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South Cebu | Sumilon Island and Sandbar
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Sumilon Sandbar is the first sandbar I've ever set foot on and it was a great first! I had planned on going to Oslob way before I learned about Sumilon Island. All I wanted to see were the butandings and the waterfalls and never thought learning about this island and actually setting foot on it would be one of the most memorable highlights of the trip. It was recommended to us by our tour guide and in spite of the boat rental being a bit expensive for us, we couldn't say no. To save on the cost of the boat rental, my suggestion is to bring more friends with you to this trip or find other travelers in Oslob who might want to share the boat with you.
This trip is a part of our 6-Day trip around Dumaguete, Cebu and Siquijor. If you would like to know more about the entire trip, visit this blog entry here: A DIY Trip Around Dumaguete, Cebu and Siquijor in 6 Days
Location of Sumilon Island
Sumilon is a tiny island about 20 minutes by boat from Tan-awan, Oslob. The island is part of Bancogon, Oslob and houses the Bluewater Sumilon Island Resort. It's only about 24 hectares so tourists can roam around the island by foot in under an hour. Several activities are available in the island, especially if you have checked-in at the resort.
Ways to Get to Sumilon Island
First you need to get to Oslob. If you are coming from Cebu City, Oslob is a mere 4-hour bus ride or 3-hour drive if using a private vehicle. If you are coming from Dumaguete, you can take the pumpboat going to Liloan from the Sibulan seaport. From the seaport of Liloan, take the bus heading to Cebu City and ask the driver/conductor to drop you off at Tan-awan, Oslob. It should be a short 15-20 minutes ride.
From Oslob, you need to hire a boat from Tan-awan, which is the famous place for whale watching. Other parts of Oslob also offer several boats going to Sumilon. The one we we used came from Tan-awan, which is supposedly the nearest point from mainland Oslob to Sumilon Island.
If you would like to book your boat beforehand, you can contact Kuya Jeff who is a tourist guide in Oslob. His contact number is 0998-559-7198 or 0923-530-6331. He also has a habal-habal and he could take you around Oslob's waterfalls and town proper. He could also arrange for your accommodation if you do not have the time.
If you are a guest of the resort, whether overnight or day trip, you need to tell the Cebu City-bound bus driver to drop you off at the Puerto Sumilon or Bluewater Sumilon Resort Port. This port is located in Barangay Bangcogon, one barangay away from Tan-awan where the famous whale watching is. The resort offers free boat rides going to the resort from here.
Having been able to see at least 3 sandbars during our 6-day trip around Cebu, Dumaguete and Siquijor, I would have to say that Sumilon is quite unique for several reasons.
The island is owned by Bluewater Resorts hence spending the night in the island and pitching tents are not allowed unless you are checked-in at Bluewater Sumilon Island Resort. This company also owns Bluewater Maribago Beach Resort in Mactan. The resort offers several activities for its guests and boasts of its 4 dive sites around the island -- Garden Eel Plaza, Nikki's Wall, Coral Landscape and Julie's Rock. Apart from diving, you can also snorkel around the shallow reefs or go on a sunset coastal tour on one of their outrigger boats. You can also go kayaking and fishing and they can also arrange for a whale and dolphin watching. If you are tired of water, they have 3 nature trails all converging into an old watchtower. A map will be provided to you to help you navigate your way through the trails. They also have a spa called Amuma which means being royally pampered, at least that's what the website says.
The resort has 2 restaurants The Pavilion and Pulo Restaurant and a bar called The Cliff Bar. It offers its guests 4 types of rooms - Deluxe Rooms, Premier Deluxe Rooms, One-Bedroom Villa and Family Villa. The nightly rate costs around P8,000 to 37,000 depending on season and type of room. The resort also offers glamping at about P10,000 to P12,000 per night.
If you would like to check prices or book a room at the resort, please follow the links below:
Agoda offers the lowest prices but not all the time. As I always say, check with the resort and compare it with Agoda. Sometimes, the resort offers cheaper promos especially during lean season along with several freebies in the package.
Day Trips Passes in the Resort
If the nightly rates in Bluewater Sumilon Island Resort is above your budget, you may also opt to avail of the day trip passes instead. This is available all days of the week even public holidays. The day trip pass includes the following:
There are two ways for you to avail of the day trip passes:
You can contact the resort through these:
Other Resorts near Sumilon Island
If you prefer to stay in mainland Oslob and just explore the Sumilon island sandbar, you can visit my list of budget accommodations in mainland Oslob here: Cheap Accommodations in Oslob. This list includes accommodations located in Tan-awan and other nearby barangays.
Things to Do in Sumilon Island
Although we were not able to do a lot of these activities as most would require you to be checked-in Bluewater Sumilon Island Resort or have purchased the Bluewater Sumilon Day Pass, here are several activities that you can do. Some of which (particularly the first 3 in the list) can be done even by those who are not guests of the resort.
Here are the expenses during our trip to Sumilon Island. We were not guests of the resort so we had to hire a boat from Tan-awan, Oslob. This excludes transportation expenses and accommodation in Oslob.
These prices are subject to change without prior notice. Original price of the boat was P2,500 but we were able to haggle ours for P2,000 since there were only 2 of us in the trip.
Tips during your Trip