Lapu-Lapu is an island city of Cebu Province in the Philippines, part of Metro Cebu. It includes most of Mactan Island (the rest is the municipality of Córdova) and some smaller nearby islands, notably Olango Island.
Arriving by air, one lands in Lapu-Lapu. By sea or land, most passengers arrive in Cebu City.
- 1 Mactan-Cebu International Airport (CEB IATA), Lapu-Lapu. This is the second most important airport in the country after Manila. It is the only air gateway for Metro Cebu and the rest of Cebu Province, and a major hub for flights anywhere in the Visayas and Mindanao.
Many fliers prefer to enter the Philippines here rather than via Manila because this airport is considerably easier to go through, and because it is more centrally located in the country. Passport control and baggage handling at Mactan-Cebu are generally fast and efficient.
This is not a huge airport with extensive shopping and recreation options, but it does have a range of services: duty-free shop, souvenir shops, cafés, a business center, ATMs, stands selling Philippine SIM cards for mobile phones, car rental, hotel and resort reservations, and beauty & health services. There is a luxury hotel and casino across the road.
The food and drink places within the terminal have international menus and, by Philippine standards, high prices. Many travellers will be happy with those; the prices are reasonable by international standards and quality is generally OK. For cheaper food, you can go where many airport staff eat; from the center exit on the terminal's departure level, walk across the street and down into the resort/casino parking garage. At the bottom of the stairs is a cafeteria-style place with plain but satisfying Filipino food.
There are quite a few international flights to and from Cebu; most are one flight daily each way per airline, some only a few times a week
Onward ticket required
As anywhere in the Philippines, tourist visa requirements include having an onward ticket; if you do not have a return ticket then you must have another ticket out of the country or they will not let you in.
Most airlines check this when you go to check in for a flight to the Philippines, and will not let you board without it.
Within East and Southeast Asia:
- Bangkok: Philippine airlines, three times a week nonstop.
- Beijing: Philippine airlines
- Busan: Air Asia, Jin Air
- Chengdu: China Eastern
- Chongqing: Sichuan Airlines
- Guangzhou: China Eastern
- Hong Kong: Cathay Pacific, Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific
- Kuala Lumpur: Air Asia
- Kunming: Lucky Air
- Nagoya: Philippine Airlines
- Osaka, Kansai International Airport: Philippine Airlines.
- Seoul: Air Asia, Jeju Air, Philippine Airlines, Korean Air, Asiana, Cebu Pacific
- Shanghai Pudong: Joneyao Airlines, China Eastern
- Singapore: Air Asia, Scoot Air, Silk Air, Cebu Pacific, Philippine Airlines
- Taipei: Eva Air, Air Asia
- Tokyo: Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific, Vanilla Air
- Xiamen: Xiamen Air
Outside E & SE Asia:
- Dubai: on Emirates
The list above is for direct flights to Mactan-Cebu. Other flights reach Cebu via Manila or various hubs listed above; most major cities anywhere can be reached in two or three hops.
There are also domestic flights to Cebu from Clark Airport, and Clark has international flights to many destinations. Clark may be the best way to reach Macau from Cebu since there are cheap direct flights. Davao, Iloilo and Kalibo also have both international flights and domestic flights to Cebu. Silk Air, the regional flights division of Singapore Airlines, have a Singapore-Davao-Cebu route as well as direct flights to Cebu.
There are also quite a few charter flights, often used as part of packaged holiday deals. Countries they come from include South Korea, Japan, and China.
Cebu is the main air hub for southern parts of the country with close to 90 domestic flights daily. There are direct flights to all major cities in the Visayas and Mindanao, and to popular tourist destinations such as Puerto Princesa on Palawan or Kalibo near Boracay. Cebu Pacific, Philippine Airlines and Air Asia all have many flights and there are smaller players as well.
- Air Swift: Mactan-Cebu to/from El Nido Palawan.
- Air Juan: Mactan-Cebu to/from Bantayan, Naval, Maasin, Sipalay, Tagbilaran.
Air Juan fly Cebu-Bohol but most people take a fast ferry instead; see Bohol#Get in. Similarly, although there is a direct flight on Cebu Pacific most people bound for Dumaguete will go by boat or bus; see Dumaguete#Get_in.
Note that some domestic flights, particularly on the cheaper airlines, allow only 7 kg carry-on luggage and no checked bags.
Getting to or from the airport
The airport is on Mactan Island in Lapu-Lapu city. Many travellers go to the city of Cebu by taxi, which takes about 40-60 min and costs ₱250-400, depending mainly on traffic. During the day, you can also go by bus which is much cheaper and takes about the same time, but at night taxis are the only option. Taxi to downtown Lapu-Lapu is ₱100 to 150.
- Cebu MyBus air-con buses every 30 minutes from 6:30AM till 9PM from the Mactan Airport to the SM Mall in Cebu City, ₱25 per person.
If you are staying at one of the higher priced hotels, most can send a free van to pick you up at the airport. If you forgot to ask for this you may find that the van of your hotel is there to pick someone else up and you can hitch a ride if there is room.
There are jeepneys from the Mactan-airport to Lapu-Lapu port for 8 pesos.
Lapu-Lapu is part of Metro Cebu, and so is Cebu City which has the largest and busiest port in the country. From there you can take a taxi to Lapu-Lapu for ₱200-300. Or take a ferry from Pier 3 to Lapu-Lapu pier which costs only ₱16. They depart every 20 minutes and the trip takes 20 minutes.
