Things to do in Bantayan Island – Philippines

Planning a trip to The Philippines? Why not? Come and explore Bantayan Island with me.

Beautiful Beaches on the outer islands

Today, I will be your guide for a tour of Bantayan Island. We are taking off to the beautiful paradise of Bantayan. Fasten your seatbelt and brace yourself, as I am bringing you the best tour you’ll have this year. Tired of city life and work? Finding a place with extraordinary things to do is hard but this is place.

Bantayan Island is a perfect travel destination for your next holiday. There are well known resorts around the world that offers vintage and expensive accommodation, why not save your money and find a place that would give you more than what you ask for? There are lots of things to do that you will surely enjoy.

Is it the first time you’ve been to Bantayan Island? The nearest airport is at Cebu City in the Philippines. From the airport you need to get a taxi and go to the North Bus Terminal, and from the terminal get a bus going to Hagnaya San Remigio Port.

It will take 3 hours, from the port to Bantayan Island by RoRo (Roll on, Roll off ferry). Book yourself a resort ahead, you can contact them through Facebook or their website. Some of the best resorts on the island are on Budyung Beach. They include Sta Fe Beach Club, Ogtong Cave Resort, and Maias Beach Resort .

Bantayan Island is located in the heart of Philippine archipelago. It is situated along the Visayan Sea, nearest to the province of Negros and Cebu. Bantayan got its name from a watch tower called Bantayan Sa hari, which serves as the Lantawanan, a visayan word which means to guard. Lanatawanon for Moros Mauraders, (pirates) who wanted to invade the island to steal resources, meat, water and take slaves.

Bantayan Island is perfect for anyone who needs a budget friendly vacation. Imagine, a quiet island that offers unique and budget friendly vacation, basking in the sun. A place where you can take a long peaceful walk.

Must Do

There are a lot of things to do in Bantayan, like visiting local churches, the plaza, museums and enjoy the cool breeze of air that gives relaxation to your tired soul. It doesn’t end there because the island has crystal-like water that is perfect for swimming. There are also 3 caves that are open to tourists, great bay walks, island hopping between many nearby smaller islands, white sandy beaches, friendly locals, and the tasty fresh seafood that is affordable.

Paradise Beach

If you’re looking for a relaxing, secluded beach on Bantayan, you’ve come to the right place. Surrounded by cactus groves and turquoise water, Paradise Beach is a great choice. The trail to the beach takes about 15 minutes, and is very slick after rain. While there are no huts, you can still get comfortable with a wooden beach umbrella. This secluded beach is also clean and litter-free, so you’ll be able to leave your trash wherever you like.

You can reach the beach by riding a tricycle, or by hailing a habal-habal motorbike taxi. Depending on the size of your group, it can take anywhere from 15 to 20 minutes. Once you’ve arrived, there is a small tourist office that sells drinks and snacks. You can also rent a motorbike and ride the short distance to Paradise Beach.

Virgin Island

While exploring St. John’s National Park, you should also take advantage of the island’s many beaches. The park is home to long hiking trails and some beautiful beaches. You can also explore the national monument and snorkel, boat, or scuba dive. Many of the island’s attractions are family friendly, so you can bring the kids along as well. If you’re an intrepid explorer, you may want to explore the historic sugar plantation of Annaberg Plantation.

Visitors can also visit the USVI Carnival, a month-long festival that takes place on all three islands. While each island celebrates Carnival at a different time of the year, St Thomas is known for starting it off in April. St John celebrates it in June, while St Croix kicks off the festivities in December. Carnival features calypso music, jumbie dance, and elaborate parades.

St. Peter and Paul Church

On the southeastern part of Bantayan Island, you can visit the historic Sts. Peter and Paul Church. Its first structure was built on June 11, 1580, under the supervision of the Augustinians. Its current structure was started in 1839 and completed in 1863. Bantayan is located around 10 km away from Santa Fe. If you’d like to see this historic church in person, you can rent a motorcycle and ride it to the church. You can also take a trisikad, which is a three-wheeled motorcycle, if you’re feeling adventurous.

