Cebu and Palawan are both popular islands in the Philippines for tourists to visit. Remember that Palawan is also an archipelagic province. Cebu is a province of the Philippines that has a main island plus a few surrounding islands. And Palawan is located between the South China Sea and the Sulu Sea and is also blessed with white sandy beaches.

The two islands offer a very different experience for tourists. Where Cebu is known for its scuba diving, good nightlife, and cultural center. While Palawan is considerably bigger and is more tourist-driven that is well known for pristine white beaches, water sports, and good nightlife.

In this post, we will go through which is better to visit Cebu or Palawan in the Philippines. So let’s get started!

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Cebu Or Palawan

Cebu and Palawan are both good islands to visit for a few days. Just remember that Palawan large island that is more tourist-focused with good nightlife and plenty of beaches. While Cebu is not as developed but does have a few nice beaches.

In comparing these two places, we will compare things to do in each place, accommodation, and any other factors that would have an impact on your visit.

Let us compare Cebu and Palawan.

Which One Has Better Beaches?

Cebu and Palawan are both islands where the beaches on islands are an important attraction for tourists to visit each island.

The beaches on the islands can get busy in the late afternoon but there is a good range of restaurants and bars all waiting to serve up some decent local food.

Beaches In Cebu

Cebu does have some nice beaches, to see these beaches will require a bit of island hopping or a day trip to see these beaches. While some of the beaches are easy to access but generally, the beaches are well maintained.

Pandanon Island Cebu

Here is a list of some of the beaches in Cebu Philippines.

  • Pescador Island, Moalboal.
  • Lambug Beach, Badian.
  • Virgin Island, Bantayan Island.
  • Bakhaw Beach, Camotes Island.
  • Tonggo Beach, Mactan.

Beaches In Palawan

Palawan is well-known for a number of reasons in particular the beaches with crystal clear waters. As well there are plenty of resorts located around the island.

El Nido in Palawan Philippines

Here is a list of some of the beaches in Palawan Philippines. These are only a few.

  • Nacpan Beach.
  • Seven Commandos Beach.
  • Talaudyong Beach.
  • Duli Beach.
  • Las Cabanas Beach.
  • Banol Beach Coron.
  • Marimegmeg Beach.
  • Pinagbuyutan Island.

Accommodation In Cebu And Palawan

Choosing the right accommodation is important regardless of whether it is in either Cebu or Palawan. Cebu is a little bit more basic in accommodation and there is less supply of accommodation. Whereas Palawan is more developed and there is more accommodation available when compared with Cebu.

The challenge is getting one with good standards, and this requires reading the reviews left by their previous guests.

Staying In Cebu

Cebu has a good supply of hotels and resorts. There are hotels and resorts near or on the beach or in Cebu city. The island is big so you need to do some research to get the right accommodation in the right area that aligns with your interests. The prices can start from $22 for a basic hotel room. Whereas resort prices tend to start from $39.

Staying In Palawan

Palawan has a good supply of resorts and hotels with pools and bars. The accommodation in Palawan does vary from Puerto Princesa to being slightly cheaper than in Coron. Prices can start from $19 for a basic hotel room. Whereas resort prices tend to start from $40.

What To Do See In Cebu And Palawan

Cebu and Palawan are both blessed with amazing beaches to enjoy. Both offer good nightlife and places to go snorkeling and scuba diving.

Here are some of the best things to do on each island.

Things To Do In Cebu

Cebu is a big island so takes a bit of planning to get around but it is a good place if you want to relax at the beach and explore the island.

Tops Lookout Cebu

Here is our list of things to do in Cebu Philippines.

  • Dive With Whale Sharks.
  • Visit Kawasan Falls.
  • Go Canyoneering.
  • Visit Fort San Pedro.
  • Explore Basilica Del Santo Nino.

Read more about things to do in Cebu here.

Things To Do In Palawan

Palawan is a lively island with the capital city of Puerto Princesa being lively and Coron not as lively. There is a lot to enjoy such as relaxing by the beach as well as you can go scuba diving and snorkeling.

View over Coron Bay at Coron's Kayangan Lake

Here is our list of things to do in Palawan Philippines.

  • Visit The Beaches.
  • Go Scuba Diving.
  • Visit Tabon Caves.
  • Explore The Waterfalls.
  • Go, Island Hopping.
  • Visit Tay Tay.

Which Is Better Cebu And Palawan?

These two islands offer two very different things. Cebu is a big island that takes a bit of planning and getting but the island does offer the chance to swim with whale sharks, scuba diving in Moalboal, and go canyoneering plus it does have decent nightlife.

Whereas Palawan is more tourist-focused and has plenty of beaches to visit and a good nightlife that in some areas can get wild as well as offering places for a quiet night.

Personally, I would choose Palawan over Cebu simply because you can go scuba diving in Coron there are wrecks from World War 2, better accommodation, and a slightly busier nightlife. Also, Cebu feels like a slum at times with dog poo everywhere.

Best Time To Travel To Cebu

The best time to visit Cebu is from December to February when the island has an average temperature of 30°C. March to May is extremely hot and humid and can be uncomfortable.

Best Time To Travel To Palawan

The best time to visit Palawan is between November to April. As this is the dry season.

Wrapping Up

Finally, which one to choose really depends on your personal preference. If you are looking to enjoy the beach and the nightlife with all the resort hotel comforts and do a little bit of exploring then it is Palawan. While Cebu is known for its snorkeling with whale sharks, sardine run, and canyoneering but it can feel a bit like a slum.

And that’s it for now! I’d love it if this post on Cebu or Palawan, which is better was helpful to you. Let me know if you have any questions and let me know if there is more to add.

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Palawan Or Cebu