- A little history of Olango Island
- Captivating Olango Island Top 10 Must-Try
- 1. Go explore marine wildlife in San Vicente Marine Sanctuary
- 2. Go bird watching at the Bird Sanctuary in San Vicente
- 3. Go camping at Taytayan Camp
- 4. Go camping and swimming by the beach at Pag Utlan Camp
- 5. Satisfy food cravings at Mercato De Olango
- 6. Feast on seafood at Twinvibe Foodhaus
- 7. Freshen up with Buko Juice at the Butungan in Barangay Sabang
- 8. Get your tan on at Shalala Beach Resort
- 9. Dip your feet in the sand at White Sand Bar
- 10. Go diving into the depths of the Santa Rosa Diving Site
- Where you can stay in Olango Island
- Island Crib
- Casa Blanca by the Sea
- Talima Beach Villas & Dive Resort
- Sagastrand Backhouse
- Nalusuan Island Resort and Marine Sanctuary
- Sagastrand Beach Resort
- The Sharks Resort
- Going around Olango Island
- Things to remember before you go
A little history of Olango Island
Before you get know about the Captivating Olango Island Top 10 Must-Try, let’s get to know a little history about this captivating island first.
Located five kilometers east of Mactan Island, Olango Island and its satellite islands lie between the Cebu Strait to the south and the Camotes Sea to the north. To the east is the Olango Channel, separating it from Bohol, while to the west is Gilutongan Channel, which separates it from Mactan Island.
Olango Island is actually a group of seven small islands namely Olango (the main island and the most famous), Gilutongan, Sulpa, Nalusuan, Camungi, Caohagan, and Pangan-an. This group of islands is about 5 kilometers from the island of Mactan and is over a thousand hectares in width.
Olango Island has a Wildlife Sanctuary. The sanctuary supports the largest congregation of migrant birds found in the Philippines. There are 97 species of birds in Olango, 48 of which are migrant species, while the rest are resident birds of the islet.
Ten thousand migrant birds were discovered on the islet in 1987. In 1992, also- President Corazon Aquino inked a law declaring the islet as a defended area. presently, it’s under the operation and protection of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
How to get to Olango Island
Olango Island is about 30 minutes away from Mactan International Airport. Here are some ways to get there:
By commute: If you’re from Cebu City, ride any jeepney to SM City Cebu. From there, you can ride a 01K jeepney going to Parkmall, you can also ride 01K jeepney from Emall. When you get to Parkmall, ride a jeepney heading to Punta Engano and drop off at Hilton port beside Movenpick Hotel. You can either ride a ferry boat or barge going to Santa Rosa Port in Olango Island. Once you have arrived, you can travel by bicycle, tricycle or motorcycle to get to the different tourist sites in the island.
Captivating Olango Island Top 10 Must-Try
Now that the COVID-19 restrictions are easing, the tourism industry is slowly opening doors to eager travelers. Surely, top destinations will be packed. But if you’re someone who looks for somewhere lowkey and wants to avoid the ton, but also expects lots of fun activities that can be done, Olango Island can be a perfect spot for you.
Although this beautiful island is famous for island hopping activities, it is also rich in many fun activities to try and interesting attractions to explore.
Here is the perfect list of Captivating Olango Island Top 10 Must-Try activities for your next visit to Olango Island.
1. Go explore marine wildlife in San Vicente Marine Sanctuary
First on our captivating Olango Island Top 10 Must-Try is one very remarkable feature of Olango Island is that it is home to different wildlife and marine sanctuaries. Excursionists can explore the different spots where rich biodiversity thrives and is defended by both the citizens and its local government. It’s also a way of educating ourselves about the islet’s foliage and fauna and how our simple day-to-day practices can affect the larger picture of our region’s ecosystem in one way or another.
2. Go bird watching at the Bird Sanctuary in San Vicente
Flora and fauna are not a surprise in this place as Olango Island is well-maintained. The Bird Sanctuary in San Vicente is a top example and also stands up as a major tourist attraction on the island. Frequently visited by guests, many are determined and willing to wait just to see the magnificent migratory and local birds found in the sanctuary.
