- How to Get to Bantayan Island
- Where to Stay and Eat
- Getting Around the Island
- Things To Do
Looking for a nice quiet and relaxing place to visit? There are more than 7 thousand islands in the country to explore. Whether you are on your solo trip or with your travel buddy, friends or families, this is another place you must include on your bucket list. Head to the north of Cebu and be amazed with this pristine white sand, clear blue waters, coconut trees and cooling breeze from the ocean – the island of Bantayan.
About 136 kilometers from Cebu City, Philippines. Bantayan is the main and largest island of Bantayan group of island. It is divided into three municipalities. Bantayan (largest municipality covering the central part), Madridejos (the northern portion) and Santa Fe (the eastern part). The island group also includes numerous smaller islands.
Every island has its own uniqueness, from local to foreign tourists they love this place because of its peaceful ambience and impressive beauty of nature – the sunset.
This fiery orb gradually receding into the waters and the sky consisted of colours ranging from yellow to orange to red. I gazed in amazement at the resulting reflections on the water before me.
HOW TO GET TO BANTAYAN ISLAND
From Mactan-Cebu International Airport, Grab a taxi and head to the North Bus Terminal. From there, take a bus going to Hagnaya Port, Ceres Liner cost 175 pesos (air conditioned) and travel time is approximately 4 hours. At Hagnaya Port buy your ferry ticket for 180 pesos (Super Shuttle Ferry) and 5 pesos terminal fee. Travel time is an hour going to Santa Fe Port (Bantayan island). Ferries leave every couple of hours from 5.30 am until 5 pm. At Santa Fe Port you have to pay another 30 pesos for tourism ecological fee. Then take a trike going to your hotel.
Roro vessel from Hagnaya to Santa Fe port are also available.
WHERE TO STAY IN BANTAYAN ISLAND
Beach resorts, hotels, restaurants and cafes are mostly found in Santa Fe.
Budyong Beach Resort this place is just right in front of the beach. It has a nice spacious garden with coconut trees. A native style cottages for accommodation, from fan room to air conditioned room. They could also arrange for your island hopping tour, boat or motorbike rental.
Coucou Bar Hotel and Restaurant this is located in the heart of Santa Fe. Just a few minute walk to the beach and other nearby restaurants. Room rate starts at 1600 pesos air conditioned and a backed up wall fan, with hot and cold shower and private cr. It has a small flat screen tv with cable. Wifi are available in the restaurant and hotel rooms. They also have free shuttle from the port to their hotel and v.v.
WHERE TO EAT AND CHILL
MJ Square this is a food hub where you can find different bars and restaurants.
Chef Panyang this is the busiest amongst the restaurants at MJ Square. They serves more on Filipino foods at affordable prices. So if you are on a budget this place is good to have a try.
Bantayan Burrito Company this place serves a good quality mexican dish, and vegetarian friendly. Fair price. I enjoyed sipping the frozen margarita with a free shot on the side. Sorry….just forgot to take photo was so starving 🙂
CouCou Bar and Restaurant they serves Filipino and international cuisine. And you can get a good quality pizza for affordable price. Enjoy and relax in a two outdoor gazebo that has a comfortable seats and landscape garden. They also have plenty of choices of drinks and cocktails.
Boulangerie Française a french bakeshop that serves a good breakfast. Enjoy a freshly baked bread and a real quality coffee.
THINGS TO DO IN BANTAYAN ISLAND
Visiting Bantayan without an island hopping will not make your holiday complete (In my own thoughts) lol. In Santa Fe there are few guys around offering an island tour from 800 to 1000 pesos good for two persons. Hotels could also arrange it for you at the same price.
Hilantagaan Island, Marine Sanctuary and Virgin Island
These was part of the itinerary for a day tour. I was so thrilled while on the way thinking what to expect in the island, would it be nice?
Hilantagaan island is a small fishing village. There were few sari sari store good for buying some snacks.
At the first sight it didn’t disappoint me. It amused me! Crystal-clear turquoise water and fine white stretch sandbar and few starfish on the shore. But it was different from Kalanggaman long sandbar (it was my expectation lol) it was different beauty. As I stepped on the sand it was so fined, the breeze gives you a cool feeling. You won’t mind the heat of the sun at 12 noon. As I walked along the shore there were few fishermen busy on their boats and kids playing and gives a welcoming smile at me. 🙂 We didn’t stay longer in the island, and we headed to marine sanctuary. Good for snorkeling, clear water, different fishes in various colours, corals etc. etc…I have always been fascinated by this marine lives. I did enjoy the snorkeling and taking photos. We decided not to go to Virgin Island, it is a private beach resort and you have to pay 500 pesos. You can still enjoy the beach at Santa Fe for free.
There are ways to enjoy while you are in Bantayan Island. If you are adventurous and brave enough, rent a motorbike to explore the island, prices starts at 250 pesos per day and provide your own petrol and hit the road.
Another activity you could do is renting a bicycle, roam around the town of Santa Fe. price starts at 150 pesos per day.
Hire a trike for a land day tour and they will take you to the place you would like to visit. starts at 350 pesos up. Depends which place and how far.
Saint Peter and Paul Church
An old Roman Catholic church located in municipality of Bantayan. Across the plaza town you will find this 500 year old historical St. Paul and Peter Church. It was built using corrals and stones from the island. The original church was destroyed several times by Muslim rebels and natural disasters
Omagieca Oboob Mangrove Garden An ecopark that has a bamboo walkway through mangroves which gives a refreshing stroll, nice view, and good opportunity for photo shoot. Good for a short visit. Entrance fee is 50 pesos per head
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