Always Summer

by BookBelowZero on

CebuOne of the unbeatable charms of Cebu is that it’s a busy metropolis with mountains and beaches within reach. None of those long tedious drives on traffic-clogged highways, followed by a creaking ferry ride, and then a bumpy trip aboard a tricycle before getting to one’s particular paradise.

Visitors to Cebu are spoiled by convenience; just get off the plane, hop on a cab, and be at one of the many resorts that line Mactan’s coral coastline in under thirty minutes.

Feeling up for a road trip? The most destinations are Bantayan and Malapascua up north, or Moalboal and Oslob down south. Everyone knows this- and if you don’t, the locals will always be happy to tell you.

So here are a few more suggestions from a laidback local:

Olango/ Caohagan.  Bancas regularly ply the short route between Mactan and Olango, which sits directly across.  Olango’s great attraction is its avian sanctuary, where flocks of migratory birds come to rest each year, so it works as an eco tourism destination in its own right, and as a jump-off point for exploring nearby islets, like Caohagan.

A swift sail across aquamarine waters brings you to little Caohagan, where on a busy day, there will be a tiny flotilla of bancas for hire bobbing around in the impossibly clear water.

Feel free to jump right into the shallows. You’re welcome.

Too hot? Float in the shadow of your banca. Hungry? Picnic on your boat, or wade to shore, where enterprising members of the community have set up stalls peddling fresh seafood.

On the trip back, the boatmen will be happy to stop for a while (current permitting) so you can leap off the boat for a proper, satisfying swim in the deep.

Alcoy . You can take the bus from the South Bus Terminal, or if you have your own wheels you can hit the highway as the sun rises. Don’t forget to make a stop at the Carcar market for lechon. Tingko Beach will be on your left, before the town proper.

Tingko Beach will make you glad that we still have municipal beaches that cost a pittance to access, because it is gorgeous. Stake out your space on the palm-shaded sand, grab a spare bench or pitch a tent, drag your cooler and lechon out, and prepare to spend a blissful day by the seaside.

This area has few other surprises up its sleeve: the cool European-style villa up in the hills called the Narra Park Hotel, and Bodo’s Bamboo Bar, which surprises the wayward traveller with its excellent pizzas. Go and discover them all.

Camotes as an alternative to Bohol. Sure, the boat trip takes a little longer, and the lively party vibe one has come to expect from Panglao is conspicuously missing, but for sheer natural beauty, Santiago Bay can give Alona Beach a run for its money.

Imagine a great sweeping crescent of fine, pale sand, stretching outward, curving underneath the sparkling sea. A few resorts sit next to each other, quietly sharing the shore. Camotes is the kind of no-fuss place where it is lights out long before the word “sleep” even floats across most city folks’ minds. Don’t come expecting full-moon parties; what you will find is a surfeit of peace.

So next time you return to Cebu, you might want to consider straying off the path well-trodden by tourist flipflops, and spend your beach vacation the low-key  Cebuano way.

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post: