Ever wanted to escape onto an island in the Philippines but worried that the number of tourists would only crush your Blue Lagoon fantasy? Well, it’s about time you pay attention to Cebu’s beaches then.

Cebu’s charms remain underrated with other islands like Siargao and Palawan stealing the scene these days. However, Cebu is home to plenty of diverse beaches that offer many exciting activities.

Despite their quiet tourism, Cebu’s pieces of paradise can easily land a spot in Asia’s best beaches. So before they turn into the congested but now rehabilitated Boracay, let me introduce the three best beaches in Cebu.

Bounty Beach, Malapascua Island

Photo Credit: thepinaysolobackpacker

Malapascua means “Bad Christmas,” but it’s the Christmas morning treat you’d get excited to unwrap. Located in the north part of Cebu, Malapascua Island is home to a rich marine ecosystem attracting divers all over the world. 

Bounty Beach is the first and liveliest beach you’ll meet when you arrive on Malapascua. The beach is a stretch of white sand, lining the clear blue-green sea. No wonder it’s on the high ranks of the best beaches in Cebu.

The beach hosts different resorts, restaurants, and shops for water adventures like diving. Check out Sea Explorers Philippines for the best diving experience under the waters of Malapascua. 

Bounty Beach is a strip of heaven for both active beachheads and coconut-in-one-hand or cold-beer-while-basking-in-the-sun beach bums. With barely any tourists, don’t expect a loud nightlife but an evening of music from the waves instead.

Things to Do 

Malapascua might be famous mostly for diving, but there are other equally exciting activities there for non-divers as well.


You don’t want to skip a chance to witness the beautiful corals of Malapascua. With the glass-like waters of the sea, you would love snorkeling throughout the length of the coast. 

Explore the Island with a Bike

For just PHP 30-50 or less than USD 1 for a one-way ride, you can immerse into the serene life on the island. Get lost under the trees and discover hidden beauties beyond Bounty Beach.


Right on the beach, there is the newly opened Malapascua Kitesurfing school. They have accommodating instructors from beginners to advanced students and complete gears for your action.

A little insider tip: Ask for the instructor named Dave when coming to this school. He has years of experience and knows the sport well. 

How to Get Here

  1. From Manila, book a flight going to Cebu
  2. You’ll land at Mactan Airport where you can have a cab take you to Cebu City’s North Bus Terminal (estimated fare: PHP 210/USD 4)
  3. Get on a bus bound for Maya Port in Daanbantayan
  4. Take a 30-minute boat ride to Malapascua from that port (estimated fare: PHP 100/USD 2). 
  5. Get off right on Bounty Beach. Note that the boat can’t dock on the shore if it’s low tide, so you’ll be transferred by a small boat (estimated fare: PHP 20/USD 0.38)

Sumilon Island

Credit: Journey Era

Pristine blue waters and white sand surround this 24-hectare island. The sandbar of Sumilon is also famous for its changing forms and moving locations that are triggered by the shifts in seasons.

On the nature trail of the island, you’ll find the historic Sumilon Lighthouse that served as a watchtower for the island in the 19th century. With relocating sands and a scenic trail leading to a piece of history, it is no wonder why the island was the first marine protected area in the country.

The island also sits on a coral-rich marine environment, hence being labeled as a marine sanctuary in 1974. Like Malapascua, Sumilon is also famous for its dive sites. Here are its four prime diving spots:

  • Garden Eel Plaza
  • Coral Landscape
  • Nikki’s Wall
  • Julie’s Rock

Sumilon is also home to other attractions like a natural lagoon surrounded by tall mangroves and beautiful caves, which shelter fishers during storms. Just when you thought that’s all, an immaculate lake happens to rest on the island as well.

Things to Do

Agencies around Sumilon well represent travel assistance in the Philippines. So rest assured that you’ll enjoy your stay on the island with the expertise of travel and activity facilitators around. 

We rounded up fun activities you can do on the island other than diving, which you could get an excellent guide for without spending too much. 


Sumilon Island has shallow coral reefs, which is perfect for snorkeling. You can rent snorkels right from a few shops on the beaches of the island. 


As mentioned above, the island has a nature trail. So yes, it might take a few losses of breath getting to the lighthouse.

