Bantayan Island Itinerary, Philippines

Cebu's Mini Boracay

Bantayan Island is geographically in the center of the Philippines. It is located at the northwestern side of Cebu and northeastern of Negros Occidental. It is a town of Cebu and is about 80 miles from Cebu City. The sand is like powder-like, no wonder it got it's "Little Boracay" nicknamed after the famous Boracay Island, another popular tourist destination in the Philippines. Let's go!

How to get there: Cebu City to Bantayan Island

From the Mactan-Cebu International Airport:
You can take a cab going to North bus terminal. Estimated fare is 250-350 PHP, depending on traffic. Or you can take it straight to Hagnaya port, but we try for the cheapest travel method, which is by bus. 

Alternatively, if you're familiar with Uber and/or Lyft, then you can download and use the mobile app, Grab, to book your transportation. 

From the North bus terminal: take the Ceres Bus

Bus Fareless 200 PHP
Bus Route: from Cebu to Hagnaya Port
Drop offHagnaya Port, San Remigio, Cebu
Travel time (bus/private car): 3-5 hours

Prices may have changed.

From Hagnaya Port: Take Super Shuttle Ferry or Island Shipping

Boat Fare: less than 200 PHP
Terminal fee: less than 20 PHP
Boat Route: Hagnaya Port to Sante Fe Port

From Sante Fe Port, Bantayan Island:

Head to the Tourism office by following the covered walk.
Ecological Fee: less than 40 PHP
Lastly, You can take the tricycle to your resort, Tricycle Fare: less than 30 PHP or you can simply pre-arrange a resort pick up from the Port.

If you're coming from Malapascua Island: Take a paddle boat from Malapascua to Maya Port. 
Boat fare: 30 PHP - 50 PHP 
Drop off: Don Pedro junction in Bogo 
Travel time: 45 minutes - 1 hour
Tricycle Fare (from Don Pedro to Hagnaya Port): 100 PHP - 150 PHP
Travel time to Hagnaya Port: 20 minutes - 30 minutes

Power outlets: are commonly type A, with standard voltage 220 V and frequency 60 Hz.  Be sure to bring a universal plug adapter!
Money matters:  We recommend getting your currency exchanged via Western Union (WU) since you'll get a better rate than at the airport.  You can send your travel budget to yourself and pick up the exchanged amount at the local WU.

Survival Terms 

CR is the term for the toilet
Salamat means "thank you"

What to do in Bantayan Island

Welcome to Paradise! Now what?!

I initially went to Bantayan Island for the Gawad Kalinga Bayani Challenge and roamed the island after the event. It's a volunteer program to help communities build houses and refurbish schools. The island of Bantayan does not only reach in natural resources, but the local people were also kind and cooperative.

1. Check out the Beach!

Beaches around the island: 
Alice Beach, Maricaban Beach, Paradise Beach, Sugar Beach and Kota Beach, also known as "Camp Sawi" which translates to "Camp of the Brokenhearted" from the movie entitled itself "Camp Sawi ." Entrance fee ranges from 50 PHP - 200 PHP. 

2. Island Hopping 

There's always Island hopping available, keep in mind that you can always bargain with the boatmen, usually snorkel mask and goggles rent is from 150 PHP to 200 PHP or it comes along with the boat fee.

Island hopping rates: 2,500 PHP - 3,500 PHP

To avoid the crowd check out the Virgin Islands (Silion Island)

Small Boat Rental (2 pax): 700 PHP - 1500 PHP
Entrance fee: 500 PHP for first two persons and 100 PHP for additional person.

Water activities in the island include snorkelling, scuba diving and fish feeding.

3. Five Century-Old Church

We headed to Bantayan church, also known as Saints Peter and Paul Parish Church just across the town plaza. It is considered as the oldest parish in the Philippines. It was built around 1850 during the Spanish era - no wonder it still stands today. A lot of Spanish buildings were made to last a lifetime and as time goes by the structure becomes more significant and historical. I was planning to visit the church when we first arrived on the island. It looks really old, the structure and even the color was mesmerizing and it made me want to simply touch the stones.

4. Ogtong Cave

If you're looking for a resort and a small natural pool inside a small cave to hang around, then head over to Santa Fe Beach Club Resort. 

Entrance fee: 120 PHP - 150 PHP, which includes all access to the resort facilities.

5. OMAGIECA or The Obo-ob Mangrove Garden Integrated Ecotourism and Conservation Association

Entrance Fee: 50 PHP - 70 PHP

Kayak rental: 150 PHP - 200 PHP
Small boat rental: 350 PHP - 400 PHP

It is located in between Sta. Fe and the Bantayan town proper. Use your charm and the friendly people of the island will you show you the way. Omagieca shows the beauty of Mangroves and how it helps a lot for the marine ecosystem. It serves as a breeding ground and a home for different kinds of fishes.

I'm not fond of Mangroves because they really look creepy. I have that impression during my trip to Sumilon Island when we've gone Kayaking. However, this time around I got to see what's really behind the darkness. 

A turtle was tied up under the bridge and I felt sorry for the poor thing. This day started my fascination with turtles and how patient they can be with us, humans.

6. Sunset

I walked around the island for the last time and it was already Sunset, I saw this interesting thing along the shore. I thought it was the only one there but they were many of them. This one was my favorite it had a more detailed structure. Funny thing is, whatever angle I look at it, it really looks like animal poop but it's just sand.

7. Skydiving

Do you want to come out of your comfort zone and try the extreme sports of skydiving?!

The skydive in Bantayan Island started in 2014. The skydive instructor and owner is Brad Vancina, a certified USPA (United States Parachute Association) Tandem Instructor.

For more details check out my Skydiving experience in Bantayan IslandHave fun and be safe ^__^

Itinerary Reminders:

1. Flight Details
Make sure to write down your booking reference number, be at the airport two hours before your flight and allocate time for your travel to the airport.

2. Accommodation Details
Write down your hotel/motel/resort/bnb booking number. Contact your place to inform them around when you'll be arriving — it really does help.  Also, ask if your accommodation has any discounted activities.  You'd be surprised!

3a. Transportation
List possible times your bus/train/boat arrives and leaves so you don't miss an activity.  Always give yourself an extra 30-45 minutes in case you get lost, get stuck in traffic, or are looking for parking.  Better early than late.  Of utmost importance: check for the last trip and fares!  So you still have time and money to get back.

3b. Car Rentals
Take note of your pick-up address and time allotted.  Our last car rental told us to bring the car back by a certain time with a certain amount of gas.  Allot money for fuel and parking.

4. Budgeting
Set aside a minimum and maximum spending amount for: meals, transportation, entrance fees, activities, souvenirs and emergencies.  3 meals a day + snacks adds up quickly, so keep track!  As well as tips for restaurants and activities.

5. Activities
Call to confirm your booking(s) a day or so beforehand.  Set alarms and/or calendar reminders for things you plan to do (i.e- bungee-jumping, river-rafting, or even city / food tours).

Do you want more adventure?
If you still have more days to spare why not go diving and see the thresher sharks at Malapascua Island

Where am I going next?
My next adventure is The Sunset Paradise of Moalboal Beach, this time on the southwestern side of Cebu.


  1. any contact number? i think this is a nice venue for environmental awareness...

  2. Exactly MrRBurgos! the place holds a lot of wonders.. however I wasn't able to get hold of their numbers. Here's a site where you can contact the tourism department of the island, just leave a message..

    Thank you for visiting..hope to hear good news from you regarding your activity with environmental awareness..