Bantayan Island, Philippines: How To Reach, Best Time, Tips.
Above all, it is one of the 7107 Islands known in the Philippines.Why will a tourist choose only this Island rather than the other 7106 Islands? There must be something special. This Island has situated beside the Visayan Sea with a population of 125,700 approx.
Across the Tanon Strat and in the north end of Cebu Island is Bantayan Island Cebu. Tourist love to enjoy white sand beaches, skydiving, visiting St. Peter and Paul Church as well as underwater caves and much more. Motorbiking, resort hopping and enjoying the floating bar is one of the specialties.
There are 3 municipalities in which this island is divided,
- Santa Fe
Geographical Description & The Beauty Of Bantayan Island
Bantayan Island is one of the largest islands of Cebu with so many attractions and majestic views. As mentioned earlier, there are 3 municipalities which are named as Bantayan, Sta Fe, and Madridejos. We can estimate the length of this virgin island Bantayan that it needs 4 hours of land travel to see the complete island.
By surfing or traveling on the water gives tourists a chance to see true nature in its original form. The sights are beautiful and provide peace.Tourists instantly feel a warm happy welcome as they get to see white sand beaches with crystal blue water in Sta Fe.
It is a paradise, this island which is keeping hidden wonders in it. Explorer loves to explore hidden and amazing sights with the help of guides and themselves. It is a heaven for the beach lovers. You can enjoy mangrove gardens which are abundant, spring pools, romantic sunsets, natural caves and much more. Divers get satisfied with the underwater beauty of unique animals and creatures.
Furthermore, the maximum temperature of this Island recorded is 32o in May which is the hottest month. Average minimum temperature goes to 26o in the month. January is the coolest month in which the average max temperature goes to 29o and a minimum of 24o.
Additionally, the light in the days stay for nearly 11 hours on average and are the shortest days. There is no special time for the swimmers as the water temperature remains ideal in the sea.
Bantayan Island Name,S History & Its Culture:
1635-1645 is the period in which the very first residents arrived and started settling in Bantayan Island. The island was used as a warning alert system for the islands in Cebu larger than Bantayan such as Luzon and Visayas by the King of Spain.
The known ancient culture of Bantayan is dance, architecture together with cloth-weaving. Moro pirates who were famous for their raids and capturing slaves during the 22nd Governor’s period harassed Visayans. This is the reason why the watchtowers and walls with tall stones were built in various places. This was the way how the locals were protected from Moro pirates.
The meaning of Bantayan is “Watchtower” and Hari means “king”. The locals tell that those watchtowers were named as “Bantayan Sa hari” and that means, “Watchtowers of the King”. As the matter of facts, these watchtowers served their purpose truly and helped the locals aware of the pirates.
Top Things To Do In Bantayan Island
1. Paradise Beach
The water around Paradise beach is crystal clear. There are fewer people wandering around and it is a perfect place to get your body tan. Adults are charged around 50 pesos whereas, kids have an entry fee of 25 pesos. It is a worth spending a day place for tourists.
2. Virgin Island
which is locally known as Silicon Island. The natural view of palm trees providing shadows to the tourists is a sight of relief and relaxation. An island where the white sand meets with the gorgeous white sand of the beach. A cup of coffee would be amazing to have while watching the sun rise. An excellent place for the tourists who are seeking an escape from the daily bustling life.
3. Skydive Greater Cebu (Santa Fe)
Imagine you leaving an aircraft at a height of 10,00ft (3048m). This is one of the most worthy and rewarding adventures that you can experience in Santa Fe. It is one of the most important reasons why a tourist should visit this Island. The skydiving is gaining more and more popularity every year.
4. Peter and Paul Church
An historical church located in the heart of Virgin Island Bantayan is one of the many reasons to visit this Island. Founded in 1580, the church is one of the oldest churches in the Visayas. The era of Spanish rule was the period when it was built. The priests who entered in the country had to get here as it was the first stop. They used to learn the culture and their language before they set their journey to the other parts of the country.
5. Marikaban Beach (Santa Fe)
An endless beauty is what it should be called as in fact. Quit your mind and enjoy the white beach where you can walk around as well as swim in the water. The water is so clear that you can see the sand under the water as clear as without water. There are luxury resorts with splendid services. Tourists can enjoy basketball court and get to see coconut trees.
6. Ogtong Cave
The temperature is tropical and easy to swim all year around. It is a pure refreshing cave where tourists love to swim and dip. However, tourists under the age of 15 are not allowed to enter the cave. It happens, when the cave gets overused and in such times it gets closed to prevent over usage.
7. Fort of Kota Park
It is located in the town of Madridejos which is a fishing village. This park was built in the late 17’s which used to be a Spanish Situated at the north side’s tip of the island, it used to protect the locals from the pirates particularly. This fort became rehabilitated after 1950 as a park. Along with the park, there is a small narrow beach where the tourists get to see the majestic sunset.
