Cebu in the Philippines is a great location for travellers and digital nomads, mainly because of the fantastic beaches. Here are some of the best Cebu beaches to visit…
Bounty Beach, Malapascua
Bounty Beach on the island of Malapascua is a must visit. It is a long stretch of white sand where you can paddle, lounge and snorkel. It offers a stunning sunset and is a great place to meet likeminded people as many divers relax by the bars or eateries after their days out. The beach has a party atmosphere too, with a disco every Saturday night. The beach is low lying so it is better for paddling and snorkelling than swimming, but the white sand and the fun friendly vibe is what makes this beach tick.
The sand banks that line this island make it feel like a true paradise. Sumilon Island is south of Cebu. It offers turquoise clear waters and white sands. It’s the type of place you can’t believe when you’re there, walking feeling the soft sand reach between your toes or diving into the clear sea to cool off. Day trips to Sumilon are popular as it’s only a 15-minute boat ride from the popular Oslob on Cebu. Head to Sumilon for sunbathing, a little exploration and a lot of gorgeous swimming.
Virgin Island, Bantayan Island
This Virgin Island is comparable to the one in Bohol, but arguably even better. It is quiet and has a feeling of remoteness, like you’re away from everyone else in the world feeling completely relaxed. The beach is perfect for lazing around, swimming or snorkelling. Palm trees mean it is not too exposed to the sun’s rays so you really can spend all day here taking in the peaceful scenery and listening to the soft waves break onto the white sandy shore.
Pescador Island, Moalboal
Pescador Island is not so much a beach but a rocky outcrop, but it is an excellent place to dive and see the unique topography of the Philippines. Easily visited through Island hopping and diving tours. It’s an unspoilt, undeveloped tiny rocky island with a drop off that is 50m deep in places. The coral reefs that surround the island provide excellent diving potential and marine life is abundant. Divers have seen coral, sea turtles, sardines plus tropical and colourful fish.
Shangri-La Resort, Mactan
One of Cebu’s larger, more developed islands is called Mactan, which is has a Shangri-La luxury hotel and a man-made beach as part of the resort. This offers the all-inclusive island experience to entertain the whole family. If you want to stay somewhere with more infrastructure and a luxury hotel experience, this could be the place. As well as the beach, the resort offers swimming pools, a golf course, tennis courts and child friendly activities.
White Beach, Moalboal
Clear water, great for snorkelling. The one thing to watch out for are the multiple entry fees and some tourist traps to pay to sit in certain areas. This is likely due to the beach being overcrowded in the past and an effort to even out traffic. Nevertheless, it’s a beautiful beach with impressive snorkelling and a vast expanse of sea to swim and play with inflatables or throw and catch a volleyball. The sand is made from tiny coral pieces so it isn’t soft to walk on, but the contributes to making the water clear with strong snorkel potential.
Tingko Beach, Alcoy
Stunning palms give shade over the sandy Tingko beach. This place is popular with locals, so is a good one to gain a more authentic experience of the Alcoy island and Pilipino culture than one of the more touristic beaches. There are lots of beach huts to stay in both on the waterfront and further up the incline of the island, providing scenic vistas of the beach below. Something special about Tingko beach is that it isn’t one long flat expanse of sand and sea, it is rocky and shady in places and is exposed to the weather a little more. On a sunny day you’re rewarded with a stunning beach, but on a cloudy day the little island seems moody and is a perfect place to avoid a touristy rush and enjoy the wind, which weirdly can feel like a welcome break from constant exposure to the sun!
Buho Rock Beach, Camotes Island
Camotes Island is a wonderful place for exploration. One of the most adrenaline fuelled activities you can take part in is cliff diving. Locals and tourists cheer you on as you jump from either a beginner platform or one for more experienced divers. It’s a perfect place to adventure and face your fears. There are very few restaurants or eateries as the area is truly remote and undeveloped. However, this gives it unique charm. Be a thrill seeker and jump into crystal clear water at Buho Rock!
Lambug Public Beach
This is one of the few beaches on the mainland of Cebu. It is on the Western side of the large island near Kawasan Falls, so can be incorporated into a fun scooter day trip. It’s a long beach with a little beachfront neighbourhood. The water is perfectly clear which makes it a top spot in Cebu for swimming. There are hut bars to get refreshments and is another perfect spot to watch the sunset. At Lambug there are plenty of options for beachfront accommodation options so it’s a great potential place for a first stop after landing on Cebu.
This is an absolute top beach spot in Cebu because of the likelihood of seeing sardines and sea turtles if you go snorkelling. Panagsama is famous for ‘sardine storms’ where you can be surrounded by sardines while swimming through the water. It’s a totally unique experience that doesn’t require a dive licence as the sardines swim close to the shore and the surface of the water. Alongside the sardines and sea turtles, there are many other colourful fish and coral. The beach area is relaxing and calm, and again offers a fantastic view of the Cebu sunset.
If you enjoyed this blog on the best Cebu beaches you might also like to read about the best beaches in Southeast Asia.