The church, built by local fisherman, is also famous for its Semana Santa observance. The island is originally a parish under Saint Peter, but later, Saint Paul was added as patron saint. On June 29, the island hosts a fiesta celebrating the patron saints. The event is characterized by elaborately decorated carriages painted with religious icons. The celebration is one of the highlights of Bantayan’s religious calendar.

Omagieca Mangrove Garden

Among the things to do in Bantayan is visiting Omagieca Mangrove Garden. This attraction features elevated boardwalks that cut through the mangrove forest. Aside from the sea view, it offers a chance to feed the fish. The swaying mangroves and the sounds of crashing waves make this attraction an excellent place to unwind after a busy day.

Located about 30 minutes from the port, the Omagieca Mangrove Garden is a community project dedicated to the protection of mangroves. The garden has a restaurant, resting stations along the walking tour, and various activities to keep you occupied. Visitors are required to pay entrance fees to the park. However, the entrance fee is well worth the experience.

Visitors are also encouraged to try the local cuisine at the Omagieca Mangrove Garden. The island is popular with locals and tourists for its delicious, fresh fish, seafood, and natural attractions. While in Bantayan, travelers can also explore the area’s history. The island has been a part of the Philippines since 1580 and is home to one of the oldest churches in the area.

Kinatarkan Island

If you’re looking for a great escape from the hustle and bustle of Manila, consider Kinatarkan Island. This small island is located between Bantayan and the mainland, and boasts around 10,000 residents. It’s divided into three barangays – the central, Hagkilan, and the remote Kinatarkan. Kinatarkan Island offers white sands, turquoise water, and excellent cliff wonders.

There are a number of things to do on Kinatarkan Island, including exploring the town itself. Visit the Bantayan Historical Park, which was originally a Spanish fort built in the 1790s. Here, you can imagine colonial life on the island. Another non-beach attraction is the Bantayan Mangrove Garden. Learn about mangroves, enjoy a relaxing walk in the garden, or climb the tower to get a bird’s eye view of the island.

The Kinatarkan Island is located about 12 kilometers off the northwestern tip of Cebu. The island is also home to the town of Santa Fe, which is the main port on Bantayan. Despite the town’s remote location, Kinatarkan has escaped overdevelopment and remains relatively untouched by tourism. If you’re traveling to the area, Kinatarkan Island should be on your list.

Hilantagaan Island

There are many things to do in Hilantagaan Island, the seaside community in Bantayan Island. You can snorkel in the pristine water of the Virgin Island, a private resort with a variety of activities available. Rent a tricycle for P100 to get around town. If you want to see as much of Hilantagaan Island as possible, you can spend a day exploring the island and getting acquainted with the locals.

After you’ve visited Bantayan, you can try some of the local cuisine and seafood at nearby islands. There’s a small fishing village in Hilantagaan and you can feed the fish there, if you’d like. If you’d like to experience an authentic island lifestyle, Hilantagaan is the perfect place to go. This place is a great place to relax and experience the local way of life.

Whether you’re traveling with your kids or a loved one, Bantayan Island has plenty to offer. Its beaches and island-hopping are popular with visitors, but the island also has a vibrant nightlife. You can dine at chain restaurants, visit bars and souvenir shops, and check out the MJ Square, an entertainment hub on the island. If you’re a night owl, a trip to Bantayan Island wouldn’t be complete without a visit to MJ Square.

Fort of Kota Park

The imposing fortress of colonial-era looms over the palm-tree-lined park. A stroll through this park will reveal the fortress’s historical significance and offer a glimpse of the island’s fascinating past. The imposing fortress stands over a pond dotted with mature coconut palm trees. The island is also home to several enchanting beaches, including those of Kota Kinabalu.

If you love history, visit the historic site of the Fort of Kota Park on Bantlayan Island. Located in Madridejos, the park is a 45 to 60-minute ride away from the main town of Santa Fe. The park marks the humble beginnings of the native Bantayanons. Originally, it was built as a Spanish fort in the 1880s and later became a public cemetery for the native Bantayan people.

