12 Popular Island Destinations in Cebu

There's a lot to do in Cebu. There are many things to discover in the mainland itself. And there's a lot more excitement awaiting the curious traveler in the popular island destinations that are part and parcel of the province of Cebu. Let us explore the more popular of the 168 islands of Cebu in this article.


Mactan is a popular weekend destination of locals in Cebu. This is because of its abundance of beach resorts and it's proximity to Cebu City and Metro Cebu. The city government of Lapulapu City administers the island. Most of the high-end resort hotels in Cebu are located in Mactan Island. You can do a do-it-yourself tour of Mactan Island for a day.

Be Resorts Mactan
Be Resorts Mactan


Usually thought to be part of Mactan Island, Cordova is an island itself. It is linked by two land bridges to Mactan Island. It is part of the Municipality of Cordova, a sixth class municipality in the sixth congressional district of the province of Cebu. While most of it's coast are mangrove areas, there are a few resorts in the area. Cordova town is also known for its exotic dish: Nilarang na Bakasi or stewed eel.

Best Western Sandbar Resort
Swimming pool at Best Western Sandbar Resort


The island is administered by the municipal government of Cordova. Hiliutungan is a popular snorkeling and diving site.


Nalusuan Island is also administered by the local government of Cordova. It is part of the Olango group of islands. It is a popular diving and snorkeling site. It also hosts Nalusuan Island Resort, a man-made resort island. The resort is managed by the Mendco group of companies who also runs Papa Kit's Marina and Fishing Lagoon in Liloan and Estaca Bay Gardens Conference Resort in Compostela.


Olango is a stop for migratory birds making it a prime bird-watching destination. Chinese egrets, Chinese dowitchers, Eastern curlews, plovers, sanpipers, black-tailed godwits, and red knots frequent the island. Three dive sites are also off the coast off Olango: Mabini Point, Baring, and Santa Rosa.


A popular diving spot in the northern part of Cebu province, the Malapascua group of islands is governed by the municipal government of Daanbantayan. Daanbantayan is a first class municipality in the fourth legislative district of the province of Cebu. It's white sand beaches are also said to rival that of Boracay's. It is a scuba diver's heaven as well. Pumpboats at Daanbantayan town's Maya Point in northern Cebu will take tourists to the island.

Logon Beach
Logon Beach on Malapascua
When in Malapascua, you might want to try scuba diving even if you have no experience. Drop by Divelink Cebu and ask about their promotions.


A relatively new but popular destination in Northern Cebu is Medellin's Gibitngil Island. It is promoted as Funtastic Island. Cliff diving is a popular activity in this island up north.

Bantayan Group

A popular destination among tourists in Cebu is the Bantayan group of islands in Northwestern Cebu. Bantayan is often regarded as Cebu's answer to Boracay. Tourism is a main driving force of the economies of the three towns of Madridejos, Santa Fe, and Bantayan. Most beach resorts are found on Santa Fe town where one can observe the sun rise from the horizon. Bantayan town has its caves . And one can observe a beautiful sunset at the town's wharf. Bantayan town is also famous for its dried seafood delicacies. The marine sanctuary off Silion (locally referred to as Virgin Island) is the more popular destination for island hoppers. Silion is part of Santa Fe town. The quickest way to reach the island may be through chartered aircraft but the most common is to take the bus or passenger van to Hagnaya port in San Remigio town and take the ferry to Santa Fe.

Beautiful sunset in Bantayan Island
Beautiful sunset in Bantayan


Badian Island is also known as Zaragoza Island. It is located in the town of Badian. The town is in the southwestern part of Cebu province. It is a popular diving spot. This is also a popular side trip for those visiting Kawasan Falls or Moalboal.


Moalboal town in southwestern Cebu is a popular weekend hangout for locals and tourists alike. Tourists flock this town for its white sand beaches. These can be found at Bas Daku and Saavedra. The seas off Moalboal is also a popular diving and snorkeling site. Add Pescador Island on your list when you are in the area.


Oslob has recently been aggressive in its tourism campaign. Focus has been on interaction with the whale sharks in Barangay Tanawan. Other places that have been promoted are the Tumalog Falls, the Cuartel, and Sumilon Island. The more affluent travelers may choose to stay at the Sumilon Bluewater Resort. Those with a limited budget can be content at the sandbar on the island's west side.

The sandbar at Sumilon Island
The sandbar at Sumilon Island

Camotes Group

The Camotes Group of Islands off the northeastern coast of Cebu is another popular island destination in Cebu. It is very close to Leyte. Popular activities in Camotes are exploring caves, boating in Lake Danao, beach-combing in San Francisco, and cliff diving. The island can be reached via fastcraft at Cebu City port or via RO-RO at Danao City.

White beach in San Francisco
White Beach in San Francisco