Bantayan Island

This article has been translated from Russian language using an artificial intelligence-based translation algorithm. We apologize for any inconvenience caused by the quality of the translation. You can read the original of this article in Russian here, and ask questions on the topic of our travel forum in English here.

General information

Bantayan (Bantayan Island) - a small quiet island, convenient for a relaxing beach holiday. Located 10 kilometers from the northwest coast of the greater Cebu Islands, and is part of Cebu Province (Bantayan on the map). Therefore, when they talk about the resort of Bantayan, they usually mean that this is one of the resorts or even beaches of the island of Cebu, although, of course, this is a completely independent tourist place where you can stay for the entire period of rest in the Philippines, and visit it for a few days during a difficult route. Bantayan is a relatively small island, its size is 19 by 8 kilometers, and the area is 109 square kilometers, and this is more than twice as large as the most popular resort in the Philippines – Bantayan Island.

Bantayan is conditionally divided into tourist and non-tourist parts. The first is the town of Santa Fe (Santa Fe) and its surroundings in the south-east of the island, where the best beaches and poorly developed infrastructure are located. All hotels and restaurants are concentrated there. In two other towns-Bantayan (Bantayan) and Madridejos (Madridejos) – live locals engaged in serving tourists; fishing and seafood. Non-tourist towns live mostly fishing life, the sea in their vicinity is beautiful, but it is impossible to swim there, there are no normal beaches.

Jeepney minibuses run between these three settlements. The role of taxis is performed by tricycles and bicycle rickshaws. Mopeds are rented everywhere: the price is lower than in other tourist-visited regions of the Philippines. As, however, for housing.

Bantayan holidays

Bantayan holidays

Bantayan Island is a place for those who want to relax for a little money on beautiful and clean beaches, which in beauty and cleanliness can compete with the famous beaches of Boracay. The island is well suited for wintering: to rent a house or a room with a monthly payment will be very inexpensive. For example, in all respects a decent house with air conditioning and kitchen will cost 10 thousand pesos per month. To the beach from any residential place in the tourist area will be no more than 10 minutes on foot. Fish, seafood, fruits are cheaper than in other tourist regions of the Philippines.

However, for diving and snorkeling this island is not suitable. Lovers of parties," movements", active nightlife also have nothing to do on Bantayan. There are bars and restaurants here (some even live music) – they are concentrated on a special street in Santa Fe, but there are no clubs and discos at all.

Get bored here and lovers of climbing on historical and natural attractions. Apart from a couple of small caves (one of them with an underground lake), a Catholic Church and the ruins of a Spanish fort, there is nothing to see here.

Therefore, Bantayan can be called a place for an inexpensive, calm, measured beach holiday – for example, family.

Bantayan Beaches

All swimming beaches are located in the vicinity of Santa Fe. This resort area occupies the south-eastern part of the island. Beautiful sandy beaches stretch for several kilometers to the North and south of the port, where ferries come from Cebu. The beach area can be divided into Northern, Central and southern parts.

Everywhere the beaches are very picturesque (in good weather). But during and after the storm, the water becomes muddy, and the coast is clogged with all sorts of natural debris – branches, algae, etc., and the locals do not clean it very quickly. Also, if the wind blows and drives the waves directly to the shore, there may be a lot of algae and other debris on the beach. During high tourist season (January to May) all this is trying to clean up, but during the low season (from June to December) garbage and dirt can lie on the shore for weeks.

Another feature of almost all local beaches – they are very shallow. At low tide, the water goes far, leaving behind a bare and not very beautiful bottom. It is impossible to swim at low tide, except that you can just lie in the water, moving away from the shore for several tens or even a hundred meters.

In the Russian travel blogging space, there is an ignorant misconception that the tides change cyclically at the same time during the day. In fact, they change depending on the position of the sun, moon, terrain and many other factors. Therefore, it is never possible to say unequivocally, for example, that in a particular resort there are tides in the morning and ebbs in the evenings. To determine the level of tides on Bantayan, you need to use special calculated charts-forecasts.

