When it comes time to decide which of the 7,000 plus islands of the Philippines you’re going to visit, you may be more than a little overwhelmed with the variety of options. And many places have things to recommend them. Manila is great if you’re interested in gambling. If you head to Luzon, you can see the famous volcano in Lake Taal. And visitors to Donsol can swim with giant whale sharks. But if you’re looking for a little bit of everything in one place, then you may want to choose Cebu as your vacation destination in the Philippines. Here are the top five reasons to put this province on your list of places to visit.
1. Cebu City. You can find a ton of entertainment options when you head to the heart of Cebu. This city is not only the cultural center of the province (and the second largest city in the nation); it is also the oldest city in the Philippines (although it has grown quite a bit) and if offers a beautiful blending of old and new. You can check out the mix of architecture (dating back hundreds of years up to modern day), hit up some clubs, enjoy fine dining, or rock out at one of the cities many music festivals.
2. Diving. Although there are many amazing sites to dive throughout the island chain, Cebu is said to harbor the most beautiful underwater landscapes. You can not only swim with schools of fish at some locations; you can also see unique marine life here that you won’t find at other dive sites around the islands. Warm, clear waters complete the package and make this a diver’s paradise.
3. Beach resorts. Once you finish your dive, you’ll no doubt want to dry off in the warm sun, and on this score Cebu can also deliver. Their gorgeous, pristine, white-sand beaches will have you melting into relaxation in no time, as will the resort accommodations that accompany these long stretches of sand. So head to the beach for a little R&R, or spice things up with some snorkeling, scuba diving, or other water sports (and stay the night at a private beach house).
4. Shopping. Perhaps you’re on the prowl for some traditional island clothing. Or maybe you’d like to order some furniture to send home (an ornate, antique cabinet to commemorate your trip). You might just be looking for some gifts to bring your loved ones. Whatever your shopping needs, Cebu can meet them. It is not only a wealthy urban area; it is also cited as the largest trading center in the Philippines, meaning you can find just about anything you’re looking for.
5. Food. Life in the Philippines is often geared towards eating, and these are people who enjoy their food! Luckily, that means you’re bound to enjoy it, as well. Seafood is prevalent (no surprise there) and you can take advantage of the many delicious native dishes that include the fruits of the sea (fish, that is). Also easy to find are Thai, Japanese, and European cuisines, so there’s a little something to suit every palate.
Emma Martin writes for Charming Tuscany where you can find the best in Tuscany hotels and plan your next luxurious vacation.