Mactan Island

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General information

Mactan island (Mactan Island) – the closest island to the O. Cebu, located in Cebu city, separated from main island by a Strait of width of less than one kilometer at its narrowest point (Mactan on the map). Belongs to the province of Cebu and is one of the most popular and developed resorts. Here is the main and only in the province of international Mactan-Cebu international airport, through which tourists arrive in this part of the country. Often the island of Mactan is called Lapu-Lapu (Lapu-Lapu), but in fact the paw-Paw is one of the cities of the island and its capital.

Stay on Mactan

Despite its popularity, Mactan – a mixed resort with its own characteristics. It's not a natural Paradise, as it is written in commercial guides, and is built up with concrete and issecheny roads of the island, almost a metropolis. Although the situation here is calmer than in the city of Cebu, is to go beyond the hotels or resort areas along the South-Eastern coast as you get to the dirty streets with poor people and beggars, busy traffic roads, exhaust fumes, and the stench from the many local cafes. All descriptions of the resort on commercial sites the guides as island Paradise with unspoiled nature and clean beaches "bounty" – complete nonsense. Well, another point, which is not always popular with tourists from European countries – a large number of Asian tourists from Korea, China, Hong Kong and other Asian countries with their peculiar manner, to relax and to move large and very noisy groups.

Stay on Mactan, the beaches and diving. All the beaches here with large yellow sand mixed with fragments of coral and shells. Which is good, the beach is protected from waves by neighboring Islands. But the beaches on Mactan are not much: almost the entire coast here is rocky, or destroyed and polluted by human activities. What is left, belongs to the expensive hotels-to resorts with their territory and the artificial beaches, access to which is blocked completely or for a fee, and very considerable.

And the few remaining public beaches are always crowded by locals and not very clean, so if you need a budget beach holiday, you should look for other places, for example, to go Moalboal or on nearby Panglao island, Bantayan, Malapascua , etc.

But that's what Mactan can really surprise you, so it is very rich in underwater life that makes it one of the most popular places for diving. Prices dip low at about 1100 pesos (1650.19 RUB), and for only $ 250 you can get training. Therefore, the island nereda used as the starting point for 3-4 days to obtain the initial certificate, and then go to other, more interesting Islands of the Philippines.

In General, summing up we can say that this is a good developed resort for a beach holiday and diving, but it will fit you only if you are willing to shell out a considerable amount for accommodation in a comfortable hotel with a great beach. In other cases, a longer stay is not necessary, for budget travelers it is not suitable.

Мактан, Себу Paid beach on Mactan

The beaches of Mactan island

As we already mentioned, the beaches on Mactan mainly belong to the hotels, though it is illegal. They build up the areas around the beaches and to limit passes, so get on them is simply impossible. Some hotels allow you to pass over cost: ie you would pay for the service (lunch at the restaurant, rent a gazebo or deck chair) and then have the right to get to the beach. Free beaches here are few, they are always crowded with local tourists, not very clean and comfortable for rest and swimming sophisticated tourists. Here for reference is the most popular paid and free beaches:

  • Vaño Beach, Marigondon Beach or

    (Vaño Beach on the map). Public beach is the cheapest of all on the Mactan. However, for the input take 70 pesos. Very dirty and ugly, a lot of algae in the water, and many local residents. Swimming is not worth it, unless you can come here to sunbathe and drink beer, which is sold in local cafes.
  • Mactan Newtown Beach

    (Mactan Newtown Beach on the map). Some of the best in terms of price and quality. Guests at the Mactan Newtown Beach free of charge, from 150 pesos on weekdays, 200 on the weekend.
  • Maribago Beach

    (Maribago Beach on the map). Theoretically, this public beach, but in fact in the public area on the shore only boat and dirt, it is impossible to swim. The rest is blocked by the hotels and is divided into clean and well maintained, but short sections with all the amenities. Plot Maribago Blue Water is available for 2,000 pesos on weekdays and 2500 at the weekend. This price includes use of swimming pool, lunch in the restaurant, beach games.
  • Plantation Bay Resort and Spa

    (Plantation Bay Resort on the map). While a large and expensive resort hotel complex has its own small and clean beach Galapagos Beach. But to get to him is impossible, you need to live in a hotel.
  • Shangri-la Beach

    (Shangri-la Beach on the map). The beach at Shangri-La's Mactan Resort and Spa, one of the best on the island. The entrance fee is 700 pesos.
  • Crimson Beach

    (Crimson Beach on the map). The beach at the hotel Crimson Resort Garden, very clean and comfortable, but very small, only 30 meters wide. Paying for entrance to the beach is 2500 pesos, you will receive the right to use the pool and lunch.
  • Vista Mar Beach

    (Vista Mar Beach on the map). The beach has a length of almost 100 meters, the hotel Vista Mar Beach Resort and Country Club. Entrance is 500 pesos.

