Bantayan Island: Travel Guide to Northern Cebu’s Slice of Paradise

Bantayan

Bantayan Island Travel Requirement

These are the travel requirements in Bantayan Island for COVID-19 restrictions:

  • Medical certificate issued by a reputable doctor within seven (7) days prior to travel
  • Confirmed booking at an accredited hotel or resort
  • Pass screening for symptoms at the point of departure

If you are passing by Cebu City, you will also have to present the following:

  • Negative RT-PCR Test Result for unvaccinated local tourists
  • COVID-19 LGU vaccination card with a QR code that verifies their vaccination status or a vaccination certificate from vaxcert.doh.gov.ph
  • Travel Coordination Permit (TCP) from s-pass.ph

Welcome to Bantayan

The northern tip of Cebu is endowed with rich waters and dotted with beautiful islands with white sand beaches, Bantayan Island is one.

Bantayan Island is made up of three municipalities of the province of Cebu – Bantayan, Madridejos and Santa Fe. The municipality of Bantayan takes the western and central areas known for its picturesque sunset and centuries old church. Madridejos is a fishing village and known for its rich history. While Santa Fe boasts of its beautiful sunrise its wide stretch of fine white sandy beaches.

Bantayan Island
Kota Beach aka Camp Sawi.

There is no easy way of getting to here, but the journey to this slice of paradise will be rewarded by the charm of this tropical island. Bask in the sun, feel the sand and enjoy the sea of the paradise that is Bantayan Island!

How to Get to Bantayan Island

Bantayan Island has its own airfield that connects the island to Mactan Cebu International Airport. Currently, only Air Juan operates chartered and scheduled flights to the island.

Most tourists come here via Cebu City, where one can take a bus to Hagnaya Port from North Bus Terminal and a ferry to Bantayan Island. Alternatively, if you are coming from Masbate or Palompon (Leyte), you can ride a ferry to Bogo City, transfer to a bus to Hagnaya Port and to a ferry to Bantayan Island

1. Proceed to Hagnaya Port in Daanbantayan

Bantayan Island
Kids at play.
  • Cebu City to Hagnaya Port

Cebu City is the gateway to Bantayan Island. From Cebu City, catch a bus in Cebu North Terminal going to Hagnaya Port in the town of San Remigio. Travel time is three hours and fare is P165 for aircon bus (as of August 2018) and P140 for non-aircon bus (as of August 2018). There’s a bus that leave Cebu City as early as 4AM, with the last trip at around 5PM daily.

  • Palompon (Leyte) to Bogo City to Hagnaya Port

If you are coming from Leyte, there are ferries from Palompon to Bogo City. Full fare is P260, travel time is 2.5 hours. There are also buses from San Ildefonso and Tacloban City to Bogo City that ross Camotes Sea via Ro-Ro barges in Palompon to Bogo.

From Bogo, Hagnaya Port is less than an hour ride by bus or jeep, fare is around P50.

  • Masbate to Bogo City to Hagnaya Port

There are ferries from Masbate City to Bogo City. Full fare is P470, travel time is 5.5 hours.

From Bogo, Hagnaya Port is less than an hour ride by bus or jeep, fare is around P50.

2. Hagnaya Port to Bantayan Island

In Hagnaya Port, catch a public ferry to Sta. Fe. The ferry ride is approximately one hour for P180 (as of August 2018). Ferry departs Hagnaya Port to Sta. Fe as early as 7AM with the last trip at around 5PM daily

You can book your ferry tickets from Hagnaya Port to Bantayan Island and vice versa below.

Bantayan Island
Ogtong Cave Pool.

Going Around and Away

Tricycle and motorbikes are the main mode of transportation around the island, minimum fare is P10. There are also jeepneys and multicabs that go from Sta. Fe to Bantayan and vice versa but the trips are limited. Motorbikes (P350/day) and bicycles (P150/day) are also available for rent in most resorts/hotels.

Going out of Bantayan Island, catch a ferry from Sta. Fe Port to Hagnaya. The earliest trip is at 6AM and the last is at 4:30PM daily. Fare is P180 (as of February 2014) and travel time is approximately one hour.