This sanctuary serves as a major reenergizing station for about 40,000 migratory birds. It is truly life-changing when you get the chance to witness a haven of birds coming all the way from Northern China, Siberia, and Japan! According to statistics, there are about 97 species of birds in Olango, 48 of which are migratory ones seeking refuge from the cold winter climate, while the rest are resident species on the island.
3. Go camping at Taytayan Camp
This camping area is perfect if you and your loved ones want to take a quick break away from the city and stay overnight to watch the stars in your own tent. The fresh and crisp breeze in this camp is so refreshing and relaxing that guests just keep coming back every weekend or every month if they can.
4. Go camping and swimming by the beach at Pag Utlan Camp
This camping ground is known for its cheap entrance fee and its availability for those who want to camp overnight. Like in Taytayan Camp, campers can stay at this place overnight and it is advised to bring their own tents as well. The mesmerizing view of the beach makes it so romantic not just for couples but for friends and family to enjoy.
5. Satisfy food cravings at Mercato De Olango
Situated in Libertad, Mercato de Olango in Tingo is Olango Island’s version of the famous Sugbo Mercado in Cebu City. Tourists can choose from different food stalls and restaurants offering their own lineup of food, you can certainly eat the freshest seafood here. Select stores also offer burgers, fries, and milk tea.
6. Feast on seafood at Twinvibe Foodhaus
If you are a seafood lover, this food house might be the perfect place for you. It is known for its native and local seafood cuisines that Olango Island has to offer. The freshest seafood is promptly served here and the place is also perfect to chill and buy cold beer.
7. Freshen up with Buko Juice at the Butungan in Barangay Sabang
You can buy coconut refreshments from many places since the island is abundant with coconut trees. Various ‘butongan’ or coconut milk and juice stalls are available in Barangay Sabang. Coconut milk is delicious after spending the entire day swimming on Olango Island’s pristine beaches.
8. Get your tan on at Shalala Beach Resort
This vibey resort is famous for its sturdy and native-looking nipa houses that serve as their cool cottages. The wide and open space in this beach resort makes it a perfect place for team building activities and other sports groups activities such as frisbee and volleyball.
9. Dip your feet in the sand at White Sand Bar
Located on Caohagan island, this strip of island is a famous spot when you go island-hopping. White Sand Bar’s crystal-clear waters and pristine sand is a perfect drop-off spot when tourists go island hopping. The warm and relaxing feel the sand bar provides is excellent for that much-awaited weekend getaway.
10. Go diving into the depths of the Santa Rosa Diving Site
Without a doubt, the wondrous beauty of Olango Islands is not only fixed to what we see above the surface of the waters and on the beaches. The display of spectacular views is even grander and more enchanting underwater.
This diving site allows you to experience the captivating feels of the deep with sights of fishes, corals, and other marvelous creatures we can only see when diving. The perfect fact about this diving spot is its suitability for all levels of divers. Open-water divers can dive on the slope before the wall while more experienced divers can dive with bigger fish.
Other than Santa Rosa Diving Site, there are also other interesting areas for dive enthusiasts on the island including the San Vicente Dive Spot, Talima Sanctuary, and Tingo Point. You can ask for assistance from the lobby attendant of your hotel accommodation if you want to experience the pleasure of diving into the depths of Olango waters.
Where you can stay in Olango Island
The Island Crib Olango Island is an ideal spot for tourists who want to discover the islet. The Island Crib Olango Island is an ideal choice for tourists who want to take in the sights and sounds of Olango Island.
The hostel is just 10 km down from Mactan – Cebu International Airport. There’s a lot to explore in the area, with the Olango Island, San Vicente Marine Sanctuary, and Olango Island Wildlife Sanctuary all within close proximity.
This hostel makes a great place to relax after a long day of sightseeing.
Casa Blanca by the Sea
You will be on the beach and 7 minutes by foot from Olango Wildlife Observation Deck, when you stay at Casa Blanca by The Sea on Olango Island.