График приливов и отливов на острове Бантаян
00:0006:0012:0018:0000:0006:0012:0018:0000:0006:0012:0018:0000:0006:0012:0018:0000:0006:0012:0018:0000:0006:0012:0018:0000:0006:0012:0018:0022/05/2022 / вс23/05/2022 / пн24/05/2022 / вт25/05/2022 / ср26/05/2022 / чт27/05/2022 / пт28/05/2022 / сб0.97 м. / 3.2 ft.-0.87 м. / -2.9 ft.
График приливов и отливов на острове Бантаян подробно ⧉

So here's a quick overview of Bantayan beaches:

  • Beaches in the north of Santa Fe

    This is the rest area north of the port (beaches in the north of Santa Fe on the map), the quietest and most peaceful in Bantayan, and maybe in all of the Philippines. The entire resort infrastructure is located south of the port, and to the north – only a few hotels and cafes with them.

    The coast is covered with light sand. It is very wide, especially at low tide. The entrance to the sea is flat everywhere – ideal conditions for kids splashing in shallow water.

  • Central Beach Santa Fe beach, or Alice Beach / Santa Fe Beach

    This beach starts directly from the port and stretches from it about a kilometer to the south (Santa Fe Beach on the map). The sand on it is also light, slightly yellowish, with small inclusions of worn shells and corals. The width of the sand strip is about 10-15 meters. The entrance to the sea is gentle, after 10 meters at the bottom there are grass and algae. To a two-meter depth from the shore it is necessary to go 15-20 meters.

  • Shuga beach, or Kota Beach / Sugar Beach

    The name comes from the local popular hotels Kota Beach and Sugar Beach (Suga Beach on the map). The entrance to the water here is also gentle. The width of the sand strip is the largest on Bantayan. The coast here is V-shaped. That is, from one beach you can meet both Dawn (turning your head to the right) and sunset (to the left). There is a cool sandbar on which it is very good to lie down, feeling the sea from both sides. The beach ends with a village of local residents, where there is no longer such a picturesque place for swimming and a lot of fishing boats scurrying back and forth.

  • Paradise Beach

    Paradise Beach, aka Sandira Beach (Sandira Beach) - the most beautiful and secluded beach in Bantayan, the perfect place for great photo shoots in the style of "paradise delight". It is hidden (located at the bottom of the hill, Paradise Beach on the map) and paid, entrance 50 pesos (0.96 USD, see Philippine currency and exchange rate). The coast is wide, the entrance to the water is gentle, without any stones, grass, algae. Beautiful palm trees grow on the shore, there are tables with umbrellas for a picnic. The views are very picturesque, chic, but there is no infrastructure on the beach and nearby, there are no options for accommodation either. However, she would have disturbed the atmosphere of this paradise secluded place.

  • Marikaban Beach

    An even more secluded location, a couple of minutes drive from the previous Beach (Maricaban Beach on the map). There are hotels and cafes nearby, but in general the place is exceptionally quiet and peaceful. "Highlight" – mangrove trees, which at high tide are directly in the water. At low tide it is very shallow, it is impossible to swim. Near the hotels, the coast is cleaned, the rest can be a little cluttered with natural garbage. On this beach on the first line there are several pleasant and inexpensive resorts that are perfect for a quiet holiday, and in principle why else go to Bantayan.

  • Rocky beaches of Bantayan

    Next pf Maricaban Beach begins the rocky coast. The entrance to the sea is not so gentle, but also quite convenient. For a change, you can swim among the rocks. Here, by the way, you can do tolerable snorkeling.

