Bantayan Island Travel Guide


Welcome to our BANTAYAN ISLAND TRAVEL guide where we discover one of the pristine islands of the Philippines located on the northern end of Cebu. The word Bantayan comes from a word lookout, which means to keep on watch. It is an island that consists of three towns namely Santa Fe, Bantayan, and Madridejos. Santa Fe is the most popular town where most people and tourist visit, it is situated next to Bantayan Port Terminal and also most of the resort, the restaurant is located in this town. On the other hand, the town of Bantayan is famous for its dried fish (aka danggit) and dried squid. Most people visit the island to relax, enjoy, and witness the majestic sunset and sunrise view of the island.


"Morning Sunrise View in Bantayan Island"

Bantayan Island is one of the islands under the province of Cebu which is located in the northern part of Cebu, Philippines. The island is divided into 3 main towns namely Santa Fe, Bantayan, and Madridejos.


The town of Santa Fe is located on the southern part of the island where it is known for a tourist destination. Most of the accommodation, resort, restaurant, and beaches are located in this town. Also, the main ferry port is located in Sante Fe where it connects to the Hagnaya port of Cebu.

Map of Bantayan Island
Where is Bantayan Island


It is a small town where Bantayan Dried Fish and Vegetable Market s popular in selling dried seafood such as dried fish (aka danggit) and dried squid. The town is located on the western section of the island, which is around 8 km from the town of Santa Fe.


Is the town located on the northern part of Bantayan island which is around 12 km from neighboring town Bantayan and 20 km from Santa Fe. The town is famous from its Kota Fort which old fortress built during the Spanish colonization in the Philippines.


"Inside The Ferry Going To Santa Fe"

Since Bantayan Island is located in Cebu, getting into the island from Cebu will consist of riding a taxi, bus, and ferry. Below are the 5 steps on how to get to Bantayan Island.

1. Ride plane to Cebu. Arrive at Mactan-Cebu International Airport
2. Ride a taxi to Cebu North Bus Terminal. Travel time: 20 mins | Taxi Faire: Php 170
3. At Cebu North Bus Terminal. Ride Ceres bus bound for Hagnaya. Travel time: 4 hours | Bus Fare: Php 350
4. At Hagnaya, purchase ferry tickets to Santa Fe. Travel time: 1 hour | Ferry Fare: Php 180
5. Arrive at Bantayan Island

On the other hand, if you want to reduce the hassle of transfer, Klook is offering City Transfer between Cebu/Mactan to Hagnaya Port and vice versaThis package includes hotel pickup, fuel fees, and insurance but it’s a bit pricey compare to the above mentioned

How To Get To Bantayan Island
"Hagnaya Port Terminal"


"Island Ferry to Santa Fe"

There are two ferries that operate between the port of Hagnaya and Sante Fe, Bantayan vice versa within Cebu province. both ferries operate daily as shown below. Aside from the ferry ticket, all passengers are required to pay Terminal Fee of Php 10 upon departing the ports of Hagnaya Port Terminal/Santa Fe. Once you reach Bantayan Island an additional Php 10 is required for its Environmental Fee.

A. Super Shuttle Ferry

It is a ship that caters to carry both passengers and cargo-ship vehicles. The ticket fare for Economy class for each adult is at Php 180 and the total travel time would be approximately 60 minutes. Tickets can be directly purchased at the ticket counter at ports of Hagnaya and Santa Fe, otherwise, early reservation can be processed at the Super Shuttle Ferry website.


It is the fastest way to reach Bantayan Island, which will only take up to 45 minutes for the Economy class ticket for the adult of Php 220. For more details and booking reservation please check on the website of  Island Water Ferry.


(Ferry Departure)

(Ferry Departure)


(Ferry Departure)

(Ferry Departure)


Getting around Bantayan Island as a tourist is quite easy as most of the people know how to speak English. Communication and directions should be no problem when you are in Bantayan island. Below is the list of options on how a tourist can travel on the island.

