Bantayan island is one of the front liners of Cebu’s tourism. Blessed with fine sand beaches and pristine waters, the island can rival any beach island in the world. It is one of the many reasons that has brought Cebu province on the tourism pedestal.
Though the island has been ravaged by a super storm a few years back, the community was able to re-establish and rebuild the towns and the whole island back to its former glory. Thanks to all that extended their arms and helped, from the government to the local and international organizations, and down to every individual.
Not just the beautiful beaches and the white sand bars, the island is also blessed with other praise-worthy spectacles that’ll surely make you want to keep on revisiting the island. Here are few of the several things you can do on the island:
One of the main reasons the island is always being visited by tourists is the island’s shoreline and the crystal clear waters. Visiting Bantayan Island, one must not miss enjoying the island’s beautiful beaches. There are now plenty of resorts and accommodations sprouting on every corner of the island, especially on the beach side.
If you like fine powdery sands and a long stretch of clear shallow waters, you can go visit the beaches of the town of Santa Fe. While on the other corner of the island lies the very known Sugar Beach. The shoreline here is pebble-ish.
There are also other lesser known beaches and others that are yet to be uncovered. Regardless, these beaches offer what every beach bum has been craving for. The white beach lines and the pristine waters. Sunbathing is also very common on the island.
There are places on the island where there are cliffs with clear ocean waters below, perfect for cliff jumping. Jumping from these cliffs requires guts and extra caution as these cliffs are pretty damn high. The locations of these places are for you to find out.
There are plenty of restaurants sprouting on the island. Each offering different types of dishes catering the different palettes of visitors from different races. There are international and local tastes available on the island. One must try out the local pride of Bantayan Island which is the dried “danggit” fish. There are also locals that sell freshly cooked crabs, scallops, and other seafood right at the corner of the streets.
There are plenty of small islands nearby Bantayan Islands. These islands also offer tempting beaches, but these islands are not yet fully urbanized like the main Bantayan Island. These islands are more secluded thus the local and more provincial vibe. If you want to just chillax by the beach with lesser people around, I suggest you go island hopping and visit these islands.
There are plenty of establishments offering island hopping packages. Each has their own rate and different offers, but one thing is for sure, this activity is quite expensive. Though there are local residents who are willing to take you to these islands for a lesser price but it all boils down to you haggling skills.
Unless you are bringing your own vehicle, moving around on the island requires you to ride a motorcycle or tricycle as this is the island;s main mode of public transportation. You can either charter some to take you to wherever you like, but the best option would be to rent a motorcycle, that is if you know how to drive one. Motorcycles can take you to your destination fast, but where’s the fun on that?
A fun option is to rent a bicycle. There are plenty of local establishments and residences that offer “rent-a-bike” services. Bike rentals cost a minimum rate of 100 pesos for 24 hours.
Taking the bicycle option not only gets you to your destination but also enables you to enjoy more the sceneries along the way. Make sure that the weather is not too sunny and hot or else, exhaustion will replace the fun.
Cave Pool Swimming
There are also undiscovered underground cave pools on the island. One that is already known and is already commercialized is the known Ogtong Cave. The cave is situated within a resort’s premises thus the resort’s name, Ogtong Cave Resort.
The small pool of the cave has clear and icy cold waters. The pool’s temperature may also depend on the weather. There are also few rules to be observed while inside the cave.
Most of the white sandy beaches on the island are situated in the western part thus perfect for sunset watching. Sunsets are lovely, but lovelier with the beach as a foreground. You can go lazy and just chill on the beach as you watch the sun’s descent to its temporary farewell.
Or better, if you have enough time, you can visit Madridejos and experience both the fantastic sunrise and sunset. Visit Kota Park where you can also spot the old Spanish fortress and the lighthouse.
Adventure junkies will surely visit Bantayan Island because of the recent skydiving activity being offered on the island. A USPA (United Stated Parachute Association) approved skydiving company, Skydive Greater Cebu, started offering tandem skydiving and skydiving lessons on the island. One can enjoy skydiving by booking on their site. Surely, skydiving does cost a significant amount but hey! You can’t replace the adrenaline rush, the excitement, and the fulfilling feeling it can give you. The cost of skydiving on the island is quite pricey, around 15 – 20 thousand pesos, but it actually is cheaper compared with other skydiving offerings from the other countries, as what I heard.
How to get to Bantayan Island:
- Get to Cebu City.
- From Cebu City, go to North Bus Terminal.
- Catch a 3-4 hours bus ride bound for Hagnaya. The fare would be around 200 pesos.
- Upon arriving at Hagnaya’s Port, secure boat tickets for Bantayan Island. Tickets cost around 200 pesos each.
- After an hour long boat ride, you’ll see yourself greeted by the clear waters of Santa Fe port.