virgin island best beaches in cebu

20 Best Beaches in Cebu

Searching for the best beaches in Cebu that you can visit? If you’ve never been to Cebu beaches, chances are you probably heard somewhere that it’s worth checking out.Introducing CEBU INSIDER’s Best Beach Destinations in Cebu in 2023.
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Searching for the best beaches in Cebu to visit in 2023? Cebu is home to many beautiful white-sand beaches, that’s why it is recognized as one of the most beautiful islands in the world by many media outlets.

If you’ve never been to Cebu beaches, chances are you probably heard somewhere that it’s worth checking out. That’s why you’re reading this list right now. And if you’ve ever been to Cebu, you know too well that Cebu deserves the recognition under its belt.

One of the best natural gifts Cebu has is its dozens of white sand beaches. From Bantayan Island’s Kota Beach to Sumilon Island’s white sandbar, Cebu is indeed a haven for beach bums. In this guide, I highlighted some of my favorite public beaches in Cebu that you can access without fee or a minimal fee.

This list includes public beaches within mainland Cebu and Mactan Island only. There are more  public beaches in remote islands, but of course, you need to catch a ferry or boat to access them. If you’re still interested to know more about them, here are some lists you can check out:

Which part of Cebu has the best beaches?

While the best beaches in Cebu are spread out across the province, I strongly believe the most concentration of white sand beaches are found in North Cebu. Bantayan Island, in particular, has a quite a few worth-visiting beaches as well as Camotes Island. Even the towns of Tabuelan, San Remigio, and Medellin have got a few of them.Of course, I’m not counting out South Cebu as they too have quite a few good white sand beaches, including Moalboal’s White Beach (or Basdaku as localls call it), Badian’s Lambug Beach, and Sumilon Island.

20 Cebu Beaches to Include in Your Cebu Itinerary 2023

If you’ve read a list of the best beaches in Cebu mentioning Panagsama Beach or Logon Beach, best believe these people haven’t been there. No shade, but to be real, there are so many other beaches in Cebu that are far better than those mentioned.

Having explored the entirety of Cebu, I’m in the position to tell which beaches are worth visiting. A lot of what we have on our list are public beaches in Cebu.

Introducing CEBU INSIDER’s Best Beach Destinations in Cebu in 2023:

1. Virgin Island

Also known as Sillon Island, Virgin Island has one of the best white sand beaches in Cebu and in the Philippines. Owned by a private resort, the island’s crystal clear water and fine white sand beach are accessible through accredited tours or boat transfers.

virgin island best beaches in cebu
A drone view of Virgin Island (Photo courtesy of Raynard M. Ong Vaño)

In the island, you can play beach volleyball, chill on the hammocks, jump off cliffs, snorkel, and do other water activities like paddleboarding and kayaking when the weather permits.

The best way to get to Virgin Island is to take a boat from Santa Fe, Bantayan Island. The Santa Fe Tourism Office may arrange a tour for you, or you can ask your hotel’s front desk about it. Read our full guide on How to Get to Bantayan Island!

2. Sumilon Island in Oslob

Sumilon Island has one of the most beautiful beaches in Cebu leased by Bluewater Sumilon Island Resort. It’s accessed via a 20-minute boat ride from Bancogon Port where you can find Bluewater Sumilon’s facility to transfer guests, day pass users, and walk-in visitors. Walk-in visitors are subject to availability.

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A drone view of Sumilon Island’s sandbar (CEBU INSIDER PHOTO)

Guests and day pass users can get access to all of the resort’s facilities, including the infinity pool, private beach area, freshwater lagoon, and restaurant. You may explore the island by hiking trails and snorkeling.

To get to Oslob, take a bus at Cebu South Bus Terminal going to Oslob. Tell the driver/conductor to drop you off at Bancogon Port. Fare is around 200 PHP (~4 USD). Travel time is about 4 hours.

3. Bounty Beach in Malapascua Island

As soon as you dock at the wharf in Malapascua Island, Bounty Beach welcomes you with its stretch of soft white sand and clear water. But that’s not really the part you’ll want to swim and chill at.

