Travels and Festivals

Bantayan Island: Your Serene Summer Escape

Bantayan Island

Bantayan Island is a stunning paradise with white sand beaches in the Visayas region of the Philippines. The island has crystal-clear waters and mesmerizing sunsets. It is a destination perfect for anyone looking to unwind and relax. Additionally, water sports enthusiasts will find plenty of activities to indulge in, such as snorkeling and island hopping. Furthermore, the island’s friendly locals are also eager to introduce visitors to the culture and traditions of Bantayan.

Kota Park, a hill that provides a panoramic view of the island, is one of the top attractions on Bantayan Island. Moreover, the park is also home to a Spanish fort that dates back to the 1700s. It now serves as a museum highlighting the history and culture of Bantayan. Therefore, visitors can enjoy a stroll, a picnic, and breathtaking views.

Another notable spot on Bantayan Island is the Ogtong Cave, a natural wonder that attracts visitors to swimming and diving. Additionally, the cave boasts a freshwater pool that is famous for having therapeutic properties. Visitors can explore the cave’s chambers or dip in the pool. In addition, the Ogtong Cave has lush greenery surrounding them, providing a serene ambiance that nature lovers will appreciate.

As a result, Bantayan Island is an ideal destination for anyone looking for a summer getaway. So, pack your bags, put on your swimsuits, and head to Bantayan Island for an unforgettable experience.

Modes of Travel on Bantayan Island

There are different modes of transportation that you can take to get around Bantayan Island. Here are some of the standard transportation options available on the Island:

  1. Tricycles – Tricycles are the most common mode of transportation on Bantayan Island. These are motorcycles with a sidecar that can carry up to three passengers. In addition, tricycles are widely available and can take you to different parts of the Island.
  2. Motorcycles – You can also rent a motorbike to explore the Island. Rental shops are available in the town proper, and rates range from PHP 200 to PHP 500 per day.
  3. Bicycles – Bicycles are also available for rent in the town proper. Also, riding a bike is an eco-friendly way to explore the Island and enjoy its scenic views.
  4. Vans and taxis – Vans and taxis are also available for hire if you prefer a more comfortable and private ride. Furthermore, you can contact them through your hotel or resort or hire one from the town proper.
  5. Habal-habal – Habal-habal is a motorcycle that can carry one or two passengers. Habal-habal is less standard than tricycles but is available in some parts of the Island.

These are some of the modes of transportation that you can take to get around Bantayan Island. But, of course, negotiating and agreeing on the fare before getting into any ride is always better.

Your Complete Guide: How to Reach the Island

Bantayan Island

Here are the steps to reach Bantayan Island from Manila:

I. Book a flight from Manila to Mactan-Cebu International Airport. 

Flights available: (between Manila and Cebu) 

  • Philippine Airlines
  • Cebu Pacific
  • AirAsia

II. Once you arrive at Mactan-Cebu International Airport, take a taxi or Grab Car to the North Bus Terminal in Cebu City. The ride takes about 30-45 minutes, depending on traffic.

III. At North Bus Terminal, take a bus bound for Hagnaya Port in San Remigio. The travel time usually takes 3-4 hours, depending on the traffic and the number of stops.

Bus companies that operate this route: 

  • Ceres Liner 
  • Rough Riders

IV. Once you arrive at Hagnaya Port, buy a ferry ticket to Santa Fe Port on Bantayan Island. The ferry ride takes about 1-2 hours, depending on the weather and sea conditions.

Ferry companies that operate this route: 

  • Island Shipping
  • Super Shuttle Ferry
  • Bantayan Island Ferry. 

V. Once you arrive at Santa Fe Port, take a tricycle or habal-habal (motorcycle taxi) to your accommodation or destination on the Island.

There are also direct flights from Manila to Cebu City, but taking a bus or ferry is usually more affordable. Also, check the schedules of the bus and ferry companies beforehand to ensure a smooth and hassle-free trip.

Uncovering Bantayan Island: Must-See Spots to Visit

Bantayan Church and Convent 

Bantayan Church and Convent Bantayan Island
  • The church is in the town center of Bantayan, so it is easily accessible by foot or tricycle from most accommodations on the Island.
  • If you’re coming from the port, you can take a tricycle or habal-habal (motorcycle taxi) to the church, about 3 kilometers away.

Virgin Island 

Bantayan Island
  • You can take a boat from the Santa Fe port to the Island. 
  • Several boat operators offer day trips to the Island, including snorkeling gear and lunch. 
  • The boat ride takes about 30-40 minutes.

Ogtong Cave 

Bantayan Island
  • Ogtong Cave is within the Ogtong Cave Resort in Santa Fe. 
  • You can easily walk to the cave. Otherwise, you can take a tricycle or habal-habal from the port or your accommodation. 
  • The resort has an entrance fee, including access to the shelter and pool.

