Bantayan Island is the biggest island in the Bantayan Island group. It is located northwest off the island of Cebu and is considered as one of the paradise destinations in the province.
The island is divided into three municipalities, namely Bantayan, Santa Fe and Madridejos. The island is blessed with white sand beaches and crystal clear waters that rival the ones found in Boracay Island. The best beaches in the island are found in the municipality of Santa Fe. These beaches include Sugar Beach, Alice Beach and Paradise Beach. You can opt to take a dip in the clear blue waters of these beaches or simply laze around the whole day while reading a good book.
Aside from spending the whole day at the beach in the mainland, you can also hire a boat to take you to Virgin Island, which is around 15 minutes away from the main island. The island is preferred by many visitors to Bantayan since the water is clearer and not crowded.
Bantayan Island also has a rich cultural history with its 500-year old church, the Saint Peter and Paul Church. The church was established on June 11, 1580 and was under the supervision of the Diocese of Manila. Consumption of meat in Bantayan during Holy Week is allowed due to a Papal Indult issued by Pope Leo VII in the 1840s. It essentially exempted the residents of the island from practicing abstinence during the Holy Week. The exemption was given because the fishermen were asked by the church not to fish during the Holy Week. Since fishing is the main source of livelihood of the residents, they would have nothing to eat.
Since Bantayan Island is a major tourist destination, you have a good number of places to stay in when you visit the island. One of the best places to stay in is the Amihan Beach Cabanas, which received the 2016 Travelers’ Choice award from tripadvisor.com. Most of the guests who checked into the result had good reviews of the place. If the Amihan Beach Cabanas is fully-booked, you can also consider staying at Marlin’s Beach Resort, the CouCou Bar Hotel & Restaurant, Maia’s Beach Resort and the Kota Beach Resort. All four resorts received good reviews from travelers, according to tripadvisor.com.
Getting to Bantayan Island
You can take a bus bound for the port of Hagnaya at the Cebu North Bus Terminal. The trip will take around four hours depending on the traffic. Non-air-conditioned buses leave the terminal at every hour while there are only three trips for air-conditioned buses to Hagnaya. Once you reach the port of Hagnaya, you can take a ferry ride to Santa Fe.
Bantayan Island is one of the best places to visit if you are in Cebu. It is a perfect weekend getaway for anyone who just wants a little piece of paradise on Earth.
Lola Pureza's Peanut Browas, a taste of old Cebu.
Available in leading supermarkets and pasalubong shops.