Discovering the crown jewels of northern Cebu: Malapascua, Bantayan Island

Summit Hotels and Resorts

Posted at Feb 20 2018 02:57 PM

Even if one lived for a century, it might not be enough to go around the Philippines to visit all 7,641 islands and islets combined, and truly enjoy the beauty of nature.

One place, however, can be a great escape for adventurers and those who love the beach--Cebu.

Aside from the Sinulog Festival, a long list of world class singers, scrumptious lechon, and dried mangoes, Cebu has gems that can satisfy anybody's thirst for excitement.

Here are some places to visit and activities try in Cebu islands:

PADI certified divers of DiveLink Cebu prepare for a dive at Gato Island.

1. Go underwater in Malapascua Island

Popularly known as the home of thresher sharks, Malapascua Island is literally a diver's haven. Tourists from around the world snorkel, free dive, or scuba dive in the pristine waters off the island to see the diverse marine life. Among the primary attractions is the possible sighting of thresher sharks, noted for their long tails that usually grow almost one-half of their total body length.

Gato Island floats atop the blue waters of Malapascua, surrounded by white boats.

One of the most visited diving spots here is Gato Island. Gato is famous for its great marine reserve, whitetip sharks and sea snakes. Fans of the "Finding Nemo" film series might be happy to know that there are lots of blue tang fishes there, reminding them of loveable, forgetful Dory.

However, only licensed scuba divers can experience the underwater life. For beginners, it can take at least three to four days of training before they get a scuba certification. It can also cost money to finish scuba diving lessons--however, it can still be worth it for nature lovers.

Mariquita beach features a Boracay-like shore.

2. Mariquita Beach and the Lighthouse

Locals say, Mariquita Beach has the clearest water among the beaches in Malapascua Island. True enough, anyone who sees the water here might indeed instantly fall in love with the green and pristine sea that slowly washes up the white sand shoreline.

The Lighthouse is located northwest of Malapascua Island.

Just a 10-minute walk from Mariquita beach is a white lighthouse that stands 18 meters above sea level on a hill. It can be a little bit of a steep climb, but it can be an easier with the help of a local guide. The lighthouse is powered by a 16-meter solar panel, used to guide sailors around the island of Malapascua.

The view of the beach during low tide from Bantayan Nature Park and Resort.

3. Bantayan Island

Two hours from Malapascua lies another jewel of North Cebu--Bantayan Island, still surrounded by other beaches. Those who wish to hop here from Malapascua can visit first the Bantayan Nature Park and Resort.

The place is surrounded by fresh trees, flowers, and a lot of benches and hammocks, where visitors can rest and have some time to appreciate nature and the scenic view of the sea. There is also the Ogtong Cave, which boasts a crystal clear pool of fresh water, perfect for a refreshing swim and photo opportunity.

It looks like Boracay, but the Virgin Island is more like a quiet paradise, with its calm waters and white sand beach.

Across the nature park is a private island open for tourist to visit. Dubbed Virgin Island, anyone who comes here can expect a pristine paradise with a calm and relaxing vibe.

Just a short distance from the front beach, visitors can try cliff jumping.

For first-timers, it is important to note that the travel from Mactan International Airport to Malapascua can last for six to seven hours, with four hours travel by land, and two hours on boat.

It takes the same amount of time to travel back to Lapu-Lapu City from Bantayan Island, by ferry boat and van or bus to the city.

Prior to, or after touring the beaches of Cebu, a city tour can also be worthwhile. Great jump-off points for a city tour include either the Summit Galleria Hotel, or Summit Circle Cebu.

Summit Galleria Cebu, the flagship hotel of Summit Hotels and Resorts, is where urban contemporary design and the Cebu classics meet. It features 220 wonderfully spacious rooms, Grand Ballroom for events, and indoor pool you can enjoy rain-or-shine. The buffet in Providore is not something to miss out, too! It is connected to Robinsons Galleria Cebu which houses international and home-grown retail and service brands.

The hotel has 220 rooms and is connected to a shopping mall next door.

The first Summit Hotel to make its name in Cebu for excellent service rendered to business travellers and families continues to impress and shine bright at the city’s center with the warm and helpful staff, cozy interior and delicious breakfast buffet spread in C2 Classic Cuisine.

Summit Circle Cebu, on the other hand, is perfect for families and tourists who want to tour key attractions such as Magellan's Cross, Basilica del Sto. Nino, and Taboan Market. It is also conveniently on top of a shopping mall.

Both hotels offer an exclusive airport transfer, room service, and free Wi-Fi.

Have a taste of the signature #SuperStay Summit Hotels and Resorts offers now!

Book direct for best rates and perks at or call (02) 398-8788 / 0998-888-7788 for reservations.

Learn more about the wonders of Cebu! Watch the full episode of ABS-CBN's "Lakwatsero Vlogs" on starting January 29, 2018.

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