Bantayan Island Philippines
Bantayan Island is located at the north tip of Cebu Island in the Philippines. A Paradise in Paradise not far away from Malapascua. That describes Bantayan Island briefly.
If you leave Cebu and follow the national road along the coast, you will pass Danao City and you will have to cross the montains to reach Bogo, where you can buy some proviant or things, which you might not like to miss at Bantayan Island.
Money changing and ATM's are all located somehow close to Jollibee as the whole city of Bogo seems to be built around it. No way that you can't find it. From Bogo you make your way to San Remigo and there you will catch a ferry in Hagnaya to Bantayan Island.
The ferry leaves approx. every 1.5 hours, so you don't need to worry that you will miss one. After 50 minutes you will reach Bantayan Island and you will be welcomed by friendly people who like to help you to find your beach resort. Since Bantayan Island is quite small, just a few cars are running and some Motorcycles. Once you reached your Beach resort you will start to relax.
The waters around Bantayan Island are very clear and the white beaches invite you to a walk around. During low tide the water is shallow and you might have to walk a bit, before you can finally dive in and swim. Enjoy the cool water and the sun.
Sta Fe at Bantayan Island
Sta Fe is a small city, one can walk around or one can just rent a motorbike or scooter for 250 – 300 PHP a day, which is very convenient to move around and stop at any time you wish. The small markets provide fresh food and of course fish.
Sta Fe is the home of plenty of foreigners who settled in the Philippines. So it's not a miracle, that one can find restaurants with international and local food at fair prices. One can find private pension houses and beach resorts at Bantayan Island. The prices are varying between 900 PHP – 5000 PHP, including air-conditioned rooms. Breakfast is not always included, but it's always just around the corner in one of the small restaurants in Sta Fe.
Mary and I stayed in Annies Rest House which is located right at the beach and close to the center of Sta Fe. Actually a good choice for those who travel on a small budget.
A trip to Virgin Island
Virgin Island can be reached by a small pump boat. It's a very small remote Island close to Bantayan Island. The boat costs round about 800 PHP good for 10 person. The docking fee at Virgin Island is 500 PHP and already good for 2 persons entrance fee. Each further person will have to pay additional 100 PHP each ( children 50 PHP).
But its worth it. The small white tropical beach is just awesome and one can find a place under the shadow of palm trees or one can rent a small hut for 300 PHP. It's another day in Paradise one will say. Small tropical fishes are surrounding you right at the beach and one doesn't need to swim that far to take a look at the corals. You should bring your snorkel equipment with you.
At this site you can read why we think that Bantayan Island is the best choice to go.