive water playground for the kids. For expansive night views of the city and sea, make your way to Tops Lookout.
Ready for some shopping in Cebu City? Ayala Mall stands out for high-end fashion, cinemas, restaurants and lounges, while SM Mall is a favourite with families for ice skating and arcade games. For a more local shopping experience, head over to the small markets at Colon Street or Taboan Public Market, a chaotic and colourful mix of fresh seafood, fishmongers, mangos, nuts, pineapples, small cafes and street food.
Spend a day island hopping, snorkelling or scuba diving at Hilutungan Marine Sanctuary and Nalusuan Sanctuary. Keep an eye out for Thresher sharks and blue sea stars or join a guided tour to swim with whale sharks.
Getting around Cebu Island
Transportation options in Cebu include buses, Jeepneys, taxis and motorbike taxis. You can also rent a car at the airport in Lapu Lapu on Mactan Island, about 40 minutes from central Cebu City.