Best Things To Do In Cordova, Philippines, A Natural Sanctuary

things to do in cordova philippines
Maria Lona
Maria Lona 
Updated

Imagine yourself at the shores with the towering windmills facing the South China Sea and that mystifying feeling as the wind whipped through your whole being. That wanting to just stay and never go home feeling! Have you ever been enamored with a place like this before in your lifetime? Could a bare view be as enticing as those structures facing the South China Sea?

“A memoir invites us to step into a life and an experience that is not ours. Even if we have experienced something similar, we are able to relate, but that particular experience is not ours to claim. And because we cannot claim that experience as our own, it exposes us to a different and possibly broader perspective. It’s that broader perspective and different experience that is so important for us.” —Linda Eternalscheme

Take this broader perspective by looking into nature in Cordova, Philippines, where nudity is at its best!

Getting here

Kamanpay Public Beach
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Assarhaddon used under CC0

Cordova is a mainland enclosing but separated from Mactan Island by an attenuated stream as well as islets in the middle strait of Cebu Island. The mainland is a landscape formed from the dissolution of soluble rocks such as limestone, dolomite, and gypsum. It is characterized by underground drainage systems with sinkholes and caves. Its quiet atmosphere is a characteristic that is common to the borders of its shores. If one takes a plane from Manila to Cebu, which is about 45 minutes, when you arrive at the Cebu International Airport, you can get to this place within 47 minutes by a jeepney. Or you can also get a ride to get Cordova by taxi or a rental car if you want a hassle free journey. However, I would suggest that since this is just a small place, you can just take the usual route to get to the place by taking the first suggestion. This way you can enjoy a view of the rest of Cordova.

1. Captivating naked view in the Islets of Cordova

the board walk

Posted by Nalusuan Island and Marine Sanctuary on Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Having reached Cordova, I realized that each part of the Earth is nature’s gift to people. And one of the most beautiful places belongs to the Philippines. While the big vast lands and vegetation comprise the wonderful sight in other regions of the world, this place gives you six different views of large karst limestones with most areas within the perimeter being sand flats. These big karst limestones are one of the world’s most renowned places. These are believed to be part of a continuous reef that runs from a steep reef on the west and the sloping reef eastward. Cordova Islets are low-lying islands with an elevation that does not reach more than 10 meters (32.814ft.) above sea level. At the middle is tidal flat that is known to be a sanctuary to several species of wildlife. The islets with more sand flats and less vegetation, of which mostly are mangroves, give it it a bare look. That stark naked look of the islets is an exhilarating vision against the turquoise blue waters around it.

Cordova Reef Village

Address: Sitio Bantayan Poblacion, Cordova, Cebu, Philippines

Website: Cordova Reef Village

Casa Blanca Beach Resort

Address: Basdaku, Olango Island, Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu Phlippines

Website: Casa Blanca Beach Resort

2. Olango Island Group

1st Inter Island Team Building with Team Beth and other MidShift Team

Posted by Enrico D. Donghil on Sunday, 17 July 2016

People go to places for a reason. Some for vacation or to visit a friend. Some for a job. Others to migrate. There are a lot of wonderful species that you can see on the Olango Island Group visiting, too. When this was discovered by the government to be a safe refuge for migratory fowl that take the East Asian-Australiasian flyaway route. Just so they could find shelter, feed themselves, and protect themselves from the freezing cold season in their breeding grounds. Island hopping then became the usual thing that you can do when you go to these big island rocks in Olango after it was declared a sanctuary and a national protected area in 1998.

Cordova Island Hopping

Website: Olango Island Group

3. Olango Island's polychromatic view of migratory birds

Common Terns @ The Nick

Posted by Tom Reichert on Thursday, 7 July 2016

With mangroves as the main flora within the surrounding area, the vast mudflats of sand in Olango Islands are a safe abode for most of the migratory birds that stay due to its rich supply of food. The amazing variety of the migratory fowl that range from the yellow-billed egrets, the long-legged and long-billed sandpipers, the willowy graceful terns, and the black-bellied plovers are just a few of the 48 migratory birds that inhabit the area at the peak of October to November and then from February to March. It is quite important to take note that it is only in these months that we get to see these creatures.

