8 Reasons to convince you to visit Cebu in the Philippines

Ahhh, the Philippines… Where the sun’s so hot that it hurts and the water’s so clear it looks like the pool. The first choice that comes to mind when people are picking a destination in the Philippines is usually Boracay or Palawan. While Cebu doesn’t have the white sandy beaches of Boracay nor the limestone cliffs and islands of Palawan, there are still plenty of reasons to visit this amazing island. With so many things to do in Cebu, you’ll never want to leave once you get there.

1. It’s easily accessible

There are cheap direct flights from many Asian destinations to Cebu via Cebu Pacific.  As of March 2016, EVA Air (our favourite airline in the world!) began non-stop routes from Taiwan. You’ll often see flight sales from North America to Cebu and other Southeast Asia destinations, with a stopover in Taiwan. Air Swift began nonstop flight services to El Nido at least five times a week since November 2015. This means you no longer have to take that dreaded 6hr+ bus ride from Puerto Princesa! Bohol is also just a 1.5hr away via a fast ferry (i.e. SuperCat).

Kollecting Koordinates - Things to do in Cebu - Sunrise

sunrise at Shangri-La Mactan

2. Indulge in stunning sunsets and sunrises

This is one of our favourite things to do in Cebu: chasing light. Its’ the perfect place! There’s nothing more beautiful than cotton candy skyporn. Other than desserts, maybe. On the east side of the island, we watched an amazing sunrise on Shangri-La Mactan’s private beach one morning. During our stay in Moalboal which is on the east side, we witnessed daily sunsets that were even more stunning. I think we prefer this more than the Santorini sunset!

Kollecting Koordinates - Things to do in Cebu - Sunset

sunset in Moalboal

3. Quench your adrenaline thirst with canyoneering

This one’s for the thrill seekers! We spent a day swimming, sliding, climbing, and cliff jumping in the Canlaob river. I’m terrified of heights but I had loads of fun! You won’t be pressured to do any jumps you’re not comfortable with, but you will have to take the mandatory 20ft leap at the beginning of the trek. AS was brave enough to do all the jumps, including the highest at around 60ft!

It’s around 1800php a pop; life vest, helmet, shoes, guide, and lunch included. This full-day journey ends in Kawasan Falls; you can kill two birds with one stone with this activity!

4. Always go chasing waterfalls

Search on Google for Kawasan Falls. Look familiar? You’ve probably seen this turquoise blue paradise shared on social media millions of times by now. However, this tranquility couldn’t be further from the truth, unfortunately. SAD FACE 🙁 The falls are packed with umbrellas, food vendors, and hoards of tourists! You have to pay to get seating by a picnic table, and dish out more pesos for a raft ride out closer to the waterfall. For a quieter, more serene experience head to Tumalog Falls in Oslob or Aguinid Falls in Samboan.

Kollecting Koordinates - Things to do in Cebu - Kawasan Falls

the reality of Kawasan Falls

5. Go swimming with whale sharks

Of all the things to do in Cebu, this activity in Oslob raises eyebrows and is very controversial. We’ve seen both sides of the argument and decided to see this for ourselves, keeping in mind we could opt out if we felt uncomfortable at any time.

Yes, they’re fed krill which means they’re lacking in certain nutrients. Feeding them keeps them in the area year-round, which is unnatural given their migration behaviour. On the other end of the spectrum, the locals we’ve talked to say that keeping the whale sharks here protects them from being hunted. The boost in tourism has also helped the locals tremendously over the years.

At the end of the day, something needs to be done to limit the number of tourists while keeping the whale sharks safe from poachers, and it’s up to the local authorities to lay down the law. So do your research and make an informed decision on whether you want to participate.

Kollecting Koordinates - Things to do in Cebu - Whale Sharks

Beauty and the beast… who’s who?

6. Word class scuba diving, free diving, and snorkeling sites

Moalboal is said to have some of the best dive sites in the Philippines! Known for its largely untouched marine life, Pescador Island is only 4km off the coast. There’s also a cool airplane wreck you can check out- an artificial reef now teeming with marine life. You will also most likely encounter sardine runs in Moalboal!

We did some snorkeling and free diving instead. For 100php each, we rented snorkel masks and fins, and hopped into the ocean right from our backyard. The house reef along Panagsama Beach is pretty much an aquarium!

Kollecting Koordinates - Things to do in Cebu - Snorkeling

we made a friend on our house reef!

