Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Visit Cebu, Philippines

Cebu is one of the top tourist destinations in the Philippines. Dubbed as the “Queen City of the South”, Cebu has captured the attention of tourists from all over the world because of its unique combination of natural and man-made attractions. The province offers a wide array of activities for all types of travelers. There are plenty of things to do for everyone. Cebu is a perfect getaway for those who seek adventure, those who prefer to stay in luxury hotels, or those who travel to find meaning and purpose. From vibrant festivals down to unique delicacies—Cebu truly has it all.

About Cebu

The province of Cebu is located in Central Visayas. It is one of the most developed and most touristy provinces in the Philippines. Its capital, Cebu City, is the center of commerce and industry in the southern part of the country. The majority of locals speak Bisaya (Cebuano) but they can also communicate in English and Tagalog. The Cebuanos are friendly and kind which makes it easy for visitors to ask around for directions or recommendations.   Brimming with cultural and modern attractions, Cebu is home to a variety of places to see and activities to enjoy. Here are some of the reasons why you should plan a trip to Cebu for your next vacation:

Grand colorful festivals

Cebu is popularly known for the celebration of the grandest festival in the country—the Sinulog Festival. Sinulog is celebrated on the third Sunday of January in honor of the image of Sto. Niño or the Child Jesus. Every year, people from different parts of the country and from all walks of life gather to witness and participate in the festivities. The main streets of Cebu come to life as colorful parades and vibrant street dance performances commence. Apart from Sinulog, there are also other famous festivals that are celebrated in Cebu like the Mantawi Festival of Mandaue City, Palawod Festival of Bantayan Island, and Siloy Festival of Alcoy.

Pristine beaches and underwater activities

Cebu is the largest island in Visayas. It consists of the mainland and plenty nearby islets. Being a province surrounded by water, Cebu boasts of astonishing beaches and remarkable island hopping activities. Two of the most popular beach destinations in Cebu are the beaches of Bantayan Island and the luxury resorts of Mactan. Tourists can also avail island hopping tours in Mactan where they get to explore as many as five islands in a day. If you have enough time to explore outside Metro Cebu, you should head down to South Cebu. Rich in water resources, the southern part of the Cebu provides an enriching experience for tourists and locals alike. It has diverse underwater species from gigantic sea creatures to an amazing sardine run. Adventure seekers may swim with the whale sharks in Oslob or try diving in Moalboal which is famous for the sardine run.

Majestic waterfalls and picturesque hiking spots

The island of Cebu is also home to a number of majestic waterfalls. The most well-known is the Kawasan Falls. Tourists from all parts of the world flock to Badian to see the beauty of Kawasan Falls firsthand. In Oslob, there is one more waterfalls that is worth visiting—the Tumalog Falls. Aside from these two, tourists may also chase unpopular waterfalls scattered all over Cebu. A number of mountains and hills are also located in the province. The highest peak which stands at over 1,000 meters is located in Dalaguete. It is called Osmeña Peak and it offers a breathtaking panoramic view of lush scenery.

Historical Churches and Heritage Sites

Being the first Spanish settlement in the Philippines, Cebu has preserved its Spanish influence as evident in the establishment of Catholicism and the remains of some Spanish structures. Some of the most interesting heritage sites that are worth visiting are Magellan’s Cross, Mactan Shrine, and Fort San Pedro. Beautiful churches and religious sites can also be found in the province. The most popular to tourists are Simala Shrine, Basilica of Sto. Niño, and Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral.

Unique City Attractions and Highland Hideaways

Although built on culture and heritage, the province of Cebu is a mixture of both the old and the new. It has a distinct fusion of the traditional and modern. In fact, Metro Cebu is the second largest metropolitan area in the Philippines after Metro Manila. Cebu City’s overall growth has helped earn its title “Queen City of the South”. The city’s offerings when it comes to tourism varies from one of a kind café filled with 10,000 roses to a Taoist temple with aesthetically pleasing exteriors. Also situated uphill in Busay are the most touristy yet tranquil spots like Temple of Leah, Sirao Garden, and Tops. All these places provide stunning views of the city skyline.  