Bantayan hotels where to stay

Hotels in Bantayan have lower prices than in popular resorts in the Philippines, you can settle in a more or less comfortable room even in peak season from 1200 pesos (22.94 USD). This, of course, is more expensive than in the more developed and popular tourist Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, etc., but by Philippine standards it is not expensive. There are no luxury hotels here. All the presented housing belongs to the middle or economy class. The hotels have very modest territories, without swimming pools. Air conditioning and other amenities in the rooms are. Internet, too, and quite good.

The first coastline is occupied by buildings of Bungal type. Urban-type hotels are located on the second line. These are 2-3-storey buildings with a small number of rooms. There are no taller buildings on the island.

On the other hand, there are very few budget accommodation options, especially for single travelers: hostels on the island can be counted on your fingers, and the cheapest double rooms are not so cheap. But locals rent rooms or bunks, you can find such accommodation on arrival from 500 pesos.

If you have decided on which beach/area of Bantayan it is better to stay, you can pick up and book hotel accommodation through one of the sites or search form:

Внимание! Системы Booking.com, Agoda, AirBnB, Trivago и другие иностранные сайты показали себя как крайне ненадежные партнеры и полностью закрыли возможность бронирования отелей и жилья на территории РФ, в том числе и с финансовыми потерями для граждан России. Если вам нужно забронировать размещение без последствий, советуем пользоваться российскими системами поиска и бронирования жилья и отелей, и избегать использование Booking.com, Agoda и др. Подробнее здесь...

Map of Bantayan Island with hotels, beaches, transport

You can download ⤓ points of interest, important transport points (bus stations, airports, etc.), districts and beaches from our map in KMZ/KML format. These files can be downloaded to the navigator or smartphone for use with offline or online Google Maps applications, Maps.me and others that support this format, and use them to navigate and explore resorts.

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Bantayan infrastructure

The urban infrastructure in Bantayan is well developed: there are shops, markets, pharmacies, local transport, banks and ATMs. Directly in the resort part of the island and the town of Santa Fe are more like a village. In addition to the market, there is one large grocery store and several small shops. But even the largest store is just a village village without air conditioning, in which you can buy the most basic of products and hygiene products. There is not a single supermarket on the island. There is also an industrial store, but for serious shopping it is better to go to Cebu City.

But the purely tourist infrastructure is still developing. For tourists there are cafes and restaurants, currency exchange, rental of motorbikes and bicycles. But there are no travel agencies that offer inexpensive excursions. And there is simply nowhere to go on such excursions on the island, there is nothing to see here. Catering establishments are concentrated on a separate Street Pub Street in Santa Fe. There you can always eat inexpensively and in a variety of ways. There is also a kitesurfing school, the owners of which are Europeans.

All calculations on Bantayan are carried out only in local currency, dollars or euros will not be needed here. In Santa Fe there are two ATMs, next to the market, and in the town of Bantayan – and a bank branch with a currency exchange office. Also, money can be exchanged in small exchangers in Santa Fe and in some hotels, but the exchange rate here is very unprofitable, it is better to come to the island with the local currency. If you arrive in the country through the airport of Manila, you can safely change money there for the entire time of your vacation, the course there is one of the best in the country. But if you arrive at Cebu Airport, the course there is even worse than on Bantayan. In this case, it is best to exchange money not at the airport itself, but in Cebu City at SM City Cebu or Ayala Center Cebu shopping centers, or on Mactan Island, where Cebu Airport is located. The nearest exchange office to the airport with the most favorable rate is located in the Mactan Marina Mall shopping center, it is a 5-minute taxi or motorcycle taxi ride away, and you can even walk from the terminal in 25 minutes.

As for cash withdrawals at ATMs, usually the withdrawal amount is limited to 10,000 pesos (191.13 USD) per operation, and 250 pesos is withheld (4.78 USD) for each transaction, which makes withdrawal unprofitable, cash exchange is better. It is impossible to pay with a bank card in Bantayan.

