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Where to stay for onsite snorkeling and activities nearby

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oregon
posts: 27
reviews: 3
Where to stay for onsite snorkeling and activities nearby

We will be in the Philippines for our first time in 11 short days. I have 1 part of our itinerary that I just can't finish. We have 4 nights on Cebu/Mactan before ferrying to Bohol. We also will be on Boracay previous to Cebu. We are thinking of 2 nights in Cebu city to get away from resort life for a bit, and 2 nights somewhere on Mactan. We aren't interested in the spa/big service type resorts. We go places to see the locale and people, not veg in a resort. But at the same time, we like comfort. Any recommendations of a place where snorkeling is good onsite and we aren't in an isolated area? I really can't work out how the island is developed, it seems like resorts spaced out along the coast, each isolated from the next, with a mall every once in a while. I have looked at Crimson, Plantation Bay, Moevenpick at the top end, then it seems the accommodations drop off to older worn out "resorts". Am I missing something? or some place? Lots of criticism over food quality or beach. Also, does anyone know how to contact nalusuan island resort? We are also considering this resort and have made a reservation that we can cancel. They won't reply to my messages through Agoda and I can't find out how to get there and how much the transport costs??? Thanks so much for any help

Denver
posts: 184
reviews: 38
1. Re: Where to stay for onsite snorkeling and activities nearby

Mactan Island is not a natural tourist destination. All the resorts have artificial beaches and are designed for people who do not want to venture into the Philippines. It is a fly-in fly-out high end luxury hotel destination, nothing else. You should spend all four days in Cebu City (airport white taxi only P180 $4.5 to SM mall & P250 other places) unless you want to venture out (i.e. Moalboal is only 2hrs aways with shore snorkeling and diving, P110 south bus station fare or P1500 taxi).

There are not four days worth of activities in Cebu City except shopping. Ayala Mall is the most popular destination in town. It only takes a half day to see the Sto.NinoChurch w/Magellan Cross, Fort San Pedro on the ocean, with the very nice Cebu Heritage Monument near by and the Taoist Temple in the hills on the far side of town. The Lapu Lapu Mactan monument near the airport is also nice.

You are spending your quality beach time in Boracay & Bohol, do not waste any time on Mactan Island.

oregon
posts: 27
reviews: 3
2. Re: Where to stay for onsite snorkeling and activities nearby

Thanks for the advice. I am now thinking of spending 2 nights in the city (we arrive in the evening) and then ferry to Dumeguete for 2 nights and then on to Bohol as planned. Does that sound feasible?

Singapore, Singapore
Destination Expert
for Philippines
posts: 10,469
reviews: 229
3. Re: Where to stay for onsite snorkeling and activities nearby

That will be better and remember to dive at Apo Island.

I have never been there but I heard the diving is good there.

Denver, Colorado
posts: 1,027
reviews: 71
4. Re: Where to stay for onsite snorkeling and activities nearby

jbeeg.

As per your other postings, why not spend an extra day in Dumaguete/Dauin area, there is much to see and do in this region, I mentioned diving with Harolds Mansion in one of your other posts, you can also snorkel Apo island with them for 1000php including lunch and sanctuary fees, you will literally have 100% chance of snorkeling with the resident turtles.

If you do visit Dumaguete, I highly recommend at least one trip to Lab-as/Hayahay, restaurant/resto bar one of the top restaurants in Dumaguete, specializing in local seafood.

Singapore, Singapore
Destination Expert
for Philippines
posts: 10,469
reviews: 229
5. Re: Where to stay for onsite snorkeling and activities nearby

"you will literally have 100% chance of snorkeling with the resident turtles."

Now that really excites me!

Denver, Colorado
posts: 1,027
reviews: 71
6. Re: Where to stay for onsite snorkeling and activities nearby

MH,

It really is a good trip, I think YLOO mentioned he had snorkeled with many, I was there 3 weeks ago, diving Apo, I saw 1 turtle, my wife who was snorkeling, swam with 9 of them, while they were feeding on sea grass, in only 2 to 3 m of water

Singapore, Singapore
Destination Expert
for Philippines
posts: 10,469
reviews: 229
7. Re: Where to stay for onsite snorkeling and activities nearby

You dive in Apo Island again???

Wow.......

Denver, Colorado
posts: 1,027
reviews: 71
8. Re: Where to stay for onsite snorkeling and activities nearby

I dive Apo every trip to the Philippines, still one of my favourite places to dive, and at 3300php for 3 dives including lunch , transfer and all fees, still one of the best deals too.

Negros Island...
Destination Expert
for Bacolod, Negros Island
posts: 2,632
reviews: 83
9. Re: Where to stay for onsite snorkeling and activities nearby

Hi!

I have stayed in most of the Mactan resorts except for Movenpick Abaca and Crimson..and overpriced is the word. All of them. And yes, the beach is nothing to write home about. Most are taken fr somewhere else.

So your bet of going to Dumaguete/Dauin area gives you more bang for your buck. Not also particularly enchanting beaches but great sanctuaries. Daytrips are cheap and worth your while.

oregon
posts: 27
reviews: 3
10. Re: Where to stay for onsite snorkeling and activities nearby

So now we are planning on spending 1 day in Cebu city and then going to Dumaguete. I see that Sea Dream resort get very high ratings, Harolds looks pretty spare for us. We like comfort and <$100/night. One of us burns easily and we need a place to get out of the sun. We usually do lots of stuff for 2 days and then kick back for the 3rd, and repeat.

Should we even spend 1 day in Cebu city? Maybe just 1/2 day? I don't know how to figure this out. We only have 1 day in Manila, I thought 1 day in Cebu would give us more exposure to Philippine history and development.

We will definitely try to get to Apo Is. I see that PADI is planning their annual "dive safari" to Dumaguete.

Thanks for all the great advice on the forums where I posted questions. Keep it coming if you have more.