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Bantayan Island is the largest island of an island group located in the northwestern end of Cebu Island, Philippines. The island is famed for its beautiful beach, natural flora and fauna, and as the shipping lane for ferries from Mindanao and/or Cebu city to Manila and vice versa.
Serene and Wondrous Journey to the Bantayan Island
Bantayan Island is home to about 120.447 people, according to 2015 census. Most of the population is in the Bantayan Island itself, while the rest are scattered in the various islands that surrounds it. Bantayan Island is rising in popularity as a tourist destination due to its pristine beaches and relatively less crowded areas compared to other popular destination in Cebu. Because of that, it still has a rustic, untouched island vibe that will certainly attract visitors as if they have found a true paradise on earth.
Since there are plenty of islands around Bantayan, it is a good idea to rent a boat and try to explore them all. Although the islands looked the same from the outside, you might find a beautiful pristine beach where you can have the whole beach for yourself since some of the islands are uninhabited. You can also see the various underwater beauties that differs from island to island by snorkeling or diving.
Bantayan Island has plenty of beautiful and amazing resorts that offer various activities and facilities. It is perfect if you want a quick getaway without doing too much activity, just relax and enjoy all the amenities that the resorts has will certainly enough to make you refreshed again.
One of the famous tourist spot in Bantayan Island is the Ogtong Cave, which has a freshwater lake inside a cave. It is a perfect place for a family to swim around and play as the water is very clear. However, it is located inside a resort so non-guests visitors might have to pay for entry to the cave.
Bantayan Island is one of the first islands in Philippines that were evangelized by the Spanish clergy during their visit in the exploration age. As such, you can find a heritage colonial church made from coral stones here. Known as the St. Peter & Paul, the church is located in the middle of the town square adn heavily decorated with the usual Catholic symbols and figures. If you are visiting Bantayan Island, a trip to this historical landmark would certainly be a great idea.
What's there to do on an island other than sit than relax at the beach? Take your time to take a good look at the beautiful panorama while sipping a coconut and feel the cool sea breeze blowing through your skin at the beaches of Bantayan Island. The most popular one are Placid Beach, Sugar Beach, Kota Beach, and Alice Beach, among others. The beaches are the main reason that people visit Bantayan Island in the first place, so be sure to check them out during your visit here!
Home to thousands of mangrove in the island, Omagieca Mangrove Garden offers a fun experience and knowledge about mangroves and its significant roles in the ecosystem to the visiting tourists. The Mangrove Garden was hit pretty badly during the Typhoon Haiyan, but volunteers and non-profit organizations have been working to revive the mangrove ecosystem tirelessly. Today, you can enjoy a little trip aboard the elevated pathway across swathes of mangroves to see the beauty of the garden that has been healed.
There are plenty of beach-side activities that you can choose at the Bantayan Island. For adrenaline seekers, you might want to try to learn kite surfing. As the waves around the island are small and the water is shallow, it is such a perfect opportunity for beginners to learn this fun challenge. Another activity that is certainly a fun one is jetskiing, as there are nobody who did not like it.
How to Get Tickets?
There are no tickets for entry to the Bantayan Island. However, you certainly need to pay for a boat ride to get there, and some of the attractions or landmarks would require you to pay an entry fee in order to access them.
How To Get Around?
The most popular way to get around the island is by bike. There are plenty of places where you can rent a bike and it is a fun thing to do while exploring the island with your friends or loved ones.
What Should I Wear?
You should dress accordingly to the season. Most of the time, it will be hot so you might want to wear light clothes. Any kind of swimwear is also allowed. Don't forget to apply sunscreen especially if you wear something that exposes your skin a lot.
Best Time to Visit
During holiday season, the Bantayan Island can be pretty crowded, so it is advisable to visit the island during the off-season. As Philippines is known as one of the places that was regularly hit by typhoons, you might want to check the news on the weather before visiting here.
Will I Need a Guide?
No, the island is pretty much self-explanatory when you explore it.
How To Get There?
To get to Bantayan Island from Cebu City, you will need to travel by land to Hagnayan Port first. You can take bus, taxi, or renting a van to get there, with bus being the cheapest. From the port, you need to take a ferry or boat ride straight to Bantayan Island