If you are wondering what this travel guide is all about – it is going to be more about Bantayan Island. It is located on the northwest part of Cebu. Are you planning to visit Bantayan Island soon? This travel guide is for you! This travel guide includes a sample itinerary and expenses for one day. So if you are staying on Bantayan Island just for a day, this Bantayan Island travel guide perfectly fits for you.
Get to know more about the island and the things you can do on this island all throughout this travel guide.
Understanding Bantayan Island
Situated on the west of the northern end of Cebu Island, Bantayan Island is an island in the Visayan Sea. It lies close to the geographical center of the Philippine archipelago.
Bantayan Island is one of the biggest islands of Cebu. It is divided into three municipalities such as Bantayan, Madridejos, and Santa Fe.
This island showcases white-sand beaches, crystal clear water, and chilling atmosphere. Not to mention those friendly locals that you get to talk with. Surely, Bantayan Island is a perfect getaway for everyone who craves for utter peace and serenity. The island is the best place to go soul-searching.
Bantayan Island Travel Guide: How to get there?
From Cebu Mactan International Airport
BY BUS: From Mactan International Aiport, ride a cab or a taxi that will take you to North Bus Terminal. Then, from North Bus Terminal, take a bus headed to Hagnaya Port. Travel time is around 3-4 hours. From Hagnaya port, catch the ferry going to Sta. Fe Bantayan Island. It takes 1 hour to get to Bantayan Island from the port.
Tips & Reminders
In order to avoid the heavy traffic, you must depart Cebu City for a round trip day tour in Bantayan Island. You can depart the city by 1 AM-2 AM so that you will arrive in Bantayan Island around 6 AM-7 AM.
The last trip of the ferry from Bantayan Island to Cebu is 6 PM.
Recently, I have visited Bantayan Island with friends for the first time. Due to the limited amount of time that we had in Cebu, we only had a chance to stay in Bantayan Island for a day.
Despite that, we still had time to visit some of the popular spots in Bantayan Island.
Places to visit in Bantayan Island
Yes. It is possible to visit Bantayan Island in just one day. This applies to people who don’t have much time in Cebu (well probably like us). yet want to see the beauty of the island. You can still see a lot of things and have some fun while on the island.
Obo-Ob Mangrove Eco-Park
Probably one of the most-wanted visited places in Bantayan Island. Ob-ob Mangrove Eco-Park shows off mangroves and illustrates how they play an important role in our environment.
The place is so relaxing and refreshing at the same time. You can spend an hour or two here. As you enter the eco-park, the friendly staff will welcome you warmly. Before you can get around the eco-park, you need to pay for the entrance fee first. Then, the staff will offer you to use a hat for free while on tour.
Then, you will notice a long bamboo pathway bridge which is surrounded by mangrove trees. As you walk around, you will surely feel the serenity of the place. It is just so peaceful. I couldn’t say anything about this place. Nothing but peaceful. You would hear the birds chirping around the area.
The place is so refreshing. Unfortunately, it was early in the morning when we got there so it was low tide. I’ve seen on the internet that it looks more beautiful during high tide. Nevertheless, the entire surrounding was totally clean.
Not only that, but you can also get to learn more about the different kinds of mangroves in the Philippines.
The place is not just about relaxation and photographs, it is also a place to educate tourists about mangroves and the importance of them. Mangroves are vital to our environment and the marine ecosystem. If they were no mangroves, it would be difficult for us to have fish and swim in the seawater. Ob-ob Mangrove Eco Park teaches us how essential mangroves are in our everyday living.
Adults – 50 pesos
Students and Children – 20 pesos
Kayaking – 150 pesos
Boating – 350 pesos
I think it would be better to go here in the afternoon. The place looks better during high tide.
If you are on a budget, you can buy food outside Ob-ob Mangrove’s restaurant. There is a small canteen in front of it which sells cheaper food.
Located in Sta. Fe, The Ruins is also a famous tourist spot. The Ruins is an unfinished structure that many people visit due to its pleasing appearance. It seems like an IG-worthy spot to see on Bantayan Island!
One more thing, this place is also a cliff diving spot. With that, everyone can go cliff diving here for free! But if you don’t feel like going cliff diving, you can swim in the sea instead.
Wear your best suit! (Although I didn’t haha)
Ogtong Cave can be visited at Ogtong Cave Resort. Definitely one of the natural wonders of Bantayan Island. It an underground cave. It has turquoise crystal-clear water nestled in natural limestone rocks. The water is clean and cool.
You can dip yourself in the clear waters of the cave. However, that’s the only thing that you can do. You can’t go swimming here because the water is too shallow.
Kota Beach Resort
Located in Sta. Fe, it is a front beach resort that offers cheap accommodation. It has white fine sand and a good beach view. The resort has become more popular due to the successful film named “Camp Sawi”.
Take note: If you are just going to visit there for a day and to take photographs, be aware that you can’t put down anything around the resort unless you have booked your accommodation.
One of the best islands I have visited so far. The seawater is so clean. A perfect spot to go snorkeling! The island was not crowded when we visited. Moreover, the white sand is fine. Take note that there is no nightlife on the island. Absolutely the best place to destress and get away from the crowd.
This was the last stop of our tour and we spent hours here. We enjoyed swimming in the shallow crystal waters of the sea.
In addition, there is a cliff diving spot and it’s free. But in our case, we didn’t try it. Virgin Island is a must-visit on Bantayan Island. Personally, this is my most favorite place that we visited! Indeed a paradise island!
Php 200 per pax / plus Php 100 for additional pax
You may bring your own food when you visit the island because the food is expensive there.
Things to do in Bantayan Island
Go swimming at Ogtong Cave Resort.
Cliff dive on Virgin Island.
Go snorkeling on Virgin Island
Eat fresh seafood at their market.
Do photo-ops at The Ruins.
Talk to the locals. (They are really friendly!)
Go skydiving (I want to go back for this! Maybe if I reach 30 years old?)
My Experience visiting Bantayan Island
It was my first time to visit Bantayan Island and I could absolutely say that this place is such a paradise. This place is worth traveling for hours. The place is simply amazing. The locals are friendly and they would always smile at you. They are also helpful! For those who are planning to visit Bantayan Island, a day tour will not satisfy your wanderlust because of the island’s abundance of beauty. But if you don’t really have much time like us, you can still explore Bantayan Island for a day. I hope to go back soon!
If you are looking for a place to chill when in Cebu, Bantayan Island is a must-visit!
For Bantayan Island Tour, you may contact:
Kuya Benjie– 09207917051 (SMART), 09664512136 (GLOBE)
Land Tour + Island Hopping
Php 1,500 for 4 pax (But Kuya gave it Php 1300 instead. We were a group of 3.)
North Bus Terminal to Hagnaya Port
154 PHP (Ordinary Bus)
Hagnaya Port to Bantayan Island
Back and forth fares are just the same.
Traveling to Mactan Island as well? You might consider staying at this resort! Read here!!!
I hope this Bantayan Island travel guide helps you a lot!
Ara Patria, the owner of The Adventuress, is an educator by profession but a traveler at heart. Despite her busy schedules, she finds time to travel domestically or internationally. She loves discovering new places, embracing new cultures and meeting other people. In addition, she’s also interested in fashion, Korean music, and Korean dramas. She dreams to travel the world and inspire people by sharing her own experiences through writing.