Bantayan Island, Cebu Itinerary: Island Tour

Sts. Paul and Peter parish church in Bantayan town plaza
Backpacking | Bantayan Island Tour
Municipalities of Santa Fe, Bantayan and Madridejos, Bantayan Island, Cebu (Central Visayas)
Hours to island (from Cebu City): 4-5 hours
Specs: A 6-hour tour of Bantayan island, small towns, laid back community, dried fish (danggit), white sand beach


Things to consider:
· There are plenty of beach resorts in Santa Fe to choose from. Some even have campsites for backpackers. Check out my beach itinerary here.
· It is best to book hotel accommodation ahead of time, especially during peak season (holidays or summer: March-June)
. Watch out for food peddlers for a taste of local food and snacks such as crabs, seashells, bananas and rice cakes.
· Entrance fee to Ogtong cave is P50-P100. But if you are checked in at a Santa Fe Beach Club-operated resort, it is free (including transfers).
. Entrance fee to the Mangrove walk is P5-P10.
. Motorbike rental is about P50-P100 per hour.
. If you don’t know how to ride a motorbike by yourself, you can hire a habal-habal (tandem passenger motorcycle)
. Be sure to bring sunglasses, sunblock, a hat. Helmets are optional but recommended, of course
. You will pass by a number of chicken farms, and they don’t exactly smell inviting.
· The bus ride from Cebu North terminal to Hagnaya takes 2.5-3 hours.
. Recommended bus line: Ceres Bus
· Non-airconditioned buses are more common than airconditioned ones.
· Stuff your bag with snacks because you’ll be spending plenty of time on the road/boat.
. The waves tend to be a little rough during the afternoon (around 3PM-5PM)
. Once the barge/ferry reaches Hagnaya, get up and be among the first people to get off. Just take my my word for it: sprint towards the first bus you see and save seats for you and your companions as bus seats go easily. If you miss the bus, you might have to wait hours for the next one or be forced to rent a taxi (expensive!) to go back to Cebu City.

. Best use this itinerary as a filler to your even bigger Cebu itinerary (Cebu City, Malapascua, Moalboal, Camotes, etc.).
. Other airlines aside from Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific fly to Cebu City, like Zest Air, Sea Air, PAL express, Air Philippines. Check their websites to see their flight schedules.
. The flight schedules sampled above may change in time. I suggest that you check their websites and adjust the itinerary to fit your schedule.
· Taking private car will reduce travel time by about 20 mins. Park your car (at your own risk) at Hagnaya port for a fee.
. You may also bring your car to the island since the ferries traveling to and from Banatayan Island are Ro-Ro boats (roll-on-roll-off). This way, you won’t need to rent a motorbike.
· Food and drinks are sold on some of the bigger barges/ferries
· It is best to buy a return ferry ticket ahead of time, preferably just after arriving on the island, to make sure you have sure seats on your way back.
· Since you're already in Cebu, I recommend spending another night in Cebu City for a city tour before flying back for Manila.
· Malapascua Island is another 2-hour bus ride and boat from Hagnaya port- That's bus to Maya port, then boat to Malapascua Island.

Budget around P1760 (P3960*) per pax
Budget estimate for 2 people:
4000 promo fare roundtrip airfare from Manila (price ranges from P288-P3500 per person)*
400 airport terminal fee (P200 per person)*
115 approx. taxi fare to North bus terminal
200 bus North terminal to Hagnaya port (~P80-P110 per person)
600 roundtrip boat fare to and fro Bantayan island (~P280-P300 per person)
700 cottage/room accommodation for 2 (~P700-P1000++)
400 motorbike rental
200 bus Hagnaya port to North terminal
100 approx. taxi fare from city to airport (or hotel)
1000 food share
200 misc (port terminal fees, tips, etc.)
*Estimated budget if you are coming from Manila

Municipality of Bantayan boundary arch

Mangrove walk in Mangrove garden ecotourism zone

Madridejos fishing village (small lighthouse afar)

Itinerary and expenses recorded on Jan 25, 2009


  1. do you have any idea how to get to malapascua from bantayan? what would be the mode of transpo? how much would it cost? thanks!

  2. Hi,
    You have to go back to Hagnaya and take a bus to Maya Port, then another ferry/boat to Malapascua. It will take about 3 hours.

    thanks for visiting!

  3. Nice budget & Itinerary breakdown; very detailed.

    I've done itineraries for my readers before, but as I tell them, you really need at least a few days & preferably more to really ENJOY Bantayan Island (enjoy as in: not be rushed through a 'schedule')

    But its a necessary thing for your group who were only there for less then 2 days.

    A few of my readers tried the 1 day hit-&-run tour of the Island: they did get here but they didn't get to see or do much, as it's typically 4.75 to 5.5hr travel time from leaving the hotel in Cebu City, until the time you land on Bantayan Island - and the last boat of the day leaves at 5:30pm from Santa fe.

    Hope your group can come back when you have more time to spend on a relaxing & laid back old fashioned Island.


  4. Hi PJAMES!
    I consulted your blog before my first visit to Bantayan. Yours is as detailed and as helpful!

    Thanks for visiting!

  5. Hi,

    Need your advise, i was torn from which among the two will I go Bantayan Island (north) or Kawasan + Moalboal (south). Would you be so kind to help me decide. Thanks!

  6. Hi kookieleyn,
    It depends on your preferred activity. But Bantayan is really a must-see!
    Sorry for the uber late response..

    Please visit again,

  7. hi,

    my husband and i are planning to go bantayan island on his bday, this coming february 27, its our first time there, thanks to your schedule plan i have now a guide.

  8. @maribel

    I am glad to hear that you will use my itinerary for your trip! Let me know how it goes :)

  9. heading to bantayan (june 8-9)-malapascua (9-10) and camotes (11-12). lemme know if anyone's going 0x9x1x6x9x6x7x8x8x53

  10. balak namen pumunta sa bantayan this coming month of MAY. may mairerecommend ba kayong resorts na mura?

  11. @ ana

    The month of May is considered peak season. I suggest booking ahead of time. It's been a while since I've been there, pero I recommend you stay in the Sugar beach area :)

  12. Hi! Do you know how much is the fee if we hire a pumboat from Bantayan Island to Malapascua? And how long is the travel time. Visiting there in June with my Ausie boyfriend, both first timers there. Thanks! ;)

    - Ela

    1. @Ela Maglente

      Hi, sorry I don't know about the boat. Or if that option would be more convenient..

      The boats going to Malapascua (from Cebu main island) doesn't dock on Hagnaya port, which could mean the two islands (bantayan and malapascua) are really far apart. In any case, Malapascua if more for divers than beachgoers..


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