Cebu Tourist Spots

Magellan’s Cross Cebu

The Magellan’s Cross was planted in April 21, 1521 by the Spanish explorers led by Ferdinand Magellan to commemorate the baptism of Rajah Humabon, his wife Juana and other natives into the Roman Catholic faith.

The original Magellan’s Cross is encased in another wooden cross for protection because people started chipping it away in the belief that it had miraculous healing powers. Due to this, the government officials decided to encase it in tindalo wood and secured it inside a small chapel called “kiosk.”

Some sources say that the original cross was actually destroyed and that the Magellan Cross displayed presently is said to be a replica. The Magellan’s Cross is located in front of the Cebu City Hall, along Magallanes Street (named in honor of Magellan). Other famous landmarks can be toured on foot, and these are Fort San Pedro and Basilica del Santo Nino.

Sto. Nino Basilica Cebu

The Basilica del Santo Nino is a 16th century church in Cebu City in the Philippines. It was built on the exact spot where the image of the Santo Nino, a sculpture depicting the Holy Child Jesus, was found by the Legazpi-Urdaneta expedition in April 1565 which was left behind during the 1521 Magellan expedition.

The image of the Santo Nino is considered the oldest religious relic in the Philippines and is kept in the parish convent. This was the image that Magellan gave to Queen Juana as a gift during the baptism of Rajah Humabon and his wife Queen Juana on April 14, 1521.

The convent of the Santo Nino de Cebu was founded by Fr. Andres de Urdaneta on April 28, 1565, the very day the Legazpi-Urdaneta expedition arrived in the island. On May 8 of the same year, when Legaspi and his men planned the urbanization of the city, they allotted a place for the church and the convent of San Agustin, where the Santo Nino image had been found.

In 1965, during the fourth centenary of the Christianization of the Philippines, Pope Paul VI elevated the church to the rank of minor basilica. The Basilica remains under the care of the Order of St. Augustine.

Fort San Pedro Cebu

A military defence structure built by Spanish and Cebuano labourers under the command of Spanish conquistador Miguel Lopez de Legazpi. It is located in Plaza Indepedencia, near Pier 1 in Cebu City and a block away from Santo Nino Basilica.

Fort San Pedro or Fuerza de San Pedro is the smallest and oldest triangular bastion fort in the country was built in 1738 to repel Muslim raiders. The fort is triangular in shape, with two sides facing the sea and the third side fronting the land. The two sides facing the sea were defended with artillery and the front with a strong palisade made of wood. The three bastions were named La Concepcion (SW), Ignacio de Loyola (SE) and San Miguel (NE). The sides are of unequal lengths and the one fronting the city is where one may find entry into the Fort. Fourteen cannons were mounted in their emplacements most of which are still there today. Work first started on May 8, 1565 with Miguel Lopez de Legazpi breaking ground.

The fort contains the necessary buildings. The largest of these buildings was the “Cuerpo de Guardia” where the personnel that manned the fort lived. Adjacent to it was the “Vivende del Teniente” which was the living quarters of the lieutenant of the Fort. In between the aforementioned buildings is a well. At one corner attached to the walls of the bastion San Miguel (NE) was the “Alamazaros del Rivera” or the military supplies.

Lapu-Lapu Shrine Cebu

A 20-meter bronze statue erected in honor of Datu Lapu-Lapu a native chieftain in the Island of Mactan who defeated Spanish soldiers and Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan in the Battle of Mactan on April 27, 1521. The battle is re-enacted every year during its anniversary.

The shrine has a small park which was beautifully landscaped, inside the building was a painting which pictures out what supposed to be the Battle of Mactan. Souvenir shops are also lined-up, in line with the Lapu-Lapu statue is also the Magellan’s monument and just outside the shrine are nice seafood restaurants.

The Lapu-Lapu Shrine is located in Punta Engano, Mactan Island, Cebu, Philippines. You will pass by this area if you are heading for Hilton Cebu Resort and Spa and Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa.

Gilutongan Island Cebu

A small island on the southeast coast of Cordova, Cebu with wide stretches of sugar-fine white sand and is a top diving and snorkeling destination.

Gilutongan Island is one of the islands in the Olanggo Reef which is protected by the government as fish sanctuary. This island is 15 to 20 minutes away from Mactan Island through pumpboat ride. This beautiful island is a perfect site for snorkeling and scuba diving due to abundant corals and tropical fishes. Swim together with the fishes and have fun by feeding them with bread with your hands about 1 to 2 feet away and they won’t get intimidated.

