Sumilon Island is one of the best-kept secret paradises just 20 minutes by boat from the popular town of Oslob in Cebu.
It’s the best day trip or overnight stay you can do when exploring the southern region of Cebu.
I personally spent one night on the island at the Bluewater Sumilon Island Resort and have put together this complete guide including how to get there, where to book a day tour, where to stay on the island, and what to expect when you arrive.
WHERE IS SUMILON ISLAND?
Sumilon Island is located in southeast Cebu in the Philippines.
HOW TO GET HERE?
The majority of tourists that visit the island choose to do a day trip after swimming with the Whale Sharks In Oslob.
The only access to the island is by boat which departs daily from Mainland Bancogon in Oslob to Sumilon Island at 8:00 am, 9:30 am, and 11:00 am.
The return boat from the island to Mainland Bancogo departs at 12:00 pm, 1:30 pm, 3:30 pm, and 5:00 pm.
Arriving on the island
SUMILON ISLAND DAY TOUR
I highly recommend purchasing the Bluewater Sumilon Day Pass online in advance with Klook which gives you access to all of the facilities at Bluewater Sumilon Resort such as the infinity pool, private beach area, freshwater lagoon, and restaurant.
The Bluewater Sumilon Day Pass also includes other activities on the island such as snorkeling, Sumilon sandbar, hiking trails, and return boat transfers from Oslob.
Book Now → Bluewater Sumilon Day Pass
The boat from Oslob
WHERE TO STAY
There is only one accommodation on the island and that is the Bluewater Sumilon Island Resort.
This 4-star resort features its very own private beach, a freshwater lagoon, outdoor infinity pool, 2 restaurants, glamping tents, beachside cottages, and private villas!
The cottages are very spacious and fitted with 2 large double beds that sleep up to 4 people. Inside the rooms are flat-screen tv, a work desk, free wifi, air conditioning, a private bathroom, and ocean views.
The private villas are spacious with the same facilities and features as the cottages though additionally, each villa has its own private swimming pool.
Glamping tents are also available if you wish to experience a night under the stars down on Sumilon Beach in your very own tee-pee-style tent!
Some of the activities which are included when booking a stay at Sumilon Bluewater Island Resort are fishing, snorkeling, kayaking, mountain bike riding, and shark feeding. A buffet breakfast is also included for all guests!
Sumilon Bluewater Resort
The beach cottages
WHT TO EXPECT ON SUMILON ISLAND
I arrived on the island at around noon and was greeted by the friendly staff from the Bluewater Sumilon Island Resort.
After checking into one of the beachside cottages, I was given a tour of the resort was also provided with a mud map of the island.
The first thing I wanted to do was jump into the ocean to cool off, so I did exactly that. It was so bliss to swim at a beach that wasn’t crowded with other tourists. The perks of staying at Bluewater Sumilon I guess!
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After hanging out by the beach for a while, I went back up to the resort to go for yet another dip but this time in the infinity pool. I have swum in many infinity pools in my time and the one at Bluewater Resort is up there in my top three.
A tree with large branches sits in the middle of the pool providing much-needed shade from the blistering sun and from the edge of the pool I enjoyed extensive views of Cebu island and its coastlines.
Chilling on Sumilon Beach
Bluewater Sumilon infinity pool
The Sumilon sandbar is one of the most iconic attractions on the island and the best spot to watch the sunset!
I jumped on a mountain bike from the resort, rode across the island, which only took 5-minutes, and headed down to the beach to take some photos during the golden hour.
There was only one other couple on the Sumilon sandbar when I arrived, and that was it. The island really proves itself as one of Cebu’s best-kept secrets!
Sumilon Island sandbar is best visited on low tide when there is more exposed sand, though it is also just as good on high tide in my opinion. Fine white sand and crystalline waters are what make the Sumilon sandbar so pristine!
As well as the Sumilon sandbar experience on this side of the island, you can go snorkeling around the reefs, climb up the ladders for some rock jumping and go for a short hike along the jungle trail to the lighthouse.
