the best thing i can give back to the people of Bantayan island is a personal backpacker guide for the beach lovers who are planning to visit the island. i assume that you'll be staying there for two days and one night. although a longer stay will really be better! Day1
7:00am>>> you need to be at the Cebu North bus terminal. Cebu North terminal is located near SM City Cebu which is along F. Urot street Mandaue City reclamation area. you can take a taxi from anywhere in Cebu city even from the airport going to the terminal. two bus lines can bring you to Hagnaya in the town of San Remigio. we chose the Ceres bus liner as it leaves the terminal earlier.
7:30am>>> bus leaves the Cebu North bus terminal. traveling via the Mandaue highway North road. passing by the coastal towns of Consolacion, Liloan, Compostela and the industrial town of Danao. 8:40am>>> next town is Carmen and just kilometers away from this town is the first 15-minute stop over at the Hillside terminal. there are small restaurants and mini food shops but i still suggest that you buy your food in Cebu city.
8:55am>>> bus leaves and will pass by the towns of Catmon, Sogod then Bogo. this time the trip crosses the mountainous area of northern Cebu. 10:05am>>> second stop over at Bogo. this is a shorter stop over.
10:08am>>> leaves the town of Bogo and journey its way to the port of Hagnaya in the town of San Remigio.
10:20am>>> arrives at the Hagnaya port. just in time for the 10:30am ferry trip to Sta. Fe in the island of Bantayan. the ferry usually waits for this Ceres bus trip as most of their passengers comes from this bus trip. the bus drops you at the port itself. just few steps away is the ticketing office and the pier terminal. buy your tickets immediately and board the ferry. 10:30am>>> ferry leaves Hagnaya port bound for Sta. Fe in Bantayan island. the expected travel time is one hour. on weekdays, few people are traveling. so you'll have all the space that you need for this trip. there's no special accomodation in the ferry. a mini canteen is available selling chips, noodles and coffee. there's not much view to see during the trip. you'll pass by some islands including the Hilantaga-an island.
11:30am>>> ferry arrives on time. from the pier, people just walk going to the Sta. Fe welcome arc. you can either take your lunch from the nearby food shops just outside the entrance arc or immediately go to the resort.
>>>suggested resorts within Sta. Fe municapility:
Sta Fe Beach Resort >>> a walk away from the pier. no need to take a ride to get there. you can walk along the right side of the beach front of the pier. Ogtong Beach Resort >>> beach resort that has a swimming pool and high end accommodation. also owned managed by the Sta. Fe Beach Resort. but this is located South West of Sta. Fe. you'll need a ride going there. it will be a short ride 10minutes or even less. this resort is famous for its well preserved natural underground cave. Sugar Beach Resort>>> medium class resort with very reasonable price for backpackers. it has a wide beach stretch and palm trees are abundant for shade lovers. this resort has a wide stretch of sand landscaped with coconut trees. they offer several types of cottages from air conditioned rooms to non-air conditioned rooms. there are other resorts in Sta. Fe but we only inquired for this three. there are also resorts in the municipalities of Bantayan (its capital) and Madridejos.12:00nn>>> lunch time and settle down your things on the preferred resort.
12:30pm>>> enjoy the beach time at the wider beach front of the Sta. Fe beach stretch. go as far as you can to get a view of the beach front filled with white sand.
2:00pm>>> grab a drink from nearby food shops and walk along the beach stretch.
3:00pm>>> go swimming at the cave of Ogtong Beach Resort. if you did not check in at Ogtong Beach Resort, a day entrance will allow you to enjoy some of its facilities which includes the swimming pool, the cave and its beach.
3:30pm>>> enjoy the 8feet-deep swimming pool of Ogtong Beach Resort.
4:00pm>>> swimming time for beach lovers at the resort's beach front which is facing the Sugar Beach Resort. there are rocky parts in the resort's beach front.
4:30pm>>> rent a kayak for an hour and paddle your way around its area. the water is clam on this side of the shore because it faces Cebu's mainland. perfect for kayaking!
5:30pm>>> visit the cave again as there are lesser people occupying the cave at this time. 6:00pm>>> enjoy the sunset at the beach front. might as well go swimming when the skies are getting darker.
7:00pm>>> food tripping at the resort or you also have the option of eating at some food shops outside the resort for cheaper costs.
7:30pm>>> settle down at your room's balcony facing the beach with your feet on top. 8:30pm>>> Bantayan doesn't offer much for people looking for nightlife. the best you can do is to set up for a campfire infront of the beach and gather everybody in the group for a whole night of fellowship. there are some bars outside with live bands but you might as well enjoy Bantayan's charm that offers a relaxing setting.
5:30am>>> wake up at this time to grab the chance to see the sunrise. walk along the beach and see fishermen setting up their boats.
6:30am>>> swimming while the sun is out. start canvassing for a banca rental for an island hopping by 8:30am.
7:30am>>> breakfast time in the resort. you can ask the caretakers or the staff to cook the seafood of your choice. danggit is perfect for your breakfast. 8:30am>>> small boat leaves for island hopping. this allows you to get a bigger view of the beach as you pass by the different resorts of Sta. Fe. don't forget to bring your diving masks and snorkel. if you didn't bring your own, you can rent it from the boat owner to include it in the package.
8:45am>>> snorkeling at the Virgin island's coral haven. Virgin island is also called Sillion island by some people. you can transfer from one site to the other to check out the different corals and sea creatures.
10:45am>>> proceed to Hilantaga-an island. no need to spend time swimming there as it offers the same thing as the Virgin island offers.
11:30am>>> take your lunch and rent a motorbike for at least 2hours to drive along the highway of Bantayan. you won't have a problem looking for the rentals as people offers it everytime you go out of the resort. if you don't know how to drive a motorbike, someone can drive you.
12:00nn>>> drive your way to the town of Bantayan, the island's capital, and make sure that you visit the old church. roam around the town center and might as well grab the chance to interact with the locals for Bantayan's history. if you have enough time, you can still drive your way to the town Madridejos. Sta Fe to the town of Bantayan will take you 20minutes and Bantayan to Madridejos will be 30minutes. you won't get confused with the road as the highway is obviously larger than the regular streets.
2:00pm>>> back at the resort, you can take your time to relax take a nap or might as well swim.
3:00pm>>> settle your accounts, take a last walk along the beach front and rent a motorbike to the pier. take the last ferry trip to Hagnaya port.
4:00pm>>> ferry departs from Sta. Fe resort.
5:00pm>>> ferry arrives at the Hagnaya port. bus going to Cebu awaits the passengers of this trip. so don't worry, you won't miss the bus.
5:10pm>>> bus leaves immediately.
7:00pm>>> stop over at Hillside terminal. you can have dinner at the restaurant or might as well buy some snacks and have dinner when you arrive in Cebu city.
7:15pm>>> bus leaves Hillside terminal and continue its way back to the North Bus Terminal.
8:25pm>>> bus arrives at the North Bus terminal in Mandaue City.
a two-day and one-night trip to Bantayan might be enough but if you have enough time. might as well extend your stay. i hope this guide will help you in the future. i didn't include the prices as it might vary with time but don't worry the budget is cheap.