Курс обмена валюты (филиппинский песо) на сегодня ()

100 песо (PHP) = 110,16 рублей (RUB)
100 рублей (RUB) = 90,77 PHP
1 доллар США (USD) = 52,32 PHP
1 евро (EUR) = 56,09 PHP
Калькулятор валюты*
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График изменения курса валюты
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Bantayan weather, tourist seasons

Bantayan is a year-round resort, but the rainy season (low) and dry season (high)stand out:

  • The dry season runs from January to May. This is the best time to visit Bantayan, there is little rain, the sun almost always shines. But sometimes the rains from the low season are delayed and move to January, so the ideal time and high season is March-May.
  • The rainy season lasts from June to December. At this time, you can also go here to rest, but often there are rains, clouds, thunderstorms, the probability of typhoons and storms is high.

Several times a year, typhoons or tropical storms hit the Philippines, mainly during the rainy season. Bantayan is located in the north of Cebu, and this region is very close to the epicenters of typhoons, and sometimes suffers greatly from them. At this time, even evacuation can be announced, sea and air communications are suspended. Usually, such restrictions end within 1-3 days, but still consider this danger. To avoid being cut off on the island before flying home from international airports. Learn more about the weather and seasons in the Philippines Here...

Seasons on Bantayan by month, when is the best time to go

Jan Feb March Apr May June July Aug Sept Oct Nov. Dec
                       

* best time to visit;
acceptable time to visit;
not recommended time to visit

Current Bantayan weather and forecast

  • 25 Май
    9:00
    облачно с прояснениями
    +31°C
    3м/с
    Влаж. 69%
  • 25 Май
    18:00
    небольшой дождь
    +29°C
    2м/с
    Влаж. 74%
  • 26 Май
    3:00
    пасмурно
    +29°C
    1м/с
    Влаж. 72%
  • 26 Май
    12:00
    небольшой дождь
    +29°C
    5м/с
    Влаж. 71%
  • 26 Май
    21:00
    небольшой дождь
    +28°C
    4м/с
    Влаж. 70%
  • 27 Май
    6:00
    небольшой дождь
    +28°C
    3м/с
    Влаж. 71%
  • 27 Май
    15:00
    небольшой дождь
    +28°C
    2м/с
    Влаж. 68%
  • 28 Май
    0:00
    небольшой дождь
    +28°C
    1м/с
    Влаж. 70%
  • 28 Май
    9:00
    небольшой дождь
    +29°C
    3м/с
    Влаж. 72%
  • 28 Май
    18:00
    дождь
    +28°C
    3м/с
    Влаж. 74%
  • 29 Май
    3:00
    небольшой дождь
    +28°C
    2м/с
    Влаж. 69%
  • 29 Май
    12:00
    дождь
    +28°C
    4м/с
    Влаж. 78%

* - прогноз указан по местному времени. Данные получены с https://openweathermap.org. Если отображаются устаревшие даты, обновите страницу с помощью F5+Ctrl.

How to get to Bantayan

Bantayan is located 10 kilometers from the northwest coast of Cebu. All routes here lead through Cebu island or Negros Island there are no other options. The most convenient way to get through Cebu, where the nearest International Airport is Mactan-Cebu. From there, in turn, you can fly to Bantayan on a light-engine charter plane, or take a bus + ferry through Cebu City. See more:

Minimum prices for flights from Moscow to Cebu:

ЦЕНАПЕРЕСАДКИАВИАКОМПАНИЯДАТА ВЫЛЕТАДАТА ВОЗВРАЩЕНИЯ
НАЙТИ ОТ 80392 ₽ 1 пересадка Лого авиакомпании 29.05.2022 10.06.2022
НАЙТИ ОТ 71363 ₽ 2 пересадки Лого авиакомпании 20.06.2022 04.07.2022
НАЙТИ ОТ 62685 ₽ 2 пересадки Лого авиакомпании 12.07.2022 20.07.2022
НАЙТИ ОТ 52581 ₽ 2 пересадки Лого авиакомпании 25.08.2022 12.09.2022
НАЙТИ ОТ 52581 ₽ 2 пересадки Лого авиакомпании 15.09.2022 21.09.2022
НАЙТИ ОТ 41440 ₽ 1 пересадка Лого авиакомпании 30.10.2022 12.11.2022

