I spent New Years 2015 in Cebu and left some reviews on TripAdvisor that I felt others could benefit from. Here are some of the attractions, transportation and lodging recommendations I would make. One week in Cebu and you can spend less than $500!
Sugbutel Family Hotel
I went with a group. While they stayed in the shared dorm/hostel area. I selected a private room on the floor above.
Private room PHP1,100 Shared Dorms PHP100-300
Two complimentary bottles of water
Complimentary breakfast for 2
Shared Dorms PHP100-300
Rent linens for 40/night
Breakfast PHP80 (traditional Filippino cuisine)
Common lobby area w/ a flat screen tv
Clean Communal bathroom
Dormitory setting, private curtain (unless you are on the top bunk)
Walking distance to SM mall,
40 minutes to Mactan-Cebu International Airport
Taxi Fare: PHP40 starting rate
Wifi is stronger in the hostel area on the 2nd floor. However, they do not turn off the lights in this area. It is also fairly cold in the shared dorms. Wifi in the private rooms on the 3rd floor goes in and out. No windows in the private rooms.
MB’s Sun View Resort
Disclaimer: I did not sleep on this resort. It was just a day trip to see the Whale Sharks.
From Cebu City. We left South Bus Terminal at 4:30 in the morning. There was a incomplete bridge so we had to get off the bus, cross the river via a temporary bamboo bridge and get on another bridge to take us to our destination.
Php1000 for 30min of snorkeling with whale sharks. Includes access to CR and Showers
Additional Php550 for unlimited pictures taken with a GoPro camera. CD included
They also offer breakfast that is not included in your Whale Watch fee. I ordered an omelet and rice for Php75. (Note: Their omelet is just eggs folded over. Nothing in the middle)
They also offer souvenirs. Prices ARE negotiable
(Note: If you have a group you can make a bundle deal like we did)
Sweet Incantations Confectionery
Tucked away I found this great cafe that serves cupcakes and gelato mainly. However, they also had cookies and tea. It reminded me of a quaint coffee shop but swap the coffee for delicious cupcakes.
Between Php60 to Php70 for a cupcake
Cupcake served on a mini cutting board with a dessert fork
The server was great. The gentleman brought my purchase to my table, allowed my friend to sample the gelato, and take pictures. I was impressed with the presentation of their products and the cleanliness of the establishment. Oh! And free wifi!
Maya Mexican Resturant
Disclaimer: This is from the perspective of a Peace Corps volunteer. Most of us hadn’t had Mexican food in 6 months. So the food was delicious! Service was excellent to a fault. They mad sure we had refills on everything but would clear away utensils and plates before we were done with our meals. You will be walking out paying at least PHP for a meal and a drink. Very cool decor and atmosphere. Low lighting and almost romantic ambience.
FYI: There is no public beach on Mactan Island. At least we didn’t find it. We kept asking around and we were led to back alleys, and areas that looked like it should be a boat dock but had a few tables you had to rent to use. Most of the areas you look for with sand are private property owned by resorts. Even if you don’t use the resort facilities there is still a entrance fee for access to the sand and water.
Sea vs. Sky Here is a comparison of two modes of transportation arriving to Cebu. I flew into the Mactan-Cebu International Airport and left via ferry.
Cebu Pacific Air Travel Time: 55min
Things to Consider: Small seats, limited baggage
Cokaliong Shipping Lines
Travel Time:12hours overnight Price: PHP800
Things to Consider: Military style bunk accommodations, TV in lounge area, food is permitted and available(you can have feast)
– The Natural Travelista