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Cebu & Mactan Island

Overview

Destination Cebu and Mactan Island

Cebu City is the Philippines second biggest city, 'The Queen City of the South', and is also the gateway to the popular Visayas Islands. Many guests are likely to arrive on International flights here or use Cebu as their domestic flight hub.

The airport is actually located just across from Cebu on Mactan island which is connected by two impressive road bridges. Mactan is so closely associated with the presence of the Airport and a large number of beach based Resorts and Hotels that it easy to forget that there is also some very good diving in the area. With many Dive Centers and Resorts close to the Airport, you could be getting ready to explore some of the fascinating reefs that lie off-shore from Mactan just one hour after your plane lands!

Mactan is actually an ideal dive destination for those travelers who have just a short trip or holiday time available - most of our featured Resorts are less than 20 minutes from the Airport. It's good for those planning to spend a few days diving here before heading on to the next island location and it's a great place to combine diving with family time, City Tours, shopping etc.

The focus for many guests is on beach and watersports activities; in addition to diving and snorkeling, sailing, cruising and island hopping are very popular. Others are happy just to soak up sunshine on the sand or poolside between dives and catch up with friends over great food and drinks in the evenings.

Our featured Resorts all have swimming or training pools which makes Mactan a good choice for those looking to try diving for the first time and for those looking to start diving by taking their Open Water Courses.

Featured Hotels and Resorts

  • Shangri-La Mactan
  • Maribago Bluewater
  • Moevenpick Cebu
  • Quest Hotel
  • Radisson Blu Cebu

Getting There

Mactan Resorts are literally on the doorstep of Cebu Airport (serving both international and domestic paassengers). Most are within 20 minutes drive of the Airport Terminal!

Weather

Mactan is a year round diving destination. December through to June are generally the driest and warmest months. July to October and November usually sees more rain but is a little quitter in vistor numbers.

The Diving

Most of the dive sites at Mactan are along the Eastern coastline and across the narrow channel at Olango island. Typically many of the sites have sandy slopes that extend over to walls that can drop by as much as 40-50m. The tops of the walls are generally shallow and without too much current providing good diving for novices and photographers. The Shangri-La Marine Sanctuary hosts some of the prolific fish life in the area and has been a Marine Sanctuary for 8 years. Carefully overseen by concerned parties this is fascinating dive with schools of jacks present as well as large barracuda and a host of tropical fish species.

The shallow waters at Tambuli make for a good training or orientation dive whilst at approximately 18-20m an old plane was deliberately sunk some time ago to provide an interesting artificial life. This has now become one of the best locations for macro-lif and associated photography in Mactan.

With a flat reef near the surface and with as steep outer wall that often provides good drift diving and interest for macro-photography the Kontiki Dive Site is popular for both beginners and advanced divers.

Slightly further out from Mactan are two Marine Sanctuary sites popular with both divers and snorkelers: Nalusuan Island and Hilutungan Island are generally visited as day trips with 2 or 3 tank dives. Many Dive Centers also run longer day trips to Cabilao or the Camotes Islands.

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