*Please note that the schedule mentioned above are subject to change without prior notice

Bantayan Island
Saints Peter and Paul Parish of Bantayan.

Where to Stay in Bantayan Island

Most tourists stay in the beach area of Santa Fe where accommodation ranges from as low as P500.00 for a single fan room to by the thousands for fancy air-conditioned room on high end resorts.

Bantayan Island
Ogtong Cave Resort.

For budget travelers, Kota Beach Resort, Althea White Beach Resort, Casa Isabel and Mayet’s Nordic Inn have budget fan and air-conditioned rooms for as low as P600 per night, both are strategically located along Sta. Fe Beach. Meanwhile Ogtong Cave Resort, Santa Fe Beach Club, Maia’s Beach Resort and Yooneek Beach Resort have facilities for high end tourists.

Top-Rated Budget Accommodations in Bantayan Island

Althea White Beach Resort

Althea White Beach Resort
Santa Fe, Bantayan Island
Starts at 600 PHP

Casa Isabel

Casa Isabel
Santa Fe, Bantayan Island
Starts at 650 PHP

Nordic Inn

Nordic Inn
Santa Fe, Bantayan Island
Starts at 700 PHP

Kota Beach Resort

Kota Beach Resort (Camp Sawi)
Santa Fe, Bantayan Island
Starts at 650 PHP

Top-Rated Hotels in Bantayan Island

Ogtong Cave Resort

Ogtong Cave Resort
Santa Fe, Bantayan Island
Starts at 2,000 PHP

Maia's Beach Resort

Maia’s Beach Resort
Santa Fe, Bantayan Island
Starts at 1,700 PHP

List of Resorts in Bantayan

Kota Beach Resort
Sugar Beach, Sta. Fe, Bantayan Island
Contact No: +63-32-4165013 [Cebu City Office] / +63-32-4389042 [Santa Fe]
Email: kotabeach@gmail.com

Mayet’s Resort
Sugar Beach, Sta. Fe, Bantayan Island
Contact No: +639173107791 / +639063093166 / +639154320633
Email: mariettasalve@yahoo.com

CouCou Lodge (Non-beachfront)
Sta. Fe, Bantayan Island
Contact No: +63-32-4389385 / +63918-4541960

Budyong Beach Resort
Sugar Beach, Sta. Fe, Bantayan Island
Contact No: +63-32-4385700

Sta. Fe Beach Club
Alice Beach, Sta. Fe, Bantayan Island
Contact No: +63-32-4389090 / +63-32-4389107 / +63918-9199101 / +63928-7787770
Email: info@stafebeach.com

Ogtong Cave Resort by Sta. Fe Beach Club
Sugar Beach, Sta. Fe, Bantayan Island
Contact No: +6332-4380165 / +6332-4389129 / +63920-8999456
Email: info@stafebeach.com

Yooneek Inn (Non-beachfront)
Sta. Fe, Bantayan Island
Contact No: +63-32-4389124 / +63917-9993829
Email: yooneek_inn@yahoo.com

Yooneek Beach Resort
Sugar Beach, Sta. Fe, Bantayan Island
Contact No: +63-32-4389124 / +63917-9993829
Email: yooneekbeach@yahoo.com

Maia’s Beach Resort (Non-beachfront)
Basawon, Sulangan, Bantayan
Contact No: +63918-5714297 / +63917-6358612
Email: maia.becker@gmx.de

St. Bernard Resort
Alice Beach, Sta. Fe, Bantayan Island
Contact No: +63917-9636162
Email: wowbernard@bantayan.dk

Anika Island Resort
Alice Beach, Sta. Fe, Bantayan Island
Contact No: +63917-3284898 / +63922-8439517 / +63999-8864465 / +63-32-3188402

Email: anikaislandresort@yahoo.com

White Beach Bungalows
Maricaban Beach, Sta. Fe, Bantayan Island
Contact No: +63946-1146510

Email: whitebeachbungalows@yahoo.com

Heather and Aspen Inn (Non-beachfront)
Sta. Fe, Bantayan Island
Contact No: +63946-5686646 / +63923-5043554 / +63922-8311552

Email: schermosisima@gmail.com

Bantayan Island
Alice Beach.