7. Witness the sardine run

Imagine swimming in the ocean with millions of sardines. Unreal eh? Moalboal is one of the few places on earth where you can witness this underwater phenomenon. If you can’t make it to South Africa, this quaint little town in western Cebu is your best bet. Forget about the sunsets, this is probably one of the coolest things to do in Cebu!

Kollecting Koordinates - Things to do in Cebu - Sardine Run

millions of sardines!

8. Need more convincing? Watch our video for more things to do in Cebu!

Remember to also subscribe to our Youtube channel (me love you long time xo)!


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Kollecting Koordinates - Things to do in Cebu - 8 Reasons to Visit Cebu



  1. January 21, 2017 / 3:12 am

    Wow. Cebu seems amazing! I am going to Japan in June for three months; I’ll definitely have to take a trip over. I don’t know if I’m brave enough to swim with whale sharks though. 🙂

    • January 24, 2017 / 6:29 pm

      Yes do it! Cebu is a wonderful destination. 🙂 Don’t miss the sardine run in Moalboal!

      • January 27, 2017 / 2:15 am

        Lookinv at ur pics hun .id be ghere tomorrow if things wasnt so hard, maybe one cday ill get the gift to visit such a lovely place, Skegness beach is not really the same lol xx

  2. January 24, 2017 / 7:22 pm

    The turquoise waters are all the convincing I need – now I just need to have a plan! Too bad about the Kawasan Falls, I would definitely skip this and head to other waterfalls to avoid the crowds.

  3. January 25, 2017 / 1:47 am

    AHH Cebu looks amazing!! These are great tips! I would love to check it out one day.. hopefully in the sooner than later!

  4. January 25, 2017 / 2:16 am

    This is the second post I’ve read about Cebu in as many days. It hasn’t been on my radar much but I know there are easy flights from Korea there because I’ve had numerous students go there. I might just have to hop on one myself. It looks fantastic!

  5. January 25, 2017 / 5:21 am

    Beautiful! Philippines has been on my list for a while, and get this adds to my wanderlust. When we were in Thailand the dive pros unanimously agreed that the diving there with off the hook. How was it swimming swimming with the whale sharks? They seemed a bit smaller than the ones I’ve seen in the Sea of Cortez off the Baja…. Do you know if that is the case?

    • January 28, 2017 / 11:24 pm

      The two Australian dudes we met said that the water was a lot clearer with bigger and more whale sharks 3 years ago when they first visited 🙁

  6. January 25, 2017 / 2:14 pm

    I’ve always wanted to go to Cebu but I don’t know why a trip never eventuated! I’d love to learn how to dive and I’ve heard great things about the diving there. Thanks for sharing, Ivy!

  7. January 25, 2017 / 2:46 pm

    Oh yes, the scenic Kawasan waterfalls pictures in internet, sad that it wasn’t that enticing in person :(. I would like to visit Cebu for all the above reasons, everything sounds fun and interestsing. Canyoneering and swimming with the whale sharks would be on top of my list, as thats something I have never tried.

    • January 25, 2017 / 9:12 pm

      Haha it’s like those ‘selfies vs pictures other people take of you’ comparison photos

  8. January 25, 2017 / 7:05 pm

    Cebu looks so fun!! I’m tempted to go back to the Philippines just for that!

  9. January 26, 2017 / 1:25 pm

    I wouldn’t mind all the tourists to enjoy Kawasan Falls! It seems fantastic!!!

  10. January 27, 2017 / 1:11 am

    I loved your YouTube video! (: Also loved all of these tips! Not so sure about the sharks one… but the canyoneering sounds like so much fun!

    PS – I’ve subscribed to your youtube channel!

  11. January 29, 2017 / 1:13 am

    Great article. We couldn’t agree more. The chasing waterfalls portion is so accurate, there are many,many stunning and adventurous waterfalls around southern Cebu.

  12. January 29, 2017 / 5:53 am

    Cebu is truly one of the best islands in the Philippines. The water in Kawasan Falls is so gorgeous. Love that it is crystal clear!!

  13. January 29, 2017 / 7:07 am

    Wow! It doesn’t get much more beautiful than that. I would love to go canyoneering and see the waterfalls, although it looks a bit crowded. I didn’t know anything about Cebu, but now I really want to go!

