Must-Visit Destinations in Cebu
2020 Feb 18
What are the must-visit destinations in Cebu?
- Basilica del Sto. Nino and Magellan’s Cross
- Mactan Shrine and Mactan Island Hopping
- Fort San Pedro
- Bantayan Island Sky Diving
- Malapascua Scuba Diving
- Sirao Flower Garden
- Osmena Peak of Cebu
Cebu is a popular destination amongst both locals and foreigners. It is the perfect place for beach lovers, adventurers, and city slickers. The island of Cebu itself has so much to offer and is definitely worth visiting when you have the time. The destinations in Cebu are also rich in history, culture, nature, and amazing food. It can be difficult to narrow down which destinations you should visit. However, if it’s your first time visiting Cebu, here are the destinations you shouldn’t miss out on.
Basilica del Sto. Nino and Magellan’s Cross
Source: Wikimedia Commons
Basilica del Sto. Nino is one of the most famous landmarks in Cebu that you cannot miss. Situated along Osmena Boulevard, this landmark was founded in the 16th century and is considered the oldest Roman Catholic Church in the Philippines. It was completed around 1740 and is where the first Sto. Nino was found. It’s the perfect destination to learn about the history of the Roman Catholic Church. Be amazed at the architecture and history while saying a little prayer for your loved ones.
After the church, you can take a few steps and visit Magellan’s Cross. The cross is another symbol of Roman Catholic history in the Philippines. It was created to honor the propagation of the Roman Catholic faith and the colonization of the country on behalf of Spain’s King Philip II.
Mactan Shrine and Mactan Island Hopping
Drive over to Lapu-Lapu city for a view of the life-sized statue of Lapu-Lapu and a painting that depicts the war against Ferdinand Magellan. The Mactan shrine is also a site for the Kadaugan sa Mactan Festival. The festival is a re-enactment of the battle of Mactan every April 27. It’s worth taking a trip to Mactan just for that.
Afterward, you can go island hopping within the area. The Hilutungan Marine Reserve is filled with tropical fish to observe in their natural habitat while Pandanon Island is an ideal food trip destination.
Fort San Pedro
The smallest and oldest fort in the country is located in Plaza Independencia. Fort San Pedro is a defense structure that uses a three-point shape consisting of three bastions: San Miguel, La Concepcion, and San Ignacio de Loyola. This small fort was built under the command of Miguel Lopez de Legazpi. De Legazpi was the first governor of Captaincy General of the Philippines. It was built right after his arrival and continued to be upgraded to be used as a stronghold against raiders and revolutionaries.
Bantayan Island Sky Diving
For adventurers, Cebu also offers sky diving activities. Simply travel to the northernmost part of Cebu to Bantayan Island. You can book a tandem skydive and experience the rush with professionals and world-class instructors. The total experience is around 2 hours as soon as you get to Bantayan island airport. It costs around PHP 19,000 per head and can be paid in full or deposited with Sky Dive Cebu.
Malapascua Scuba Diving
It’s a treat to see Cebu from above, but if the depths of the sea are calling to you, Malapascua Island is the perfect destination for you to visit. There are numerous scuba diving spots in Malapascua that are suitable for beginners and expert divers. One popular diving spot is Monad Shoal which gives you a breathtaking view of Malapascua Island’s deep-sea underworld. There are sites where you can check out sunken ships and planes for an experience beyond words. There are also daily sightings of Thresher Sharks on the island for extra excitement.
Sirao Flower Garden
If you want a bit of color during your visit, explore what is called “Little Amsterdam”. The Sirao Flower Garden has an abundance of celosia and burkas that offer unique tones of red, yellow, orange, and purple. The added windmill and cooler winds from the Busay area will ensure that you have a refreshing time. It’s best to visit Sirao during October to experience the full bloom. The garden is also located near the Sirao Pictorial Garden and Camping Site. There are tons of picture-perfect spots and an infinity pool for you to enjoy within the area after you finish wandering the Sirao Flower Garden.
Osmena Peak of Cebu
Source: Wikimedia Commons
If you head south, you can climb the Osmena Peak of Cebu in Mantalangon, Dalaguete. The peak stands at 1,013 meters above sea level and is considered the highest point on the island of Cebu. The limestone structures feature sharp protruding peaks that are perfectly Instagrammable. The peak is part of the Mantalangon mountain range and is considered the twin of Bohol’s Chocolate Hills. This destination is perfect for active individuals who enjoy hiking and camping.
These are just some of the destinations in Cebu that you can visit during your stay. Each destination on this list appeals to different types of travelers both foreign and local. These are a must-visit once you land on the island and will leave you wanting more after your trip.