Activities in Bantayan Island

  • Enjoy the beaches of  Santa Fe: Alice Beach (fronting east), Kota Beach or Camp Sawi (fronting south), Maricaban Beach and Paradise Beach
  • Go scuba diving, free diving or snorkeling (no dive shop yet in Bantayan)
  • Try sky diving or kite surfing
  • Drop by at Dalton Pass Shrine
  • Ride a boat to Virgin Island/Silion Island and Hilantagaan/Cabulauan Island
  • Swim in the cold water of Ogtong Cave Pool
  • Go biking around the island
  • See the Kota Ruins in Kota Park, Baywalk and the fishing village of Madridejos
  • Check out the centuries old Sts. Peter and Paul Church of Bantayan
  • See the heritage houses and establishments in Bantayan
  • Spend a day or two in Malapascua Island
Bantayan Island
Sunset in Sugar Beach.

Sample Bantayan Island Itinerary

Bantayan Island – Cebu City Itinerary
Budget: Less than P4,000 per person (group of four persons excluding airfare)

Day 1:
0600H: Arrival in Cebu City / Proceed to Cebu North Bus Terminal
0700H: Arrival in Cebu North Bus Terminal / Breakfast
0730H – 1130H: Bus: Cebu City to Hagnaya Port
1130H – 1200H: Snacks / Purchase ferry ticket to Santa Fe
1200H – 1300H: Ferry: Hagnaya Port to Santa Fe
1300H – 1400H: Arrival in Santa Fe / Register / Proceed to Hotel / Late Lunch
1400H – 1800H: Rent a bike or charter a tricycle to visit Alice Beach, Kota Beach, Maricaban Beach, Paradise Beach, Ogtong Cave, Kota Park, Kota Ruins, Saints Peter and Paul Parish, etc.
1800H onwards: Free time / Rest / Dinner / Socials / Lights off

Day 2:
0530H – 0700H: Call Time / Sunrise / Breakfast
0700H – 1100H: Island hopping: Virgin Island and Hilantagaan Island
1100H – 1200H: Back at to hotel / wash-up / pack-up / check-out
1200H – 1300H: Lunch / Proceed to Port
1300H – 1430H: Ferry: Santa Fe to Hagnaya Port
1430H – 1500H: Snacks / wait for Bus
1500H – 2000H: Hagnaya Port to Cebu City
2000H – 2030H: Proceed to Hotel / Check-in / Proceed to La Vie
2020H onwards: Dinner / Socials / Lights off

Day 3:
0700H – 0800H: Call Time / Breakfast
0800H – 1100H: Tour: Temple of Leah + Sirao
1100H – 1200H: Back at hotel / wash-up / pack-up / check-out
1200H – 1400H: Lunch at Casa Verde
1400H – 1500H: Proceed to Airport

Bantayan Island
The long stretch of fine white sand in Santa Fe.

Expenses / Logistics

Particulars Cost
Bus: Cebu to Hagnaya P165/person
Ferry: Hagnaya to Santa Fe P180/person
Registration Fee P30/person
Bike Rental P100/day
Tricycle Tour (Four to five hours) P700/trike (3-person sharing)
Boat Rental P700/night (4-person sharing)
Accommodation in Santa Fe P1,000/night (2-person sharing)
Budget for food for three days ~P1,000/person
Optional: Miscellaneous Expenses (souvenirs, personal expenses, etc.) ~P500/person
Ferry: Santa Fe to Hagnaya P180/person
Bus: Hagnaya Port to Cebu P165/person
Accommodation in Cebu  P1,000/night (2-person sharing)
Transportation expenses in and around Cebu City ~P500/person
Bantayan Island
Sunrise at Santa Fe.

