BACKPACKING SOUTH CEBU: ISLA SUMILON


The Island of Sumilon is located at the southeastern tip of the Municipality of Oslob in the province of Cebu. The island has an area of 24 hectares and has clear waters with varying aquamarine hues and white sand beaches in different areas of the island.

It is the first marine protected area in the Philippines and was created as a marine sanctuary in 1974 under the guidance of the Siliman University Marine Reserve of Dumaguete City in the nearby province of Negros Oriental.img_1110We availed the day tour package which cost PHP1,500 were you will get to enjoy their facilities such as swimming on their infinity pool,use of their 3 jacuzzis, fish feeding, snorkeling, kayaking, trekking , free boat round trip transfer and platted or buffet lunch. Be there as early as 7:30am to get the most out of your money because the island has jam packed with activities to do. First boat leaves at 8:00am from Bancogon port. The island has lots to offer, it’s got a shifting white sand beach area, a lagoon for kayaking, another beach area which could be good for camping,  and clear blue waters for snorkeling.img_1112We were given a welcome drink at the port and was instructed to board the boat at exactly 8:00am and only after 15 minutes we were at the island. We docked in the western part of the island near the famous sandbar, a tram like vehicle will bring you to the main pavilion. Towel & snorkeling stubs were given as they welcomed us in the resort.
img_1117A popular attraction in Sumilon Island is its sandbar because of its changing shapes and shifting locations around the island depending on the season. The sandbar is a public place that’s open to non-resort guests. Since it’s public, the sandbar is not maintained properly by the resort. There are sea grass and some trash in the middle of the sandbar that kinda spoils the experience.  There are private boats which offers island hopping which includes the sandbar experience, during the afternoon this place is so crowded so I recommend that you do your snorkeling during morning so the place could be yours.
img_1118Chill. Relax. This is what this island is all about. If you just want to get away from it all, then this is it! The resort is the only resort in the island and only has 14 rooms and about 4-5 glamour tents (GLAMPING – this is what they call their tents with beds). With accommodations like this, you can pretty much say you’re in a somewhat private island. img_1121The island trails are truly amazing! You can ask for a map that will help you navigate through the paths. A camera is a must. If you’re into bird watching, binoculars will be provided upon request. img_1157 Other places of interest in the island are a natural lagoon teeming with high mangroves and natural caves used by fishermen to seek refuge during storms, and a pristine lake. You can do the kayaking activity here.img_1160Sumilon was a nice surprise. The island is definitely left in its natural state for the most part. The island has a sandbar that has fine sand, not as fine as boracay, and rocky in some parts with calmer water and another side that has big rocks and bigger waves.img_1162The views were picturesque, serene and inviting. The island has its own unique character and draw similar to that of Palawan.img_1170We trekked up to see the lighthouse. It was a very nice walk where we saw very picturesque views of the lagoon and beach. Along the path you will find three colors of flag, we follow the red one to navigate the rocky side of the island.img_1178On the south portion of the island, a lighthouse rests on a protected tree park and beside it is a “baluarte,” a historical watchtower built as part of a warning system to thwart slavers and marauders in the 19th century. img_1195After the tiring trek, we took a nap on the beach. The sound of the waves is so relaxing and calming. img_1197During our visit there are lots of day tourist so the resort offers a buffet lunch instead of platted one. I’ve read so much negative comments on the food on the web reviews but I must say that the food is very good, it is simple but for the price of the day tour this is a win!img_1199After the delightful lunch my hubby decided to experience the pool and jacuzzi, picture below will describe how he enjoy it. img_1201If there is one thing you should do while staying in Sumilon is keep your life vest on when you are swimming – no matter how good a swimmer you are. And only swim when there are lifeguards watching, which is for most of the day.
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The sandbar is a good place snorkel and to have your picture taken. The sides of the sandbar are shallow but there is a drop off into deep clear blue water after several feet. The beach by the villas and by the lagoon/ dive shop is also good for snorkeling. Bring aqua socks/shoes because their beaches are rocky due to the coral reef around the island. They lend their guests life vests and snorkeling gear but not aqua shoes.

One important thing to remember is the boat schedule that will take you back to Bancogon Port last trip is 5:00pm if you miss this you will pay I think PHP1000.

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Wow this place is paradise!! Is the water current very strong to say you have to keep your life jackets on?

    1. Hello Wild Wayfarer, on the first glance it seems that the water is calm but the current will take you to the deeper part of the ocean without knowing.

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