Nalusuan Island in Mactan Cebu Philippines

Nalusuan island, which has a huge, flat, white soft sandbar when the tide is out. As the tide came in my kids splashed and played in the “warm nice shallow pool” that was created. Once the tide was all the way in, the water all along the sandbar was about 1 meter deep, which my kids enjoyed in their floaties, but I had to hold on to them cuz there was quite a current.

Once the tide was in, the island has no nice sandy beach. However there are stairs up to the big flat rock of an island, where there is a good restaurant and some hammocks and lots of shade. On the other side of the island (about 20 meters across) there are lots of corals and some fun snorkeling. Bright blue starfish, squid, puffer fish and other bright colored fish.

It was easy snorkeling for my 7 year old. We also went out to Balicasag island at 6am to go dolphin watching. We drove around on the boat until my kids could hardly stand it anymore, when we finally spotted dolphins. Lots of them. All over the place. It was awesome. And flying fish. Then we headed to the island where we thought the grandparents and 2 small kids could sit on a sandy beach under palm trees and play. the island is ALL coral. There is no beach. And the food offered on the island wasn’t that great. Prices seemed quite high and the people a little pushy. (relatively speaking. Everywhere else had been so inexpensive.) I suddenly felt like I was in Thailand instead of the Philippines.

It was the first time there we encountered anyone pushy or irritated. So the island was NOT a good place for the elderly or small children. It was dirty and crowded and mostly just rock and a small forest. But I didn’t know that such snorkeling even existed. Right from the shore, there is a huge flat coral bed, all along the island, that stretches out to sea about 100 meters and then there’s a big coral drop off. You can rent the boat to take you out to the drop off where most of the people are, to just spend an hour or two snorkeling all along the edge of the drop off and along the deeper parts of the coral bed. Most of the coral bed is quite shallow and clear far out, we could still stand. There were fish everywhere the eye could see.

It was amazing. I wish I could have gone back a few more times, with just my husband and older son, to spend a few hours snorkeling. The land tours to Bohol, were more fun than we expected also. Another thing about the resort: It had nice bedding. Good quality sheets and towels and nicer pillows and beds than I expected. The beds and pillows were comfortable. The air conditioners worked well. They are just in the bedrooms. The living area got a little hot one afternoon, but mostly the temperature on the island is always quite nice.

I was especially impressed to constantly see the staff out cleaning everywhere. Definitely value for the money. When we got our total bill (we ordered most meals and ate whatever we wanted, did whatever tours and traveling we wanted, etc.) we figured it cost us around $30 USD a night/person. There were 7 of us. We thought that was a great deal for what we got. It was SO nice to stay in a big villla, all together. And especially one as nice as what Angie has to offer at Panglao Tropical Villas. It is even nicer and better than the pictures and descriptions portray.

One other thing: the hot water in the tub upstairs was just a trickle. My mother-in-law hated it. We like cooler baths/showers so it didn’t bother us, just her. If the water was cooler, it came out plenty strong for a bath or shower. If you want a really hot shower, you won’t get it. The bathroom downstairs is just a toilet and shower. Which actually worked really well for rinsing off from the beach and pool.

It would have been nice to have a few little rugs around the house. Like by the beds or right inside the living room door. Just walking around the house, when you are on a beach, gets your feet all sandy. Even if the floor seems really clean. And makes it hard to climb in bed with sandy feet. We kept towels on the floors to wipe our feet on a lot.

Also, when we were checking out, the staff pulled out a bunch of information about their tours and other things on offer. If I had known there was babysitting, and for such a great price, and massages, also for a great price, we would have USED them! I wish they would have had that information sitting on the check-in desk the whole time. Instead of putting it down and out of the way.

digs via InfoComrade


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