This has got to be the best snorkeling I ever did in Philippines - and I didn't even have to move around much for it! Often (especially in the morning and evening when the water was still and totally transparent), you could see starfish, corals, and beauriful colourful coral fish right from the verandah.
On - first the resort - it has about 14 cottages, on stilts, so you are right there - on top of the water. The view is simply awesome (see the photos) - I actually woke up at 5 to see the sunrise , and did not regret it. Every cottage has a private view of the sea and corals.
Food is fine - the island is really small (it takes 5 minutes to walk from one end to the other) and has nothing other than the resort and dive shop.
From 11 am to 4 pm, the resort gets run over by tourists on island hopping sprees and gets noisy, but after that, it is totally peaceful. When the water runs low (every evening), there is an entire stretch of sand that gets exposed (it is bigger than the island) teeming with live starfish crawling around! Never seen so many (and so pretty starfish - orange, white, checked, brow, dotted, blue...
There is a marine sanctuary all around, and you need to go over a 500 mtr long wooden bridge to snorkel - and wow - does it have fish! Barely 2 steps into the water (sometimes you don't need to go IN the water at all!), and you are surrounded by fish of every hue and colour - blue, yellow, striped, and of course, clown fish in the midst of sea anemones. The corals are sjhallow - about 1 to 2 metres and I could spend hours just snorkellign and watching the water.
This place does not feel as secluded as Balicasag (Bohol) and yet is extremely peaceful. Not much of a beach here (actually it is a wet beach!) - but enough to do for 1-2 days.
The only flip side is that electricity is switched on only between 6 pm and 8 am. There is no TV either. If you don't eat seafood and do not care much for delicacies like knuckles and tongues, choice of food is limited. (Sadly there is no buco or buco juice! No fresh juices either)
Otherwise a great place to stay.
You HAVE to take a bangka from their jetty (on the way to Plantation bay resort Mactan) - The resort will give directions to the taxi driver over the phone. The boat ride is about 45 minutes (the last 15 minutes is slow as we sailed over corals - wow!). It passes Hilutungan island en route.
There is a well equipped dive shop - All dive shops in Philippines have lots of lifejackets as standard issue, so you really do not need to know to swim to snorkel in Philippines.
There is also a pond where water comes in as the tide rises, and is daily filled with fish from the sea outside (and the fish are put back into the sea too)
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- Also Known As:
- Nalusuan Island Hotel Mactan Island
- Nalusuan Island Resort Cebu Island/Mactan Island