Tips

  • Best months to visit are from January to June
  • Credit cards are accepted in some establishment
  • There are ATM machines and banks in Bantayan town
  • Globe, Talk and Text, Smart, Touch Mobile and Sun have mobile signals
  • Trike tour costs P700 for four (4) hours good for three (3) persons
  • Boat rate for Virgin Island and Hilantagaan Island starts at P700 per boat good for maximum of (4) persons

*First publication: March 24, 2012; Updated: September 28, 2017; October 17, 2018; February 18, 2020; Oct 20, 2021

Comments

  1. thank you for reat information, your information was really use full. but i had really bad experiennce. i rent a scooter in cebu, http://ceburentalmotorbike.wix.com/ceburentalmotorbike . i had really fun driving scooter all the way from cebu to bantayan. when i arrive to the port, the charge me 580 paso for my scooter to bring with me. it was fine i paid. then they charge me CPI fee 45 i paid then 20 paso terminal i paid. then they ask me 170 to put my scooter on the farre which i refuse. i ask why are you charging they said we will out your scooter on farry. i said i can do it my self. and i did it. it was easy drive on the farry. we had alot argu but i did not pay. same thing happens when i arrive in bantayan. they ask again to pay. we had big arrgue and i said why should i pay i took my bike by my self. so becare full with this . they will just try to make money out of you, take the roro if you have scooter with you .

    1. sorry i mean great information

  2. Jean

    Hi Angel!

    My friend and I would like to go to bantayan on May 1,2015 and decided to stay at mayet’s resort coz it’s affordable. How’s the place/the resort? do we have to bring foods? do you know where to rent a bike? how much? Thank you so much!

  3. Lou

    Hi Lakwatsero,

    Is there any other way to go to Hagnaya Port or direct to Bantayan coming from Toledo City?

  4. momsee

    thank you for this helpful guide. I’m going to Bantayan in 2 weeks time, and you’re blog is the best tool so far.

  5. hi Lakwatsero,thanks for this helpful reviews,ask ko lng kng san part yung cave,and pwede ba mag tent lng?

    thanks:D

  6. amber doton

    Hi!

    Ask ko lang panu pumunta to malapascua from bantayan and how many hours? Planning to go there june this year.

    Thanks

  7. Hi Lakwatsero,

    I’m just wondering if you could add Tinago resort on your blog. I found this place recently and it’s really perfect. I would recommend this place on your next trip. Keep in touch, I can take you around.

  8. […] biking in Bantayan Island, I saw these kids. They were obliviously playing, laughing and teach each other while pushing their […]

  9. chalotte turla

    how to go from bantayan island to malapascua?

  10. Pica

    Hi there!

    Just wanted to say thanks for this comprehensive travel guide on getting to Bantayan Island. It was largely responsible for our decision to come for a visit at the end of October.

    Salamat!

    1. Cyrus

      So how did you find Bantayan?

      Which of the resorts would you best recommend?

      Thanks!

  11. Angela Zwierzanski

    Can I get a ferry from Cebu City direct to Bantayan Island. I have a bicycle and don’t want to keep taking it apart to put it on a bus. Thank you.

    1. Jena Romarate

      angela, as of now there is no direct trip from the city to the island.

  12. Angela Zwierzanski

    Can I get a ferry from Cebu City direct to Bantayan Island ? I have a bicycle to transport and don’t want to keep taking it apart to get on a bus. Thank you.

  13. Rosanna Rufo

    Will i find it hard to get to Bantayan on a Holy Week (thurs-sun), the bus ride & ferry ride ?

    1. Dars

      I hope not. 🙁

  14. A very useful blog! All lines are working. Thanks.

  15. alma logronio

    Hi! I been wanting to go to bantayan island. From your experience how long or how many days should I stay to enjoy the island and visiting the most significant/historical places, considering that travel time is almost a day? Ok ba to travel during November.

    Thanks

  16. Anna

    Hi Lakwatsero! Thank you very much for your blog. I’ve been searching latest blogs about Bantayan after being hit by Yolanda. One question, are all the resorts listed in your blog fully operational, especially Kota?

    1. Lakwatsero

      Hi Anna! Yes, they are all operational.

  17. Enjoyed reading your article on Bantayan; Cebu has some great places to visit.

  18. Thanks for the useful tips. The best talaga dito sa Pinas! Ang gaganda ng mga beaches. 🙂

  19. Karel

    Hi! 🙂
    Has Bantayan already recovered from Yolanda?

  20. jj

    Hi,are you pushing thru with your euro trip?

    1. Lakwatsero

      Hopefully! I have long leaves on August and December so I might go 🙂

Comments are closed.