4. Fun water activities & sightseeing in San Vicente

A post shared by Ivan Wong (@ivanhtwong) on Dec 6, 2014 at 2:04am PST


The cool, refreshing sea water displays a vast number of colorful marine organisms that inhabit this area. It actually was a cool place for a snorkeling and diving site. Clown fish, damsel fish, and other small fishes within the area glide through the water with you as you snorkel in San Vicente Sanctuary. Although like any other expeditions, we all have to take precautionary measures from venomous species like the siphonophore, Portugese-man-of-war, which sometimes are visible within the area between November to April. Always take notes from the most experienced people within the place. The reef allows you to see one of the main attractions in the area, the large shoal of batfish.

Entrance to the San Vicente Sanctuary is 75 PHP (1.49 USD) and you can actually go there by renting a “bangka” (a small boat) at about 1,500 PHP (29.88 USD) at a minimum. But I would suggest that you take a boat that normally goes there at specific times. These ones normally are docked at the back of the Hilton Hotel and when you arrive at the island, you can now take a tricycle to the sanctuary. You save a lot of money with this route. There are actually diving shops that can cater to your diving needs and when snorkeling, one can get it at about 75 PHP (1.49 USD). But, you have to check the high and low tide though for diving or snorkeling activities. Normally, the water is about 1 to 2 meters (3.28 to 6.56 ft) deep from the sand and such depth are perfect as it reveals the gems underwater.

Kontiki Divers

Website: Kontiki Divers

5. Nalusuan Island Marine Sanctuary

Posted by Giovanni Jumalon on Thursday, 22 May 2014

If you are fond of taking it slow in the water, this is quite a good site for snorkeling. The underwater experience in this marine sanctuary is one that soothes your muscles and energizes your mind. A vast colony of blue spotted sting rays, small reef creatures, big groupers, and large, hard table corals are just a few of the exciting underwater revelations. Keeping in touch with nature in the seas is a refreshing intimate encounter.

Mactan Island Hopping Adventure from Cebu with Snorkeling

6. Unwind and dine

Posted by Jhonard Inocando on Thursday, 16 March 2017

Island hopping is such a great amusement but let’s face it, feeding the eyes is tantamount to feeding the belly. Due to technology, high-tech communication, and the ever-changing means of transportation, Cordova nowadays is occupied by a lot of nationalities. You can actually find several restaurants that cater to different palates and preferences. Nonetheless, we do have several of these establishments that stand out when it comes to food. Check out the food from a floating restaurant!

Lantaw Native Restaurant serves one of the best seafood menus. The creamy and salty taste of the sea is heaven when scallops hit your palate. Seafood that ranges from fresh fish, to the light and dark shades of crustaceans, and to the usual treat of crispy pata (crunchy pork feet), what a treat for a reasonable price! If you also want to have a taste of the Southeast Asian Fusion, Oriental Spice Gourmet is the way to go. Stir-fried vegetables, spicy beef and other Asian foods are served with a simple but authentic plating. Dining in Cordova either within its area or its borders is as exciting as the varied colors underwater.

Nalusuan Island Resort

Address: Olango Reef Cordova Mactan, Cebu, Philippines 6017

Book Now

Peaceful ambiance

From the almost bare karst rock islets to the gems of the sea to the colorful and delightful dishes, and to the ambiance that gives you peace, everyone will find something to love in Cordova. Would you not want to sketch a portrait of that beautiful sunrise and sunset in alluring Cordova?

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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An educator who never believes that a doctorate degree is enough to explore a wonderful world. A mother of three who loves to bake, design and learn new things each day and an adventurer who never...Read more

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