Best places to stay in Cebu
Cebu City is the oldest city in the Philippines, steeped in history and still holding on to some of its old world charm. The city boasts a busy seaport, making it a bustling city that welcomes tourists that use the city as a base to explore further afield. Cebu City may be a stop off point for many but for others, the large shopping malls, great street food scene and lively nightlife make it a great place to hang loose and let your hair down. Cebu City is loud and dusty, so it is not a place to stay if you are wanting a family holiday. It is much more suited to singles or couples, looking to take in Filipino culture and enjoy an energetic city holiday. Whilst Cebu City can look a little tired in some parts, the dust is shaken off by the large hotels that offer a luxurious stay for foreign guests.
All of the best sights are enjoyed by strolling around town and soaking up the atmosphere but there are tourist attractions to explore, such as the 16th Century Fort San Pedro that was built when the first Spanish settlers discovered Cebu. The great infrastructure of Cebu means that tourists can spend a few days in Cebu City before moving on to one of the islands for a more traditional beach holiday.
Lapu Lapu is an urban city that takes up a large proportion of Mactan Island. Despite it being highly populated, holiday makers can still find solitude in one of its many luxury hotels. Lapu Lapu is particularly popular with families, with many hotels priding themselves on having child friendly facilities and services. The beaches surrounding the hotels are clean and the waters are safe, so that children can spend hours playing on the beach or at the hotel pool. There is also a large water park for families and The Jungle Cultural Entertainment Centre in Maribago offers parties, tours and packages for people of all ages.
There are opportunities to shop at the small Uni Top Mall or you can browse through the public market, to get a taste of life in Mactan. Nightlife is lively but not rowdy, in keeping with a family destination, but there are busy bars and nightclubs in the centre of town for those wanting to party. As well as hotels to suit all budgets, Lapu Lapu has a number of holiday rentals available, for those with a large party or that want to stay on the island for a longer period.
Moalboal is the place to go to dive in Cebu, with thousands of divers visiting the town every year to enjoy the wonderful sea life in the area. Panagsama Beach is the hub of all of the action in Moalboal, with hotels, bars and restaurants that offer plenty of choice for differing budgets. Panagsama beach can get very crowded during the peak season but there is a quieter beach further down the coast: White Beach. White beach is a lot more laid back and is much cleaner than the busy Panagsama beach, making it attractive for locals as well as tourists looking for a little sun worshipping.
The area mostly attracts young adventure seekers, with canyoning, sea kayaking and river climbing popular activities, alongside diving. There are diving schools for newcomers, with classes and equipment hire readily available and with plenty of friendly beachside cafés and shops, you will never be short of advice from the diving community.
Malapascua Island offers a true taste of West Pacific paradise, with its clear blue seas and long golden beaches. Couples and honeymooners, looking for a romantic place to stay head to Malapascua Island for a chance to unwind and to be spoiled in the luxury hotels in the area. There are a few high rise hotels on the island but the majority of accommodation choices come in the shape of small bungalow huts, that are nestled in-between the houses of locals.
The resorts on Malapascua Island offer everything you would expect from an exotic beach holiday: sun, sand, sea cocktails and if you really want to push the boat out some resorts even offer high class living in beachfront rooms. There are pockets of the island that are popular with backpackers wanting to get away from it all, so you will find budget accommodation on the island too. Once again, diving is the most popular tourist attraction, with dozens of diving centres offering professional support for people looking to get to see the delights of the ocean.