For a more adventurous day trip, rent a scooter or bike and explore the island’s flat terrain. You can stop at the small, quaint villages where you can watch the local people fishing or visit the ruins of a parish church established in 1580. You can also enjoy local fare, including seafood dishes. The city of Madridejos has several beaches and is home to Kota Park, which is also worth a visit.

Marikaban Beach

One of the best things about Bantayan Island is its beaches, including Marikaban Beach. This beautiful island has three main beaches: the rest area, which is north of the port, and the resort area, which is south of the port. The rest area has light sand and is wide enough to swim in at low tide. The beach is the first line of resorts. Its beaches are also popular with tourists, and many of them offer activities such as snorkeling and diving.

Visitors should remember that Bantayan Island is relatively small, measuring only 19 by eight kilometers, but is actually almost twice as large as Cebu City. A boat trip from Cebu will take you to Bantayan Island, where you’ll find plenty of beautiful beaches and secluded coves. Whether you choose to swim in the water or kayak, you’ll find a tropical paradise surrounded by beautiful mountains.

What I like the most about Bantayan Island

It’s the waters that surround the island, because it doesn’t only serve as a tourist attraction but also offers the locals their livelihood from fishing.

The Best Walk in Bantayan Island

You can take on the island is at the Omagieca Mangrove Garden a nature garden located in Barangay Oboob. The bay walk starts by bamboo trees that serves as a pathway to take you to a walk under mangrove trees and if you look down you can see the seawater that gently reaches the seashore, its perfect for Instagram photos.

Best Restaurants in Bantayan Island

Bantayan Island offers a variety of fresh seafood that are affordable for the budget traveller, A great place to eat is at Sarapoi, Blue Lobster Resto Bar or Marisco’s they have delicious seafood.

Bantayan Island has several food stalls, which are great for a quick bite. You can try their delicious fried “danggit” fish, which is a local specialty. These are best eaten dipped in soy sauce and fresh chilies.

There are also several eateries to choose from, including a Filipino bar and grill. This restaurant serves huge seafood servings, and is kid-friendly. It also has an alfresco area for those who want to dine in the open air. You can also grab a bite from a Filipino bar-grill resto like Izla Sugba.

While you’re on the island, don’t forget to try a local pizza place. If you love pizza, you’ll love the variety of pizza options here. You can get an eat-all-you-can service or just order a few pieces and take it home. Some of the restaurants also offer a wide range of boodle sets and individual dishes.

Another great place to eat in Bantayan is Abuhan. This is one of the most popular places to eat on Bantayan Island.

Best Hotels in Bantayan Island

Best Festival/Music in Bantayan Island

A famous festival in the town is The Palawod festival and is celebrated in the month of June. This fishing festival honors the island’s patron saints and is celebrated with street dancing, colourful costumes and plenty of food.

Best Nightlife in Batayan Island

Experience a different nightlife when you’re in Bantayan, have a campfire along the seashore, enjoy the sound of the calm waves and nature, with mojitos and friends at your side.

Something that travellers won’t know about Batayan Island

Don’t leave the island without visiting the most well-known tourist destination The Virgin Island, from the town of Santa Fe, you need to take a tour boat that can cater a total of 12 people to reach the islet.

There you can enjoy scuba diving, jumping off the cliff and has one of the most beautiful white beaches you’ll ever see. You can also check the island town proper where you can see the Old Aguho trees that were planted by Spaniard and Franciscans, while waiting for the sun to set, you can stroll along the roads, and talk to locals a great way to finish your day exploring a wonderful island paradise .

David Cronk - Editor

David Cronk is the editor of online travel magazine Travelodium Travel Magazine. David has travelled to over 30 countries of the world and his writing has been published by enRoute magazine - Air Canada's inflight magazine and by Hotel & Accommodation Management Magazine. David has worked as a Sales Executive for Sheraton and Hilton Hotels and for Hotelbookers in London. He has worked also as a Hotel Night Manager and in bars throughout Europe. David eventually settled into a position working as a croupier for several years before changing careers to become a Data, Sales and Statistical Analyst.

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