The northwesternmost island of Cebu province is not only known for its desiccated produce. Bantayan is not merely a dried seafood supplier to the province but also a desirable location for sojourners.
With the multiple white beach fronts dotting its edges, interesting rock formations adorning its cliffs, and mysterious cave pools spreading at various locations, any traveler won’t run out of things to do. The gentle and serene locality makes the stay a lot warmer too – you will feel at home eventually.
Every guest is greeted with a clean sea port. The water around it is seemingly unadulterated. The not-so-distant beachfront is also inviting.
Bantayan island is a home to three serene and vibrant municipalities namely: Bantayan, Santa Fe, and Madridejos. Most of the islands beautiful beachfronts are situated in Santa Fe.
How To Get There
Take a flight to Cebu City [CEB]. Direct flights are available from Caticlan (Boracay), Cagayan de Oro, Clark, Davao, Iloilo, Manila, Legazpi, Puerto Princesa, etc. International flights are directly accessible from Busan (South Korea), Dubai, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Los Angeles, Nagoya (Japan), Seoul, Singapore, Osaka (Japan), Taipei, Tokyo, and Xiamen (China).
From Cebu City’s North Bus Terminal, board a bus to Hagnaya (Fare is ₱168 as of July 2016). The bus will take you near Hagnaya port where you can take a ferry or Roro to Sante Fe in Bantayan Island. The earliest ferry leaves Hagnaya at 07AM while the last trip is 05PM. Ticket price is ₱170 as of July 2016.
Where to Stay in Bantayan
One thing that makes your travel more noteworthy is choosing the right accommodation that fit your lifestyle and budget. Bantayan is a host to posh and classy resorts which cater the most discriminating guests. Utmost comfort and exquisite hospitality is the primary business of these hotels.
If you are on shoestring budget, worry not since affordable inns are also available to offer you a good stay.
Hoyohoy Villas offers elegant wood villas each with balcony, A/C, comfy bed, complimentary WiFi and other 3-star amenities. Hoyohoy is just one of the few resorts in Bantayan with nice pool. Rooms rates starts at ₱4,000.
Address: Roska St.. Talisay, Sta. Fe, Bantayan Island
Contact Numbers: (032) 438 9021 | +63 916 681 8357
Online Booking: www.Agoda.com/Hoyohoy-Villas (click to view the latest rates)
Amihan Beach Cabanas Resort boast their classy, private bamboo cabanas standing on the white beach. Each cabana is equipped with A/C and fan, television, complimentary internet, refrigerator, bed with mosquito net, ensuite toilet and bath, and a terrace. The resort faces the popular Kota Beach which makes beach bumming easily accessible.
Address: A. Batobalonos Street, Santa Fe, Bantayan Island
Contact Number: +63 917 682 6613
Online Booking: www.Agoda.com/AmihanBeachCabanas (click to view the latest rates)
Sta. Fe Beach Club – You can either choose a cottage for three or a duplex room for two individuals.
Address: Santa Fe, Bantayan Island (near the port area)
Contact Numbers: +63 932 541 2954 | (032) 438 9090
Online booking: www.Agoda.com/SantaFeBeachClub (click to view the latest rates)
Anika Island Resort is an Agoda travelers choice awardee in 2015.
Address: F. Roska St., Sta Fe, Bantayan Island
Contact Numbers: +63 917 328 4898 | (032) 318 8402
Online Booking: www.Agoda.com/AnikaIslandResort (click to view the latest rates)
Ogtong Cave Resort give you an easy access to its nice beach, swimming pool, and the famed Ogtong Cave natural pool. Being a guest to the resort waives the ₱200 entrance fee for non-guests.
Address: Pooc, Santa Fe, Bantayan Island
Contact Numbers: +63 932 433 6282 | (032)438 9129
Online Booking: www.Agoda.com/OgtongCaveResort (click to view the latest rates)
Kota Beach Resort features elegant beachfront suites and cottages for ₱3,800 and ₱3,400 per night respectively. However, they also offer non-A/C rooms for only ₱900.
Address: F. Duarte Street, Santa Fe, Bantayan Island
Contact Numbers: +63 948 799 3787 | (032) 438 9042
Online booking: www.Agoda.com/KotaBeachResort (click to view the latest rates)
Yooneek Beach Resort offers both fan and A/C rooms. Rates starts at ₱1.290 (off-peak).
Address: Poblacion, Santa Fe, Bantayan Island
Contact Numbers: +63 943 676 3303 | +63 925 555 5256
Online booking: www.Agoda.com/YooneekBeachResort (click to view the latest rates)
SF Cantina Hotel is budget accommodation fronting Bantayan’s Sugar Beach.
Address: Pooc, Santa Fe, Bantayan Island
Online booking: www.Agoda.com/SFCantinaHotel (click to view the latest rates)
Ritzy’s White Beach Resort and Restaurant – Fan rooms for two starts at ₱800. Family rooms for 4 starts at ₱3500.
Address: Talisay, Santa Fe, Bantayan Island
Contact Numbers: +63 949 005 0585 |+63 977 240 6258
Online booking: www.Agoda.com/RitzysWhiteBeachResort (click to view the latest rates)
Things to Do in Bantayan
Aside from beach hopping, you can also try chasing a jellyfish like what I did when I was along the strip in front of Ogtong Cave Resort. To give you an idea on what are the awesome things to do in the island, check the list below.
Bike or Motorbike Tour – Roam around the island and visit the serene neighborhood by renting a bike or motorbike. The bikes can also bring you to the island’s prized beaches and sceneries.
Bicycle rentals will cost you ₱200/8 hours. You can rent a motorbike starting at ₱500/day.
Ogtong Cave is found within the premise of Ogtong Cave Resort. To enjoy the natural pool within the cave, you must an entrance fee of ₱200. With such fee, you will not only experience Ogtong Cave, but also the resort’s pool and its stunning beachfront.
Bantayan Island Nature Park and Resort is an 8-hectare protected nature park. Various species of flora and fauna inhabit the area.
The nature park is also a home another natural cave pool — situated within Santo Niño Cave, which looks a golden cave due the lighting effect. Only 20 individuals are allowed to enter the cave at any given time.
Entrance to the park is ₱200 and the use of jacuzzi is ₱500.
Drieds Goods Shopping in Bantayan – Bantayan is a known producer of dried seafood products, so if you have friends or family member who develop a good liking to this type of goods, you may buy some for them.
Beach Hopping – You may frolic around Kota Beach, stargaze with friends at Sugar Beach, explore Obo-ob Beach, wade across the shallows waters of Ogtong Beach, or play around the white strip fronting Santa Fe Beach Club.
Notes and reminders
- Cellular coverage is decent within the poblacion area of Santa Fe, Bantayan, and Madridejos.
- ATM is only available in Poblacion Bantayan
- Big resorts accepts credit card payment.
- Transportation is serviced by tricycles. Intertown caretellas are also available for transfer between towns.
- Stay in a resort within Sante Fe. Most of the beaches are located within Santa Fe.
- There is bus that brings you directly from Cebu City to the Municipality of Bantayan. Please contact Vallacar Transit (Ceres) for the schedule. If you take this, you have to pay the fare for the ferry separately.