Cebu has a lot more to offer aside from exciting festivals, sumptuous cuisine, world-class hotels, spacious malls, and various historical sites. Tourists can also enjoy the islands perfect for swimming, diving, and snorkeling.  So, grab your flip-flops and sunglasses and join us as we explore the best snorkeling spots in Cebu.

Mactan Island

Mactan is home to some of the most stunning snorkeling spots in Cebu, Philippines.  This small island is separated from the main island of Cebu.  However, there are bridges erected near the Mactan Channel that connect it to Cebu City.  Also, there are several high-end hotels/ resorts in the vicinity, such as Shangri-la, Dusit Thani, Crimson, and Plantation Bay. More establishments will pop up soon since many development projects are being done in the area.    

Generally, the dive/ snorkeling sites are found on the east side of Mactan Island.  They can also be reached by boat or a few steps from the beach, depending on the location and tidal current.  If you are arriving via plane, you can visit a snorkeling site immediately since you’re already in Mactan.  The island also features numerous marine sanctuaries and mesmerizing underwater caves.   Expect to see different aquatic creatures such as tuna, surgeonfish, squirrelfish, tuna, and barracuda, as well as hard tree corals.

Nalusuan Island

Nalusuan Island is located in Mactan, and it only takes 20-40 mins to reach it via boat.  It features seabeds with colorful hard and soft corals, sea sponges, and other colorful sea critters. The island is also a marine sanctuary, so marine life is protected from the fishermen.  Look out for vibrant tropical fishes such as barracudas, groupers, trevallies, and snappers.  Stingrays and sea turtles were also spotted in the area since they inhabit the island.


This small town is located along Cebu’s southwest coast and is the gateway to some of the best diving and snorkeling destinations in the country.  It takes around 2-3 hours of land travel if you’re traveling from Cebu City.  One of the highlights here is Pescador Island, an islet located at the Tañon Strait.  This protected marine sanctuary is home to hammerhead sharks and countless sardines.  The enchanting island is an underwater playground offering various caverns, swim-throughs, and caverns.   It’s not unusual to witness divers swimming along with lionfishes, jacks, barracudas, white-tip reef sharks, and even thresher sharks.  It’s also highly recommended that you drop by and chill at the white beach in Basdako.

Malapascua Island

Malapascua used to be a well-kept secret amongst local tourists.  However, in the past decades, the once-idyllic island has become a hotspot for snorkeling and diving enthusiasts.  Malapascua Island is also well known for mystical shipwreck dive sites and fascinating thresher sharks.  Other top snorkeling spots are Los Bambos and Guimbatayan, which can be reached via boat.  Remember, always bring your camera with you and take countless pictures/ videos of stunning underwater scenes.

Bantayan Island

This tropical paradise has various white, sandy beaches featuring crystal clear waters that would entice visitors to swim all day.  Kota Beach, Virgin Beach, Ogtong Cave, and Balidbid Lagoon are some of the best tourist spots on Bantayan Island.

Kota Beach

Kota Beach has become a favorite spot among local and international tourists.  People usually compare it to the famous White Beach of Boracay Island.  The beach is known for its fine white sand and stunning sand bar set against the bright blue water.  It’s located right in front of Kota Beach Resort, but you can still visit it even if you’re not a guest.

Sandira Beach

Sandira Beach is also called Paradise Beach because of its captivating blue waters, powdery white shores, enchanting caves, and rugged outcrops.  It also features a small reef just offshore that’s perfect for snorkeling and swimming.  This beach also has a relaxing vibe since there aren’t any establishments around.  You can also lounge in the huts and chairs found at the western end of the beach.  Do note that it can get pretty hot since there aren’t many trees around the area.  It’s highly recommended that you bring sunglasses, hats, sunscreen, and bottles of drinking water with you.

Virgin Island

The famous island is only a 30-minute boat ride away from Bantayan Island.  It has a cliff jumping area located at the northern end of the island so you can expect to see daredevils jumping off the rugged cliff.  However, if cliff jumping is not for you, then you can just enjoy the breathtaking scenery.  You can also take a stroll on the coastal walk and explore the edges of the rocky coastline and take in the fascinating view of the main beach.  Visitors can also go down into the waters by using the bamboo ladders attached to some parts of the boardwalk.  This area is perfect for swimming and snorkeling since several tropical fishes and vibrant marine creatures are inhabiting its waters.

Countless tourists continue to visit Cebu since they don’t have to travel far just to enjoy the world class beaches and islands.  In Mactan alone, you can already find numerous islands that offer excellent diving and snorkeling spots.  So, the next time you’re itching to have a vacation, consider visiting Cebu and experience a tropical adventure like no other.