Olango Island Marine Wildlife Sanctuary Travel Guide

By: | October 31st, 2017 | 0 Comment

Olango Island is part of a group of islands in Cebu Province. The island group is under the jurisdiction of the municipality of Cordova and Lapu-Lapu City. It is a major tourist destination of Cebu known for its wildlife sanctuary and is only 5 kilometers east of Mactan Island.

Olango Wildlife Sanctuary is a major refueling station for approximately 40,000 migratory birds. It is located in the Central Visayas region of the Philippines. The 1,030 hectare of sandflats and mangroves is a haven for the birds that come from Siberia, Northern China and Japan. These birds flock to the island seeking refuge from the winter climate of these countries. Olango Wildlife Sanctuary supports the largest concentration of migratory birds found so far in the Philippines. There are 97 species of birds in Olango, 48 of which are migratory species, while the rest are resident birds of the island.

The Philippine Dept of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has been tasked to protect and manage the area. A sanctuary office has been established in the area. The Olango Wildlife Sanctuary office also serves as a jump-off point for birdwatching in the reserve.

The peak months are October to November for the southward East Asian–Australasian migration, and February to March for the northward leg. Be sure to visit at low tide, when the birds take to the sand flats en masse to fill up on worms, snails and small fish. There aren’t many birds here from May to August, but the sanctuary remains an austerely beautiful spot and worth a visit.

Some of the bird species found in the sanctuary:

  • Asian Dowitcher
  • Bar-tailed Godwit
  • Brown Shrike
  • Common Redshank
  • Common Greenshank
  • Curlew
    Far Eastern Curlew
    Eurasian Curlew
    Curlew Sandpiper
  • Egret
    Chinese Egret
    Little Egret
    Little Heron
  • Golden-bellied Flyeater
  • Great Knot
  • Grey-tailed Tattler
  • Kingfisher
    Common Kingfisher
    White-collared Kingfisher
  • Olive-backed Sunbird
  • Pied Fantail
  • Plover
    Grey Plover
    Kentish Plover
    Greater Sand-Plover
  • Ruddy Turnstone
  • Rufous-necked Stint
  • Sandpiper
    Common Sandpiper
    Terek Sandpiper
  • Swallor
  • Barn Swallor
  • Pacific Swallor
  • Tern
    Gull-billed Tern
    Whiskered Tern
  • Whimbrel
  • Yellow-vented Bulbul


There are several ferries, only a few of which carry vehicles. The most-used route is from a pier next to the Hilton Hotel on the Lapu-Lapu side to Santa Rosa on Olango. Officially, it is the Punta Engaño Pier but locals call it the Hilton Pier and taxi drivers may know the destination as Movenpick.

  • If your from Cebu City, Ride a jeepney going to SM City Cebu V-Hire Terminal. Take a V-Hire going to Gaisano Island Mall Mactan. Drop off at Gaisano Island Mall Mactan and ride a multicab going to Punta Engaño.
  • If your from Lapu-Lapu City, Ride a multicab going to Punta Engaño.
  • Tell the cab driver to drop you off at Movenpick Port. The fare from Gaisano Island Mall Mactan is Php13.
  • At Movenpick Port, take the ferry going to Olango Island (Ferry Ticket for only Php15 and Php5 terminal fee).
    (Travel time is approximately 30 minutes. Ferries schedule are available every hour. and last trip is at 6:00 pm)
  • When you arrive in Santa Rosa Port, there are lots of tricycles that will get you to your destination.
  • Tricycle it normally costs Php 120 – Php 150 depend on your destination.


Tungasan Boardwalk – Enjoy the magnificient view and the crystalic waters nearby the Tungasan Boardwalk. The Tungasan boardwalk is located at Brgy. Tungasan, Olango Island.

Ticket : Free

Snorkeling in San Vicente Marine Sanctuary – San Vicente Marine Sanctuary is both an eco-tourism destination and fish and marine life conservation area.

Entrace Fee : Php25

Bird watching at San Vicente Wildlife Sanctuary – Olango Island is just one of the few remaining wildlife sanctuaries in the country. The island is where ‘international’ migratory birds refuel for their seasonal travels.
It has been observed that of the 77 migratory bird species Olango Island hosts over 60 percent of them using the East-Asian Australiasia flyways.

Entrace Fee : Php30

Camping – If your planning for an overnight stay, camping is allowed inside the San Vicente Wildlife Sanctuary for only 50 per person (camping fee) and tent rental for Php 250.


About Marianne Castro

Olango Island Marine Wildlife Sanctuary Travel Guide
Hi, I’m Marianne. I’m a blogger based in Cebu, Philippines. I’m adventurous and enjoys exploring different places. Philippine Online Travel intended as a travel guide, local promotion, information and local search page for Philippines. If you want your place to be featured, for partnerships and sponsorships. - email me at info@philippine-online-travel.com

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