Cebu is a magical island in the Philippines archipelago. While it’s full of architectural and cultural heritage, the island and surrounding islets are also a haven for natural beauty and home to some fascinating Cebu beaches. Swimming with whale sharks off the coast of the Cebu city of Oslob is a raging hit with locals and international tourists who come to Cebu, but the main attractions are these white, sandy beaches of Cebu that are to be found all over the islands.
A List Of The Best Cebu Beaches
Here’s where you should head in the city for a great day in the sun, and parties after sundown!
1. Bounty Beach
A small island to the North of mainland Cebu, the Malapascua Island first became famous for the scuba dive tours with thresher sharks that are common in the region. However, Bounty beach is perhaps the most spectacular of Cebu beaches. The turquoise waters of the ocean and the burning white embers of the sand are only made better by the palm trees that line the beachfront here. The seaside is also bursting with activity, with bars, resorts, clubs, and restaurants geared to cater to an international clientele.
Location: Malapascua Island
What’s special: Thresher sharks
2. Paradise Beach
Suggested Read: 10 Places To Visit In Cebu For Thrill Seekers & History Buffs
The name of the beach is just apt, since it feels no less than paradise! Not very crowded, you can spend your time in absolute peach and serenity here. The beach is a little outside the town of Santa Fe on the island of Bantayan, to the north west of the main Cebu island. There are plenty of beachside resorts here, but the small stretch of sand is mostly nuisance free.
Location: Bantayan Island
What’s special: A secluded island far away from crowds of mainland Cebu
3. Santiago Bay
Santiago Bay offers the calmest and shallowest waters of all Cebu beaches due to its shape, and that is great if you want to go swimming here. The hilltop resorts have the best views of the clear waters here, and the restaurants here have affordable food for long stays. The Santiago Bay is also one of the great beaches for watching the beach sunsets that you often see on the calendar and wallpaper shots. Certainly one of the best beaches in Cebu!
Location: Camotes Island, east Cebu
What’s special: Flaming red sunsets on the bay
4. Sumilon Island
One of the best beaches in South Cebu (actually just off its coast), this cute little piece of volcanic rock has the best unexplored seashore of all the Cebu islands. The gorgeous blue-green water is great if you want to go swimming here, or you can just take a walk on the beach. The Sumilon Resort is the only place to stay here for tourists, and the rooms are pretty cheap considering what they charge on the mainland.
Location: South Cebu
What’s special: Upmarket camping, or glamping
5. Badian Island
Some of the smaller islets off the coast of Cebu are other-wordly in how gorgeous they are and the Badian Island is one such island resort. The beach itself is inside the Badian Island Resort, which is, hands-down, one of the most luxurious resorts in Cebu. There is a private plunge pool for guests here, and you can enjoy the finer things in life while sunbathing or just lazing around the most serene and scenic of Cebu beaches.
Location: Cebu island
What’s special: Happy hour at the bar begins at sunset, cocktails are a specialty here
6. Bakhaw Beach
Close to the Santiago Bay, the Bakhaw Beach in the Camotes is the less touristy cousin of the Bay. One of the affordable beaches in Cebu if you are looking for some alone time with yourself or your group, you can easily rent a cottage here and bring along some drinks for a peaceful stay. The palm trees along the beach are a great place to sit under and relax, and most visitors just sit by the seaside and relax.
Location: Camotes Island east Cebu
What’s special: Cheap villas for rent
7. Tingko Beach
This is a small but stunning beach amongst the beaches in Cebu. More popular with the locals than international tourists, the beach is at its best in summers and the weather is good. It is on a small lagoon with a small coral island right across called the Mabad on-Reef. The island is a treat to watch from the beach because it goes under the sea during high tide and can only be seen during low tide. Sunsets and sunrises on the beach and against the island are crazy beautiful!
Location: Natalio Bacalso Avenue, Alcoy
What’s special: The coral island of Mabad on-reef
8. White Beach
The island of Moalboal has two beaches – Panagsama and White Beach. Panagsama is more rocky, while the White Beach is an almost perfect spread of white sand on the shores of the Visayan. The White Beach is one of the most gorgeous beaches near Cebu. There is a reef that runs along Moalboal and if you go snorkelling here, you have a good chance of witnessing some great sea life including turtles if you are lucky. You can rent cottages here for use during the day, and resorts are here too for longer stays.
What’s special: Snorkelling and diving along the reefs
9. Maribago Beach
This is one of the only beaches in Mactan, Cebu – most of the coastline here is either rocky or ends in cliffs. Most of the beach space on Maribago has been taken up by private resorts, so if you think a beach is essential to your vacation plans in Mactan, check with your hotel or resort first to see if they have access to a beach. There are some public beaches on the Maribago coastline – Vano beach and the adjoining pier is one. Although crowded, they may work if you are looking for cheap beaches in Cebu.
Location: Mactan, Cebu
What’s special: The island resorts here are quite luxurious
10. Virgin Island
The Virgin Island makes for an amazing day trip from the Bantayan Island. You can get here only by boat, and will be greeted by picture perfect scenery of white sands and green blue waters, against an azure blue sky and tall palm trees. The Virgin Island on Bantayan are a picture of peace and serenity, and there are only a few tourists here and there bathing in the sun. One of the top 10 beaches in Cebu for sure!
Location: Bantayan Island
What’s special: Peaceful and serene setting
These Cebu beaches are the perfect setting for your next tropical getaway. Take a trip to Philippines and experience just how flawless and lovely a Filipino beach vacation can be!