Bounty Beach extends farther on the right side where you may lounge and enjoy the unobstructed view of the azure sky meeting the ocean. Lined with bars, restaurants, and hotels, it’s definitely one of the best public beaches in Cebu.

bounty beach how to go to malapascua island
The sun shines bright at Bounty Beach in Malapascua Island (Photo by Mario Manlupig, CEBU INSIDER)

If you go even farther on the right where Evolution Beach and Dive Resort and Malapascua Exotic Island Dive Resort are located, you get to enjoy the beach on your own!

To get to Malapascua Island, take a bus at Cebu North Bus Terminal to Maya Port, then take a boat to Malapascua Island. Read our full guide on How to Go to Malapascua Island!

4. Lambug Beach in Badian

Another public beach in Cebu on our list is Lambug Beach located 4 hours away from Cebu City. Lambug Beach is not as popular as the public beaches in Moalboal, but it’s way better.

Although local hut-style resorts line the shores, Lambug Beach remains free to swim and camp. When swimming, wear your water shoes to avoid the stings from sea urchins. If you are looking for an overnight beach in Cebu, many local resorts are nearby. 

When I first visited Lambug Beach a decade ago when it was still free, I was utterly surprised by how bare it was—free from big name resorts, restaurants, and establishments. All you see on the shore were local beach huts (which we locally call “cottage”). Fast forward to date, Lambug Beach has become very popular in the last few years.

But of course, we’re not gatekeeping it. If you are visiting Moalboal or heading for the canyoneering in Badian, you can drop by Lambug Beach. It’s spacious where you can set up a tent. This is where I got my first taste of sea urchin sting, so be sure to wear your water shoes.

lambug beach best white sand beach in cebu
A sunny day at Lambug Beach in Badian (Photo by Mario Manlupig, CEBU INSIDER)

To get to Badian, take a bus at Cebu South Bus Terminal going to Bato via Barili. Tell the driver/conductor to drop you off the road going to Lambug Beach. From there, take a tricycle going to the beach. Fare is around 200 PHP (~4 USD) one way for the entire tricycle. Travel time is 4 hours.

Fees

  • Entrance: 45 PHP
  • Parking: 40 PHP
  • Tent: 50 PHP/head on weekdays, 150 PHP/head on weekends
  • Cottage: 500 PHP for day use

How to Get to Lambug Beach

5. Sandira Beach in Bantayan Island

Sandira Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Bantayan Island which used to be part of the stretch of Paradise Beach. The former was leased to a private entity several years ago.

sandira beach best beaches in cebu
The early morning glow at Sandira Beach in Bantayan Island (Photo by Mario Manlupig, CEBU INSIDER)

Sandira Be Sandira Beach has more space. The entrance fee is 60 PHP (~1 USD).

6. Paradise Beach in Bantayan Island

Paradise Beach is a very small beach but still as beautiful as Sandira Beach. It has bigger cliffs that are closer to the shoreline. It’s still one of the nicest beaches in Cebu with an expansive space above the cliffs for camping.

paradise beach cebu beaches
The sun begins to rise at Paradise Beach in Bantayan Island (Photo by Mario Manlupig, CEBU INSIDER)

Paradise Beach can be accessed on a different ragged, dirt trail. The entrance fee is 30 PHP (~0.5 USD).

7. Baigad Lagoon Beach in Bantayan Island

Baigad Lagoon is of the newest attractions in Bantayan Island that have been opened to the public. Baigad Lagoon has the clearest water in the island that you can see the sea bed, and you get to enjoy the thick forest of mangroves around.

As of this posting, a café is under construction within the lagoon, but even if you go there now, there are already chairs and tables, swings, toilers, and other facilities ready to use.

baigad lagoon cebu beaches
The sun shines upon Baigad Lagoon in Bantayan Island (Photo by Mario Manlupig, CEBU INSIDER)

Baigad Lagoon is accessible by walking through the shoreline from Baigad Barangay Hall. Alternatively, you can take a boat either at the Baigad old wharf or the Baigad Lagoon pump boat station demonstrated in the photo below. Take the latter if you want to see the mangroves going to the lagoon.

Baigad Lagoon has an entrance fee of 100 PHP (~2 USD) if you enter the beach part where there are facilities under construction. The surrounding area is free. Boat transfer is 100 PHP (~2 USD) per head for a two-way boat transfer.

