The busy city center of Manila is usually the entry point of travelers going to the Philippines. But unknown to many is that Manila isn’t the only gateway to this tropical country known for pristine islands and beaches. One of the best Philippine entry-point alternatives is Cebu, located in the central region of the country, which also has its own international airport. It is also home to the exciting Sinulog Festival, beautiful beaches, spectacular diving spots, countless tours and activities, and top-notch hotels and resorts.
- Find the best Cebu tours that you can add to your itinerary
- Read our article on the best activities in Cebu
See our popular Cebu Vacation Packages
Apart from flights to Cebu being accessible for international airports like Los Angeles (LAX), Cebu’s location also offers access to cheaper and faster travel options to other top destinations in the country.
- Fly non-stop to Cebu from Los Angeles! Travel starts May 2, 2020 3x weekly
See our popular Cebu Tours and Activities
From Cebu, you can explore the white sand beach of Boracay, the bustling surfing town of Siargao, to the renowned islands and lagoons of Palawan, and incredible natural wonders of Bohol and Davao. Here are the top 6 Philippine destinations worth traveling to when you’re in Cebu:
Photo by The Manor Baguio
The City of Pines or the Summer Capital of the Philippines, Baguio City, located in North Luzon, is now accessible from Cebu starting end of 2022. The Baguio Airport or Loakan Airport will be reopening to commercial flights and the Philippine-flag carrier airline, Philippine Airlines, will have 4 Baguio to Cebu and Cebu to Baguio flights every week starting December 16, 2022.
Baguio is known for its colder temperature, wide green parks with towering pine trees, and cabin-style Baguio hotels like The Manor near Baguio tourist spots that make it one of the best family-friendly destinations in the Philippines.
The reopening of the airport near Baguio City will also make other North Luzon destinations more accessible from Cebu and other Visayas tourist spots and destinations. Check out our Cebu to Baguio itinerary to help you plan your trip.
See our popular Baguio Vacation Packages
Davao City is located on the southern Philippine Island of Mindanao, and is around a 1-hour flight from Cebu.
Davao City and the entire Davao region has become synonymous to durian (the King of Fruits), Mount Apo (the highest peak in the Philippines), and the Philippine Eagle (the country’s National Bird).
- Browse Davao trips and experiences for your vacation
Davao City is also a gateway to Samal Island which is known for island hopping, immaculate beaches, and resorts for relaxation.
The vibrant Kadayawan Festival, known as the Mother of all Mindanao Festivals, is a unique experience worth the trip to Davao City during the month of August. It features float parades and street dancing with locals clad in colorful costumes.
See our popular Davao Tours and Activities
Probably the most famous side trip to Cebu, Bohol is accessible via a ferry trip that will take just around 2 hours. Bohol offers a myriad of adventures that surround you with the beauty of nature at its most raw form.
- Check out tours in Bohol that you shouldn't miss
- Book a Mithi Resort promo for your trip
One of the most famous attractions in Bohol are the Chocolate Hills, a collection of over a thousand hills that are either green or brown depending on the season.
If you’re craving some beach time, Bohol has you covered with Alona Beach in Panglao Island. You can also go island-hopping to nearby islets with incredible marine life.
Lastly, a trip to Bohol from Cebu won’t be complete without seeing the world’s smallest primate, the Philippine Tarsier, which are small, monkey-like animals with huge eyes.
See our popular Bohol Vacation Packages
One of the top destinations in the Philippines that you shouldn’t miss out on is Palawan, a treasure trove of rich marine ecosystems and extraordinary beaches that has consistently earned recognition as one of the best islands in the world.
See our popular Palawan Tours and Activities
Palawan is home to the New7Wonders of Nature and UNESCO World Heritage site Puerto Princesa’s Underground River, paradise-like attractions like El Nido’s Big Lagoon and Coron’s Kayangan Lake, and the longest beach in the Philippines found in San Vicente.
See our popular El Nido Tours and Activities
Palawan is accessible from Cebu by direct flights to Coron’s Busuanga Airport (around 1 hour and 25 minutes), and direct flights to Puerto Princesa’s International Airport (around 1 hour and 10 minutes). From Puerto Princesa, you can hop on a bus or van to get to El Nido or San Vicente.
See our popular Coron Vacation Packages
If you love to surf, riding motorbikes, and the laidback island life, Siargao may just be the best next destination for you.
This teardrop-shaped island located in Surigao del Norte in Mindanao has won the hearts of many travelers and has been recognized as one of the best islands in the world. There are direct flights to Siargao from Cebu, about an hour of travel time.
- Browse Siargao tours to add to your itinerary
Siargao not only attracts surfers from different parts of the globe, but it has also become the second home of locals from bigger cities in the Philippines looking to settle down in a carefree community.
Some of its must-visit spots include the surfing spot Cloud 9, the island-hopping spots of Naked Island, Daku Island, and Guyam Island, the natural pool of Magpupungko, and the rope tree swing in Maasin River. Read our Cebu to Siargao itinerary guide to help you plan your trip.
See our popular Siargao Vacation Packages
About an hour flight from Cebu will take you to one of the best beaches in the Philippines and the world, Boracay Island. Because of its postcard-perfect natural beauty, it’s the top summer destination in the Philippines for both local and international travelers.
- Find the best Boracay tours and activities
Boracay is not to be missed when you visit the Philippines because of its world-renowned long stretch of powdery white sand beach lined with the best Philippines luxury resorts, crystal clear waters, romantic sunsets, fun water activities like parasailing, and chill nightlife scene.
In 2018, the island underwent a major rehabilitation and has since reopened, unveiling a new cleaner Boracay that is protected by the local tourism sector. Read our Cebu to Boracay itinerary guide to plan the best vacation.
See our popular Boracay Vacation Packages
Discover the culture and attractions of Cebu, and add these destinations to your itinerary to experience the best of the Philippines. Read our quick travel guide to Cebu and our article on the best beachfront resorts in Cebu to help you plan your trip.
Best Palawan Guide: Top Tours, Where to Stay, How to Get Around
20 Most Beautiful Sandbars in the Philippines: White Sand, Longest, Vanishing
11 Best Santorini-Like Resorts in the Philippines: Near Manila, Cebu, Palawan, Vigan
15 Best Tropical Bali-Like Resorts in the Philippines: Near Manila, Siargao, Cebu, Bohol
Other interesting articles
Baguio Loakan Airport Guide: Reopening Date, Airlines, Routes, SchedulePhoto by Philippine Airlines Known as the Summer Capital of the Philippines, Baguio City has been a favorite getaway spot of Filipinos over the years, thanks to its cooler temperature owing to its hi...Read more
12 Best Hotels in Boracay for Families: Large Rooms, Kid-Friendly, BeachfrontPhotos by Shangri-La Resort Boracay and The Lind Boracay The island of Boracay is not only one of the Philippines’ most visited destinations, but it is also one of the best family-friendly places i...Read more
Guide to Chocolates in the Philippines: Where to Get the Best, Farm Tours, Local BrandsIMPORTANT: The destinations featured in this article may have COVID-19 travel restrictions and requirements. Check our COVID-19 travel advisory page for details. The Philippines' love affair wit...Read more