1. Motorized Tricycle. The main mode of transportation for a short distance within the town. Php 25/pax 
2. Jeepney. Use to travel from one town to another (ex. St. Fe to Bantayan, Madridejos). Php 30/pax
3. Motorbike. There are a number of rental shops offering motorbike at a daily rate of Php 300
4. Bicycle. Rental shops for bicycle are Php 100/day

best time to travel Bantayan island

"Sugar Beach Resort"

Since Bantayan Island is located in the Philippines, the island has two seasons which consist of wet and dry. The best time to visit Bantayan island is during its dry season which happens in the month of February to May. In the Philippines, the month of April and May are summer periods, where the typical temperature is around 34°C where during this time the island attracts more local and tourist visitors. The island peak period is during Christian Holy Week where hundreds of people will be camping on the beach, having parties and celebrations. Meanwhile in the months from June to December is considered a wet season, most of this time expect some days in the month where it may rain more than usual. For some who wants to relax and enjoy with less crowd on the island, the month of December is considered the best option to visit in Bantayan island.

(February to May)
Average Temperature: 33°C
Hottest Month: May

(June to December)
Average Temperature: 31°C
Highest Rainfall Month: October


"Anika Island Resort"

There are hundreds of resorts in Bantayan, but the most highly recommended are far and expensive. In our visit to Bantayan Island, we stayed for two different resorts reason we want to explore the different sides of Bantayan. The two resorts that we booked are located in the opposite direction one which located in the center of the town while the other is located in a secluded place. All our bookings are done through Agoda, since most of the good hotel reviews and promotions or discounts are being offered.


Batobalonos Street, Santa Fe
Room Rate: P1,700/night

Our first night was at Coucou Bar Hotel and Restaurant which conveniently located in the town center of Santa. Fe, where most of the restaurants, bars, and shops are easily accessible. One good thing about the resort was that the beach is just a 5-10 minutes walk from the resort. In terms of its room, it was decent and clean and the facilities are well maintained. The resort also has a restaurant that caters breakfast, lunch, and dinner at a reasonable price.

How To Get There
From Santa Fe Port Terminal, ride a motorized tricycle and inform the local driver that you are heading to Coucou Bar Hotel and Restaurant. Most of the local drivers know the location of the resort, if the driver does not know, the nearest landmark is the church of St. Nino. The one-way fare will at Php 20 per/pax


"Anika Island Beach Resort"

F. Roska Street, Santa Fe
Room Rate: P2,700/night

We spend our second day at Anika Island Resort which gets us our attention as it brings a lot of good reviews. So we did went and truly it was a great resort. The long stretch of white sand shore which you could enjoy walking, it’s quiet and less crowded which makes you feel more relax. Anika Island Resort is located on the opposite side of the town of Santa Fe, but is quite near to the Santa Fe Port Terminal. Its cabin rooms are built using the container van which was customized to fit as a standard room, it has a balcony for each visitor to relax. The resort has facilities like restaurant, swimming pool, playground, and private white sand beach.

How To Get There
if you managed to booked to stay at Anika Island Resort you can arrange a FREE pickup from the ferry terminal to the resort or from resort to ferry terminal. The pickup is arranged at the time of arrival of the ferry and departure as well. Otherwise, if you intend to ride a tricycle, just inform the local driver that you are heading to Anika Island Resort, the one-way fare will at Php 15 per person



"Long Stretch Shoreline in Sugar Beach"

C. Batiancila Street, Santa Fe Bantayan Island
Entrance Fee: FREE

It is one of the popular beach resorts in Bantayan where the sand is fine and the beach is clear. A lot of visitors would flock to this place since the place is FREE and very accessible which is about 2 minutes from walk from the main road. Sunrise and sunset are at its best and make it a picturesque view of the island. Also in front of the beach is the Sugar Beach Resort which consists of air conditioned-room hotels providing the best comfort and value especially for backpackers.


Madridejos, Bantayan Island
Entrance Fee: FREE

Kota Park is a 45-minute ride from the town of Santa Fe, located on the northern part of the island-Madridejos. The park is famous for its long boardwalk of the island, and the good view of the sunset. Aside from that the park is close to the old Spanish fortress-Kota Fort which was used before as a refuge for the people of Bantayan from pirates who arrive at the island capturing children and women for slavery.