8. Bakhaw Beach in Camotes Islands

If you’re looking for secluded beaches in Cebu, visit Bakhaw Beach in San Francisco town in Pacijan Island (one of the four islands that make up Camotes Islands). Bakhaw Beach is a public beach popular among locals in town.

A nice day at Bakhaw Beach in San Francisco, Camotes Islands (Photo courtesy of Kit Anthon Ed Fabroa)

Getting there means passing through dirt trails, massive coconut plantations, and thick wild bushes. Since it’s undeveloped, there are no restaurants nearby, only trees lining the coast and the crystal-clear water and white sand beach.

To get to Camotes Islands, take a ferry from Cebu Port Pier 1 to Poro Port. Fare is 500-800 PHP (~10-15 USD). Travel time is 1 hour and 30 minutes.

9. Kota Beach in Bantayan Island

Kota Beach is arguably the most popular beach in Bantayan Island for its accessibility located right in front of Kota Beach Resort. If you’re staying around Santa Fe’s commercial center, you can walk to this public beach through multiple entry points.

kota beach white sand beaches in cebu
The expansive view at Kota Beach in Bantayan Island (Photo by Mario Manlupig, CEBU INSIDER)

Accessibility aside, its popularity isn’t unwarranted as Kota Beach is one of the best white sand beaches in Cebu for its sandbar and clear water that you may enjoy at any time of the day. But twilight at Kota Beach hits differently. I recommend bringing your beach mat, a bottle of beer, and some chips while watching a glorious sunrise or sunset by the beach.

10. Santiago Bay in Camotes Islands

One public beach in Cebu that has a very wide space is Santiago Bay Beach located in San Francisco, Camotes Islands. With its long stretch of white sand beach, water activities are some of the popular things to do in Camotes Islands.

The view of Santiago Bay Beach from Santiago Bay Garden and Resort (Photo courtesy of Marcelino Rapayla Jr.)

Many restaurants are nearby. Santiago Bay Beach has facilities like huts, bangka (outrigger boat), kayaks, and banana boats you can rent for the day. Karaoke machines and a volleyball court are also available.

11. Langob Beach in Malapascua Island

Langob Beach is one the least popular secluded beaches in Cebu. Also known as North Beach, it’s located in the northernmost part of Malapascua Island, hence the name. It’s a public beach, but you can use the coconut swings here and chill by the beach for free.

langob beach best beaches in cebu
Crystal-clear blue water, white sand, and azure sky showing up at Langob Beach in Malapascua Island (CEBU INSIDER PHOTO)

Snorkeling is also an activity you can do here. A few resorts and stalls nearby sell coconuts, chips, drinks, and more. There are no huts and toilets nearby, but you can use the one from D Avila’s Horizon Dive Resort.

12. Maravilla Beach in Tabuelan

If you are looking for a beach near Cebu City, Maravilla Beach in Tabuelan offers a quick beach getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city. It’s a famous beach in Cebu among locals for its accessibility, just an hour’s drive north of the city.

maravilla beach tabuelan best beaches in cebu
Maravilla Beach from above (CEBU INSIDER PHOTO)

Plus, you can access the beach for free. Maravilla Beach is also a perfect overnight beach in Cebu where you can go camping for free.

13. Basdaku Beach in Moalboal

Basdaku Beach is the most popular beach in Moalboal and stretches 1 kilometer of white sand and blue water. Also known as White Beach, its coast is lined with sari-sari stores (mom-and-pop stores), karenderya (local restaurants), souvenir shops, and resorts.

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An aerial view of Basdaku Beach in Moalboal (CEBU INSIDER PHOTO)

It’s one of the most popular beaches in Cebu since it’s very accessible. As a public beach, you can use the beach for free. Many locals also bring their tents to camp by the beach overnight for free.

14. Ka Elena Beach in Carnaza Island

One of the best hidden beaches in Cebu is Ka Elena Beach in Carnaza Island. Because it’s so secluded, Ka Elena Beach is not popular among beachgoers despite its fine white sand and clear waters.

One thing you will be in awe of is the sunset by the beach, which is a truly wonderful experience. If you want a secluded beach in Cebu to have some me-time, this is the place to be.

ka elena beach carnaza island secluded beaches in cebu
A morning glow hitting the water at Ka Elena Beach (Photo courtesy of TheLittleLai)

To get to Carnaza Island, take a bus at Cebu North Bus Terminal either to Maya Port or Hagnaya Port. Tell the driver/conductor to drop you off at the junction going to Tapilon Port.