8. The Floating Bar
It is a very different concept of a bar. A must see the place where you get refreshing drinks. Drink from their range of cocktails, beer, shoots, soft drinks to juices. You can eat sandwiches, sausages, pasta, fruit plates, Swedish special and much more. The sunsets are beautiful to watch.
Best Hotel & Resorts List In Bantayan Island
1. Kandaya Resort
Tourists get to enjoy the fitness center, fishing, tennis court, outdoor pool and much more. The provide facilities such as free high sped wi-fi, a restaurant, 24 hours desk service and free parking. Charges per night are $191.
2. Amihan Beach Cabanas
The hotel is located 38.6 km from Malapascua Island in Santa Fe. It is offering amazing views from a terrace near the sea. Tourists enjoy a drink at their bar and can eat in their restaurant. Per person, charges are around $75.
3. Ritzy’s White Beach Resort
This beautiful island is just a few steps from the beach located in an island of Santa Fe. The rooms are air conditioned and comfortable with free Wi-fi access. They offer bike on rent to their guests as well. Stay per night cost is $30.
4. Anika Island Resort
It is one of the most top rated hotels located in Santa Fe. Guests can be picked in their shuttle for free from the airport. Rooms are furnished, clean and odorless. With their service of free wi-fi and 24 hours reception service, they charge $61 for staying per night.
5. Kokays Maldito Dive Resort
They provide water sports facilities, garden and modern spa in $76 per night stay.
Best Restaurant & Food Item In Bantayan Island
Bantayan Island resorts are growing their quality as well as reputation every year. Most of the Bantayan Island resorts have started providing home delivery, wi-fi and cocktail services. On average a couple can eat a satisfying meal in 900 pesos whereas a pint of beer costs 50 pesos.
Mostly the restaurants remain open till 11 Pm.Hand made pasta, margarita, pizza which they cook in a brick oven, Italian wine, pork tocino, spaghetti, chicken salads and much more. The majority of the restaurants on the island are open and air passes a lot.
Due to this, the tables get dusty which shouldn’t be an issue as it is obvious. However, they keep the atmosphere neat, hygienic and clean. Following are 7 restaurants in this Island.
Cafe Del Mare
Cou Cou Bar Restaurant
North Ville Beach and Resort Restaurant
Tristan’s Pizza Haus & Restaurant
Ritzy’s White Beach Resort & Restaurant
How To Reach Bantayan Island & How Much It Costs:
Flight From Manila To Cebu City
After reaching the capital city Manila of Philippines, a tourist can travel from Manila to Cebu by air. The round trip per person costs $80 and takes around an hour to reach Cebu from Manila. It is one of the best ways of how to go to Bantayan island.
Air Service to Bantayan Island From Cebu City
Take your next flight to this island that will cover the distance in 35 minutes. After all, this is a brand new airline service recently launched from Cebu City.
Not to mention, these flights run 3 days a week that are Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 11:30m. Tourists reach the island right afternoon. It is one of the fastest mediums to reach Bantayan. As compared to the ground transportation, you save 4 hours of travel. The rates are affordable and you got to spend $35 only per person.
Bus from Cebu City to Hagnaya
The buses travel from Cebu City to Hangaya and they are bright in color mostly yellow and white. CERES buses are air conditioned whereas you may get small coasters which are not air conditioned to travel if you have less money. Currently, they are charging around 125 Pesos per person to Hangaya.
Important to realize, do not just give the bags to the bus drivers or conductors. Instead, keep looking at them while they load your luggage on the bus. These are the ways of how to go to Bantayan island.
When Time You Shold Go There ?
A nonsummer season which is also known as off-peak season or beach season is the best time to visit Bantayan Island Cebu. The off-peak season starts from June and stays till February of every year.
Moreover, a person who loves getting social and having fun with the people around, peak season will be best for you. It’s for the active people and photographers who love to capture natural social moments on the beach and people who go with the flow. Peak- season stays for 2 months that are March and May.
Every Friday, Bantayan locals celebrate their tradition of Holy week.
Tips For Tourists
Make a list before leaving your home country. It is very necessary to put everything in its order.
Complete your homework before leaving for your tour. It is better to know about the bus schedule if you’re traveling by bus.
Pre-book your air tickets in order to get cheaper rates. Choose a hotel that provides free shuttle service so that you get to the hotel directly.
Henceforth, plan your travel as getting up early and catching the early buses around 7 am to Hangaya Port. This will make your trip worth more.
With this in mind, 10 am to 4 pm is the time for the photographers to capture nature.
However, be flexible as sometimes things do get delay and late. In like manner, it is very important to travel with patience.
It will be a plus point to know about the common phrases used in this Island by the locals. It will help you understand and communicate with them in a better and quick way.