bantayan island

10 Best Islands in Cebu

Welcome to the stunning province of Cebu, home to some of the most breathtaking islands in the Philippines.

If you’re a beach lover, adventure seeker, or simply in need of a relaxing getaway, Cebu has it all.

With its crystal clear waters, powdery white sand beaches, vibrant marine life, and rich cultural heritage, it’s no wonder that Cebu is a must-visit destination for travelers from all over the world.

In this article, we’ll take you on a virtual tour of the 10 best islands in Cebu. From the popular tourist spots to the hidden gems, we’ve handpicked these islands based on their natural beauty, accessibility, and unique experiences they offer.

So, pack your bags, put on your sunscreen, and get ready to explore the wonders of Cebu’s islands.

1. Bantayan Island

bantayan island

Let’s start our island-hopping adventure with Bantayan Island, a true paradise for beach lovers. Known for its pristine white sand beaches, crystal clear waters, and vibrant coral reefs, Bantayan Island is a haven for swimming, snorkeling, and diving enthusiasts.

You can also explore the island’s mangroves, go island hopping, or simply relax and soak up the sun.

Don’t forget to try the mouthwatering seafood dishes that Bantayan Island is famous for.

Recommended resort to stay at: Anika Island Resort

For more on Bantayan Island check our articles – 5 Best Bantayan Island Beaches, Bantayan Island Itinerary & Cebu to Bantayan Island.

2. Malapascua Island

malapascua island

Next on our list is Malapascua Island, a diver’s paradise located in the northern part of Cebu. This small island is renowned for its encounters with thresher sharks, manta rays, and beautiful coral gardens.

Whether you’re an experienced diver or a beginner, Malapascua Island offers a range of diving spots suitable for a ll levels. Apart from diving, you can also enjoy snorkeling, beach hopping, and watching stunning sunsets.

Recommended resort to stay at: Hippocampus Beach and Dive Resort

For more on Malapascua Island check our articles – 10 Best Malapascua Resorts & Hotels & 10 Best Things to Do in Malapascua Island.

3. Camotes Islands

camotes island

For those seeking adventure and natural wonders, the Camotes Islands are a must-visit. This group of islands is known for its caves, waterfalls, lakes, and stunning cliffs.

Explore the fascinating Bukilat Cave, trek to the enchanting Lake Danao, or take a dip in the crystal clear waters of Timubo Cave.

You can also go kayaking, spelunking, cliff jumping, or simply relax on the pristine beaches of Santiago Bay.

Recommended resort to stay at: Mangodlong Rock Resort

For more on Camotes Island – 9 Best Camotes Island Resorts & Hotels, Camotes Island Itinerary & Cebu to Camotes Island Ferry Schedule.

4. Sumilon Island

Sumilon Island

Located in the southeastern part of Cebu, Sumilon Island is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered.

The island boasts a stunning sandbar, a marine sanctuary teeming with colorful marine life, and a tranquil lagoon perfect for swimming and snorkeling. You can also go trekking, birdwatching, or explore the underwater world through diving or snorkeling.

Don’t forget to capture the breathtaking views of the island from the Sumilon Island Light Station.

Recommended resort to stay at: Bluewater Sumilon Island Resort

5. Mactan Island

mactan island

If you’re looking for a mix of history, culture, and modern comforts, Mactan Island is the place to be. Known for its historical sites, such as the Magellan Shrine and Lapu-Lapu Monument, Mactan Island offers a glimpse into the rich cultural heritage of the Philippines.

You can also enjoy cultural shows, visit vibrant local markets, or indulge in some retail therapy at the island’s shopping malls.

For water sports enthusiasts, Mactan Island is perfect for island hopping, parasailing, jet skiing, and more.

Recommended resort to stay at: Crimson Resort and Spa Mactan

6. Pescador Island

Pescador Island

Located off the coast of Moalboal, Pescador Island is a haven for divers and snorkelers. The island is famous for its sardine run, where you can witness thousands of sardines moving in unison.

Dive into the crystal clear waters and explore the vibrant coral gardens, encounter sea turtles, and marvel at the diverse marine life. Pescador Island is a must-visit destination for underwater enthusiasts.