Places To Visit In Cebu

Here is a rundown of all the places you should not miss in Cebu:

Cebu City Highlights

  • Temple of Leah
  • Sirao Garden
  • Tops Lookout
  • Basilica of Santo Niño
  • Magellan’s Cross
  • Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral
  • Fort San Pedro

Mactan Highlights

  • Mactan Shrine
  • 10,000 Roses
  • Mactan Luxury Resorts
  • Mactan Island Hopping

South Cebu Highlights

  • Kawasan Falls
  • Osmeña Peak
  • Moalboal Beaches and Sardine Run
  • Oslob Whale Shark Encounter
  • Sumilon Island
  • Tumalog Falls
  • Simala Church

Bantayan Island Highlights

  • Paradise Beach
  • Virgin Island
  • Kota Beach

Suggested Itinerary

Day 0 Arrival/Rest Day 1 – Bantayan Island Tour 4:00 AM – Go to North Bus Terminal 7:00 AM – Arrival at Hagnaya Port 8:00 AM – Arrival at Sta. Fe Port 9:00 AM – Breakfast 10:00 AM – Check in at the resort/Freshen up 11:00 AM- Explore Paradise Beach and Kota Beach/Lunch 2:00 PM – Rent a boat to Virgin Island 6:00 PM – Head back to the resort/Dinner/Rest Day 2 – Cebu City Tour 6:00 AM – Board ferry to Hagnaya Port 7:00 AM – Take a bus back to Cebu City 10:00 AM – Arrival at Cebu City/Breakfast 11:00 AM – Visit Magellan’s Cross, Basilica of Sto. Niño, Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral, and Fort San Pedro 12:00 NN – Lunch 1:00 PM – Go to Taoist Temple 2:00 PM – Head to Busay 3:00 PM – Temple of Leah 4:00 PM – Sirao Garden 5:00 PM – Sunset at Tops Lookout 6:00 PM – Head back to the hotel Day 3 – South Cebu Tour 3:00 AM – Take a bus to Moalboal 6:00 AM – Arrival at Moalboal/Breakfast 7:00 AM – Start island hopping tour to Pescador Island 9:00 AM – Head to Badian 11:00 AM – Trek to Kawasan Falls/Early Lunch 1:00 PM – Go to Dalaguete 3:00 PM – Trek to Osmeña Peak 5:00 PM – Head to Oslob 7:00 PM – Check in at the resort Day 4 – South Cebu Tour 6:00 AM – Whale Shark Encounter 7:00 AM – Breakfast 8:00 AM – Ride a boat to Sumilon Island 8:15 AM – Arrival at Sumilon Island 10:00 AM – Head back to mainland/Go to Tumalog Falls 11:00 AM – Arrival at Tumalog Falls 12:00 NN – Lunch/Freshen up 1:00 PM – Ride a bus to Sibonga 4:00 PM – Arrival at Simala Shrine 5:00 PM – Head back to Cebu City 7:00 PM – Check in at the hotel Day 5 – Mactan Day Tour 7:00 AM – Island Hopping (Caohagan, Hilutungan, Nalusuan, Sulpa, and Olango Islands) 12:00 NN – Lunch/Freshen up 1:00 PM – Mactan Shrine 3:00 PM – 10, 000 Roses Café 5:00 PM – Head back to Cebu City/Rest Day 6 Flight back to MNL   Cebu is just one out of eighty-one provinces in the Philippines, but it is the perfect way to jumpstart your travel journey in the country. With everything it has to offer, Cebu will definitely satisfy the wanderlust in you. It will keep you coming back for more and by the time you get back, it will not run out of new and unique adventures for you to experience. Discover and explore the wonders of Cebu by planning your next trip here.

Chelsey Agcopra

Chelsey is a freelance writer and an aspiring creative entrepreneur. She has comprehensive background in digital content creation and social media management. Passionate about all things creative, she aspires to conquer the world’s wonders and immortalize the experience through creative writing and visual arts someday.