- Day 1: Cebu City & Mactan
- Go on a tour of Cebu City and Mactan
- Chill at some of Cebu's best beach resorts
- Day 2: Cebu Province Day Tour: North or South
- North Cebu: Top Attractions & Activities
- South Cebu: Top Attractions & Activities
- Day 3: Boracay White Beach Activities
- Day 4: Boracay Island Hopping Tour
- Day 5: Departure to Cebu
Canyoneering in Cebu and White Beach in Boracay
Planning a tour to the Philippines, especially for first-time visitors, can be challenging with all the beautiful destinations that you can explore in the country. If you have just a few days or weeks to spend in the Philippines, it's best to make the most of your stay and visit more than one of the top tourist spots in the Philippines. For beach lovers and divers, you'll never go wrong with a Cebu and Boracay vacation.
While some travelers plan an entire trip around the world-famous white sand beaches of Boracay Island, those who want to maximize their visit should plan a Cebu to Boracay itinerary. The two islands are included in the best places to visit in the Philippines, thanks to a variety of tourist attractions which include beautiful beaches, spectacular dive spots, stunning waterfalls, other natural attractions, and romantic spots perfect for couples on their honeymoon in the Philippines.
Since they are home to some of the top tourist spots in Visayas, they both have airports that are accessible via domestic and international flights. However, the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (or the Cebu Airport) is bigger than the airport in Boracay, so there might be more options here for those who will be coming via international flights.
This guide will help you plan a 5-day, 4-night (5D4N) trip from Cebu to Boracay and back by telling you how to get to Boracay from Cebu and showing you the top Cebu tourist spots and things to do in Boracay.
Day 1: Cebu City & Mactan
Mactan-Cebu International Airport
Most international travelers travel to Cebu via the Mactan-Cebu International Airport. After arriving at the airport, you can take a taxi or a bus to your hotel in Cebu City. If you're staying at one of the luxury hotels in Cebu, you can likely arrange for a hotel transfer. If you want to drive yourself during the trip, you may also book Cebu car rentals.
Marcelo Fernan Bridge or Second Cebu-Mactan Bridge
On day 1 of your Cebu itinerary, you can go on a Mactan and Cebu City tour and explore the historical and scenic spots that the area has to offer. If you're tired from your travel to Cebu, you may also relax and lounge at one of the best hotels in Cebu.
Here are some of the attractions you can visit and things to do in Cebu on your first day:
Go on a tour of Cebu City and Mactan
Magellan's Cross in Cebu
For a hassle-free experience, book day tours from Cebu City which will allow you to visit several attractions in one day. Some of the most popular stops on these tours are Temple of Leah (a structure that was built to commemorate Leah Adarna, the late wife of a wealthy businessman), Sirao Garden (a picturesque flower garden), and the Alegre Guitar Factory (where you can buy guitars and see how they are made).
Temple of Leah in Cebu
There are also a lot of historical spots you can visit on this tour. The Mactan Shrine commemorates the Battle of Mactan, while Magellan's Cross is the wooden cross that marks the start of Christianity in the Philippines. The Basilica Minore Del Sto Niño de Cebu is a Spanish-era church that is a declared National Landmark, and the Yap-Sandiego Ancestral House will show you what it was like to live during that period. Although the Taoist Temple was only built in the 1970s, it has become part of the city's history.
Chill at some of Cebu's best beach resorts
Mactan Island beach resorts in Cebu
You'll spend your first night in your Cebu accommodation. If you're looking for the best hotels in Cebu, you should consider Badian Island Wellness Resort, Dusit Thani Mactan, JPark Island Resort, Crimson Resort and Spa Mactan, and Shangri La Mactan.
Staying at any of these hotels and resorts will allow you to have a good night's rest. If you still have time to spare, you can have dinner at one of the best Cebu restaurants. You definitely can't miss the chance to try Cebu Lechon. The slow-roasted pig is a popular dish in the country, but Cebu arguably makes the best lechon.
Day 2: Cebu Province Day Tour: North or South
Moalboal in Cebu
Cebu is not only one of the best islands in the Philippines, but it is also the largest island in the Visayas region. To maximize your time in Cebu, it is best to choose which part of the province you prefer to visit for day 2. North Cebu's stunning beaches and dive sites would be perfect for beach lovers and divers.
Kawasan Falls in Cebu
From Cebu City, you can take bus and boat rides to reach the tourist attractions of North Cebu. South Cebu, on the other hand, is for adrenaline junkies seeking outdoor adventures. Its waterfalls and mountains can be reached via bus or with the help of day tours from Cebu City.