  14. January 29, 2017 / 7:07 am

    Cebu looks beautiful and you seem to have captured it really nice. Would love to go canyoneering and the waterfalls look so refreshing. Great to know that many places now have direct flights to Cebu. Perfect mix of beauty and adventure.

  15. January 29, 2017 / 8:54 am

    Yes, yes, yes!! Thank you so much for sharing and for your tips re the falls. We’re visiting in March for a month and I CANNOT wait to go to Cebu! Awesome post!

  16. January 29, 2017 / 9:46 am

    It looks so beautiful! Canyoneering sounds really fun i’d love to try it at some point. It’s a shame the Kawasan Falls were ruined by so many tourists, seems to be the case in many places these days

  17. January 30, 2017 / 1:36 am

    Ok – every one of these water activities looks so incredibly fun! I have never heard of canyoneering, but I definitely want to try it. It looks so fun!

  18. January 30, 2017 / 9:00 am

    I’ve heard Cebu is awesome but no one ever explained why to me, but now I know. The Philippines have been rising on my bucket list and I think the adventure to be had there will be a great way to wake up from beig lazy on the beach

  19. January 30, 2017 / 9:45 am

    Oh, wow! Looks amazing! I’ve never visited Philippines but it’s definitely on my list!

  20. January 30, 2017 / 11:24 am

    I think one of my favorite things to do anytime laying down in a beach is waiting to take the Sunrise or Sunset photos, always amazing to watch. Swimming with Whale-Shark is a most do for me.

  21. January 30, 2017 / 12:30 pm

    Cebu looks like the perfect adventure escape from lying about in the surrounding islands. The beaches still look nice too. But I don’t know if I’m brave enough to swim with whale sharks!

  22. January 30, 2017 / 5:02 pm

    I have always wanted to visit the Philippines and hear such wonderful things about Cebu! Look so incredible – thanks for sharign!

  23. January 31, 2017 / 10:23 am

    Wow, swimming with sharks sounds like an adventure. I’m so sure if I’d be so comfortable with that! But in general, the Philippines sound amazing and I would love to go!

  24. January 31, 2017 / 12:46 pm

    Cebu looks fantastic. I want to head to the Philippines at some stage and enjoy the sunsets, beaches, and culture itself. The diving looks particularly incredible with the turtles! The water is so clear that you were able to take such fab photographs. I love whale sharks and think that it would be an absolute thrill to swim with them.

  25. Aisha
    February 2, 2017 / 12:07 am

    Oh wow! I absolutely do not need anymore convincing, Cebu looks like the perfect place for me! From the diving to the waterfalls, to the canyoneering and those BEAUTIFUL sunsets! You have without a doubt convinced me that the Philippines needs to be on my 2017 destination list!!!

  26. February 4, 2017 / 6:05 pm

    I’ve never even heard of Cebu until now! What a beautiful place. I would love to go explore there one day!

  27. Lauren
    February 5, 2017 / 1:02 am

    I see so many positive reviews and beautiful photos of Cebu and wow everytime I see them, I really want to go visit the Philippines

  28. February 5, 2017 / 7:06 am

    OH MY GOODNESS!!! Cliff jumping!?!??!?! Swimming with whale sharks!??!??!?! SOOOO BRAVEEEEE GIRLLLLL!!!!!!!!!!! I’ve always wanted to do those things too but I’m a terrible swimmer and I’d probably drown hahaa. Witnessing that sardine run must’ve been such a cool experience too! Seems like you guys really had an awesome time. Loved your video too! <3

  29. February 5, 2017 / 3:26 pm

    Well, the sunsets have me convinced! I am having the same dilemma about swimming with whale sharks in Mexico, I would love to swim with these amazing animals but we have to be sure we are not damaging them or their behaviour, which unfortunately isn’t being enforced at the moment. Cebu certainly looks beautiful, whale sharks or not!

  30. February 5, 2017 / 6:25 pm

    Cebu looks incredible. I did not visit Cebu when I was in the Philippines. Something for consideration for future trips. Your sunset picture looks gorgeous. Thanks for sharing!

  31. February 5, 2017 / 6:50 pm

    I visited Cebu last year and visited most of these places. I agree and think the island is wonderful and has so much to offer. The falls and diving are amazing. I couldn’t stomach seeing the whale sharks, I understand why people want to but I couldn’t face it. The sardine run was particularly remarkable to see! Taking the boat up to Malapascua is a great option as it’s so close to Cebu and you can see the thresher sharks.

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