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Things to Do in Cebu

In the Visayas region of the Philippines lies Cebu, a narrow island that’s become one of the country’s most popular destinations. Historically a place for seafarers and tradesmen, Cebu—along with its nearby islands—is now known by travelers for its emerald mountains, colorful coral reefs, and wildlife of both the finned and furry varieties. Cebu City, the former capital of the country, is home to striking landmarks, including Basilica del Santo Niño. For a comprehensive sightseeing experience, take a tour that combines the sights in Cebu City with those on Mactan Island, home to cultural sites such as the Virgen dela Regla National Shrine and the Lapu Lapu Statue, built on the place where the chieftain Mactan battled Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan. On neighboring Bohol, just a short ferry ride away, a guide can introduce you to the best of the island’s natural beauty. You’ll cruise down the Lomboc River and take in the Chocolate Hills in Carmen, and you’ll also want to keep your eyes open for tarsiers, the world’s tiniest primate. Sumilon Island offers unspoiled white sand and crystalline water; while Oslob is known for whale sharks, the largest fish in the world—a tour that includes gear means you can swim among them.
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Santo Niño Basilica (Basílica del Santo Niño)
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19 Tours and Activities

Cebu's Basilica del Santo Niño (Basilica of Santo Nino, Basilica Minore de Sto Nino) was literally born from fire. In 1565, the church was built on the site where one of conquistador Legazpi's men supposedly found a miraculous statue of Jesus in the burning ruins of a hostile native village. The statue -- considered the oldest religious artifact in the country -- was completely unharmed. The building still houses the statue, even after burning down three times since its initial construction.

The basilica you see today dates back to 1737, and you can see the miraculous "Santo Niño," or Holy Child, within the aptly named Santo Niño Chapel inside the basilica. Each year, the Basilica del Santo Niño celebrates Cebu's largest annual event, the Cebuano festival of Sinulog, centered on this small Flemish statue of Jesus. The festival features a street parade with performances by brightly costumed dancers from all over the Philippines.

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Casa Gorordo Museum
8 Tours and Activities

The Casa Gorordo Museum, located in downtown Cebu, was originally a private home built in the 1850s Alejandro Reynes Y Rosales and later owned by Juan Isidro de Gorordo, a wealthy Spanish Merchant. The residence was passed down through the Gorordo family, with a total of four generations living there, including the first Filipino bishop of Cebu, Juan Gorordo.

Today, the recently renovated house serves as a public museum and national historic landmark filled with antique furnishings, historic books and documents, decorative arts, household items, period costumes and memorabilia from the Spanish colonial period. As one of only three remaining houses from the colonial period, Casa Gorordo offers an insight into what life was like during Cebu’s early days.

The structure of the house itself is a fascinating study in architecture, as it draws from Spanish, native and Chinese influences.

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More Things to Do in Cebu

Sumilon Island

Sumilon Island

18 Tours and Activities
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Mactan Island

Mactan Island

15 Tours and Activities
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Pandanon Island

Pandanon Island

4 Tours and Activities
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Olango Island

Olango Island

2 Tours and Activities
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