Compare Tours & Attraction Ticket Prices from Top Travel Sites
Mactan Island is one of the major tourist attractions in Cebu Island, Philippines. The island is also known as the resting place of Ferdinand Magellan, the first person to circumnavigate the Earth, and can be accessed from Cebu via two bridges, the Marcelo Fernan Bridge and the Mactan-Mandaue Bridge.
Explore Mactan Island, the True Paradise on Earth in Cebu
The island is famously known in the past as the place of death of Ferdinand Magellan, where he fell in the Battle of Mactan. Ferdinand Magellan himself was a renowned Spanish explorer who accidentally circumnavigates the Earth, become the first person in doing so, while he was actually on a mission to secure a trade route to the Spice Islands via the western route. He was killed in battle by the warriors of Datu Lapu-Lapu, who was subsequently hailed as a hero who was considered as the first native to resist the Spanish Imperial Colonization by the Filipinos. A 20 metre-tall bronze statue of Lapu-Lapu himself can be seen near the Mactan International Airport, depicting the great chieftain in his valiant stance. In retrospect, the Spanish Empire also built a monument named Magellan Shrine near Magellan Port in Mactan as a tribute to the great explorer.
Mactan has been known as one of the best diving spots in Philippines due to the beauty of its marine ecosystem. From whale sharks to colorful tropical fishes, there are more than enough aquatic splendor to swim together with. Visitors also should check an airplane wreck at the Tambuli Reef, which used to be a fish feeding station in the past. There is also another shipwreck that is often visited as well, which is the San Juan Wreck in Liloan Bay. Another famous diving spot is the Marigondon Cave, which is reserved for advanced divers only, due to the current and difficulty in traversing the cave.
There are several maritime sanctuaries around Mactan Island that serves as a shelter for various marine lifeform and a picturesque resort. One of them is the Nalusuan Maritime Sanctuary, located near Nalusuan Island just off the coast of Mactan Island. There, you can enjoy the beautiful turquoise water and amazing coralbeds that is shallow enough for beginner divers to dive. If diving is not your thing, you can try snorkeling or just staying at the resort and swimming around the sanctuary in the crystal clear water. There are other marine sanctuaries as well, such as the San Vincente Marine Sanctuary, Talima Marine Sanctuary, Hilutungan Marine Sanctuary, and others.
Since there are plenty of beautiful small islands around Mactan, it is a good idea to charter a boat from a local and do an island hopping to visit them all. See for yourself the beauty and attractiveness of each island, along with every spectacular attractions or interesting spots that they all have to offer. Most of the time, you can combine it together with a snorkeling trip as most of the islands are perfect for snorkeling, so be prepared and bring your snorkeling gear.
Mactan Island is home to many high-end tourist attractions in Cebu. For example, the Ibiza Beach Club that offers a luxurious-lifestyle in a Mediterranian-themed club by the beach. The club has many events and entertainment to keep their guests entertained, so be sure to check them out during your visit. There is also the Scape Skydeck, from which you can see the whole view of Mactan, as it is the only tallest building in Mactan. In the Skydeck, you can have yourself a nice romantic dinner surrounded by the full unobstructed view to the horizon line, which is a perfect place to see a sunset from. The dishes are also delicious and the ambience is super-chic, making it one of the most popular attractions in Mactan Island.
How to Get Tickets?
You don't need any tickets to get into the island. However, most of the attractions and activities require you to pay or rent equipment so check each and every one of them accordingly.
How To Get Around?
Getting around Mactan Island is very easy as public transports are abundant. To visit neighboring islands, you can charter a boat or book a tour.
What Should I Wear?
Since the weather in Philippines is mostly hot and humid, stick to the light clothes. Any kind of swimsuit is allowed around the beach.
Best Time to Visit
Best time to visit Mactan is definitely during the offseason as it can be very crowded during the holiday season. Also, since Philippines is one of the location that is often visited by a typhoon, you should check the weather news before visiting there.
Will I Need a Guide?
You don't really need a guide for traveling around Mactan Island. However, some of the guided tour comes in a package with chartering a boat, so it is optional for you to choose.
How To Get There?
Since Mactan is connected to mainland Cebu by two bridges, you can take any kind of land transport to reach there from Cebu. Mactan also has its own international airport so foreign visitors can just fly straight to Mactan. Other than that, there is also a ferry service from Manila if you are hailing from there.