Bantayan Island is stunningly wonderful with its aqua blue sea, long wide stretch of white sugar-fine sand beaches and enchanting sunrise. So let’s find out. See our Bantayan Island Travel Guide below.
Bantayan Island is located in the west of northern tip of Cebu. It is composed of three municipalities namely Bantayan, Madridejos and Santa Fe.
These municipalities have unique qualities in terms of livelihood of the people. Bantayan is the main municipality where Saints Peter and Paul Parish Church is located. Santa Fe is famous for its fine white sand beaches, hotels and resorts. Its strategic location and sea port situated near to it boosts its tourism industry.
Madridejos or “Lawis” on the other hand is a quiet place but with great history. Most people living in Madridejos depend on fishing as main source of livelihood. Some of them make a living through corn farming and poultry-raising. In fact, Bantayan Island is one of the major sources of chicken eggs in Cebu. In general, Bantayan Island is endowed with splendid and rich land and marine resources that should be enriched and protected.
Getting to Bantayan Island requires few hours of travel by land and sea. So patience is very essential for a successful and enjoyable travel. Anyway, you will be rewarded by the dazzling scenery around the island. They have a small airport built in between the Municipality of Santa Fe and Bantayan but still no air traffic in the area. Maybe, sometime in the future, they will open their airport to local commercial flights.
The nice thing about Bantayan Island is the simple way of living of its people. There are minimal buildings erected. There is minimal traffic and pollution because there are only few buses and other vehicles roaming around. There are few manufacturing companies established in the area. Many houses were built with light materials such as bamboo and coconut lumber. There are no erected malls and sports center yet. People buy their needs in the nearest convenience stores, drugstores, small market and mini-convenience or sari-sari stores. Establishments nearby opens at 8am and closes at 8pm except for few bars and resorts.
In Bantayan Island, it is apparent that the lack of lavish things and the simple way of living of the people makes this place harmonious and quiet. At night, you can enjoy lying on a bench near the beach where you can hear clearly the waves and some motorboats used by locals for fishing. Above, you can see the twinkling of stars which added a wonderful experience while having relaxation at the beach. The promising sunset and sunrise at Santa Fe can make someone like me to be amazed and fully appreciate the beauty of life in this little paradise. For a night stay in Bantayan Island, I think, you can really tell why I call this place as “little paradise”.
Travel Guide Bantayan Island Cebu and Some helpful travel tips:
How to get there in Bantayan Island? So, Below is our travel guide.
Our travel flow would be like this: Your Place > Cebu > Hagnaya > Bantayan Island
From your city or country you can catch a flight going to the Philippines via Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) or Mactan International Airport Authority (MCIA). There are some airlines that have direct flights to MCIA. But most flights will take NAIA before you can catch flight going to Mactan Cebu.
- NAIA – Ninoy Aquino International Airport also known as Manila International Airport (MIA) is located in Andrews Avenue, Pasay, Metro Manila
- MCIA – Mactan International Airport is located in Lapu-lapu Airport Road, Lapu-lapu City, Cebu Philippines
- CPA – Cebu Port Authority is located in North Reclamation Area, Cebu City, Cebu
For local tourists, there are local commercial flights bound for Cebu MCIA or through the sea. There are shipping companies which have daily trips going to Cebu via Cebu Port Authority (CPA).
- So once you already arrived in Cebu by air MCIA or by sea CPA, you should go to Cebu North Bus Terminal by airport yellow taxi or white taxi. Cebu North Bus Terminal is located in Subangdaku, Mandaue City, Cebu. At Cebu North Bus Terminal you can ride a bus that will take you to Hagnaya Cebu Port. If you prefer to ride a van, there are van for hire inside the terminal. But first, you can ask the information section of the terminal for them to guide or give you instructions. Hagnaya Port is considerably three hours far from Cebu City, so expect bigger service charge. So I would suggest you to take a bus instead, because riding a bus is quite cheaper than hiring a van.
- There are buses that will take you to Hagnaya Port or Pier for only Php160 and some buses go directly to Bantayan via Ro-ro Boat for Php200 and Php170 for Ship or Boat’s ticket. Hagnaya Port is located in San Remigio, Cebu.
- At the Hagnaya Port, there are two shipping companies that offers a trip going to Bantayan Island via Santa Fe Sea Port. As stated above, the fare is Php170 and you also have to pay Php10 for the terminal fee. So after the payment, you can go to the passengers’ waiting area or lounge and wait for the announcement for boarding.
- Travel time will take 50 minutes up to 1 hour depending on sea condition.
7.Boat will dock at Santa Fe Port in Bantayan Island.
- At Santa Fe Port, there are motorcycle and pedicab drivers who will offer you for a ride going to the resort or hotel of your choice. Fare mostly ranging from Php10-20 per person.
- And that’s it. You’re done. Enjoy you stay in Bantayan Island!
Going back is simple. Our travel flow would be: Santa Fe > Hagnaya > Cebu North Bus Terminal > MCIA or CPA
1.From Sante Fe Port in Bantayan Island, take a Ro-ro Boat going to Hagnaya Port in San Remigio Cebu. There are buses outside the Hagnaya port, so ride a bus bound for Cebu North Bus Terminal.
2.At the Bus terminal, ride a taxi that will take you to Mactan Airport (MCIA) or to CPA pier 3 or 4.
3.That’s it. Thanks for coming in Bantayan Island.
That is how easy travelling going to Bantayan Island and going back to your home land.
- List of activities that you can do to enjoy your stay in Bantayan Island:
- Island Hopping – Virgin Island (Boat rental would be 1500 for 8 persons/ additional charge for additional passenger)
- Visit the Saints Peter and Paul Parish Church located in the Municipality of Bantayan.
- Visit the Ogtong Cave – Pay Php100 for the entrance fee. Entrance fee includes swimming at the pool, picture taking, and touring around the resort.
- Buy dried fish like danggit and squid at Bantayan Market.
- Witness the captivating sunrise in the morning at Santa Fe.
- Snorkelling – best spot would be near the Virgin Island
- Rent a motorcycle and explore the island – Php300-350 per 24 hours
- Taste their famous food like shrimps, crabs, squids, sea shells and the Pansit Canton locally known as “Bam-i”.
- Beach Walk – early morning or late afternoon
- Swimming – enjoy the clear sea water at the beach
- Buy souvenir items made by locals in Bantayan Island
- Scuba Diving – Best spots would be the Virgin Island and Malapascua Island
Things to consider when you are in Bantayan Island:
- ATMs are available at Santa Fe and Bantayan Town proper.
- Mobile signals from different telecommunication service providers are fairly strong.
- There are no malls or department stores in Bantayan Island but there are convenience stores.
- Mode of transportation that are widely used are motorcycles and pedicabs.
- If you are a local tourist and near Cebu area, you can bring your car or motorcycle for additional fee to be paid at the Ro-ro boat ticketing booth.
- Approximate travel time from Cebu North Bus Terminal to Bantayan Island would be 4-5 hours.
- Estimated budget for the fares and fees is Php800 per person (from Cebu North Bus Terminal to Santa Fe Port vice versa). Taxi fare, food and hotel room fees are not included.
So, enjoy your vacation and have fun in Bantayan Island. – CX
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