SUMILON ISLAND SANDBAR & RESORT: Ultimate Guide 2021

Sumilon Island Sandbar

Southern Cebu is full of gems, and Sumilon Island is one of the most beautiful of them all. Whilst you can usually find us at a waterfall, sometimes it’s nice to just chill out on a private island resort with a powdery white sandbar and turquoise blue waters. We have a hard time slowing down completely, and honestly thought we’d get bored within an hour at Sumilon Island. We were pleasantly proven wrong by all the fun activities and stunning scenery to be found at Sumilon.

HOW TO GET TO SUMILON ISLAND

Sumilon Island is just a little dot, right off the coast of Oslob. If you’re travelling all the way from Cebu City, it’ll take you around 4 hours without stopping (longer on a Ceres). But, if you’re coming from Moalboal, which many people do, it’s just under 2 hours.

In order to control the amount of people going to Sumilon Island during the pandemic, the Provincial Government of Cebu requires all tours to be booked online via their tourism portal, Discover Cebu (click here for more info). If you visit Sumilon Island on a weekday it’s around $30 USD (1500 php) including lunch and access to resort activities, or $52 (2500 php) on weekends and holidays.

WHAT TO BRING TO SUMILON ISLAND

Prepare for your trip to Sumilon Island with our must have travel essentials.

Waterproof backpack & phone case: Earth Pak 35L or 55L Heavy Duty Backpack, IPX8 Waterproof Phone Case Included (click for price)
Quick dry microfiber travel towel: Wise Owl Outfitters Camping Travel Towel (click for price)
Action camera: GoPro HERO9 Black (click for price)
GoPro dome: TELESIN Dome Port Lens for GoPro Hero 9 (click for price)
Drone: DJI Mavic 2 Pro (click for price)

ARRIVING AT SUMILON ISLAND

We started our day with the Oslob whale sharks bright and early, but we waited for the weather to clear up to see if we would go ahead with our Sumilon Island trip. Thankfully, it cleared up at around 9am, so we took the plunge and headed to Sumilon on the 10am boat. Boats run hourly, but the schedule is always subject to change so check with the resort first before you plan. It’s usually only around 10 minutes to Sumilon Island, but the choppy water made it a little longer. The first thing you’ll notice when you get close to docking is the incredible sandbar (if you time your arrival with low tide).

Boat to Sumilon Island
Boat to Sumilon Island

From the dock we hiked up into the jungle and were met by the shuttle service to take us to the resort facilities on other side of the island. It’s only a 5 minute walk from the dock to the resort, but we’re not ones to turn down a free ride.

Arriving at Sumilon Island
Shuttle service going to the resort

OUR EXPERIENCE AT BLUEWATER SUMILON ISLAND RESORT

Bluewater Sumilon Island Resort is an enormous 4-star property that takes up most of the island. The sandbar might be the main attraction, but the resort’s main beach is another stunning stretch of white sand. Unfortunately, the water was too rough to swim in but it was still a picture perfect sight to behold from the drone. Speaking of drones, if you want to fly yours at Sumilon Island, you’ll need to get approval from the Oslob municipality prior to your arrival.

Bluewater Sumilon Island Resort
Bluewater Sumilon Island Resort
Bluewater Sumilon Island Resort

We hadn’t done much research about Sumilon Island beforehand, so we didn’t know what else to expect other than a sandbar and a resort. We were surprised to find a brackish lagoon teeming with Tilapia fish. The resort offers catch and release fishing at the lagoon, as well as kayaking and standup paddle boarding.

Lagoon at Bluewater Resort
Fishing in the lagoon
Kayaking in the lagoon

After feeding the fish in the lagoon, we figured it was about time for us to eat as well! Their grilled squid and adobo rice was a killer combination and we can’t recommend it enough! We topped lunch off with mango crepes for dessert, the perfect blend of sweet and refreshing.

Food at Bluewater Sumilon Island Resort
Food at Bluewater Sumilon Island Resort
Food at Bluewater Sumilon Island Resort

The accommodation rooms at Bluewater Sumilon Island Resort are luxurious with native Filipino touches, from the use of wood to the thatched nipa roofing. They were also working on restoring their glamping setup, which is a cool alternative to a regular room or villa. To view availability and rates for Bluewater Sumilon Island Resort, click here.

Bluewater Sumilon Island Resort
Glamping at Bluewater

We had a pretty special opportunity to watch the resident blacktip reef shark feeding just outside the accommodation rooms. These guys were still babies, but it was awesome to see a different kind of shark in Oslob!

Black tip reef shark

Yamashita Cave on Sumilon Island is believed to have been a hiding spot for Japanese looted treasure during World War II. Now totally void of treasure, the cave remains as a site of historical significance.

Yamashita Cave
Yamashita Cave

SUMILON ISLAND SANDBAR

With very few sandbars in Cebu, it’s no wonder the sandbar is the main attraction here. Depending on time of year, weather and tide, the Sumilon Island Sandbar drastically changes its shape. We went during Amihan at low tide, so it was very long and distinct. At high tide, it’s completely covered so make sure to time your trip with low tide.

Sumilon Island
Sumilon Island Sandbar

The weather was touch and go most of the day, so the water wasn’t as blue as it could’ve been, but it was still pretty amazing. The sand itself is a mixture of powdery sand and crushed coral, typical of most Philippine beaches.

Sumilon Island Sandbar
Sumilon Island Sandbar

The pier that the boats dock on is an absolute haven for marine life. There were thousands of fish swimming around the posts, and even one very beautiful but very venomous lionfish. We kept our distance and weren’t able to snap a photo, but you can imagine! If you’re hoping to jump off the pier, we have some bad news for you. Jumping or diving off is prohibited, so you’ll have to be content with swimming.

Jetty at the sandbar
Jetty at the sandbar
Jetty at the sandbar

Yamashita Cave isn’t the only cave on the island! At the base of the pier is a water cave. A cool little spot with a unique perspectie of the pier and sandbar.

Cave at the sandbar
Cave at the sandbar

Sumilon Island was an awesome day trip with a lot more to do than we ever expected. It’s definitely something we recommend for anyone visiting the South, and the perfect add on to your Oslob whale shark experience.

PIN IT FOR LATER

Sumilon Island Philippines Travel Guide

SWIM WITH THE OSLOB WHALE SHARKS

Sumilon Island is the perfect add on to your Oslob whale shark experience. Start your day swimming with these gentle giants. You can read our ultimate guide to the Oslob whale sharks here.

Oslob Whale Shark

BOOK YOUR STAY AT BLUEWATER SUMILON ISLAND RESORT

Plan your stay now at Bluewater Sumilon Island Resort. Use the search box below or click here to go to Agoda.

MORE CEBU TRAVEL GUIDES

Oslob Whale Shark Experience
Binalayan Falls, Samboan
Balaygsawa Falls, Samboan
Smooth Cafe Moalboal

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Philippines | Asia

January 24, 2021

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