Minimum prices for flights from Russia to Cebu:

ЦЕНАМАРШРУТПЕРЕСАДКИ
НАЙТИ ОТ 37596 ₽ Москва ⇄ Себу 1
НАЙТИ ОТ 54560 ₽ Санкт-Петербург ⇄ Себу 1
НАЙТИ ОТ 122660 ₽ Владивосток ⇄ Себу 4
НАЙТИ ОТ 91090 ₽ Новосибирск ⇄ Себу 2
НАЙТИ ОТ 89730 ₽ Иркутск ⇄ Себу 2
НАЙТИ ОТ 115917 ₽ Хабаровск ⇄ Себу 3
НАЙТИ ОТ 122678 ₽ Красноярск ⇄ Себу 2
НАЙТИ ОТ 89394 ₽ Самара ⇄ Себу 2

Here is more about each of the ways to get to Bantayan:

  • To Bantayan by plane

    From Cebu Airport to a small local airport on the outskirts of Santa Fe (airport on the map) charter flights are operated by light aircraft of the local company Far East Aviation Services. The flight lasts only 1 hour, but, unfortunately, this way to get there is not cheap and reliable: due to bad weather in the rainy season, flights are often canceled. Therefore, this method is not particularly worth counting on.

  • To Bantayan by ferry

    Bantayan can be reached by ferry in two ways:

    • From Cebu island via Hagnaya Port.
    • From the island of Negros through the port city of Cadiz (Cadiz).

    It is most convenient to use the route through Hagnaya (Hagnaya), and through Cadiz tourists get very rarely.

    To Hagnaya Port in Cebu (bus station on the map) can I get there by bus from North Cebu Bus Terminal (bus station on the map). Buses leave at least every hour during the day, and less frequently at night. It makes no sense to clarify the schedule and adhere to the departure, you can simply come to the bus station and wait for the departure of the next bus. Ask at the bus station for a bus to Hagnaya, and you will be directed to the right place. There are also buses to the city of Bantayan with a ferry crossing, but you do not need such, buy a ticket only to Hagnaya. Payment for travel is made in the bus to the conductor. Depending on the type of bus, the fare will cost from 165 to 200 pesos, 3.5 – 4 hours on the way. The bus arrives almost to the port itself, you can walk.

    Large cargo and passenger ferries depart from Hagnaya Port to Santa Fe Port in Bantayan on a round-the-clock schedule. Island Shipping and Super shuttle companies operate. The cost per passenger is 185 pesos + 10 pesos port fee (Terminal Fee), Motobike 500-700, car – 1270.

    • Departure of cargo and passenger ferries Super shuttle (you can specify on the website http://supershuttleroro.com):

      • From Hagnaya Port (Fr. Cebu): 02:00, 04:00, 07:00, 08:00, 10:30, 12:30, 14:30, 16:30
      • From Santa Fe Port (Bantayan Island): 04:00, 06:00, 08:30, 10:30, 12:30, 14:30, 16:30, 18:00
    • Departure of passenger ferries Island Shipping

      • From Hagnaya Port (Fr. Cebu): 03:00, 05:00, 06:30, 09:30, 11:30, 13:30, 15:30, 17:30
      • From Santa Fe Port (Bantayan Island): 05:00, 07:30, 09:30, 11:30, 13:30, 15:30, 17:30

    Tickets do not need to be purchased in advance, available on site upon arrival.

    On Bantayan, these ferries arrive at the port of Santa Fe (port of Santa Fe on the map), which is located in the north of the town. From here to the nearest hotels you can even walk, or take a tricycle, jeepney, or rent a motorbike here to move around the island. See more about transport below.