Definitely stick around on the Cebu sandbar for sunset because as I said earlier it’s the best location on the island to watch the last rays of the sun as it sets over the horizon.
Book Now → Bluewater Sumilon Day Pass
Stepping foot onto Sumilon sandbar
Crystalline waters on the Cebu sandbar
Sumilon Island sandbar
BLUEWATER SUMILON ISLAND RESORT
After enjoying a memorable sunset at Sumilon sandbar I headed back to Bluewater Resort Sumilon in time for dinner and wine at their Italian restaurant. It was hands down the best meal I had in the Philippines on this trip!
The following morning, and on my last day on the island, I rose early to shoot photos of the sunrise which indeed was totally worth it!
I sent my drone camera up to get some aerial shots of the resort and the island while the light was still golden. See the images below and let me know what you think. ?
After stuffing myself at the buffet breakfast, I went down to the small cove in front of the resort where they feed the baby black-tip reef sharks at around 9:00 am every morning.
I got in the water with my GoPro to get some shots of the baby sharks but was unsuccessful as they are too fast and skittish. Even though I didn’t manage to get the shot, it was still an awesome experience that I have never tried before!
The Italian restaurant
Time to eat
The beautiful Sumilon Beach
Drone shot of the island
SUMILON ISLAND DIVING
Sumilon Cebu is the first marine protected area in the Philippines with a marine sanctuary that was established back in 1974. The island became famous across the country as one of the best diving spots in the Philippines for this reason.
The island has 4 major diving sites which are Garden Eel Plaza, Nikki’s Wall, Coral Landscape, and Julie’s Rock. Each of these dive sites boasts incredible visibility, colorful reefs, and an abundance of marine life including black-tip sharks.
I thoroughly enjoyed my overnight trip to Sumilon and highly recommend it to all sorts of travelers!
Whether you just want to do a day tour of the island or spend one night at the Bluewater Sumilon Island Resort, I guarantee you will have an incredible time on the island.
After an epic 24 hours on the island exploring the beaches and enjoying some downtime at Bluewater Sumilon Resort, it was time to head back to the mainland and continue on to my next destination, Siquijor Island.
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WHAT TO PACK FOR THE PHILIPPINES
When visiting the Philippines, here is a list of items I highly recommend bringing with you;
- Sunscreen – the Philippines sun is very strong, so make sure to pack some high-quality sunscreen.
- Quick-dry travel towel – the most compact and lightweight towel for traveling.
- Reusable water bottle – stay hydrated by bringing along a reusable water bottle.
- Backpack – The Nomatic 30L Travel Pack is the ultimate backpack for everyday adventures.
If you’re interested in taking awesome photos and videos on your travels, this is the camera gear that I use and recommend;
- GoPro HERO10 – the most popular camera on the planet for action-packed adventures.
- Canon EOS R – perfect for traveling, this is the most affordable, compact camera on the market.
- DJI Mini 3 Pro – take your photos and videos to new heights with this user-friendly drone camera.
TRAVEL RESOURCES FOR YOUR NEXT TRIP
Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or it’s your first trip overseas, here are some useful travel resources to help you kick-start your next adventure!
- BOOKING.COM – search and book accommodation worldwide
- SKYSCANNER – compare and book cheap flights to anywhere
- VIATOR – find tickets, tours, and experiences around the world
- BOOKAWAY – book buses, trains, and transfers online in advance
- RENTAL CARS – search all rental cars in your next destination
- GROUP TRIPS – join one of my epic small group trips
- TRAVEL INSURANCE – purchase World Nomads travel insurance
- TRAVEL MONEY CARD – get a Wise card today for free
Looking for more? Check out my Travel Resources page for further help with your trip planning!
I hope you enjoyed reading this article and if you have any questions, please leave me a comment below and I will get back to you as soon as I can.
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THANKS FOR READING
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