Undeniably, Bantayan Island has definitely one of the best beaches in the Philippines; no wonder, it’s a go-to tourist destination in Cebu. Its most popular municipality is Santa Fe where you can find the fine, pristine white sand beach and stroll around other beautiful attractions just within the vicinity.
STA. FE, BANTAYAN’S MAIN ATTRACTIONS
Before anything else, we strongly suggest to rent a motorbike which only costs P300 for 24 hours to fully enjoy and roam around the Bantayan Island at your own pace. There are many rentals available, you can ask around.
Alternatively, there are many habal-habals or motorbikes in the island but it gets costly in the long run if you plan to visit the following spots (around P50-80 per head per destination).
Resort hopping is a MUST DO activity in Bantayan, to really make the most out of your stay in the island. Don’t be confused though, you are NOT actually required to book / check-in to any of these resorts. Later, we will give some recommendations on where to stay that’s budget-friendly.
• KOTA BEACH – Camp Sawi & Mini Sandbar (Resort Hopping)
Technically, there’s an entrance of P50 per head among visitors who are not checked in. But this can be waived when you eat in their restaurant. And sometimes, some staff are generous enough to allow guests to enter with no entrance fees and let them enjoy the beach.
With or without the entrance fee, you will never regret visiting this paradise. Because surely, your Bantayan experience won’t be complete without this.
• OGTONG CAVE IN STA. FE BEACH CLUB (Resort Hopping)
There’s an entrance fee of P100 per head, which already includes access to the outdoor pool and Ogtong Cave. When it gets scorching hot outside, it’s much better to swim in the cave that feels very cool and chill.
• PARADISE BEACH RESORT (Resort Hopping)
Technically, there’s an entrance fee of P50 per head. But there are cases, when it doesn’t get too crowded, they consider of not charging any entrance fee. See those beautiful rock formations fronting the pristine white beach of Bantayan? P50 is nothing compared to the unforgettable experience.
• MARLINS BEACH RESORT (Resort Hopping)
There’s an entrance fee of P50 per head only. At times, entrance is given for free especially during low season.
• MANGROVE ECO PARK
Walk with nature at Mangrove Eco Park. Entrance fee is only P50 per head.
• SUNRISE / SUNSET WATCHING
We are witnesses of the beautiful sunrise / sunset in Bantayan Island. It’s really one of the BEST I’ve seen in my life. Watch it by the seashore to appreciate it even more. it’s just breathtakingly beautiful.
HOW TO GET THERE?
Buses that will bring you to Bantayan Island are found at the North Bus Terminal. Take the bus going to Hagnaya. Travel time is approximately 3 hours. From Hagnaya take the Express Ferry Boat to Sta. Fe, Bantayan Island. Travel time is approximately 1-hour ride to Sta. Fe, Bantayan Island. A Ro-Ro vessel from Hagnaya to Santa Fe is also available.
• Bus – P170 per way / P340 roundtrip (20% discount for students, present School ID)
• Ferry & Terminal Fee – P110 per way / P220 roundtrip
|CEBU TO BANTAYAN (3 hours bus, 1 hour ferry)|
|Trip||Bus Departure (Cebu City to Hagnaya)||Ferry Departure (Hagnaya to Sta. Fe)|
|1st Trip||11:45 PM||4:00 AM|
|2nd Trip||12:15 AM||4:00 AM|
|3rd Trip||3:00 AM||7:30 AM|
|4th Trip||6:00 AM||10:30 AM|
|5th Trip||8:00 AM||12:30 PM|
|6th Trip||10:00 AM||2:30 PM|
|LAST Trip||12:20 PM||4:30 PM|
|BANTAYAN TO CEBU (1 hour ferry, 3 hours bus)|
|Trip||Bus Departure (Bus Station to Port)||Ferry Departure (Hagnaya to Sta. Fe)|
|1st Trip||5:00 AM||6:00 AM|
|2nd Trip||7:45 AM||8:30 AM|
|3rd Trip||9:45 AM||10:30 AM|
|4th Trip||11:45 AM||12:30 PM|
|5th Trip||1:45 PM||2:30 PM|
|6th Trip||2:00 PM||4:30 PM|
|LAST Trip||5:20 PM||6:00 PM|
WHERE TO STAY?
You don’t need to stay in those renowned hotels especially when you’re on a budget. Here are your options:
- Kota Beach Resort – for as low as P800, room for 2, 0956-276-4410 / (032) 438-9042
- Bantayan Cottages – for as low as P400, room for 2, 0908-309-4717 / (032) 438-9358
- Search on the best deals in Agoda and AirBnB. You can find one as low as P500, room for 2.
As a general rule, you can save more when you travel with a group. If you are on your own, you can join the other groups to save more on the inland and island hopping tours.
• Transportation: As mentioned, it is strongly recommended to rent your own motorbike which only costs P150 for 24 hours to fully enjoy and roam around the Bantayan Island at your own pace.
• Accommodation: Again, you don’t need to stay in those renowned hotels especially when you’re on a budget. Apart from what we have suggested above, don’t be shy to ask around. The people of Sta. Fe are very friendly. You can ask where you can find a room (good for 2) under P500, then they will give you their suggestions and (sometimes) take you there.
◘ Bus – P170 per way / P340 roundtrip*
◘ Ferry & Terminal Fee – P110 per way / P220 roundtrip*
◘ Kota Beach – P50 per head (sometimes for free)
◘ Ogtong Cave & Pool – P100 per head
◘ Paradise Beach Resort – P50 per head (sometimes for free)
◘ Mangrove Eco Park – P50 per head
◘ Marlins Beach Resort – P50 per head (sometimes for free)
◘ Sunset/Sunrise watching – FREE
◘ Motorbike rental – P300 for 24 hours
◘ Accommodation – P400-500 a night
*Present School ID to avail 20% discount for students