The most probable thing if you are visiting Bantayan is that you will be coming from Cebu or Malapascua. During our trip to Bantayan, we were from Malapascua and we really liked the vibe in Bantayan. The beaches were empty with white sand, clear water and a long shore perfect for walking. But sadly we didn´t have so much time to spend in Bantayan.
How to get Bantayan
If you are coming from Cebu, there are two ways to visit Bantayan- by riding a bus or a van. The van is faster than the bus and it has an air conditioner. You can save around one hour of time by choosing this. Prices starts from 160 pesos if you are riding the bus and 200 pesos for the van ride.
First you need to reach Hagnaya by a bus or a van and from there, you will take a ferry to Bantayan Island. The ferry costs 200 pesos per person and half of the price for children and it will last for an hour.
If you are coming from Malapascua, you can get a ferry to Maya and from there, ride a bus and a tricycle to reach Hagnaya. From Hagnaya, ride the ferry to Bantayan. The trip will last 6-7 hours. You can also go by private boat from Malapascua as we did. The boat trip took us one and a half hours. We paid 1200 pesos for 2 adults and one child (depends or your negotiating skills and also how many people are going to Bantayan at once). It depends on your budget and your schedule. We usually go in the cheapest option. But this time we decided to spend little bit more in exchange of comfort and have more time to enjoy Bantayan.
What To Do in Bantayan
You can rent a boat for 1500 pesos and spend the morning visiting different places. You can do snorkeling and visit the most popular places in Bantayan which are are Virgin and Hilantaagan Islands.
Rent a Motorbike
Get lost around the town and visit St. Peter and St. Paul Church. The motorbike will give you more flexibility and you will be able to visit more places on your own.
Stay in the Beach
There are beautiful beaches like Paradise Beach and Kota Beach where most of the resorts are located. We enjoyed flying our drone, swimming, and walking around the beach. Close to those beaches, you can visit Ogtong Cave which is a small cave with a natural pool inside.
Most of the people are hanging out in the town at night. There a few restaurants where you can have dinner and a couple of places if you want to have a drink. Prices are very affordable and the atmosphere is very relaxing.
Where To Sleeep
Our choice was Santa Fe Cantina Resto Bar where Trini took care of us. She gave us the best tips in visiting the island and cooked delicious local food for us. We slept in a cottage close to the beach with all the comfort that we needed, from hot water to air conditioning. The place was just a few meters from the beach. Check out the pictures of the beach:
The beach is really quiet and is undeniably beautiful. You can have meals the whole day and there is a bar where you can have drinks. And also you can enjoy the all-time favorite of locals- Karaoke.
SF Cantina Resto Bar is located just 10 minutes walking distance of the town if you want ot walk around and 15 minutes by trycicle to the port.
You can reach SF Cantina Resto Bar with just a 10-minute walk from the town or by having a 15-minute tricycle ride from the poet.
After visiting Bantayan, you can go to Malapascua. Click here to know more about our experience in Malapascua. Or click here, to read our full travel guide to Cebu if you are planning to spend a few days around the island.