Cebu is well known for a lot of things including white sandy beaches, diving sites, diverse marine animals, amazing food and friendly locals. With all the sites Cebu offers, most travelers and tourists immediately go straight to the famous tourist spots of the island. However, not many know the crazy fun things Mactan has to offer.

Home to Cebu’s Mactan Airport, you’ll be in for a surprise when you find out what Mactan has to offer. So let’s dive in, shall we?


But first things first, do you have travel insurance? This is something you should have but wish you never want to use. Accidents can happen anytime and having travel insurance can save you a lot of money in case something goes wrong during your travels! Never travel without one. Get a free quote here.


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How To Get There

From Manila

To get to Mactan, you have two options: by sea or by air. By air, you can book flights from Manila to Mactan Aiport on Cebu Pacific Air, Air Asia, Royal Air, or Philippine Airlines. By sea, you can book your ferry tickets at 2GO travel.

From Dumaguete

From Dumaguete, you can ride a Ceres bus heading to Cebu City. The bus will have to board a ferry before going to Cebu City. From here, you can ride a taxi, bus or jeep to get you to Mactan.

Travel Tip: Check schedules and availability of buses, ferries, taxis or flights to book online with 12Go Asia.

Important Things To Know About Mactan

But before we delve into the top things to do in Mactan, here’s a few stuff you should know before your trip.

Currency in Mactan: The main currency used in Mactan is Philippine Peso.

ATMs on the Island: Mactan has several ATMs so you don’t have to worry. But be sure to bring enough cash, just in case.

Languages Spoken: Cebuano/Bisaya, Tagalog, English

Festivals on the island:

  • Kadaugan sa Mactan (every April) – A celebration of how Lapu Lapu defeated Magellan.

Best time to visit: Best months to visit would be November to May to avoid the typhoon season (June to October).

Getting Around: Jeepneys, buses, and tricycles are the most common form of transportation within Mactan.

Tipping in Mactan: Tipping is not customary but feel free to tip if you enjoyed the service.

Top Things To Do In Mactan

Go Island Hopping and Snorkeling

caohagan island
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I bet you didn’t know you could go island hopping to the nearby islands in Mactan, Cebu. I’d highly recommend you try it. For a full day, you can choose three islands to visit. Snorkel in marine sanctuaries, eat fresh seafood, visit white sandy beaches, you name it. The islands near Mactan are amazing!

This article can help you decide which islands to visit.

Related Article: Mactan Island Hopping: 2019 Travel Guide

Learn to Free Dive

Want to try free diving? Freedive HQ in Mactan offers freediving courses for beginners and those who want to upgrade their skills. With warm waters and diverse marine life, you’re sure to have tons of fun learning!

Go Scuba Diving

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You will find most Mactan dive sites along the eastern coast. Scuba diving here is pretty affordable. You will also find all sorts of sea creatures. This article can help you set your expectations if you’re planning to go scuba diving.

Go on a Historical Tour

In 1521, Magellan, a Portuguese explorer, and navigator found Cebu. He sealed a blood compact with the chief of Cebu but was later on killed by Lapu Lapu, the chief of Mactan Island. From then, Mactan became the site of the very first stand of Filipinos against Spanish colonizers.

Today, you can find a statue of Lapu Lapu to honor the hero who stood against the Spaniards. There’s also a large obelisk monument created as a dedication to Magellan who brought Christianity to the country.

Eat

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Love to eat? So do we! If you want to discover the best cuisines Mactan has to offer, we recommend the following restaurants:

  • Lantaw Native Floating Restaurant – They offer delicious authentic Filipino cuisine, and has a stunning sunset view
  • Manna SuTuKil Food House – SuTuKil is a dining experience you can’t miss in Mactan. Choose from all kinds of seafood and decide on how you want it cooked.
  • Rico’s Lechon – For the best lechon in town, eat here.
  • Entoy’s Bakasihan – Into exotic foods? Taste saltwater eel here.

If you chose to go island hopping, Caohagan island is well-known for the freshest seafood. Don’t forget to stop by for lunch!

Buy Handcrafted Local Guitars

Mactan is home to high-quality local-made guitars. Ukuleles, basses, acoustics, and electrics are just some of what you can find here. It’s one of the best places to buy a guitar as a souvenir, gift for your loved ones or for yourself. This is a paradise for music lovers looking to buy a guitar.

The best guitar factories to visit are Alegre Guitars, Ferangeli Guitar Handcrafter, New Susing’s Guitar, Guitar Master, and Jerry’s Guitars. Having a hard time deciding which one to go to? This article compares these local guitar shops.

Have Fun at JPark Island Resort and Water Park

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IMAGE | Jpark Island Resort & Waterpark

For the best water slides in Mactan, head to JPark Island Resort and Water Park. This 5-star resort offers a river ride, fountains, slides, private beach, swimming pool, and water sports. You can also find bars and restaurants inside. If you want to stay for the night, you can book a room here.

Try Parasailing

Love adventure? You’re gonna love parasailing in Mactan Island. You can find several parasailing packages offered by resorts in Mactan.

Take Photos at the Cebu Happy World Museum

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IMAGE | Cebu Happy World Museum

Compared to other museums, Cebu Happy World Museum will make you take lots of pictures. Plus, you can touch the displays! You’ll find here several puzzling artworks. Each one is an optical illusion that seems to jump out of the 3D paintings.

Cebu Happy World Museum is open daily from 9:00 AM to 8:00 PM. Check out promos and more mind-boggling photos from their Facebook Page.

Check Out 1000 Roses Cafe

Looking for IG worthy destinations? 1000 roses cafe should be on your list. You’ll find here artificial LED roses that you can take a photo of. This is a great place to visit if you’re planning to eat at Lantaw Native Floating Restaurant as it’s just a few meters away from here. If not, don’t bother coming here. It’s not worth the long drive from the city.

Experience a Luxurious Vacation at these Awesome Resorts

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IMAGE | Abaca Boutique Resort

Pamper yourself and relax at these top-rated beach resorts in Mactan. Each of these features private white sandy beaches, top of the line amenities, pools, water sports and so much more!

Want to experience it for yourself? Here are the top resorts we’d recommend you to book!

Where to Stay in Mactan

Budget

Midrange

Luxury

Airbnb Mactan

Aside from hotels and resorts, you can also opt to stay at an Airbnb.

Get your P2,200 ($44) Airbnb discount here!

Responsible Travel Tips

When traveling to one place, make sure you practice responsible tourism. Here are some tips to do so.

1. Respect the environment

Don’t litter. Please hold onto your trash until you find a garbage can. Don’t bring home the sand or any seashell. Leave them where they belong. Missing seashells can have potential detrimental environmental impacts.

Related: 16 Eco-Friendly Travel Products for the Earth-Loving You

2. Avoid single-use plastic

Bring your eco bag and refuse single-use plastic.

3. Shop local

Keep the traditional crafts alive and support local artisans. Buy from them. And try not to haggle, P20 may seem small to you but it can mean a lot to them.

4. Always ask permission

Be sure to ask for permission first when taking photos or videos especially when it comes to children

What to Pack for Mactan

Related Article: The Only Travel Packing List You’ll Ever Need (Trust Me)

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