During low tide the water level goes down as knee-high that you can walk going to the neighboring islands like Kauhagan and Nalusuan. If you go on an island hopping near Mactan, Gilutongan Island is one of the destination along with Kauhagan, Nalusuan, Olanggo and Sulpa.

Gilutongan Marine Sanctuary Cebu

The marine sanctuary was established in 1999 for the purpose of protecting Cordova’s marine resources. It is the oldest protected area for marine life in the province of Cebu. Gilutongan sanctuary’s depth starts at around 3 meters which is best for beginner snorkelers and down to a 45 degree sloping 50 meter which is perfect for scuba divers. Beneath the still waters is an excellent experience seeing the school of colorful fishes, like Clownfish, Snappers, corals, clams, octopus, sea orchins. From your boat you may enjoy fish feeding directly from your hands using crushed bread and don’t be surprised that these fishes are not that shy. In going here, you may rent a boat from the neighboring Mactan Island for your whole day sea adventure and island hopping.

Caohagan Island Cebu

A small, white sand island on the southeast coast of Cordova known for fresh seafoods at low rates. The primary source of income for the Caohagan natives is fishing, shell crafts and accessories.

The front part of the island is where the live seafoods are displayed and some nipa cottages for accommodation on your quick lunch. Get to know the simple lifestyle of the natives, take a short walk into the village heading to the docking area at the back of the island.

Caohagan Island is one of the islands in the Olanggo Reef which is protected by the government as fish sanctuary. This island is 30 minutes away from Mactan through pumpboat ride. Great view of Cebu and Bohol at this location.

Taoist Temple Cebu

The Taoist Temple was built in 1972 by Cebu’s substantial Chinese community in Beverly Hills Subdivision Cebu City. The temple is the center of worship for Taoism in Cebu, the religion which follows the teachings of the ancient Chinese philosopher Lao Tze. Unlike other temples it is open to the worshipers and non-worshipers.

At the temple one can make a wish, light-up joss sticks and have their fortune read by the monks. The Taoist Temple is a nice place to visit where one can relax and enjoy the scenic view of the downtown Cebu from the spacious balcony.

Colon Street Cebu

Colon Street is one of the busiest street in downtown Cebu City and is considered the oldest street in the Philippines. The street was named after Christopher Columbus and was built by the Spaniards during the time of Miguel Lopez de Legaspi, the Spanish conquistador who arrived in the Philippines to establish a colony in 1565.

The Colon Street was once the heart of Cebu City’s shopping and business activity, but recently much of these activities has shifted to uptown areas with the coming new business parks. Colon Street is just a few blocks away from Santo Nino Basilica and Magellans Cross.

Simala Shrine Sibongga Cebu

Formally known as the Monastery of the Holy Eucharist, the Simala Shrine is located in Marian Hills, Lindogon, Simala, Sibonga, Cebu. It was built in 1998 by the Marian Monks and used to be an ordinary church until after the incidents of miraculous events where the Blessed Virgin Mary cried blood on September 8, during her birthday. Visiting the church is great spiritual experience where the devotees carry with them their hopes and prayers requests be granted. The Simala Shrine is 2 to 3 hours away from Cebu City proper.

Sirao Flower Farm Cebu

The so-called Mini Amsterdan of Cebu, Sirao Flower Farm is located in a mountain barangay few minutes away from Lahug, Cebu City. It started as a simple flower farm, which gradually attracted more visitors and now has become a tourist attraction due to its scenery. A large area of the farm grows Celosia, plus other flowering plants like sunflower, chrysanthemum, daisy and aster. The flowers planted in colorful rows would be a perfect click for your Instagram page!

Temple of Leah Cebu

Built in 2012, this Roman architecture temple was built by a man to symbolize his undying love and devotion to his wife. This memorial is for Leah Villa Albino-Adarna the wife of businessman Teodorico Soriano Adarna for 53 years. It is designed to have 24 chambers that will have an art gallery, museum, library and bar. This structure is situated at the hills of Busay overlooking Cebu City.

Cebu Safari and Adventure Park

Considered as the premier and biggest zoological park in the Philippines. Cebu Safari and Adventure Park is an adventure park located on top of the scenic hills of Carmen, Cebu, Philippines. It covers 170 hectares with more than a thousand animals from 120 different species. The main features of the park are African Savanna, White Lion Safari, Michelle’s Garden, and Gardens of the World.

Camotes Islands Cebu

A group of island on the northeastern coast of Cebu known for its white sand beaches, diving and snorkeling spots. The islands are Poro, Pacijan, Ponson and Tulang. These are the historic islands visited by Ferdinand Magellan’s Expedition proceeding to Cebu Mactan Channel.