Falling in love with Nalusuan Island in Cebu

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Cebu is amazeballs. I continue to be astounded with the number of pristine natural resources it has. You've heard about Malapascua, Camotes, and Bantayan but have you discovered Nalusuan Island?

I learned about the island through the stunning images of brilliant Cebu based designer Vito Selma. If you aren't following him on Instagram yet, you should. You'll get to discover a myriad of gems in the province. He can easily be an ambassador of Cebu. The island is a marine sanctuary so it’s a great spot for diving and snorkeling.

How to get to the island:
1. Head to Cebu City.
If you’re taking a plane from Manila, I would suggest going to the island on the day you arrive. Nalusuan Island is closer to the airport than it is to Cebu City proper.
2. From the airport or Cebu City take a cab.
You can get a metered taxi or book van arrangements from the island. Nalusuan Island’s wharf is located at Tonggo, Marigondon right beside Bluereef Resort. Our one way taxi ride was around P450-500. GET your driver’s number and try to strike a deal with him to pick you up when you leave the island. Taxis from the wharf are sparse.
3. Take a boat to the island.
You have only one way to go to the island and it is through their boat. Rates vary depending on how many you are so best to inquire directly. We were only 2 and paid P2,000 for round trip boat transfers.

There are a lot of people who do day trips to Nalusuan so the island gets busy during the day. I would suggest staying at least overnight to really enjoy the place.
Stilt Room (P3,500 per night with breakfast)
The room was spacious and had local furnishings. Sound travels a bit so the resort encourages guests not to be noisy. One awesome thing about being on stilts? The view!
The rooms may not be luxurious in design but I think what you pay for is just right for the amenities and the experience.
This was our balcony. Seriously! It amazed us that we could spend a huge chunk of time just being still watching the fish.
The bathroom was looking into the ocean so if you look out the window, you would see the sea. For an island without direct source of water, bathroom water wasn’t bad.
There is no electricity from 8 AM – 6 PM. That’s not a joke. The island is a marine sanctuary so I understand provisions like this.
We were able to endure no electricity during our visit because we went during August and it wasn’t boiling hot. I imagine it would get mighty hot during the summer season. It was windy in the restaurant during our stay so it was a good spot during the day.  

Amazingly clear water.
Even when the weather became gloomy and it rained, you could see how clear the water was.
Nalusuan Island doesn’t have a shore. You can see sand in the afternoon during low tide. There are different water sport activities on the island but we were happy swimming, walking around, and our favorite – snorkeling.
New found island friend.
I highly recommend buying fish food when you snorkel because the fish can get extremely close to you.  I had a fish that almost touched my nose! Too bad I didn’t have an underwater camera with me to shoot but it was insane how many fish were around and how beautiful everything was underwater. We didn’t see the colorful corals but we were thoroughly happy with the fish we saw.
Service across the board was excellent – a fine example of Filipino hospitality. From the boat men, receptionists, waiters, everyone was accommodating and helpful.
Expect tourist prices on the island, meals average P200 to P400. Since you are in Cebu make sure to order their mango shake! Any beach trip is incomplete without it.
Try to bring something with you if you’re spending more than a day on the island. I actually brought blog work with me and was able to write a few articles while on vacation.

It is a haven for people who want to truly unwind, relax, and do nothing. That’s exactly what Paola and I needed on that vacation which is why we loved our stay so much despite the imperfect gloomy weather. We spent 3 days on the island without electricity majority of the time, no television and weak wifi but did we ever get bored? No. It was quite a turning point for us both that we could spend time doing nothing or just staring at the fish at our balcony and be happy.

You know its love when in spite of imperfections or limitations, you are smitten. Nalusuan Island may not be the most luxurious or comfortable stay you’ll ever have but it’s bound to be a memorable one. Our stay wasn’t perfect but it has been inducted in my vault of happy places.

Nalusuan Island Resort and Marine Sanctuary
Mactan, Cebu

You can book with Agoda or with resort.

My first blog post on Cebu is in this link. The rest of my Cebu 2015 posts are here:
Part 1: Where to stay in Cebu City

Part 2: Must try La Vie Parisienne
Part 3: The best lechon goes to…

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