A Travel Guide to Kinatarcan (Guintacan) Island: The Rise of the Once Unknown | Freedom Wall
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A Travel Guide to Kinatarcan (Guintacan) Island: The Rise of the Once Unknown

A Travel Guide to Kinatarcan (Guintacan) Island: The Rise of the Once Unknown

A forsaken island, which receives less attention and less infrastructure development funding, is seating idly at the north of Cebu. Its wonders are unexplored, its beauty is rarely appreciated, and its potential is constantly overlooked.

I don’t want to make this article political, but in an island that can only grow cassava and noni, and is highly dependent on fishing, the local government must explore on sustainable tourism development as an alternative source of income for the residents.

I heard that Ms Gina Lopez kicked off the project but the implementation phase isn’t underway yet.

The top view of Kinatarcan Wellness Resort along Pasil Beach, Kinatarcan Island
The top view of Kinatarcan Wellness Resort along Pasil Beach

Ecotourism could put Kinatarcan island on Cebu’s tourism map. Aloguinsan, a recognized ecotourism destination of Cebu, could be a perfect business model.

Kinatarcan (Guintacan) Island

Kinatarcan or Guintacan Island is the home to three barangays—Bitoon, Hagdan, and Langub—under the jurisdiction of the municipality of Santa Fe, whose focus seems unidirectional to its Bantayan territory alone.

The southern end of Pasil Beach, Kinatarcan Island
The southern end of Pasil Beach

Awesome cliffs, fascinating coves, stunning white beaches, and a mysterious lagoon dot the edges of Kinatarcan.

The gentle summer breeze, the exuberant faces, the slow-paced lifestyle, and the warm sunshine kiss complimented well with the homy, rustic reception.

Things to do in Kinatarcan

Motorcycles are the only mode of transportation in Kinatarcan. You can rent a motorbike to tour around the entire island for only 500 pesos. If you are going to one destination only, for example, Laaw Lagoon, then the two-way fare is 150 pesos.

Byaring, a cliff-side wonder

Ian Limpangog Selfie at Byaring, Kinatarcan Island
Selfie at Byaring

Byaring offers a stunning cliff-side view, interesting rock formations, and clear aquamarine deep. The stairway down to this wonder added more excitement to the seemingly laid-back adventure.

Choose your rock for your cover and profile photos at Byaring
Choose your rock for your cover and profile photos at Byaring

Laaw Lagoon, a mysterious stunner

The brackish water of Laaw Lagoon serves as a breeding ground to mothering fishes. Green caviars (Caulerpa lentillifera), lató in local language, grow unhindered at the bottom.

Awesome rock formations adorn Laaw Lagoon in Kinatarcan Island
Awesome rock formations adorn Laaw Lagoon

If you walk further, a breathtaking cove awaits every guests. You have plenty of spaces for photo ops and buwis-buhay selfies.

As of February 2019, Laaw Lagoon is closed to recuperate. However, some guides still include Laaw Lagoon in the itinerary.

Laaw Lagoon, Kinatarcan Island
The body of water at the lower left on the photo is the main lagoon

The land entrance is closed but those who opt for the boat tour can still enter the unguarded beauty.

Pasil, Langub, and Bitoon Beaches

Kinatarcan is a host to three beautiful white strips, namely: Pasil, Langub, and Bitoon Beaches.

Pasil Beach, Kinatarcan Island
Pasil Beach, Kinatarcan Island

If you arrive from Daanbantayan, you will be greeted with the fine and pebbly sand of Pasil Beach. It is the home of the expensive Kinatarcan Wellness Resort.

Pasil is also a favorite camping beach of many backpackers.

Langub Beach is just five-minute, motorcycle-ride away from Pasil. You may find the floating pier and the floating cottage there.

Langub offers an unhindered view of the sunset.

Langub Beach, Kinatarcan Island
Langub Beach, Kinatarcan Island

If you are coming from Santa Fe in Bantayan Island, Bitoon Beach is your arriving port. It seats next to a fishing village, so pump boats of various colors and sizes adorn its shore.

Bitoon Beach, Kinatarcan Island
Bitoon Beach, Kinatarcan Island

Perched on its south is Forest Beach.

