Bantayan Island is known as the ‘little Boracay’ due to the island’s white sand and blue waters. If you would like to take some time off and detoxify from the city’s crowd and noise, then Bantayan Island is the place to go!
Growing up, my dad had a lot of stories he shared about Bantayan Island since he himself had lived in Bantayan for a few years for work. He shared that during the Holy week, a sandbar forms just in front of the famous beach strip in Sta. Fe, specifically near the coast of Kota Beach.
What is the best time to visit the island?
The island is well known for its festivities during the Holy week and it is known that during these days, there is an influx of visitors on the island. If you would like to witness Bantayan Island’s festivities during the Holy week, It is best to mark your calendars during those holidays.
If you’d like to ditch the crowd and enjoy the island like it’s your own, avoid the holidays and avoid rainy seasons to fully enjoy your trip.
How to get to Bantayan Island From Cebu City
From Cebu City, you’ll have to take the bus going to Hagnaya Port
You can find the bus at Cebu North Bus Terminal.
Estimated Time of Travel: 3 hours
Bus Rate: 160php
Upon arrival at Hagnaya Port, you will need to take a ferry ride to Sta. Fe.
Estimated Time of Travel: 1 hour
Ferry Rate: 185php
Terminal Fee: 10php
When you arrive at Sta. Fe Port in Bantayan Island, other fees will be collected:
Terminal Fee: 10php
Environmental Fee: 30php
From Sta Fe. Port, you can now go to your hotel/resort accommodations.
What are the modes of transportation within Bantayan island?
There are several modes of transportation within the island. There are public transportations such as tricycles, and motorcycle taxis or “habal-habal”, but if you want the full experience of going around the island, you can rent:
motorcycle: 350php per day.
bicycle: for 150php per day.
Where we stayed in Bantayan
There are many hotels and resorts on the island that you can choose to stay in, you also have the option to look for places from Airbnb.
I have stayed in Bantayan multiple times and when we were there during the Holy Week, I have observed that the rents and resort/hotel rates are higher. During the Holy weeks, we looked for houses for rent and we found a rental house from Facebook Marketplace with 3 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, a living room and a kitchen for 6000php per day inclusive of 20 people. I know that was too much, but the rates usually double during the holy weeks.
We also stayed in Bantayan outside of the holiday season and we also looked for houses for rent. We rented a house from Syke Travel and Tours with 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a living room and a kitchen for 3500php per day inclusive of 18 people.
Places to visit in Bantayan
Kota Beach – This beach is paradise on earth. You don’t want to miss out on seeing the sunset from this beach. During the month of April, the sand bar can be seen all day by the bay.
Ogtong Cave – It is in Sta. Fe Beach Club Resort. It’s one of a kind resort, which has a natural cave with an underground. You don’t want to leave Bantayan not experiencing to take a dip inside the cave. The beach view of the resort is also breathtaking.
Omagieca Mangrove Garden/Camp Sawi – You can experience walking on bamboo platforms and enjoy the vast mangrove trees. You’ll surely feel being one with nature on your mangrove exploration.
The Ruin – From the name itself, it is a ruin of a structure that’s covered with spray-painted symbols and vandals that added personality to the place. This structure is facing the coast of Bantayan Island where you get to enjoy dipping under the sun.
Paradise Resort/Sandira Beach Resort – The natural white sand, rock formations, and sunset view are what this place has to boast. You can get to enjoy the crystal clear water and picture-perfect sea coast.
Watch our recent visit to Bantayan island tour in Cebu