Batayan Island: Where Serenity Meets Adventure


Have you ever dreamt of an idyllic island getaway with pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and a laid-back atmosphere? Look no further than Batayan Island in Cebu, the Philippines' best-kept secret!

Batayan Island is a small paradise located just off the coast of Cebu. Despite its relatively unknown status, the island boasts breathtaking scenery, fun activities, and plenty of opportunities for relaxation and rejuvenation. Whether you're an adventurous traveler or simply looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life, Batayan Island has something for everyone.


Getting to Bantayan Island is relatively easy. From Cebu City, you can take a bus or a private van to Hagnaya Port, which takes around three hours. 

We hired a black taxi which cost us 4500 for 8 pax.

From there, hop on a ferry to Sta. Fe Pier on Bantayan Island. The ferry ride is approximately an hour, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding sea.


*Rates as of May 2023

Regular: 300 PHP + 25 PHP = 325 PHP

Student: 240 PHP + 20 PHP = 260 PHP

SRC/PWD: 214 PHP + 20 PHP = 234 PHP

Child (1-11 years old): 150 PHP + 20 PHP = 170 PHP


Upon arriving at Sta. Fe Pier, you'll be greeted by the warm hospitality of the locals. You can easily find tricycles or motorbikes for hire, which are the most common modes of transportation on the island. Alternatively, some resorts offer shuttle services, making it convenient to reach your accommodation.

Our accommodation offered us service. We paid 100 PHP/tricycle.


Each municipality on Bantayan Island has its own distinct appeal, offering a blend of natural beauty, cultural heritage, and warm hospitality. Whether you're seeking sun-soaked beaches, historical landmarks, or an authentic island experience, Bantayan Island has something to offer every traveler.

Municipality of Sta. Fe

Nestled on the eastern coast of Bantayan Island, the municipality of Sta. Fe is a tropical paradise that entices visitors with its stunning white sandy beaches and crystal-clear turquoise waters. Known for its picturesque coastline, Sta. Fe is a popular destination for beach lovers and sun-seekers. The main beach, Bantayan Beach, offers a vibrant atmosphere with numerous beachfront resorts, restaurants, and bars. Visitors can indulge in various water activities like swimming, snorkeling, and island-hopping. For those seeking tranquility, secluded stretches of beach can be found where you can simply relax and soak up the natural beauty. Sta. Fe also provides a lively nightlife scene with beach parties and live music, making it an alluring destination for both daytime adventures and evening entertainment.

Municipality of Bantayan

As the main hub and the oldest town on Bantayan Island, the municipality of Bantayan exudes a charming and laid-back atmosphere. Its rich history is reflected in its Spanish colonial architecture, including the Sts. Peter and Paul Parish Church, is a centuries-old stone church that stands as a testament to the town's cultural heritage. Bantayan is also famous for its annual Holy Week procession, attracting pilgrims and tourists from all over the Philippines. The town offers a glimpse into the local island life with its bustling market, where you can find fresh seafood, local produce, and handicrafts. Exploring the quaint streets and interacting with the friendly locals will give you a sense of the island's authentic charm. Bantayan is also a gateway to beautiful nearby beaches like Obo-ob Beach and Paradise Beach, providing a perfect opportunity to unwind and bask in the island's natural splendor.

Municipality of Madridejos

Situated on the northern tip of Bantayan Island, the municipality of Madridejos offers a unique coastal experience and a distinct cultural heritage. The town is known for its vibrant fishing industry, and visitors can witness traditional fishing methods and observe the colorful pump boats that line the shores. The most notable attraction in Madridejos is Kota Park, which showcases a reconstructed Spanish fort used during the colonial era. The park offers stunning panoramic views of the sea and nearby islets. Madridejos is also home to the impressive Santa Fe Beach Club, where you can relax by the pool or enjoy water activities like kayaking and jet skiing. Exploring Madridejos allows you to immerse yourself in the local way of life and discover the lesser-known gems of Bantayan Island.


Exploring Bantayan Island is a delight, thanks to its relatively small size and picturesque landscapes. Renting a bicycle or a motorbike is a popular choice among visitors, allowing you to leisurely navigate the island's scenic roads at your own pace. Alternatively, tricycles can take you to specific destinations, ensuring a hassle-free experience.