Recommended resort to stay at: Moalboal Tropics

7. Nalusuan Island

nalusuan island

Situated in the picturesque waters of the Mactan Channel, Nalusuan Island is a marine reserve that offers a unique island experience.

Swim with colorful fish, go snorkeling, or take a walk on the boardwalk to observe the underwater world. Nalusuan Island is perfect for a day trip or an overnight stay in one of the floating cottages.

Don’t miss the opportunity to witness the mesmerizing fish feeding sessions.

Recommended resort to stay at: Nalusuan Island Resort

8. Badian Island

badian island

If you’re looking for a luxurious and secluded island getaway, Badian Island is the place for you. This private island is home to a stunning spa resort, private beaches, and a tropical garden.

Indulge in pampering spa treatments, enjoy delectable dining experiences, or simply relax in the tranquility of the island. Badian Island is the perfect destination for those seeking ultimate relaxation and rejuvenation.

Recommended resort to stay at: Badian Island Wellness Resort

Check our article too – Cebu City to Badian – How to Get There.

9. Olango Island

Olango Island

Nature lovers and birdwatching enthusiasts will find Olango Island a true paradise. This island is home to the Olango Island Wildlife Sanctuary, a haven for migratory birds.

Explore the mangroves, go kayaking, cycling, or fishing, and immerse yourself in the beauty of nature. Olango Island offers a unique and peaceful escape from the bustling city life.

Recommended resort to stay at: Sagastrand Beach Resort

10. Kalanggaman Island

Kalanggaman Island

Last but certainly not least, Kalanggaman Island is a hidden gem that will take your breath away. Known for its long sandbar, turquoise waters, and swaying coconut trees, Kalanggaman Island is a perfect destination for camping, swimming, sunbathing, and stargazing. This untouched island is a true tropical paradise that will leave you in awe of its natural beauty.

Recommended resort to stay at: Palompon kalimba de luna Villa Inn


In conclusion, Cebu is a treasure trove of stunning islands waiting to be explored. Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or cultural immersion, Cebu’s islands have something for everyone.

So, pack your bags, grab your snorkeling gear, and get ready for an unforgettable island-hopping experience in Cebu.

Important Frequently Asked Questions

Which Part of Cebu is Best to Stay?

For a convenient and central location, it’s best to stay in Mactan Island. This area is close to the airport and offers a wide range of accommodations, from budget-friendly to luxury resorts.

Mactan Island also has easy access to other popular tourist destinations in Cebu.

What are the Famous Islands Near Cebu?

Apart from the ones mentioned in this article, some other famous islands near Cebu include Malapascua Island, Moalboal, and Bohol Island.

These islands offer unique experiences, such as diving with thresher sharks, swimming with whale sharks, and exploring the Chocolate Hills.

What is the Easiest Island to Get to From Cebu?

The easiest island to get to from Cebu is Mactan Island. It is connected to the main island of Cebu by two bridges, making it easily accessible by car or public transportation.

Mactan Island is also home to the international airport, making it a convenient starting point for your island-hopping adventures.

Which is Better: North Cebu or South Cebu?

Both North Cebu and South Cebu offer unique attractions and experiences, so it depends on your preferences. North Cebu is known for its pristine beaches and diving spots, while South Cebu is famous for its waterfalls, canyoneering adventures, and whale shark encounters.

Consider what activities and attractions interest you the most before deciding which part of Cebu to explore.

What Month is Best for Cebu?

The best time to visit Cebu is during the dry season, which runs from December to May. This period offers sunny weather, calm seas, and ideal conditions for swimming, snorkeling, and diving.

However, Cebu can be visited year-round, as even during the rainy season, there are still plenty of indoor activities and attractions to enjoy.

Now that you have all the information you need, it’s time to start planning your island-hopping adventure in Cebu. Whether you choose to explore the popular islands or venture off the beaten path, Cebu’s islands will surely leave you with unforgettable memories. So, grab your swimsuit, put on your snorkel mask, and get ready to discover the natural wonders of Cebu’s stunning islands.