Palawod Ta Sa Bantayan: A Guide

Lamia mag padagat oy! Maypag mag Bantayan.

Photo credit to Rovie Lyn Evan

Bantayan Island is like a hidden treasure in the Philippines. It’s got amazing beaches with super clean white sand and clear blue water. It’s not too far from Cebu, just a short trip northwest.

Photo credit to Rovie Lyn Evan
Photo credit to Rovie Lyn Evan

Bantayan Island in Cebu got its name from “Bantayan sa Hari,” which means “Watchtowers of the King.” Back when Moro pirates came to the island searching for slaves, locals built eighteen watchtowers on the island to keep an eye out for pirates and protect the people from danger. So, “Bantayan” comes from the idea of watching and protecting the island.


  • December to May: From December to May, the weather is nice sunny days and cool breezes; perfect for a fun time at the beach. Just remember that  lots of people love this specific season too, so it might be busier and more expensive than usual.
  • June to November: During June to November, it might rain now and then, but here’s the good part: it has fewer tourists so you can enjoy the island without the crowds, just watch out for rain showers.
  • The Palawod Festival: If you’re into festivals, then come to Bantayan in June as they will be celebrating the Palawod Festival with parades and dancing. And, during Holy Week, there’s spare some gut space for the ultimate lechon meal since they are the only place where eating meat is allowed; thanks to the special agreement in the 1840 Papal Indult.

Think about what you like. If you love sunny beaches and lots of activities then go in December to May. But if you prefer a quieter vibe and don’t mind some rain then June to November is the perfect time.


No direct flights head straight to Bantayan Island from airports outside of Cebu, so if you’re 

traveling from a different place, you’ll first need to fly into Mactan-Cebu International Airport. From there, go to North Bus Terminal and take the direct bus going to Santa Fe Bantayan, which includes a ferry ride.

Alternatively, you can also choose to take a bus that stops at Hagnaya Port, where you’ll transfer to the RoRo ferry.


  • The bus fare ranges from PHP 160.00 to PHP 200.00.
  • The RoRo ferry ride lasts about 1.5 hours and costs Php 300.00 for regular, Php 240.00 for students, Php 214.00 for Senior/PWD and Php 150.00 for Children.
  • Upon arrival in Santa Fe, you’ll need to pay a Php 30.00 environmental fee, which is charged to all visitors or non-residents.


Bantayan Island has tons of resorts and inns for you to stay in. So, choose the trusted places for your accommodation below:

Anika Island Resort

Photo credit to Macky Malonzo
Photo credit to Macky Malonzo

Anika Island Resort offers a luxurious tropical getaway with modern amenities and stunning ocean views. The resort features spacious rooms and villas, a swimming pool, beachfront dining options, and various recreational activities. Guests can enjoy relaxing spa treatments, water sports, and island hopping tours. Anika Island Resort is known for its tranquil ambiance and personalized service, making it an ideal choice for couples and families looking for a memorable beach vacation.



  • Ocean View Room – Php 5,000.00
  • Sunrise View Room – Php 4,500.00
  • Garden View Room – Php 4,000.00
  • Single Villa Room – Php 3,200.00
  • Courtyard Room – Php 3,200.00


  • Operating Hours: Check in: 2PM / Check out: 12NN the next day
  • Contact Number: 09985311570/ 09173284898
  • Facebook Page: Anika Beach Resort

Sta. Fe Beach Club

Photo credit to Rain Alexa
Photo credit to Rain Alexa

Location: Pantalan, Santa Fe Bantayan Cebu

 Sta. Fe Beach Club is a charming beachfront resort offering comfortable accommodations and warm hospitality. The resort features cozy rooms and beachfront cottages, each equipped with modern amenities and private balconies overlooking the sea. Guests can relax on the white sandy beach, take a refreshing dip in the ocean, or lounge by the resort’s swimming pool. Sta. Fe Beach Club also offers beachfront dining options, water sports activities, and island-hopping tours. With its laid-back atmosphere and friendly staff, Sta. Fe Beach Club is an excellent choice for travelers seeking a relaxed beach getaway.


  • Beach villa 4 pax – Php 6700.00
  • Standard family room4 pax- Php 4300.00
  • Standard room for 3 pax – Php 3600.00
  • Standard room for 2 pax- Php 2900.00
  • Kota Beach Resort
Photo credit to July Berms
Photo credit to July Berms

 Kota Beach Resort is a cozy beachfront retreat known for its rustic charm and breathtaking sunsets. The resort offers a range of accommodations, including beachfront cottages and budget-friendly rooms, all designed to provide comfort and relaxation. Guests can unwind in hammocks under swaying palm trees, swim in the clear blue waters, or enjoy delicious seafood dishes at the resort’s restaurant. Kota Beach Resort also organizes island tours, snorkeling trips, and bonfire nights, ensuring an unforgettable stay for guests of all ages.


  • Beach Front Suite  – Php 5700.00
  • Beach Front Cottage- Php 5200.00
  • Deluxe Cottage – Php 4200.00
  • Standard room twin- Php 3200.00

Please note that these rates are approximate and may vary depending on the season, availability, and room type. It’s always a good idea to check directly with the accommodation provider for the most accurate rates and availability.

Top Tourist Spots on Bantayan Island and How to Get There

Kota Park 

Photo credit to Jashmaine Depositario

Known for its historical significance and stunning sunset views, Kota Park is a must-visit spot on Bantayan Island. It features a preserved fort and a serene beach area perfect for relaxation. From Santa Fe, you can hire a tricycle or motorcycle to Kota Park, which is approximately a 30-minute ride.

Ogtong Cave

Photo credit to Ginhawa

Located within a resort, Ogtong Cave is situated in Santa Fe and it offers a refreshing swimming experience in its clear, natural underground pool. You can simply take a short tricycle ride from any part of the town to get to this famous attraction.

Virgin Island

Photo credit to Jason Lidres

A short boat ride away from Bantayan, Virgin Island is a pristine, private island known for its crystal-clear waters, white sandy beaches, and vibrant marine life. It’s perfect for snorkeling, swimming, and picnicking, and usually takes just about 30 to 45 minutes for the entire travel duration.

Paradise Beach

Photo credit to @rxnkysng

Also known as Sandira Beach, this secluded beach offers a tranquil escape with its powdery white sand and clear turquoise waters. It’s an ideal spot for swimming and sunbathing. From Santa Fe, you can hire a tricycle or motorcycle to take you to Paradise Beach, which is around a 15-20 minute ride.

Bontay Baywalk

Photo credit to Neriza Paz Caballero

A scenic coastal walkway perfect for evening strolls, Bontay Baywalk offers beautiful views of the sea and is a great place to relax and enjoy the local atmosphere. Since it’s located in the town proper of Bantayan, it’s easily accessible by tricycle from anywhere on the island.

Enjoy your stay in Bantayan Island, a true paradise in the Philippines, and share to us your experiences in the comments below!

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