We hired 2 tricycles during our half-day in-land tour, and we paid 1000php per tricycle.


The official currency in the Philippines is the Philippine Peso (PHP). While credit cards are accepted in some establishments, it's recommended to carry cash, especially when visiting more remote areas. ATMs are available in Sta. Fe, but it's advisable to withdraw enough cash in Cebu City before heading to Bantayan Island.


Bantayan Island is a treasure trove of captivating destinations that will leave you in awe. Start your journey by visiting the breathtaking Paradise Beach, known for its crystal-clear waters and swaying palm trees. 

Beach Hopping - Batayan Island is famous for its pristine beaches such as:

a. Paradise Beach - A secluded beach with turquoise waters and powdery white sand.

b. Kota Beach - A long stretch of powdery white sand beach with crystal-clear waters, perfect for swimming, snorkeling, and diving.

c. Sugar Beach - Another beautiful beach with fine white sand and crystal-clear waters perfect for swimming and sunbathing.

For a cultural experience, explore the centuries-old Saints Peter and Paul Parish Church, a remarkable testament to the island's rich history.


Bantayan Island offers an array of activities to cater to all interests. Snorkeling and diving enthusiasts can marvel at the vibrant marine life and colorful coral reefs surrounding the island. Adventure seekers can engage in island hopping, where you'll discover secluded coves and hidden lagoons. For a touch of serenity, indulge in yoga classes on the beach or treat yourself to a relaxing massage at one of the island's spa resorts.

Island Hopping - There are several nearby islands you can explore such as Hilantagaan Island, Virgin Island, and Ocoy Island.

In-land Tour - The Bantayan island offers a lot of inland destinations such as The Ruins, Sandira Beach, Mangrove Eco Park, etc.

Snorkeling and Diving - Batayan Island is surrounded by coral reefs and marine sanctuaries that offer a diverse array of marine life, perfect for diving and snorkeling.

Cliff Diving - Experience the thrill of jumping off a 30-foot cliff at the cliff diving spot in Marangog Cove.

Famous Landmarks

The Basílica Menor del Santo Niño - A 16th-century basilica that houses the oldest religious relic in the Philippines, the Santo Niño de Cebú.

Magellan's Marker - A historical landmark that commemorates the arrival of the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan to the Philippines in 1521.


When it comes to dining on Bantayan Island, prepare your taste buds for an explosion of flavors. Indulge in freshly caught seafood at the lively MJ Square, where you can feast on mouthwatering grilled fish and delectable local dishes. Don't forget to try the island's famous delicacy, the crispy and savory danggit (dried fish), which you can find in local markets.

CouCou Bar and Restaurant - A cozy restaurant that serves a fusion of Filipino and European dishes.

The Beach Restaurant - A beachfront restaurant that offers fresh seafood and grilled dishes.


Finding accommodation that suits your preferences is a breeze on Bantayan Island. Whether you seek luxury resorts, cozy beachfront cottages, or budget-friendly guesthouses, the island has something for everyone. Some highly recommended options include the elegant Kota Beach Resort, the charming Amihan Beach Cabanas, and the laid-back Anika Island Resort.

Ahava Boutique Hotel - A new boutique hotel located in the heart of Sta. Fe. The hotel offers minimalistic - modern-style vibes to its guests. 

*Read my review here.

Kandugyap House by the Sea - A cozy boutique hotel that offers a relaxing atmosphere and a stunning view of the sea.

Beach Placid Resort - A beachfront resort that features comfortable accommodations and a variety of amenities, including a swimming pool, a restaurant, and a bar.

Bantayan Island is a tropical paradise that beckons adventurers and relaxation seekers alike. From its pristine beaches and exciting activities to its warm-hearted locals and delectable cuisine, this hidden gem of the Philippines promises an unforgettable experience. So pack your bags, set your spirit of exploration free, and get ready to be captivated by the sheer beauty of Bantayan Island, where dreams become reality and memories are made to last a lifetime.

Have you been to Bantayan Island? Share with me your stories by commenting below and remember to follow my social media accounts for more thrilling adventures!

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