SUMMER vacation has begun for some of us, and many may have already come up with a list of places to go to and attractions to visit in the next month or two. For those who still have no idea where to go, or for those who have been to popular summer destinations like Boracay, Siargao or even Palawan, it may be time to explore your own province now., a blog that showcases everything our province can brag about, lists some of Cebu’s hidden gems. Here’s what we know about some of them.

Carnaza Island (Daanbantayan)

This tiny island is said to be ideal for backpackers and those who are on a limited budget. White sand beaches, snorkeling spots and a forest are some of the attractions this island boasts of. And even though Carnaza Eco Park is the only resort on the island, you can always set up a tent if you are feeling more adventurous. As another alternative, the locals sometimes offer their homes (or their spare rooms) for tourists, which will typically cost around P200 per night. To reach the island, take a bus (which costs around P180 to P200) from the Cebu North Bus Terminal to Barangay Tapilon in Daanbantayan town (roughly about four hours), where you will take a boat going to Carnaza Island. 

Aozora Seaside Mactan (Lapu-Lapu City)

A Japanese word for “blue sky,” Aozora Seaside Mactan resort is going strong on its third year of showcasing the blue skies of Cebu. Riding a jetski, parasailing, and wake boarding are some of the water activities that you can try at this resort. The entrance fee is P400 per head while you can get a room for P3,360 a night. To get there, you can book a car via the ride-sharing app Grab or Uber. The one-and-a-half hour car ride from Cebu City costs between P400 and P500. If you want to take the good ol’ jeepney going there, you can hail a Punta Engaño-bound jeepney along the highway in Mandaue City.

Curbada dela Maria Resort (Aloguinsan)

Opened last February, this resort offers a very affordable summer experience for those who do not want to leave Cebu. The new resort features a pool overlooking the mountains, a pool with a playground for the young ones, a bonfire area and colorful cottages. Entrance fee is P150 for adults and P100 for children 10 years old and below, while room accommodation ranges from P1,000 to P3,500. Travelers can ride the bus plying the Carcar-Aloguinsan route from the Cebu South Bus Terminal, which usually costs only P50 to 60 per person. 

Fantasy Lodge (Samboan)

If you want to get the best of both worlds, head on to this garden resort situated along the highway of Baranggay Dalahican in the southern town of Samboan. The resort features a mountain view on one side and a sea view on the other, and has a tour guide that offers tours to neighboring summer destinations like Sumilon Island and Kawasan Falls. Room rates in this cove range from P2,530 to P5,750 a night. Getting there would have you riding a bus from the South Bus Terminal to Samboan, for a fare of P200. (Joelle Pilande / USC Intern)