Bantayan Island Ultimate Travel Guide 2024

Bantayan Island Ultimate Travel Guide 2024

When you’re in the Philippines, exploring Bantayan Island is a must. It’s located off the northwest coast of Cebu and full of great activities and day trips. Maybe you’ve heard of some of the attractions like hopping over to Virgin Island, visiting the Eco Park, or taking a scooter around island.

In this article, we put together the ultimate travel guide so that you don’t miss out on any of the best Bantayan Island tourist spots. We've got your back from figuring out how to get there to the best accommodations.

Let’s hit it!


Things to do on Bantayan Island

Once on the island, you’ll have an endless supply of epic activities. Perfect beaches, historical sites, and island hopping, there’s something here for everyone. Just make sure you have time to squeeze it all into your Bantayan Island itinerary!

Paradise Beach

What do you do when you’re on a beautiful island in the Philippines? Hit the beach, of course! The island is chock full of great spots to swim in crystal clear water and to plop yourself down in the sand. Of all the choices, spending the day snorkeling around a reef, exploring little caves, and soaking up the sun at Paradise Beach is hard to beat! You can find it at the southern end of the island.

Bantayan Island Ultimate Travel Guide 2022

Obo-ob Mangrove Eco Park

Head over to one of the most beloved Bantayan Island tourist spots: the Obo-ob Mangrove Eco Park– just 20 minutes from Santa Fe. At the park, you’ll find a bamboo boardwalk that will take you through the vibrant mangroves. It’s a great way to see the insides of the island, and you can even rent kayaks or go on a boat tour. The entrance fee is 50 pesos for adults and 20 pesos for children.

North Cebu, The Ultimate Travel Guide 2022 - Bantayan Island

Virgin Island Bantayan

You can’t visit Bantayan without hopping over to Virgin Island for the day. It’s a small island 30 minutes off the coast where you can go snorkeling, cliff jumping, and chow down on some tasty seafood. To get there, you can sign up for an island-hopping tour or hire a local boat. The island is privately owned, so you’ll have to pay 250 pesos a person to enter–it’s worth it!Virgin Island Bantayan

Sts. Peter and Paul Church

When you need a break from perfect beaches, check out the Sts. Peter and Paul Church that is right across from the Bantayan Public Plaza! It was originally constructed in 1580 but later caught fire. The building that stands today is from the mid-1800s with its beautiful ceiling paintings that remain untouched. Visiting the church is a great way to learn a bit about the island’s history. 

sts. peter and paul church bantayan island

Malapascua and Kalanggaman Island Hopping

At Bantayan island, you’re primed for an epic day trip (or trips) to Malapascua and Kalanggaman Islands. They are located off the north and northeast coast of Cebu. An island-hopping tour will take you to both islands, and the trip lasts about 5 hours. You could also hire a boat to take you to each individual location for separate day trips. Either way, visiting the tiny islands is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Add it to your North Cebu itinerary.

Kalanggaman island 2023

How to Get There

Getting to Bantayan Island is a fairly easy process. Head to the North Bus Terminal in Cebu and take a bus to Hagnaya Port which roughly costs PHP 220 (Approx $4.40). Once at the port, take the ferry over to Bantayan island, which costs PHP 195 + a terminal fee of PHP 25 (Total cost approx $4.40)! You’ll also have the option of choosing a bus from the North Bus Terminal that goes directly to the island, which allows you to avoid getting off the bus to catch the ferry, but this comes at a slightly higher price.

Good To Know: The North Bus Terminal has relocated around 1km down the road. You can find the exact location here.

Getting Around

On Bantayan Island, you’ll have a few different ways to get around. The first and most adventurous option is to rent a scooter for about PHP 350 (Approx $7) per day. The best place to rent one is from your accommodation, but if they don't offer rentals, you’ll have no issue finding a place in town. Bicycle rentals are also available on the island.

If you’re not up for driving a scooter around, you can flag down a tricycle or motorcycle taxi (habal habal) to take you to Bantayan Island tourist spots for an affordable price. Taxis are always zipping around, so don’t worry about having to track one down.

Good To Know: If travelling during the Easter/Christmas season, scooter rentals on Bantayan Island price up to around PHP 700 (Approx $14) a day. 

Getting around Bantayan Island

Where to Stay

Whether you’re looking for a cheap place to crash or a luxurious resort, Bantayan has accommodations for everyone. A hotel or hostel can make or break your trip, so check out these four stellar stays where you are guaranteed a great experience.

Edsan Apartment (Budget) – For less than $15 a night, you can stay at the Edsan Apartment. There are a few different room options that fluctuate in price, but this accommodation is one of the best bangs for your buck. Clean rooms, bicycle rentals, and close to attractions, what else do you need?

Carl’s Island Inn  (Affordable) – If you’re looking for a nice hotel within walking distance to the beach, look no further! Carl’s Island Inn has rooms for multiple guests that range from $30 to $60 a night. Each morning you can start your day with an excellent breakfast offered to guests.

SMAK’s Hotel (Affordable) – Another great option close to the beach and tourist attractions is the SMAK’s Hotel. Your stay includes a delicious free breakfast, an on-site restaurant, and bike rentals (rentals aren’t free). Rooms range from about $30 to $45 a night.

The Coral Blue Oriental Villas & Suites (Luxury) – Sometimes, you just need a few nights at a luxury villa. Well, The Coral Blue Oriental Villas & Suits has got you covered. You’ll have access to a private beach, happy hour, and a delicious restaurant – don’t forget about room service. You can expect to pay anywhere from $100 to $400 a night, but it’s worth it!

Where to Eat

We hope you’re hungry because there are a ton of great food options on the island. Here are our top three favorite restaurants, so make sure to include them in your Bantayan Island itinerary.

MJ Square

MJ Square is a food plaza in Santa Fe Poblacion where a number of great cafes and restaurants are located. Walk around and check out the different options to find something that calls to you. We recommend trying Chef Panyang at least once while you’re there.

Diego’s Kitchen

Here you’ll find some of the best local dishes on the island at an affordable price. There’s a good chance you’ll find yourself coming back to try everything on the menu!

4 A's Lechon

If you are a fan of slow cooked meat/poultry, then this is a must to try! 4A's have a few branches across Bantayan Island that serve mouthwatering slow roasted pork, famous to the Cebu region also know as "Lechon". If pork is not your thing, they also serve slow roasted chicken, which was one of our favourite dishes on the island. 2 words to describe this dish - Tender and Juicy! Typically there is no dedicated seating space, so its a dish to take home with you. 

North Cebu, The Ultimate Travel Guide 2022 - Bantayan Island

Final Thoughts

Bantayan Island is a great getaway from the hustle and bustle of Cebu city, and offers a lot to explore over the course of a week. Wether you are a solo traveller looking for adventurous things to do in the Philippines or a group/family looking to relax in a serene enviroment, then Bantayan Island is a must place to visit. Be sure to check the weather conditions before making your journey across, as to make the most out of the islands beauty, clear skies and a shining sun really makes a difference. 

Are there any other things to do on Bantayan Island that should be added onto this list? Let us know in the comments below. We hope this inspired you to travel and plan out your next travel journey to this beautiful gem in The Philippines. If you found this article insightful, please do share it across your social channels, with friends and family. Forever Explore. 


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