North Cebu: Top Attractions & Activities
Kota Beach in Bantayan Island, Cebu
North Cebu is home to some of the best beaches in the Philippines, and since it would be best to spend one day on one island, we've narrowed down your options to two: Bantayan Island and Malapascua Island.
You need to ride a boat from Hagnayan Port to reach Bantayan Island, and the port is around 110 to 128KM away from Cebu City, depending on the route. The entire trip (including the one-hour ferry ride) can take up to 4 hours and 45 minutes, but once you reach the island, you'll be rewarded with powdery white sand and clear turquoise waters.
Apart from its beaches, you can also visit Bantayan Island tourist attractions like Ogtong Cave, Kota Park, and Santa Fe Butterfly Garden. Your other option, Malapascua Island, is accessible via the New Maya Port, which is around 137 to 163KM from Cebu City. The island is home to majestic thresher sharks, beaches, underwater caves, and other Malapascua tourist attractions.
South Cebu: Top Attractions & Activities
Canyoneering in Cebu
South Cebu is home to many Cebu tourist attractions that it's impractical to try and visit them all in one day. To make the most of your visit, choose from among the top attractions in the area. Kawasan Falls is arguably the most popular tourist spot in South Cebu, and the multi-layered falls can be explored via Kawasan tour packages or Cebu canyoneering tours.
Moalboal Sardine Run
Tumalog Falls is another majestic waterfall in Cebu, but it is located further south compared to Kawasan Falls. You can also add Oslob and Sumilon Island to your Cebu itinerary if you're headed this way. In Oslob, you can see majestic whale sharks, while a beautiful sandbar awaits you at Sumilon Island.
After your day in North or South Cebu, you'll head back to Cebu City so you can rest up and wake up early for your Cebu to Caticlan Boracay trip the next day.
Day 3: Boracay White Beach Activities
White Beach in Boracay
How far is Cebu to Boracay? The distance from Cebu to Boracay is around 280KM, and while there is a Cebu to Boracay ferry, the best transportation from Cebu to Boracay is via plane. A trip on a boat from Cebu to Boracay can take around a day to complete and involves traveling from Cebu to Iloilo and then Boracay.
Direct Cebu to Boracay flights take only around an hour, making it the best route to Boracay if you're coming from Cebu because the Cebu to Boracay travel time is much shorter. For this itinerary, you need to purchase Cebu to Boracay airfare.
Crimson Resort and Spa Boracay
After arriving in Boracay, check-in to one of the beach front hotels in Boracay. If you want to stay at one of the best Boracay hotels, you should consider booking with Shangri La Boracay, Crimson Boracay, The Lind Boracay, or Discovery Shores Boracay. Once you have settled into your room, you can explore the famous White Beach.
White Beach in Boracay
White Beach is one of the best beaches in the Philippines where you can try Boracay water activities like parasailing, helmet diving, scuba diving, or going on a fun dive. Don't forget to feast on the signature dishes from some of the best Boracay restaurants! End your day by watching the sunset with a drink in hand at Boracay bars.
Paddleboarding in White Beach Boracay
Depending on the season and which one of the Boracay tours you book, you will visit gorgeous beaches like Puka Beach, Ilig-Iligan Beach, Balinghai Beach, Diniwid Beach, and Tambisaan Beach. On these beaches, you can take in beautiful nature views or swim in their clear blue waters. If you want to snorkel, dive, or try helmet diving in Boracay, you can do so at Crocodile Island and Coral Garden. Both dive sites are home to a variety of coral and marine life.
Crystal Cove and Magic Island are usually add-ons to a Boracay island-hopping tour. Crystal Cove has a museum and an aviary, and you can also swim in its waters. On the other hand, Magic Island is a popular spot for cliff-diving in Boracay.
Day 5: Departure to Cebu
White Beach in Boracay
Have breakfast at your hotel or resort and Boracay and relax by the beach or buy souvenirs before heading back to Cebu City. The Boracay to Cebu ferry time will usually take a day, while at just around 1 hour, the Boracay to Cebu flight time is roughly the same as how many hours from Cebu to Boracay by plane, so it's better to take a flight back.
After arriving in Cebu City, you can continue exploring its sights and tourist spots, or shop for souvenirs that you can take home before leaving for your next destination.
Plan Your Cebu-Boracay Vacation Now
Puka Beach in Boracay
Cebu and Boracay are just two of the reasons why you should visit the Philippines, and you can visit both in one trip by booking a Cebu to Boracay promo as part of your Philippine guided tours. If you have more time to explore both destinations, you can add Mactan island tours or other Cebu island hopping tours to your itinerary. You can also go on Boracay land tours to see the island from a different perspective.
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