Cebu Philippines, being an archipelago, is home to various scuba diving sites where exotic marine creatures live. The islands near Cebu offer paradise to people who are looking forward to basking in pristine water and feasting on the spectacles of nature. The place is also a living portrait of the opulent culture of the earlier Visayan generations. Tourists to Cebu can consider their trip well-accomplished if they have visited any of the 5 most popular spots below.
Located in the Visayan Sea between the neighboring islands of Bohol and Cebu, Cabilao Island is a perfect scuba diving and snorkeling spot for beginners and experts alike. Diving is possible at any time of the year. Coral reefs surrounding the island are a magnificent sight and what mainly attracts tourists to it. The three diving sites in Cabilao Island that are worth the effort to see are the House reef where species of scorpion fish, tunas, barracudas, and seahorses are sheltered; the Sanctuary which is a protected underwater zone where groupers, wrasses and snappers are a familiar scene; and the Cambaquiz Slope where you can challenge yourself to find the masters of disguise such as the ghost pipefish, sea needles, and snails.
Mactan is just a short distance from Cebu city and the international airport. The most frequented scuba diving spots in Mactan Island are the Kontiki House Reef, the Marigondon Cave, and the Kasantik. However, diving is not the only thing that makes Mactan Island a magnet to tourists. You can also see the Taoist Temple where the teachings of Chinese philosopher Lao-Tse are preserved. The temple features 81 steps each representing a chapter in the Taoism scriptures. Upon reaching the top, you can light joss sticks and have your fortune read. If you are a guitar enthusiast, you can go to Lapu-Lapu City and choose from a huge selection of guitars.
Malapascua is a tiny island located in Daanbantayan Municipality, Cebu Province. You can ride a boat to hop from one hamlet to another, or enjoy the many snorkeling sites there. A motorbike ride will make a good alternative, especially if you would like to see the marvelous landscapes on land. By midday, it would be nice to get a taste of Filipino foods while still savoring the smell of sea aboard a floating bar. Among the popular scuba diving sites in Malapascua are the Monad Shoal which is an island under the sea, and the only place in the world that offers a view of thresher sharks, the Gato Island that serves as a sanctuary to different species of sea snakes, and the Lapus Island that takes pride in harboring some of the most stunning coral reefs in the world.
Moalboal is a small town on Cebu Island, south west of Cebu City, hailed for white sand beaches and diverse marine life. Tourists can explore the popular Busay Cave and the old churches in Boljoon, Dalaguete and Argao. Scuba diving is another main attraction with which divers can see at close range hammerhead sharks and sardines. Among the most visited dive sites are the Sunken Island, Kasai, and Plane Wreck.
Located five kilometres east of Mactan Island, the Olango Group of islands is composed of seven islands surrounded by reef-flat cove. If you are dreaming of a sandy beach, rocky shoreline and lush mangroves, Mactan Island is the place to be. Bird sanctuaries are a talk of the town during the mating season, while the fish sanctuaries are a must see for divers. You can take a pump boat ride to roam the area, and then dine at the floating restaurant in Caw-oy where a wide selection of sea foods are served fresh and live.
Dive points at Olango Island are best recommended for experienced divers. At Mabini point, diving to the depth of 35m allows for an encounter with hammerhead and whale sharks. Because there is not much to see in the shallows, those diving at Baring are advised to descend about 30 m to stumble upon snappers, gray reef sharks, barracudas, among others. For divers at Santa Rosa, they can expect to see soft corals, catfish, and sweetlips.