Located just off the coast of Cebu Island, Mactan Island is a popular choice for diving, snorkeling and water sports. If you're planning to island hop while you're in Cebu, chances are you'll depart on your excursion from Mactan.
Before the Spanish arrived in the Philippines during the sixteenth century, Mactan Island was home to a small Muslim settlement. It was also here where explorer Ferdinand Magellan was killed by a bamboo spear thrown by one of the island's chieftains during a tribal conflict. Visitors to the island will notice a shrine in his honor.
Apart from being a major tourist destination, modern Mactan is known for its musical instrument industry, particularly for its locally made guitars and ukuleles which you can buy at various stores on the island. Water sports enthusiasts will enjoy the bountiful options, including sailing and jet skiing, and if you're traveling with kids, take some time to visit the Mactan Island Aquarium, the only aquarium in the region.