If you have decided on a beach location you can find and book hotels on Mactan on these sites, or by using the search from Agoda:

The Infrastructure Of Mactan

And tourist and urban infrastructure in Mactan is well developed. In the resort area along the coast and on the beaches there are diving centres, many restaurants and cafes, travel agencies and hotels can arrange local excursions to tourist attractions the island of Cebu and tours to neighbouring Islands. Currency exchange and ATMs in the resort area there, but the course is not very profitable, and to transfer amounts from a few hundred dollars makes sense to go to Lapu-Lapu, Mactan Marina Mall (the exchange Western Union inside a supermarket) or in Cebu city. Money it is best to remove the HSBC ATM in the shopping center Ayala Mall in Cebu city because it is the only ATM that does not charge a Commission at 250 pesos per withdrawal.

The most developed city is the capital of Mactan in the Lapu-Lapu. There are markets, shopping centres, shops, cafes. The big shopping malls: Gaisano Mall, Super Metro (hypermarket), Mactan Marina Mall. More major shopping and entertainment centres can be found in Cebu city, which is accessible by jeepney, taxi, or ferry.

Центр Лапу-Лапу, Мактан Center Lapu-Lapu

Weather at the Mactan tourist seasons

Mactan island is a year – round resort, it is always warm and Sunny. Made to stand the rainy season (low tourist season) and the dry season (high tourist season).

  • The dry season runs from January to may. Lucie time to relax on the island, little rain, clear sky and very hot. However, sometimes dodatatypes season and goes on January and even February, so the best months are March - may.
  • The rainy season lasts from June to December, sometimes captures the Jan. At this time, too, can go on vacation, for a high probability of rain and clouds. Precipitation is intermittent, usually in the evenings, and an hour after them not a trace remains. And even if the sky is covered with clouds, this does not prevent tanning.

Several times a year on the island of landfall typhoons or tropical storms. They are mainly in the rainy season and affect the North of the island of Cebu and Mactan destructive winds usually don't get. But during typhoons, heavy rains can stop the movement of ferries for 1-3 days, suspended flights. To predict the occurrence of storms and typhoons for a long period is impossible, so just watch the forecasts before traveling, and make a decision immediately prior to departure.

Seasons on Mactan months*

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

* best time to visit;
appropriate time to visit;
not a recommended time to visit

Current weather on Mactan and forecast

The temperature at the Mactan months
Jan Feb Mar APR may Jun Jul Aug Saint Oct Noah Dec 27.1° 27.0° 27.8° 29.0° 29.2° 28.5° 28.3° 28.5° 28.3° 28.1° 27.9° 27.3°
Precipitation on Mactan months
Jan Feb Mar APR may Jun Jul Aug Saint Oct Noah Dec 106.0 mm 75.0 mm 31.0 mm 32.0 mm 78.0 mm 195.0 mm 174.0 mm 156.0 mm 180.0 mm 178.0 mm 156.0 mm 99.0 mm

How to get to Mactan

On Mactan is the main international airport in this part of the country, and through it here comes the most tourists. Also near in Cebu city is the largest port in the country, coupled with a large number of neighboring and more remote Islands of the Philippines.

  • On the plane

    Самолет в Себу

    To international airport Mactan-Cebu (Mactan–Cebu International Airport, abbreviated as MCIA, IATA code CEB website -, airport on the map), runs from a large number of countries, mainly from Southeast Asia. Direct flights from Russia and other countries of the former USSR takes place, but convenient and inexpensive, you can get indirect flights via Singapore, Hong Kong, Seoul, Bangkok, Dubai. On sale ticket from Moscow to both sides can be bought from $ 400 (30455.28 rubles), the rest of the time the minimum price of flights – 500 and above (38069.1 RUB). To pick up the tickets using the search box:

    Minimal prices for flights from Moscow to Cebu:

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    Minimum prices on flights from Russia to Cebu:

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    For flights within the country makes sense to manually check the prices on the websites of local airlines: AirAsia Philippines, AirSWIFT, Cebu Pacific, Philippine Airlines, Royal Air Philippines.