There are lots of recreation opportunities to choose from, such as an outdoor pool or take in the view from a terrace and a garden. This hotel also features complimentary WIFI, a picnic area, and grilling areas for your barbeque parties.
You can also grab a bite at the hotel’s restaurant, which features a bar/lounge, or you can just stay in and take advantage of their room service but only during limited hours. Guests can request breakfast (for a fee) from 6 AM to 10 AM.
Featured amenities include dry cleaning/laundry services, and express check-in, and express check-out. A 24-hour roundtrip airport shuttle is provided for a surcharge, and free self-parking is also available in the vicinity.
Talima Beach Villas & Dive Resort
Guests can head down to the water and enjoy a day at the private beach or other recreational amenities, such as an outdoor pool. Other amenities at this resort include complimentary WIFI access and babysitting (for a charge).
Visitors can dine at the resort’s beachfront alfresco restaurant, where one can take in the garden view. One can also unwind and take a break at the beach bar, or the poolside bar for a refreshing drink. They also have room service. Breakfasts are available every day from 7 AM to 11 AM (for a fee).
The resort also offers amenities such as a library, luggage storage, and a safe deposit box at the front desk. Upon request, a roundtrip airport shuttle is provided for a charge.
Guests can feel at home in one of their 8 individually furnished guestrooms. Daily conveniences include complimentary bottled water, housekeeping, and cribs or infant beds can also be requested.
Guests on a budget can opt for a stay at Sagastrand Backhouse. This Airbnb house has 4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. A maximum of 10 people can occupy and for a minimum 1-night stay. Their amenities include air-conditioned rooms with a TV, kitchen, and pool.
Nalusuan Island Resort and Marine Sanctuary
Every day is exciting at Nalusuan Island Resort and Marine Sanctuary, Visitors can enjoy underwater exploration and island adventures.
Guests can choose from 17 rooms that exude an atmosphere of harmony and total peace. Top-class recreational facilities such as a garden, private beach, water sports (motorized), and spa massage can be enjoyed in this lovely resort.
Nalusuan Island Resort and Marine Sanctuary offer exquisite service and all the essential amenities to revitalize travelers.
They offer Family rooms, a smoking area, a poolside bar, upon request airport transfers, recreational aqua sports rentals, food package, round trip boat transfers, kayaking, scuba diving, and snorkeling (just steps away from the city’s numerous attractions such as Mactan Island Dive Spots and Olango Wildlife Sanctuary). Please note that pets are not allowed.
Sagastrand Beach Resort
Tourists can get their trip off to a great start with a stay at this property, which offers a free car park. This property puts you close to interesting dining options and attractions. This high-quality property (rated with 3 stars) provides guests with access to spa massage, restaurant, and on-site indoor pool.
The Sharks Resort
Guests can maximize their Olango Island adventure with a stay at The Shark’s Resort. Travelers are guaranteed to have a hassle-free stay with all the amenities and services provided by The Shark’s Resort. One can stay connected throughout their stay with free internet access provided. Airport transfer services can be booked before you even check in to help pre-arrange your arrival and departure. Laundry service and parking are also provided.
The hotel’s daily housekeeping will make staying in a great choice.
Rooms at The Shark’s Resort are designed with the guest in mind. To enhance your stay, The Shark’s Resort offers free breakfast and some rooms at the hotel come with air conditioning, fresh and clean with toiletries and towels provided in some of the guest bathrooms.
Going around Olango Island
Due to COVID restrictions, visitors can opt for a tricycle that can carry up to a maximum of two passengers only and the rate starts at 80 pesos. Environmentally friendly bike rentals are also gaining popularity and are more cost-effective ways to get around the island. Rates can start at 10 pesos per hour but visitors can negotiate with the shop for a whole day or even an overnight rate.
Things to remember before you go
- Most locals use the term “Olango Island” to refer to all seven islets in the Olango island group.
- Mosquitoes can be an issue on the island. Make sure to bring insect repellent with you.
- Make sure to bring extra cash since charges might apply to visit some smaller islets.
- Olango Island is a challenging destination for travelers who rely on wheelchairs because some roads are still unpaved. High-end resorts have accessible rooms and services.