6 Things to Do on Cebu’s Mactan Island

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6 Things to Do on Cebu’s Mactan Island

Easily reachable from all over the world through the major transport hub of Cebu-Mactan Airport, Mactan Island offers a wide range of things to do without needing to travel far into the Filipino archipelago. A short boat ride from the main island will get you to a number of beautiful coral reef sites, teeming with tropical fish, perfect for snorkeling around.

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6 Things to Do on Cebu’s Mactan Island

Go on an Island Hopping Tour

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One of the most popular activities in Cebu and for good reason, the surrounding waters are full of pristine coral, beautifully clear water and tropical islands. Tours depart from several piers around Mactan and usually visit three islands on a morning to late afternoon tour. These general tours also include snorkeling and equipment rental along with a barbecue lunch on one of the islands.

Soak in the Sun at a Resort

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There are a number of luxury resorts near the airport on Mactan Island, some of them concentrated around the peninsula on Punta Engano and then downwards along the east coast of the island. Places like the Movenpick resort have their own private beaches, swimming pools and on site restaurants for the ultimate relaxation and no need to travel out anywhere. If you can't afford the high prices to stay overnight, many of them offer day passes for usage of the resort facilities along with lunch included at a fraction of the room price.

Go Snorkling

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If you're not as interested in traveling around the islands off the coast, you can always just book a snorkeling tour. Although the price will often be the same or similar to an island hopping tour, you'll have more time for snorkeling. You can also opt to rent a boat (along with the boatmen) for your group if you want more flexibility and to decide where to visit.

Chill out at the Ibiza Beach Club

Mactan's most chic beachside club, the Ibiza Beach Club is for those who want to dine and drink in style. Its idyllic location next to the seaside makes for the perfect location to view the sunset as it glistens off the waters. The decor both inside and outside is stunning and perfect accompaniments to the delicious Mediterranean-style food.

Take in some History at Mactan Shrine

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Mactan Island wasn't always just a slice of paradise for tourists and locals to soak up the natural environment. In fact it was the site of one of the first resistances to foreign rule, when local forces on Mactan fought off and won against Spanish conquerors. Known as Lapu-Lapu, there's a statue at the site here honoring the Philippines' 'first national hero'. At the same site you'll also find an obelisk honoring Magellan, the captain that died attacking the island, built by the Spanish.


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Mactan isn't just limited to island hopping and snorkeling. It's also a popular spot for a number of water activities such as parasailing, jet-skiing and kayaking around the island's coastline. While most tourists tend to do an island hopping tour and call it a day, if you're spending longer around the island then it's highly recommended to take out some time to try out the watersports on offer while there. Scotty's Action Sports Network is located at the Shangri-La resort and offers various sports along with fishing.


It's clear why Cebu is one of the most famous holiday destinations in the world. In addition to the beautiful natural environment, pristine waters and colorful corals, the islands have been developed for tourism to meet any visitors requirements. See why it's so popular yourself by taking a trip to this corner of paradise.




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