The little-known island province of Cebu is part of the Philippines and is filled with natural beauty, from rolling hills to coastal plains and sparkling tropical beaches. The long, narrow island stretches 196km from top to bottom and its capital, Cebu City, is the oldest city in the Philippines. Cebu is now starting to make itself known on the international scene with various travel magazines and sites naming it as a top Asian-Pacific destination.
Cebu has a rich cultural history, having been colonised by the Spanish, briefly governed by the United States and then occupied by the Japanese in World War II before establishing independence in 1946. Some famous cultural landmarks include Magellan’s Cross, said to have been planted by the Spanish explorer Ferdinand Magellan in 1521, the Basílica Minore del Santo Niño – home to the figure of the Holy Child of Cebu, the oldest relic in the country, and the ever-busy Colon Street. This is the oldest street in the Philippines, lined with old classical buildings from the American Era.
For the adventurer, Cebu has some of the best snorkelling and diving in the world. You can explore shipwrecks and coral reefs, or head south east to Tanawan, Oslob, to experience the wonder of diving with huge whale sharks. There’s a smorgasbord of stunning natural sites to be found. Try riding a motorcycle to Tumalog Falls, canyoning at Kawasan Falls or chilling out on the picturesque Kalanggaman Islet.
Cebu is a magnificent island full of history, a warm and welcoming culture, fantastic local food and brilliant scenery. It’s time you discovered this island for yourself, before the rest of the world catches on!