There is a guided hike at 10 AM and 2 PM, but you won’t get lost on your own as blue flags around are directing the path. The trek is a little rough, so you might want to grab one of those walking sticks they have at the foot of the trail.

We guarantee your muscles will quiver in pain once you reach the Southern Tip. However, the view from up there makes the struggle all worth it.


Explore the quiet lagoon and high mangroves with a line and hook. You can check Bluewaters Sumilon to book a guided session.

As mentioned above, you could also check out those caves fishers would evacuate to during the storm to get a genuine feel of the activity.

Paddleboardingtravel Philippines

This activity is another way to explore the island’s calm lagoon. Resorts on the island have gear rentals and decently priced lessons for those who are new to paddleboarding. Bluewaters Sumilon is also the best place to book this activity. 

Whale and Dolphin Watching

There is a pumpboat or banca early in the morning that takes visitors to Tañon Strait. It is an exceptional spot for dolphin and whale sighting. Expect to see the majestic pygmy killer whales and spinner dolphins in that area. 

Bird Watching

You can request for binoculars when hanging on the lagoon for bird watching. In the afternoon, Sumilon’s lagoon is the best point to observe Cebu’s migratory birds. 

How to Get Here

  1. From Manila, book a flight going to Cebu
  2. You’ll land at Mactan Airport where you can have a cab take you to Cebu City’s South Bus Terminal.
  3. Ride a Ceres Bus bound for Bato, Oslob (estimated fare PHP 165)
  4. Get off at Oslob
  5. Right next to the Oslob Whale Shark Watching Site is the port going to Sumilon Island
  6. The 2-way boat trip to Sumilon costs PHP 1500 for five people, so if you’re a group of less than 5, wait for other tourists so you could save a little. 
  7. When you arrive on Sumilon Island, you’ll have to pay an environmental fee worth PHP 50

Virgin Island, Bantayan

Credit: Sugbo.ph

This island is true to its name–untouched and tranquil. This one of the best beaches in Cebu if you want to get away from reality for a while. 

The Virgin Island in Bantayan is in the northern part of Cebu. It is a tract of powdery white shores and clear, cerulean waters. That image of purity got passed on through word of mouth, leading to the beach’s humble renown. 

A frequent weekend or holiday escape to hardworking Cebuanos, Virgin Island remains this hidden beauty of a community. Despite many foreign tourists finding out about the beach, the number of tourists stays minimal due to the beach’s design for pure relaxation rather than watersports. 

Things to Do

Virgin Island’s appeal is its lack of commercialization. It displays and offers a simple lifestyle, which I think everyone expects of a remote beach. 

Still, the region never runs out of fulfilling things for you to do on there. Even without a stable cellular connection, you’ll always find yourself enjoying any of the following activities when you’re there. 

Snorkeling & Free Diving

As mentioned above, the Bantayan waters are crystalline. That is why the locals recommend you snorkel around the coasts or free dive to see the glorious world resting under the Virgin Island.

The beach has a few shops that have gears for rent. However, many people say that it’s costly compared to most beaches in the province. 

Beach Volleyball

This sport is what makes Virgin Island alive. Visitors from different groups, along with the locals, gather to go for afternoon volleyball matches on the beach.

With the chalky white sands of the beach, you’ll have a great time beating friendly opponents. 


The island may be remote, but good Cebuano food and some fruity or alcoholic drinks are available onsite. Experience the laidback life with a satisfying meal or a cold drink under the sun while watching the smooth dancing of the beach waves.

There are also hammocks hanging between the tall trees of the beach. So why don’t you bring your drink there with you when you read a good book? Or why not just take a good nap?

How to Get Here

  1. From Manila, book a flight going to Cebu
  2. You’ll land at Mactan Airport where you can have a cab take you to Cebu City’s North Bus Terminal.
  3. Get on the bus headed for Hagnaya
  4. Get off at Hagnaya and take a 1-hour boat ride to Sta. Fe, Bantayan Island
  5. Once you reach Bantayan, charter a boat bound for Virgin Island

The Wrap-Up

So there you have the three best beaches in Cebu, which are just waiting for you to explore. With the right travel assistance the Philippines has plenty of, you can have guided tours pre-arranged for you to see everything these islands have to offer.