Ogtong Cave (Underground Cave)

Pooc, Santa Fe Bantayan Island
Entrance Fee: Php 250/person

Ogtong Cave is an underground cave located in Bantayan Island where natural wonder and one of the popular destinations when visiting the island. The small cave is located below the ground where you can witness a crystal clear water. It is a good place to relax and unwind since the water is cold, which is good to cool you down when visiting during sunny days. The cave is right next to the Ogtong Cave resort which is also one of the highly visited resorts in Bantayan.


Dried Fish at Santa Fe Market in Bantayan Cebu

As describe above Bantayan Island is widely known for its fine, grainy white-sand beaches and clear waters. Since most of the Bantayan Island’s primary livelihood is fishing, all catch seafood is guaranteed fresh and affordable. Visitors would savor different types of seafood such as scallops, shrimp, fish, squid, and crabs. Aside from this locals are into production of buwad (aka sun-dried salted fish) which usually consist of fish that is cut into half, sprinkled with salt, and let it dried on the heat of the sun for a couple of days. Once the procedure is complete, then it will be sold as dried-salted fish.


It is the most popular type of dried-salted fish in Bantayan island, which is commonly sold on the market with the price ranges from Php 400 – Php 500 per kilo. Most of these dried-fish are available in the market of the town Bantayan, once reach near the market you will be able to smell this dried fish from afar. Some people may find that it is not a pleasant smell, as sometimes it will stick to your clothes. As what they say. visitors won’t leave Bantayan island without having this dangit in hand.


Fishing Boats Along Shore of Bantayan"

We had a wonderful experience in our Bantayan Island travel experience, even though the weather was quite hot we still managed to enjoy our stay, from the accommodation to swimming, indulging local seafood delights. Considering the long journey that was approximately 4-5 hours from Cebu City it finally worth it once you arrive at Bantayan Island. You will be able to relax and relieve your stress as you enjoy this hidden paradise. For me, Bantayan Island is considered the best in fine white-sand beaches on top of the crystal clear waters in the Philippines. We highly recommend that you visit Bantayan Island for you to appreciate and see this wonder of nature.

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Bantayan Island Travel Itinerary

As mention above, the travel time between Cebu City and Bantayan island consumes the half-day, which is the earlier you leave from Cebu City, the better and more time-efficient you will be. Maximizing your visit to Bantayan Island, we recommend having at least 3 days and 2 nights stay on the island. Below is the sample Bantayan Island Travel itinerary that you can consider to follow.


  • 07:00am Arrive at Terminal
                    (North Bus Terminal)
                     Ride Ceres Bus to Hagnaya
  • 10:30am ETA Hagnaya
                     Hagnaya Port Terminal
                     Purchase Ferry Ticket
  • 11:00am  Ride Ferry
                     Depart Hagnaya              
  • 12:00pm ETA Santa Fe Port Terminal
  • 12:30pm Head to Hotel
  • 12:45pm Check In Hotel
                     Coucou Bar and Hotel
                     Relax and Sleep
  • 04:30pm Head to Beach
                      Sugar Beach Resort
                      Swim and Enjoy View
  • 06:00pm Head back Hotel
                      Rest and Ready for Dinner
  • 07:00pm Dinner
                      Panyang Restaurant
  • 08:30pm Head Hotel
  • 09:30pm Sleep


  • 07:30am Wake Up
  • 08:00am Breakfast
  • 09:00am Head to Swim at Beach
  • 10:30am Head back to Hotel
  • 12:00pm Check Out Hotel
  • 01:00pm Check In Resort
                     Anika Island Resort
  • 02:00pm Rest and Sleep
                     Check Out
  • 04:30pm Head to Beach
                     Swim and witness sunset
  • 07:00pm Dinner
  • 08:30pm Rest and Sleep


  • 05:30am Wake Up
  • 06:30am Early Swim
  • 07:30am Breakfast
  • 08:30am Head for Swim
  • 12:00am Check-Out Hotel
                     Head to Santa Fe Port
                     Purchase Ferry Ticket
  • 01:00pm Depart Santa Fe
  • 02:00pm ETA Hagnaya
                      Ride Ceres Bus to Cebu
  • 06:00pm ETA Cebu

the gees travel

A wife and a mother of three toddlers | Previously working as customer service executive in a logistics supply chain | working at home mom. But in spite of this added responsibilities I still find time to travel and explore together with my family.

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