    From the airport to the hotels on Mactan will have to get a taxi. The only airport bus MyBus departs from the domestic terminal, but it is in the resort area is not, and on the bridge going to Cebu city. But some hotels to stay overnight before or after your flight, with a light backpack from the airport can be reached on foot.

    From the airport you can go to one of two types of taxi meters:

    • Taxi-White – a cheaper taxi. To reach the hotel on Mactan will cost up to 200 pesos (300.03 RUB).
    • Taxi-Yellow is a airport taxi, a bit expensive.

    You can also use for travel booking car via Uber or Grab that is even more profitable and safer. To order, you can use the airport WiFi, or buy a local SIM card with Internet package on the Desk in the arrivals terminal.

  • On the ferry

    Городской паром на о. Мактан, Себу

    Read more about all the ferries in the Philippines and how to use them...

    By ferry to the port of Mactan through Cebu city can be reached from Bohol, Dumaguete, Manila, and many cities and Islands. See more, how to get to Cebu city by ferry.

    Upon arrival at the port to the hotel can be reached by taxi on the meter from 500 pesos, but due to traffic it can take two hours. To shorten the route you can, if you use public ferry Metroferry. They depart from the small pier No. 3 (Pier 3), pier Cebu-Mactan Ferry Terminal in the centre of Lapu Lapu (Mactan Marina on the map). Boats run every hour from 05:00 to 20:00, 15-20 minutes, cost 20 pesos. Already in Lapu-Lapu you can catch a taxi or tricycle to the hotel.

Transport in Mactan than to move on

Трицикл на о. Мактан, Себу

The main transportation for the Mactan – taxis and tricycles. There are also a small number of flights Jeepneys, but they are very poorly covered resort area, designation of trails is confusing, so especially they should not count.

Car taxis on the island are metered, the cost is 40 pesos for landing at 13.5 pesos per 1 kilometer and 2 pesos for every minute of the way. In the end, the farthest ride around town will cost no more than 200 pesos, and Central Cebu city, about 500 pesos. But be sure prior to boarding, ask the driver he will take you on the meter (taximeter), or later possible surprises in the end of the trip in the form of significantly inflated prices. To avoid such surprises, you can order a taxi through Uber or Grab applications.

The tricycles are not equipped with meters, the price of the trip should be discussed beforehand. Usually they are trying to impose on tourists the price is even higher than car taxis, so you need to bargain. More or less reasonable price – no more than 30 pesos for a short trip of 1-2 kilometers, and not more than 80 from one end of the island to another.

Attractions and entertainment on Mactan

Objectively speaking, besides relaxing on the beaches and diving in Mactan to do and there's nothing to see, attractions here. Only land travel entertainment, aquarium, closed in 2014. And the two main historical places of the island, the monument of Magellan and the monument of Lapu-Lapu, are unlikely to be interesting. One can only go and watch some historical places in Cebu city, or take tours of the island of Cebu.

The main sightseeing and entertainment, which in any case should not miss during your vacation here is swimming with whale sharks in Olabe. There you will be able to see and swim among the whale sharks, and this is the only place in the world where you can see them with 100% probability. Also in this tour separately or can include a visit to Kawasan falls, Tumalog and other, canyoning at the Kawasan falls, visit the osmena peak. Another of the Mactan independently or with a tour you can visit several attractions on the island of Cebu:

These tours are offered at the travel agencies on the street, and is also available for online booking for the following trusted sites:

Find tours online (with reviews)

As for evening recreation, the resort area of Mactan there are a few late night bars, restaurants with views, you can find girls or boys. But best of all, for the evening entertainment to go to Cebu city, where the most popular places: Blue Bar & Grill, Ibiza Cebu, The Cebu Social, Morals & Malice, Cubana, Liv Super Club, Bellini, Champagne Lounge, Bamboozers Bar, Sentral, Club Holic. If you stay in an expensive hotel with its own territory, you can count on evening shows that are held for guests. Gamblers can visit the casino resort Mactan Isla Resort and Casino.