15. Tulang Diot Island in Camotes Islands

Tulang Diot has one of the nicest beaches in Cebu. It’s an islet so you need to take two boat rides from Cebu City to get there, but the trip is going to be worth it. Tulang Diot may be secluded but it’s only popular among locals nearby.

tulang diot island in camotes islands
An aerial view of Tulang Diot Island (CEBU INSIDER PHOTO)

To get to Tulang Diot Island, take a ferry from Cebu City to Poro Port in Camotes Islands. Then take a habal-habal to Tulang Daku where you would then get on a boat to Tulang Diot.

16. Bitoon Beach in Kinatarkan Island 

If you are visiting Kinatarkan Island from Bantayan Island, you are most likely landing on Bitoon Beach, a long stretch of white sand and crystal clear water farther up north of mainland Cebu. Go snorkeling and see the vibrant marine life, and watch the day turns into a night by the beach.

bitoon beach in kintarkan island
An aerial view of Bitoon Beach in Kinatarkan Island (Photo courtesy of Freedom Wall)

Also called Guintacan Island, Kinatarkan Island deserves to be recognized more with its coves, beaches, caves, cliffs, and lush thick forests.

To get to Kinatarkan Island, charter a boat from Santa Fe, Bantayan Island. Alternatively, there are daily trips from Daanbantayan to Kinatarkan Island.

17. Hermit’s Cove in Aloguinsan

Hermit’s Cove is one of the most underrated beaches in Cebu. Hermit’s Cove has fine white sand and blue waters, yet it’s not as popular as other public beaches in Cebu.

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A great view of Hermit’s Cove in Aloguinsan (Photo courtesy of Freedom Wall)

Hermit’s Cove might be secluded, but it’s easy to access from Cebu City. 

To get to Aloguinsan, take a bus from Cebu South Bus Terminal going to Aloguinsan. Fare is around 100 PHP (~2 USD). Travel time is 2 hours.

18. Tingko Beach in Alcoy

Tingko Beach is a famous beach in Cebu. It has one of the longest stretches of white sand in South Cebu. Although it’s a public beach, it has a minimal entrance fee.

tingko Beach Alcoy best beaches in cebu
Tingko Beach’s view from Voda Krisna Resort (Photo courtesy of Voda Krisna Resort)

Some people might have complained about the “dirt” the beach has. I’d like to put out a friendly reminder that yes, trash from the sea could be there any time, but we really can’t dictate to nature when to sweep ocean thrash to the shores. But on a good day, Tingko Beach is worth checking out if you’re nearby.

19. Mangodlong Beach in Camotes Islands

Mangodlong Beach is a private resort of the same name, but there’s a way for you to access the fine white sand beach and crystal clear blue water through a neighbor’s resort. Just ask the locals. If you are in Camotes Islands, Mangodlong Beach should be on your list.

mangodlong beach resort camotes islands best beaches in cebu
Mangodlong Beach Resort from the top (Photo courtesy of Mangodlong Beach Resort)

20. Pasil Beach in Kinatarkan Island 

A beach that’s not on the radar of many tourists is Pasil Beach in Kinartakan Island. Yes, it’s located farther up north that’s why it’s not as popular as other public beaches in Cebu.

Pasil beach kinatarkan island secluded beach in cebu
A bird’s eye view of Pasil Beach in Kinatarkan Island (Photo courtesy of Freedom Wall)

Pasil Beach, however, is worth checking out if you are in Kinatarkan Island. You can snorkel, go camping, watch the sunset, and rub elbows with the locals while having a peaceful time away from crowds.

More Cebu Beaches to Visit

Our list of the best beaches in Cebu is just 1/8th of all good beaches in Cebu. If you can’t get enough white sand beaches, be sure to check out our list of 35 Things to Do in Cebu 2023!

Based on our list, many popular white sand beaches in Cebu are found in the north with Bantayan Island leading the pack. Read some helpful guides:

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Mario Manlupig
Mario Manlupig

Mario is the Founder of CEBU INSIDER. In March 2018, he left his full-time job at the Philippines' biggest TV network and became a digital nomad, traveling all over the country until the pandemic happened. He now calls Cebu City his home.

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