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Cebu Island is with Mactan the most popular scuba dive destination in the Philippines attracting many tourists each day.
|lars, © Author: Lars Hemel
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Cebu is located in the heart of the Philippines and has become the number one tourist destination. It is well developed with very good road connections allowing visitors to visit some of its nice beaches or uninhabited islands in the morning while enjoying its vibrant nightlife in the evening. Cebu City (also known as the Queen City of the South) and Manila have become the prime economic centers of the Philippines. There are huge shopping malls, western casinos, luxurious accommodations, exotic cuisines and all sorts of entertainment you could wish for. This tropical island, just over 200km long and only 50km wide, is sheltered by the rough Pacific Ocean by the neighboring islands Leyte, Negros, Panay, Samar and Bohol. This is the main reason why scuba diving has become extremely popular here.
Pristine islands such as Bantayan Island, Camotes Islands and Sumilon Island are well worth exploring. Panagsama Beach, White Beach and Zaragossa Beach on Green Island are some of the best beaches around Cebu Island. Dense jungle walks, the spectacular water flows of Kawasan Falls, green hills and a steep mountain range award Cebu with a landscape different at each turn. Besides nature you will find a lot of historic and cultural evidence remembering of its rich colonial era and war history. There are many Spanish architectonical houses and historical museums in the booming metropolis Cebu City and Lapu-Lapu City. You can hike through the Beverly Hills area, where you will reach a nice Taoist temple that still has some original documents of Lao-Tse. You can take a look at the ultra-famous Carbon Market known for its fresh fruits, spices, meat and vegetables. Or visit Fort San Pedro which used to be the first fort of its kind protecting the city from pirates and other bandits. Magallañes is known by Christian pilgrims as it is one of the few places with a catholic basilica.
The 500km shoreline offers plenty of Cebu Accommodations and many excellent beach resorts, there are over a hundred offshore islands or rocky outcrops and several areas have healthy reefs just offshore. Especially the regions around Mactan, Malapascua and Moalboal are well developed, offering scuba lessons and many day tours that visit the spectacular local underwater sights on a daily basis. Mactan Island and Olango Island is probably the best known scuba location in the Philippines. Near Moalboal you can find islands such as Badian Island, Pescador Island and Sunken Island known for its phenomenal snorkeling and diving. There are steep walls, interesting tunnels, deep caves, limestone formations, wrecks and shallow coral all teeming with marine life and perfect for all level of divers, also those interested in macro photography.
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