12 Popular Island Destinations in Cebu

There's a lot to do in Cebu. As there are many things to discover in the main island itself, a lot more excitement awaits 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 Island

Mactan Island is a popular weekend destination of locals in Cebu 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.

Cordova Island

Usually thought to be part of Mactan Island, Cordova is an island itself that 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 of Nilarang na Bakasi (stewed eel).

Hilutungan Island

Administered by the municipal government of Cordova, Hiliutungan Island is a popular snorkeling and diving site.

Nalusuan Island

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 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 Island

Olango Island 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.

Malapascua Island

A popular diving spot in the northern part of Cebu province, the Malapascua group of islands is governed by the municipal government of Daanbantayan, 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. Pumpboats at Daanbantayan town's Maya Point in northern Cebu will take tourists to the island.

Gibitngil Island

A relatively new but popular destination in Northern Cebu is Medellin town's Gibitngil Island. Promoted as Funtastic Island, cliff diving is a popular activity in this island up north.

Bantayan Islands

A popular destination among tourists in Cebu is the Bantayan group of islands in Northwestern Cebu. Often regarded as Cebu's answer to Boracay, tourism is the 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 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 Island (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.

Badian Island

Also known as Zaragoza Island, Badian Island is located at Badian town 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.

Pescador Island

Moalboal town in southwestern Cebu is a popular weekend hangout for locals and tourists alike. Tourists flock this town for its white sand beaches particularly at Bas Daku and Saavedra. The seas off Moalboal is also a popular diving and snorkeling site.

Sumilon Island

Oslob has recently been aggressive in its tourism campaign. While focus has been on interaction with the whale sharks in Barangay Tanawan, other places have been promoted such as the Tumalog Falls, the Cuartel, and Sumilon Island. The more affluent travelers may choose to stay at the Sumilon Bluewater Resort while the budget traveler can be content at the sandbar on the island's west side.

Camotes Islands

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 town, and cliff diving. The island can be reached via fastcraft at Cebu City port or via RO-RO at Danao City.