The simplest way to get around is by hopping on a tricycle or multicab (small jeepney). Taxi is also available for a comfortable trip. Always ask for taxi meter if you are paying by meter. The flagdown rate is ₱40 and ₱3.50 per succeeding 200 m and ₱3.50 per waiting time of two minutes. Drivers however may bargain if they notice that you are a tourist, hence the cost of the trip may double in price. However, you have the option not to agree and may report such to local authorities. If you know the name of the building, establishment, area or street you wish you reach, this is still the fastest way to get to your destination.
If you want more adventure, then do as the locals and catch a colorful jeepney. Ask around for which route to take. They are available 24 hours and cover most of the nooks and crannies of the island. This is the cheapest option for getting around for as low as ₱8.
- Lapu-Lapu Monument, Lapu-Lapu, Mactan Island. Lapu-Lapu was a local hero whose forces killed Ferdinand Magellan during the Battle of Mactan in 1521. A small marker to Magellan is nearby.
A few minutes' walk away from the statue is Shangri-La Mactan Hotel Resort and Spa, which is a tourist spot in its own right. The compound is a large park where visitors (even if they don't stay in the hotel) can roam the huge reception and its environs. Check out the beach, the chapel, the spa and the various restaurants.
The area has several fine dive sites. There are several dive operators that can serve your needs. You may do shore entry in few areas but most dive sites can be reached by boat. You can go to Kontiki, Talima, Tinggo, Hilutungan (sanctuary), Nalusuan (sanctuary), Shangri-la, Cordova and more. From Mactan, you can also hire an outrigger (boat) to take you to Cabilao or Balicasag, on Bohol.
- Beach bumming in white sand beaches like Shangrila, Plantation Bay, Blue Waters, White Sands, Tambuli Beach Club
- For Mongolian stir fried noodles and other menu items for under ₱140 per order, try the Woka Woka Restaurant located in Masiwa Marigondon. Near the Bays Water Sub division. Daily 11AM-9PM.
- The Jungle Restaurant and Entertainment, Bagumbayan, Maribago (Close to White Sands beach resort), ☎ . Noon-midnight. Filipino and international food with a cultural show involving dances from the Philippines and other countries. The best is our Fire Dancers. Open 7 days a week with lunch show at 12:30, and dinner shows at 6:30, 8, 10PM. ₱250 and up.
- Banana Moon, Lapu Lapu, Basak. A Mexican-themed restaurant/cantina. The quality is superb and the prices are reasonable. Located between the Mactan Doctors Hospital and the Gaisano Grand Mall.
Budget under ₱700
- 1 GV Hotel, Gy dela serna St (right downtown, near the farmers' market), ☎ . Check-in: 1PM, check-out: noon. A/C single/double rooms with own hot water bathroom and cable TV. Noisy but clean. No elevator. The lower-priced rooms are often sold out; if you do not book well ahead, expect ₱900-1200 for a double. Single from ₱500, double from ₱700.
- The Stopover Backpackers Hostel Mactan Airport, Seawage Street Mustang Road brgy Pusok Lupa-lupa (2nd floor Norphil Inn bldg), ☎ . Check-in: 2PM, check-out: noon. A ₱20 motorbike ride from Mactan Airport. dorm bed ₱350 per person.
- SDR Serviced Apartments, Mactan Island (3 minutes from the airport), ☎ , fax: . All apartments have kitchen and cooking facilities. Smallest rooms are 36.5 m², two bedroom loft apartments 65.74 m². Free Internet, cable TV, DVD player, large refrigerator with freezer. From US$35 for the studio.
- 2 Crown Regency Suites Mactan, Maximo Patalinhug Jr. Ave, ☎ , fax: . A/C suites with kitchen, in-room broadband internet access, and television with cable. From US$73.77.
- Costabella Beach Resort, Buyong, Mactan Island, ☎ , fax: . From US$70.
- Lancaster Hotels Cebu Brgy. Pusok, Mactan Island, Lapu-Lapu City. Like its sister hotel in Mandaluyong City, Lancaster Cebu provides suites fully furnished with a private kitchen and personalized service most suitable for long-staying business travelers.
- [dead link]Cebu Yacht Club - Island Village, ☎ . At the Mactan Export Processing Zone. They're close to shopping malls and restaurants, and a comfortable 500 m from Mactan International Airport. It's 6 km away from the University of San Carlos Museum, and 4 km away from the Mactan Shrine. All of their cottage-style studios, suites, and villas are furnished with a deck or balcony, mini-bar, microwave oven, writing desk and chair, refrigerator, and private bathroom. from ₱2,000.
- [dead link]EGI Club Cebu, ☎ . EGI Club Cebu is a three-star beach resort on Mactan Island. It is close to Basilica Minore del Santo Niño, Lapu-Lapu Monument, Magellan's Cross, and Taoist Temple.It offers 120 air-conditioned rooms, all of which have an Internet access, double bed, IDD phone, mini-bar, and refrigerator. Their facilities includes swimming pool, fitness center, and function/meeting rooms. From ₱3,400.
- 4 The Bellavista Hotel, M.L Quezon National Highway, Pusok, ☎ . Situated in Mactan Island, midtown Lapu-Lapu City, 0.8 km from the Mactan Export Processing Zone and approximately 1 km from the Mactan International Airport. from ₱2,684.
The immigration department has an office in Gaisano Mall on M L Quezon National Hightway where a visa extension can be obtained if required, Mon-Fri 8am-5pm. The mall has two buildings; the immigration office is in the smaller one.
- Cebu City is only a ferry, bus, jeepney or taxi ride away (about 30 minutes by ferry or one hour by jeepney ). Mandaue is in between.
- Olango Island is just off the coast of Lapu-Lapu; it has good diving and a wildlife sanctuary with many birds.