Olango Island is another beautiful island in the province of Cebu Philippines, just offshore from (east of) Mactan Island and Lapu-Lapu City. It is known mainly for its wildlife sanctuary but also has some fine beaches and dive sites. The Olango Island Group includes Olango and six smaller islands nearby. The main town and main port is Santa Rosa on the west coast. Not very known to many but Olango Island does not actually just refer to a single island but to 7 small islands namely Olango, Sulpa, Gilutongan, Nalusuan, Caohagan, Camungi and Pangan-an. The entire island group is just 1,030 hectares big and is located about five kilometers from the island of Mactan. This place is a major tourist destination not just among locals but also among foreign visitors.
Getting Around the Island
The most common mode of transportation on the island is a motorcycle with a sidecar known as pedicab. However, bringing you own bicycle or motorcycle of transport on the island is a motorcycle would be practical. The ferries can carry those vehicles and the main roads are mostly paved though often quite narrow. You need to drive slowly and watch for potholes, wandering animals, and children playing in the street.
Most Known Spots in the Island
- Olango Wildlife Sanctuary. This is a wetland area with many water fowl, very popular with bird watchers. This place is close to a hundred species that can be found here, about half of them migratory and half permanent residents. It is the only site in the Philippines listed by the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance, especially as Waterfowl Habitat. The sanctuary office sells coconut juice and provides a bathroom, but there are no restaurants or accommodation on-site. Entrance fees are ₱20 for Filipinos, ₱100 for foreigners.
- Olango Reef. This is a government-protected fish sanctuary with good snorkelling, located south of Olango around the smaller islands of Nalusuan and Hilutungan. It is one of the largest reef areas in the Visayas with about 4.5 km².
Must Do in Olango
Diving in Olango is considered to be one of the top things to do here. The main dive sites around the island itself are Mabini Point at the northern tip of the island, Baring on the northwest side, and Santa Rosa near the middle of the west side. It is also possible to hire a boat to get to various smaller islands nearby; some of those have good diving sites.
Going to Island Eco Tourism Park and Olango Wildlife Sanctuary are another favorite attractions in Olango Island. These beautiful ecotourism parks are blessed with white sand beach and a public park where you can enjoy quality time bonding with family and friends, swimming at the beach, picnicking under the shade of coconut tree or just enjoying the beautiful scenery.
Olango Wildlife Sanctuary is definitely a place you don’t want to miss on your visit to the beautiful Olango Island too. It is probably one of the most popular destinations in Olango Island. On-season starts on September so you can enjoy watching the birds. The wildlife sanctuary aka bird sanctuary is situated in San Vicente, Olango Island. Entrance is only thirty pesos (P30).
Biking is one of the most popular activities in Olango Island. You can actually rent a bike and roam around the beautiful island yourself. Feel free to enjoy the sun, the air and scenery of the island. Another popular activity you can do there is island hopping to nearby islets. You need to go to Santa Rosa Port if you want to go island hopping or while in San Vicente Marine Sanctuary. Booking an island hopping tour here is a great idea!