The idyllic island most synonymous to Cebu more than anything else in the province and often compared to the world class shores of Boracay. Bantayan Island offers a recluse to any soul seeking peace with her mesmerizing white beaches and leisure for the party animals in the specific time of the year. Many tropical islands in the province have rise up to compete with her reign in recent years but none so far have dethrone her. She may be known for her spotless coasts but there are actually more to Bantayan for tourists and travelers alike. I will try to cover in this post everything you need to know about the island and some tips to boost your stay.
NOTE: This is a work in progress and will continue to update any new information of the island as I continue to explore it.
|My previous visit just months after the super typhoon ravaged the island.|
The super typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) may have devastated the island but she slowly recovered after a couple of years and is now on a fresh start for everyone who wants to experience her splendor. More luxurious resorts have opened, lots of accommodations to cater various tourist needs, so much more interesting activities and different spots discovered to offer options for visitors.
FROM CEBU to BANTAYAN ISLAND. The starting point is in Cebu North Bus Terminal which offer regular AC & non-AC buses leaving every hour starting around 2:00 am and last trip of around 11:00 pm. 24 hours during peak season usually during summer and holidays.
NORTH BUS TERMINAL in CEBU --- via bus ( Php 170.00 ) for ETT 4 hours ---> HAGNAYA PORT in SAN REMIGIO --- via ferry ( Php 150.00 ) for ETT 1 hour ---> SANTA FE PORT in BANTAYAN ISLAND --- via habal-habal ( Php 50.00 ) ---> anywhere in SANTA FE --- via Motorela ( Php 25.00 ) for ETT 20 minutes ---> BANTAYAN TOWN PROPER --- via Motorela ( Php 25.00 ) for ETT 20 minutes ---> MADRIDEJOS
Undoubtedly, Santa Fe is the place to be in the island not just for its shores but because it is the center of tourism in the island. You'll see countless resorts lining up by the shoreline, restaurants & bars are plenty in the center of the town, souvenir shops can be found anywhere and you'll get better options here for your accommodation depending on your budget. It is also the closest municipality from the port going to the mainland of Cebu.
- Beach bumming from the powdery soft whitesand of Sugar Beach to the picturesque beach front of Kota Resort that forms a mini sandbar depending in the time of day.
- Jump-off point for island hopping ( namely Virgin, Hilantagaan & Poho Island )
- Visit the famous subterranean natural pool of Ogtong Cave.
- Food trip & night life.
TIP: The infamous mini sandbar in Bantayan island is just in front of Kota Beach.
room rates starts at Php 900.00 ( standard fan rooms ) — Php 3,800.00 ( beachfront suite )
Telephone # +63 32 438 9042
Cellular # +63 948 799 3787
Email : email@example.com
room rates starts at Php 800.00 ( third line fan rooms ) — Php 7,000.00 ( house mate rooms )
Telephone # +63 32 438 9285
Cellular # +63 999 4949473
TIP: You can enjoy the Ogtong Cave Resort amenities for free.
room rates starts at Php 900.00 ( cottage back twin ) — Php 3,500.00 ( deluxe room triple )
Telephone # +63 32 438 9090
Cellular # +63 928 778 7770 / +63 932 541 2954
TIP: If you are not checked-in to the resort outsiders will have to pay Php 100.00 to enjoy the facilities of the resort ( 3 swimming pools ) including Ogtong Cave from 8am to 6pm. Santa Fe Beach Club will have free access of the amenities of this resort.room rates starts at Php 1,200.00 ( standard fan rooms ) — Php 7,000.00 ( deluxe suite with jacuzzi )
Telephone # +63 32 438 9129
Cellular # +63 920 899 9456/ +63 932 4336282
TIP: This is the cheapest accommodation in Santa Fe.room rates starts at Php 400.00 ( backpacker fan rooms ) — Php 1,600.00 ( deluxe rooms )
Telephone # +63 32 438 9358
Cellular # +63 90 8309 4717
HR Music Bar and Native Restaurant
TIP: You can order one half each flavor to get two or more different flavors in one order of pizza.Food To Order: the pizza is really delicious
Cuisines: Filipino, American
Cellular # +63 94 9710 3442
- Good place for sunset watch.
- Visit the five century old St. Peter & Paul Parish Church.
- Jump-off point to Estancia in Iloilo for Isla de Gigantes and Sagay in Negros Occidental for Himoga-an River Cruise, Molocaboc Island & bio-diverse reefs such as Carbin & Macahulom Reef.
- The only national bank in the island with an ATM machine ( PNB ) is found here.
- Visit Bantayan Island Nature Park and Resort for another subterranean natural pool in Santo Nino Cave, enjoy the infinity swimming pool and mini zoo.
TIP! There are so much activity offered here from the must experience subterranean cave pool inside Santo Nino Cave, infinity pool with adult & children separate space, mini zoo with sea hawks & peacocks, Captain's Bar & Restaurant and so much more. If you don't want to stay in the resort then you can avail the day tour which costs Php 150.00 per pax.
Telephone # +63 32 514 44420/21
Cellular # +63 928 506 4468
Food To Order: all burgers are delicious!
Cellular # ---
Kota Park and a good sunset spot in the island are the only reason why you should visit Madridejos. It is the least touristy municipality in the island and rightfully so because there's not much to see here. I couldn't recommend Kota Park because there's nothing special with the spot unless you are that bored and it is crowded with locals killing time. The park does have a ruined fortress if you are into that thing and the white sand is just as good. If you want to do some sunset watch you can do it as well in the main town of Bantayan.
- Best place for sunset watch in the island.
- Visit the century old fortress in Kota Park.