Forest Beach, have a dose of adrenaline

If you are looking for an adrenaline rush, wait for the high tide, and then head to Forest Beach. Wooden, makeshift platforms are installed to aid your cliff diving experience.

Cliff Jumping at Forest Beach, Kinatarcan Island
The edge of Forest Beach is its primary attraction

Forest Beach, by the way, seats at the southern tip of Bitoon Beach. So technically, it is not a beach but a cliff-side resort.

Hagdanan and its beautiful vantage

See the beautiful panoramic view of Barangay Hagdan’s beach-side community. 

Hagdanan in Kinatarcan Island
Groupfie at the edge of Hagdanan

The stairway or hagdanan gives access to the fishing village below. White pebbles wrap the shoreline. The cliff, on the other hand, provides shade to the swimmers from the radiating afternoon sun.

Hagdan also provides a stunning vantage point to grace the sunrise.

Where to Stay in Kinatarcan Island

Beach Camp

You can just pitch your tent at any beach of choice. If you want a more secure area, you can camp at Willie’s Beach Resort. It charges 200 per head, and that includes the use of the comfort room, water for bathing, and charging of mobile phones.

You have Kuya Willie as caretaker of your stuff when you go out for a tour.

Cliff Jumping at Forest Beach in Kinatarcan Island
Getting ready for cliff jumping

Forest Beach

If you want a more comfortable yet affordable stay, then go to Forest Beach. For only 250 per person a night, you can cook your own food, use the shared comfort room, and sleep in a comfortable bed. Kuya Berlito Mantao, the owner, will assist you in any way they can.

Forest Beach Accommodation of Kuya Berlito Mantao in Kinatarcan Island
Forest Beach Accommodation of Kuya Berlito Mantao

During our stay, they also share us some of their food. For bookings, contact him at +63 920 380 4640.

Kinatarcan Wellness Resort

If you can spend more, check in at Kinatarcan Wellness Resort. Rooms with A/C and glamping tents are available for guests who can afford the hefty price.

If you have inquiries, you may contact the resort at (032) 238 2672 or email them at kinatarcanwellnessresort@gmail.com.

How to Get There

From Cebu City North Bus Terminal, hop on a Bus to Daanbantayan. Note that Daanbantayan is different from Bantayan, so make sure that you hop on the correct bus. Fare is around 200 pesos.

From Daanbantayan Pier, take a boat to Kinatarcan Island. Passenger boats leave Daanbantayan around 11AM and 12noon. The one-way fare is 50 pesos.

If you are a large group, you can also rent the entire boat for exclusive use. One-way boat rentals start at 1000 pesos.

Return boat leaves Pasil Beach in Kinatarcan Island around 7AM the following day.

Byaring, Kinatarcan Island
A photo taken from one of the cool rock formations in Byaring

From Carnaza Island, hop on a boat to Tapilon Port, and then take any public transportation to Daanbantayan.

From Malapascua Island, return to Maya Port, and then take a bus that will pass Daanbantayan. Make sure that you ask the conductor.

From Bantayan Island, a passenger boat leaves Yooneek Beach around 1PM to Bitoon Beach in Kinatarcan Island. Fare is 70 pesos and travel time is around 2 hours. The same outrigger boat, named JR, leaves Bitoon Beach to Yooneek Beach the following day at 7AM.

Tips, Notes, and Reminders

A majestic sunset of Kinatarcan Island. This photo was taken at Forest Beach
A majestic sunset of Kinatarcan Island. This photo was taken at Forest Beach.
  • Wait for the beautiful sunset at Forest, Bitoon, or Langub Beach.
  • Cellular phone reception is decent around Pasil Beach and intermittent in other areas.
  • Electricity, which is serviced by a centralized generator, is available 24/7.
  • Bring enough cash. You will never know when you need it. There is a Landbank ATM at Daanbantayan Municipal Hall, but none in the island.
  • If you decide to camp, bring enough food and drinking water. Water is pretty scarce in the island and there is no public market. However, if you stay at Forest Beach, Kuya Berlito can order water for you. We stayed at Forest Beach for two nights, and it was all worth it.
  • BE A RESPONSIBLE TRAVELER OR TOURIST. Always remember to internalize and follow the “traveler’s creed”: Leave nothing but footprints, take nothing but pictures, and kill nothing but time.

Watch Video Summary of Our Adventure