The island province of Cebu is one of the most popular destinations in the Philippines. Known as the Queen City of the South, Cebu is the country’s oldest city and the seat of Christianity in the Philippines. It was here that Ferdinand Magellan first set foot on Philippine soil back in 1521. In contrast to the bustle of Cebu City, the rest of Cebu’s 167 islets and islands are lined with serene white sandy beaches, spectacular dive spots and a diverse mix of wildlife and marine ecosystems. Malapascua This island off Cebu’s northern tip has, over the years, become more and more popular among dive enthusiast. Especially since there are three wreck dives in the area including a WWII ship. For snorkelers, head out to the house reef straight out front that has some decent corals. Moalboal Diving is the order of the day. The island of Pescador offers some of the most spectacular diving in Cebu. The island’s waters have excellent visibility of up to 50m and are usually teeming with fish. But the main attractions are the swirling mass schools of sardines. Kawasan Falls Three waterfalls amid a lush green forest offer a unique panorama. The largest cascades from 20m. Dip into the refreshing milky blue swimming holes or climb up the highest waterfall for more secluded spots. You can also speak to local guides about canyoning trips. Olango Wildlife Sanctuary Bird watchers are in for a treat. This sanctuary is where the largest concentration of migratory birds can be found on the Philippines. Keep your eyes peeled for 48 species that include the endangered Chinese egret and Asiatic Dowitcher. Bantayan Island A perfect place for beach bums to laze. There’s no diving, snorkelling, surfing or even volcanoes here. Just blindingly-white, sandy beaches, good food and fun drinking spots. The island becomes quite busy during Holy Week when locals come for Easter holidays. Oslob The best place in the Philippines so swim with Whale Sharks. Here you can dive or snorkel with the gentle giants of the sea where you are almost guaranteed to be surrounded by whale sharks during the morning feeding time. You are able to experience the whale shark encounter year round however tours are only available in the morning and early afternoon so it’s best to get in early.
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