Cebu has carved a name for itself as a tropical destination in the Pacific Ocean. Although it is well a part of the Philippines, being the largest metropolitan area in the south, Cebu caught the attention of foreign tourists for being a complete tourist haven.
The cultural, historical and natural wonders of Cebu merge with modern conveniences such as five-star hotels and resorts as well as giant shopping malls. Cebu City, the capital of Cebu province, is considered the oldest city in the Philippines established by Spanish conquistador Miguel Lopez de Legaspi in the 16th Century.
Being the oldest city, Cebu is the site of the first Spanish settlement in the Philippines. It has Colon street as the oldest street in the country, Fort San Pedro as the oldest fort, Basílica Minore del Santo Niño as the oldest church, and Universidad de San Carlos as the oldest university. Magellan's Cross is another famous landmark in Cebu City.
Cebu, the province, consists of a major island and 167 smaller islands, many of which are embraced by crystal-clear blue water and white-sand beaches. This makes the province a tropical tourism haven, thanks to concrete roads and ports leading to idyllic resort islands of Mactan, Bantayan, Malapascua, Olango and Camotes. The southwest coast of Moalboal in Cebu also has fine white beaches and spectacular diving sites.
Mactan Island, just across a narrow strait from Cebu City, is home to the Mactan-Cebu International Airport. The airport accommodates regular international flights between Cebu and Manila as well as international destinations such as Hong Kong, Singapore, Busan, Seoul, Tokyo and Doha.
With the large volume of foreign and local tourists flocking to Cebu each year, a number of large hotels have mushroomed in the area. These include five-star facilities such as Radisson Blu Hotel Cebu, Marco Polo Plaza Cebu Hotel, Cebu City Marriott Hotel, Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino, Cityscape Hotel, Cebu Grand Hotel and Richmond Plaza Hotel.
On Mactan Island, among the more famous hotels and resorts are Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort & Spa, Crimson Beach Resort, Imperial Palace Waterpark Resort & Spa, Maribago Bluewater Resort, Movenpick Cebu Hotel, Tambuli Beach Resort, Be Resorts, Cebu White Sands, Costabella and Waterfront Airport Hotel and Casino.