Transport on Bantayan, what to move

In Bantayan, you can travel on pedicabs( pedicab, or tricycle), jeepneys, motorcycle taxis and rented vehicles. In the suburbs of Santa Fe you can move on foot, the resort area is very compact.

This is one of the few tourist places where you can still use the services of pedicabs, a type of tricycle without motors driven by pedals. Moreover, they are still a mode of transport here, and not an expensive entertainment for tourists, as in other resorts. The minimum trip for locals costs from 25 pesos, tourists are asked for at least 50, but you can and should bargain. From the port to the hotel within Santa Fe should go no more than 50 after bargaining.

Jeepneys are local intercity transport, moving between all the main settlements of the island without a schedule, like fixed-route taxis. Travel costs from 25 pesos. To figure out which jeepney you need, it is best to use the help of local residents, since there is no traffic pattern and schedule.

But it is best to use the rental of transport to move around Bantayan. You can rent a Motobike (low-power scooter), or a bicycle. Please note that by law, to manage even a low-power scooter, you need to have rights with an open category "A", and Russian rights will do. In fact, there are practically no police officers on the island, so most tourists ride at their own risk without any rights at all, and when they meet with the police, they solve the problem on the spot. See more about renting transport in the Philippines, and what rights are needed here...

For renting a motorcycle they ask from 350 pesos, but you can bargain. It is quite realistic as of 2021 to reduce the price to 250 pesos, if you take a few days. A bicycle for rent will cost from 100 pesos.

There are rentals in several places in Santa Fe, there is no difficulty in finding them. But it is most convenient to rent a motorcycle immediately upon arrival on the island in the port, the prices there are the same as in the city. Offer rental VM will be immediately on the pier after leaving the ferry, but do not rush if you want to get a bargain price. Exit the port and ask at the jeepney parking lot on the left when exiting. If there are no available options, you can walk 5 minutes along the main road F. Roska Street to the left after leaving the pier, there are a couple of rental offices.

Bantayan attractions, what to see

Attractions on the island are not numerous, for this it is better to go to other places in the Philippines, and even better to other countries. If you want to visit something really interesting during your vacation here, you will have to go on excursions to Cebu island, where you should visit Oslo and swimming with whale sharks, as well as natural attractions in the southern part of the island in the vicinity of Moalboal resort. see more about attractions of Cebu island. If you want to see some more or less remarkable historical sites and visit a couple of museums, you can go to the city of Cebu, but since your way to Bantayan will almost certainly pass through this city, it is better to make a stop there for one full day on the way, this will be enough. But what you can visit directly on the Bantayan itself:

  • Ruins of Kota park Madridejos. The ruins of the fortress built in 1790, are located in the city of Madridejos on the northern tip of the island.ruins on the map). The ruins include a small city park. After visiting the park, you can go to the beach, from where the Bontay Walk walking bridge leads to the sea with an observation deck at the end.
  • Animal nursery Island Sanctuary Wildlife Reserve. Basically, the kennel contains stray dogs, and you can look after them as a volunteer.
  • Tour to neighboring islands. Around Bantayan there are several tiny islands, where it is believed that the beaches are cleaner. The most popular is Virgin Island, aka Sillon Island (Island on the map). It has a beach and a recreation area with cottages for day guests, you can do good snorkeling. Entry to the island costs 500 pesos, plus a boat to get there, for the whole day-1000 pesos.
  • Mangroves of Omagieca Obo-ob. A traditional Mangrove Reserve for the Philippines with a path-bridge for walking. It is better to visit at high tide, admission costs 50 pesos. Located at the end of Maricaban Beach (nature reserves on the map)
  • Otgon Cave / Ogtong Cave. A small cave on the grounds of the Ogtong Hotel in Santa Fe. Inside there is a swimming pool with clean fresh water for swimming. Admission is 100 pesos.
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admin 5 Nov, 2021
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