  • Diving on Mactan


    In the waters near the island of Mactan offers some of the best diving spots in the Philippines. Here is the coral reef and the wall, is an underwater cave Marigondon, and even a sunken plane. All the information about the dive sites you will be able to get into local diving centers. Also offer diving at nearby Islands Nalusuan and Olango. The prices are among the lowest in the world, but somewhat high by the standards of the Philippines. For example, training and initial certificate can be completed in 250 USD single dive near the shore will cost 1600 pesos, and three boat dives from 5,000 pesos. You can find lower prices, for example MSDC offers the dive from 1100 pesos, but it is at the shore. Therefore, some tourists start their journey on Mactan in order to pass the training and receive a certificate, and have him continue the journey to the Philippines in less expensive places.

    🕐 Working time: day and night dives at a convenient time for you.

    💵 Entrance fee / cost of tickets: dive from the shore from 1100 pesos (1650.19 RUB, see the Philippine currency and the exchange rate), with boats from 1600 pesos (2400.27 RUB).

    🚶 How to get: diving and training are offered in the many diving centres are located mainly in the South-East coast of Mactan in the resort area. You can find them on the spot or book in advance via the Internet, many centers have their web-sites, search queries like Mactan diving book.

  • The Magellan monument and the monument of Lapu-Lapu / Magellan's Marker and Lapu-Lapu Monument

    Памятник Лапу-Лапу

    These two monuments are facing each other, and are considered the most iconic places on Mactan. Indeed, their historical importance is hard to overestimate, but their real entertainment for tourists is minimal.

    Both monuments are established in 1866, is believed to be the place where in 1521 by the chieftain of the local tribe Lapu-Lapu was killed by a great traveler and Explorer Ferdinand Magellan. He became the first European to discover the Philippines for the Europeans. After arriving at the island, he actively began to spread to the locals Christianity and the Spanish citizenship, for which he had to burn a few villages resisting this. Against the Spaniards led by Magellan, was made by the chieftain Lapu-Lapu, and in the ensuing battle Magellan was killed by spear. There is also a legend that Magellan was buried in this place, but historical information is not confirmed.

    🕐 Time of work: round the clock.

    💵 Entrance fee / ticket price: free.

    🚶 How to get there: the monument is located in the North-Eastern outskirts of Mactan (monuments on the map). To get here by tricycle or motorcycle taxi for 100 pesos or a jeepney for 8 pesos.

  • The nature reserve island of Olango / Olango Island Wildlife Sanctuary

    Наблюдени за птицами в заповеднике

    On the small island of Olango, which lies near in Mactan, is a bird sanctuary (Bird Watching at the Olango Island Wildlife Sanctuary), which is the refuge during the migration large number of birds. As experts estimate, more than 40,000 birds annually make a stop at Olana on your way to eat animals who are found in shallow water, and relax a bit. This is the perfect time for them to observe and make a lot of beautiful photos. In addition to birds interesting and the walk itself is on the island along the path among the mangroves. After payment at the entrance to the reserve is necessary to walk on the concrete path among the mangroves, it will lead you to a lookout gazebo. Best to bring binoculars and a camera with a long lens.

    🕐 Time of work: round the clock, visit best from November to February in the early morning or 2 hours before and during high tide.

    💵 Entrance fee / ticket price: entrance fee to the reserve is 100 pesos (150.02 RUB).

    🚶 How to get there: the island of Olango offers personal guided tours, but it's easy to visit it on their own. On Mactan on tricylce or motorcycle taxi need to get to the pier Angasil Port or old Port, where often during the day, boats at pier on Olango Santo Rosa Pier, cost 30 pesos. Here you need a tricycle or motorcycle taxi to reach the entrance to the reserve (the entrance to the reserve on the map). For the trip can request up to 200 pesos, but you have to bargain, real price is not more than 50 pesos one way.

Comments / recent posts on the topic on the forum
admin January 9, 2020
On the website you can find the guide to Cebu island and its resorts:
Guide to the island of Cebu
How and what to get to Cebu
Guide to airport Mactan-Cebu
Cebu sights, what to see
The Beaches Of Cebu
Guide to Cebu city
Guide to Moalboal
Guide to the O. Mactan
Oslob and swimming with whale sharks
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admin 28 March, 2020
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