A Quick Visit to the Queen City of the South and An Unplanned Trip to Bantayan Island

My friend and I got a very low airfare from Manila to Cebu. Few days prior to traveling in Cebu, I just did a quick and very basic research about this beautiful island. Hence, didn’t really have a solid plan.

On our first day, we visited the Basilica del Santo Niño and Magellan’s cross. These two tourist spots are just adjacent to each other. We attended the mass and afterwards we walked towards Colon street. We were actually got curious what’s in this street. We googled it and it says that it’s the oldest and shortest national road in the Philippines. Not knowing where to go, we just walk, walk, and walk. We’re afraid to ride a jeepney as we really don’t know the place. Ha ha! After more or less 30 minutes of walking, we saw a big cross and it looks interesting so we headed to that place. And voila it’s the Cebu Heritage Monument site. And just across the street, we saw an old house that also looks interesting. And that’s Yap-Sandiego ancestral house. We were advised by an old man to also visit the Jesuit House which is a couple of minutes away from the ancestral house.

After learning some history, (whew!), we decided to go back to the hotel and tidy up. We then checked out and headed to Temple of Leah. We spent few hours in Temple of Leah taking pictures and had a light snack. Such a relaxing place!

Getting to Bantayan Island Cebu

Since this trip is pretty much unplanned, we decided to go back to the city proper and look for another hotel where we can sleep for few hours as we need to get to North Bus Terminal at 3 am.

From Sanciangco St. in Barangay Kalubihan, there are a lot of taxis waiting. We took a taxi and asked the driver to drop us in North Bus Terminal. It was a 15-20 minute ride and cost us around P150. We also paid P10 for the terminal fee.

From Cebu North Bus Terminal, we ride a bus bound to Hagnaya
Fare: P200
Travel Duration: ~4 hours

From Hagnaya port bound to Bantayan island, we, of course, need to ride a ferry. We chose Super Shuttle Ferry
Ferry fare: P170
Travel Duration: ~1 hour

Welcome to Hagnaya Port

Super Shuttle Ferry Schedule

Arriving at Santa Fe, Bantayan Island

We actually booked at Bantayan Island Nature Park and Resort. They picked us up (L300) from the port bound to their resort in Tamiao, Bantayan Island. That trip took ~30 minutes and it’s free. We arrived at around 10:30 am.

Bantayan Island Nature Park and Resort Reception

We stayed there overnight. The resort has a mini zoo which I am not a fan of. It’s just really sad to see animals caged. I don’t know but for me, that’s not good. I didn’t know that they have this mini zoo. I should have googled it!

Sad to see a caged and tied animal in their mini zoo

From this resort, the beach isn’t beautiful as there are a lot of weeds and some trash of irresponsible people. Anyway, Bantayan Island Nature Park and Resort has an infinity pool and kid’s pool that we enjoyed. Plus the cliff view of the Visayan sea is astounding.

Infinity Pool at Bantayan Island Nature Park and Resort

Bantayan Nature Park and Resort Menu

This resort in Tamiao Bantayan Island is far from the town proper so we have to purchase something for us to eat. Their price is OK, however, it’s not suitable for budgetraveler.

Book at Bantayan Island Nature Park and Resort and Get Big Discount

During our stay, we’ve learned that we can hire a motorcycle that we can use in the island for 24 hours. The resort has a contact but they priced it at P600. We didn’t get that deal as we know that we can rent it for a lower price. So, they kindly sent us near Santa Fe port where we can rent a motorcycle.

Seven Star Resort in Bantayan Island. This is where we rented the motorcycle.

So, from here, we rented this motorcycle for P350, good for 24 hours. You will have to leave a valid ID and sign a contract form.

Motorcycle rented in Bantayan Island

We then head back to the resort as it’s already getting dark. We had Pork Sinigang for dinner.

Getting Ready to Explore More of Bantayan Island Cebu

Sunday morning…
After we had our complimentary breakfast by the cliff, we walk around the beach and took some pictures with jump shots.

Breakfast at Bantayan Island Nature Park and Resort

Having breakfast by the cliff, viewing the Visayan sea

It was low tide that time and we’ve seen locals collecting seashells which my friend also tried to do.

Collecting seashells at Tamiao Bantayan Island.

A local brings her Calf to the beach and have him bathed

Local teens just got some sea creatures and checking them in the sand.

They got this from the sea. Not sure what these are though. Seahorses?

A couple of hours later, we decided to leave the resort and explore some parts of Bantayan island but before we leave, we visited the Santo Niño cave.

Visiting Santo Niño Cave at Bantayan Island Nature Park and Resort. During high tide, guests can swim here as long as there’s a lifeguard. No lifeguard, no swimming.

We then headed to the Sts. Peter and Paul Church, a 15th-century church in Bantayan Island, Cebu. Bantayan Island road has very light traffic, there are a lot of greens around. You’ll definitely be relaxed while driving!

Bantayan Island Road with luscious green around. 

Saints Peter and Paul Parish Church. A 15th Century Parish Church in Bantayan Island Cebu

After an hour, we headed back to Santa Fe and visited some public white beach resorts.

  • Kota Beach 
    • At Kota Beach Resort Bantayan Island Cebu

      At Kota Beach Resort Bantayan Island Cebu. 

  • Santa Fe Beach Club
    • At Santa Fe Beach Club Resort

      At Santa Fe Beach Club Resort

Had lunch in a very cheap carenderia in Santa Fe.

Silogan in Bantayan Island. Pricing in Philippine Peso. ~US$1 per meal. 

Checked Island Souvenirs

Bantayan Island Cebu Souvenirs

And after I see how alluring Bantayan island is, I promised myself that I will go back and explore more. We didn’t have much time to visit the entire island. I wish we’ve stayed for few more days. But of course, there’s always “next time“. 😉

Getting back to Cebu City

From Santa Fe Beach Resort Club, we just walked ~30 minutes to reach the port.

Sante Fe port to Hagnaya Schedule (see schedule above)

From Hagnaya port to Cebu City, due to heavy traffic in Mandaue and Cebu City, it took us ~7 hours to reach city proper.

What was your most unforgettable experience in Bantayan Island?

Or do you have some questions prior to visiting it? Let me know by leaving your comments below. Thank you!

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