Travel Tips for Bantayan Island Tourists
Have a local contact arrange your reservations, port transfers, rentals in Bantayan island so you will only hand gratuities to one person. Let him know your planned itinerary as he can make suggestions as well. It would be easy to find a local contact after you have visited Bantayan Island once.
Take Ceres bus from Cebu North Bus Terminal to Hagnaya. Trips are start at 5:30 a.m. For comfort, take 6:30 air conditioned bus. Fares range from Php 55.00 to Php 88.00. In Hagnaya, book a boat ticket for Sta. Fe.
Places to Stay
Sugar Beach is among the least expensive resorts in Bantayan charging just a Php 30.00 entrance fee and with room rates as low as Php 500.00 per night. Outdoorsmen can pitch a tent in their camping area for Php 100.00 a night. Their rooms are wanting in comfort and sanitation. There's no restaurant but one can request the caretakers to cook for them or buy food for them.
St. Bernard Beach Resort
St. Bernard offers the best quality service among resorts in Bantayan. Situated alongside a sleepy community, St. Bernard offers a wonderful respite for the weary traveler. The experience is reinforced by the excellent service of resort personnel. Food is reasonably priced and the menu offers a variety of cuisine.
Pedal Powered Pedicabs(Trisikad)
Short distance travel, cost between Php 5 to Php 20
Shotgun ride on motorcycle(Habal-habal)
Charges range from Php 10 to Php 25 within Sta. Fe. For trips to Bantayan town and Madridejos, Php 100.00 is the norm.
Rent starts at Php 200.00/day or Php 35.00/hour to as high as Php 350.00/day or Php 50.00/hour. plus fuel cost.
For long distance travel from one town to another. Fare from Bantayan town to Sta. Fe(or vice versa) is around Php 20.00. If you want the ride for yourself, costs about Php 100.00.
For island hopping in islets surrounding Bantayan, range from Php 800.00 to Php 3000.00
Things To Do
Known to Bantayan locals as Virgin Island, Silion Island is an isle off the mainland. Tourists frequent the place to picnic on its serene atmosphere renting cottages built on bermuda-covered lawns and white sand shorelines. The rich marine life of the Bantayan Marine Sanctuary near its shores make it also a good jump-off point to those who want to experience snorkeling.
The Bantayan sunset is the most wonderful sunset I have ever seen. One can witness such breath-taking moment in the late afternoon at the fishport beside the Bantayan Public Market in Bantayan town.
Bantayan Public Market
Bantayan Public Market is where you buy Bantayan Island's famed foods like the danggit and pusit. It's also adjacent to the Spanish-era church.
Danggit, Nokus, Pusit
Bantayan is known for smoked fish and squid. Retail packs are available at the Public Market. Another common meal in Bantayan is barbecued chicken and fish cooked in different ways.
I came across an eat-all-you-can restaurant in Bantayan that cooks good food at reasonable prices. At Php190.00.