Kota Beach

Kota Beach Bantayan Island
  • Kota Beach is in Santa Fe, about 4 kilometers from the port. 
  • You can take a tricycle or habal-habal from the port to the beach. 

Omagieca Mangrove Garden

Omagieca Mangrove Garden Bantayan Island
  • Omagieca Mangrove Garden is on the western coast of Bantayan Island, about 10 kilometers from the port. 
  • You can take a tricycle or habal-habal from the dock or your accommodation to the mangrove garden. 
  • Guided boat tours also take you through the mangrove forest, including a stop at a nearby sandbar.

Notable landmarks on Bantayan Island:

Bantayan Island is a popular tourist destination in the northern part of Cebu, known for its stunning beaches and rich cultural heritage. In addition, visitors to Bantayan Island can explore these landmarks to learn more about the island’s past and immerse themselves in its unique culture.

  1. St. Peter and Paul Parish Church – The church is in Madridejos on the northern end of Bantayan Island. It is known for its striking blue and white facade. In addition, the Philippine government declared it a National Cultural Treasure.
  2. Ruins of Baclayon Church – This is a set of ruins of an old church in Madridejos. An earthquake in the 1800s destroyed the church, thus, leaving only the stone walls and bell tower standing.

Stay in Paradise: Accommodations on Bantayan Island

Here are some of the hotels on Bantayan Island

  • The Coral Blue Oriental Beach Villas & Suites – The beachfront resort features luxurious villas and suites with private pools and ocean views. It also has a restaurant, spa, and outdoor pool.
  • Bantayan Island Nature Park and Resort – The resort is set amidst lush tropical gardens. It features spacious villas with private balconies and ocean views. Moreover, it also has an outdoor pool, restaurant, and spa.
  • Anika Island Resort -It is a cozy seaside hotel. It also has a restaurant, outdoor pool, and beachfront bar.
  • Beach Placid Resort – This resort is on a private beach and features rooms with balconies and ocean views. It also has an outdoor pool, restaurant, and beachfront bar.
  • Bantayan Huts – This resort features rustic huts and cottages amidst tropical gardens. It also has a restaurant, outdoor pool, and bar.
  • Maia’s Beach Resort – This resort offers basic rooms with garden or ocean views. It also has a restaurant and beachfront bar.

Bantayan Island’s Neighboring Town and their Must-see Attractions


Pilar is a small town on the eastern coast of Bantayan Island. It’s known for its beautiful sunrise views and traditional fishing villages. Furthermore, Pilar White Beach is a long white sand beach ideal for swimming and sunbathing.


Talisay is a charming town on the western coast of the Island. It’s known for its beautiful sunsets and tranquil countryside. Additionally, Talisay Beach is a quiet and secluded beach perfect for a relaxing day trip.


Pooc is a coastal town on the southwestern part of the Island. It’s known for its beautiful coral reefs and crystal-clear waters, perfect for snorkeling and diving. So, visitors can also explore the town’s traditional fishing villages and try fresh seafood.


Maricaban is a small town in the southern part of the Island. It’s known for its beautiful mangrove forests and Maricaban Beach. It is a secluded and peaceful beach perfect for swimming and picnics.


Baigad is a quiet town on the eastern coast of the Island. It’s known for its beautiful beaches, traditional fishing villages, and the Baigad Mangrove Forest. In addition, it has a peaceful and picturesque area perfect for kayaking and birdwatching.

These are just a few more nearby towns on Bantayan Island with their must-see attractions. Additionally, each place offers a unique experience for visitors, from natural attractions to cultural landmarks and a traditional way of life.

Island Adventures: Top Fun Activities to Experience

Bantayan Island is a beautiful tropical paradise in the Visayan Sea of the Philippines. Known for its pristine white sand beaches, Bantayan Island offers many fun activities for visitors of all ages.

Water activities:

  • Swimming and sunbathing at the beach
  • Snorkeling and diving to explore the Island’s coral reefs and marine life
  • Island hopping and exploring nearby islands and islets
  • Kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, and other water sports

Land activities:

  • Renting a bicycle or motorcycle and exploring the Island’s towns and villages
  • Hiking and trekking to explore the Island’s natural beauty and landscapes
  • Visiting historical and cultural landmarks such as churches, museums, and ancestral houses
  • Enjoying the Island’s nightlife by checking out bars, clubs, and restaurants

Relaxing activities:

  • Getting a massage or spa treatment at one of the Island’s resorts
  • Enjoying a sunset or sunrise view at the beach
  • Reading a book or relaxing in a hammock at a resort or beach hut
  • Joining a yoga or meditation class to unwind and destress

Whatever your interests and preferences, there is always something fun and exciting to do on this beautiful Island.

Scroll to Top