Saturday, July 13

Must-Do's in Bantayan Island: Biking and Island Hopping

A pretty laid-back place, full of beach bummers, a nice place to relax in, an avenue to stress your thighs out through pedaling and offers an opportunity to meet awesome people and feel at home - this is Bantayan Island located in the northern part of Cebu.

That shell maybe alone but he is not lonely


Friends and I thought it was not the end of summer yet so off we went to what is dubbed as the "quieter Boracay". Locals and foreigners alike were friendly and accommodating. People were just smiling and seemed to know one another. Pretty laid-back.

Sta Fe, Bantayan Island Pier
Sta Fe, Bantayan Island Pier

People ready to get out from the ferry

The welcome sign is so true

It would just be another beach experience, or so I thought. I kept on hearing that biking is popular in the island. When we went there, lo and behold, bikers were everywhere. The idea of just biking around the center (marketplace) and back and forth to the beach resort was simply orthodox. We didn't want the feeling to be left out, so we also rented some bikes. 

Biking in Bantayan Island
Dan and Mani stopped for a picture

Dutch enjoying like a kid

Benson and Dan testing their rides

Joie the surfer getting ready his Go Pro

Sta Fe Police Station Bantayan Island
Sta Fe Police Station

With the bikes, we had the liberty to roam around any place that we want to go. For our group, we only covered most part of Sta. Fe, a municipality where we stayed in. I heard from another friend that they went as far the Municipality of Bantayan from Sta Fe, that is about 30 kilometers of non-stop biking. Tiring but the feeling is incomparable according to her.

Dutch really enjoyed biking

The Redhead trying to balance

Under construction church in Sta Fe Bantayan Island
Under construction church in Sta Fe

Joniel "The new TL" all smiles

The Redhead stops for a shot

A classic bike rode by Dan

Sta Fe Market Place
Sta Fe Market Place

Of course, our first day would not be complete without feast-like meals, unending conversations, group-picture  taking (which Redhead and I were not part of because we strolled around the bay taking pictures that time) and last but definitely not the least, SWIMMING! 

Wacky wacky din pag may time - Photo: Joie Arevalo

Searching for his partner

Standing on the sandbar looking at the island

Some lifeguard trainees
Redhead and friends - fresh from Davao (Con con and Loree)

The next day was even greater. We headed to the Virgin Island as part of our island hopping. The beach was a paradise. Clean waters, fresh air, scorching heat from the sun and the Tagalog-speaking staff welcomed us. Jelly fishes were everywhere. Until now I still have itches in some parts of my body because of their natural response to threats. It's as if they do not want us there. Such selfish jelly fishes. :)

Boarding for Island hopping


Virgin Island Bantayan Cebu
That's a cute couple right there

Virgin Island view from near the bay
So hot indeed, right Joan?

When surfers relax

The team getting ready for Island hopping

There was actually no 'hopping' that happened. The original plan was hopping I think 3 islands but due to time constraints for the ferry schedule going back to Hagnaya, we only did Virgin island. But the experience was still fulfilling.

The overall experience was pretty much fulfilling and memorable I must say. I would definitely go back and explore more of the adventures found in Bantayan Island such as spelunking in Ogtong Cave and visiting Bantayan nature park. 

Bantayan Island Sunrise Shot
My sunrise shot from the sandbar

How to Get There / Costs

Go to North Bus Terminal in Cebu and ride a bus going to Hagnaya. Then ride a ferry from Hagnaya to Sta. Fe port in Bantayan.

North Bus Terminal - Hagnaya - 3-hour ride - P150 one way
Hagnaya - Bantayan - 1 hour ride - P175 per person one way 

Where we Stayed in Sta. Fe:

We stayed at Budyong beach resort. It is a beautiful resort which is along the beachfront. The staff were friendly and helpful. We rented a big room (good for 14 people) for P5000 24-hour stay.

Budyong Beach resort Bantayan Island Cebu
Greetings from Budyong

Details: - From bit.ly/18TdbsS
Phone: (63 32) 438-5700
Mobile No(s).: 0921 314 527
Wifi: No
Free Wifi: No
Check-In Time: 2 pm
Check-Out Time: 12 noon
Check Best Rates
Room Rates: Beach Front air con
(2 persons) P 1,500.00

Beach Front air con
(4 persons) P 1,700.00

Second Line air con
(2 persons) P 1,300.00
(4 persons) P 1,500.00 
(6 persons) P 2,200.00

Bungalow Fan 
(2 persons) P 500.00 
(3 persons) P 750.00 
(4 persons) P 1,000.00

Entrance Fee in Virgin Island: 500 for first 2 persons then 100 excess per person
Boat for Rent : 100 per person
Snorkel: 50 each

SO, Have you been to Bantayan? What can you say? :)

8 comments:

  1. Super nag enjoy kayo ha. I hope one day makapunta rin ako sa Bantayan... But kinda hard to look for people who wanted to come along, hehe...

    Lzl,
    www.mytravelanywhere.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We really enjoyed our stay there Lzl. Madali lang puntahan ang Bantayan! Go na! :)

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  2. kuyog ta Lzl Simply Me!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Rene, could you tell me more about Budyong Beach Resort? Clean? Kitchennet? how far from town centre? free breakfast? prices of food? nice staff? spaces in rooms? clean beach?

    Thanks
    Viv

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Definitely not a luxury resort. If you are looking for clean, quiet and nice place to stay, this is definitely IT. They have native hut-inspired rooms ranging from bungalows to big accommodations that can house up to 15 people. Depending on the room type, you can have your own kitchen. But, they offer a large kitchen at the back part of the beach. The resort is located near the public market. We drove there using our bikes for just a couple of minutes.

      Not sure about the food prices and taste at their restaurant. I heard they cost too much. We bought our food from the market and cooked it ourselves.

      The staff are friendly and accommodating. They were the ones who arranged for our bike rental and island hopping.

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  4. Hi! I'm headed there this weekend! Where did you rent your bikes and ow much was the bike rental fee? Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Lei,

      We rented the bikes from the beach caretaker's friend. They own the business. Im sure you will be asked to rent the moment you settle in. Its a popular business there. The fee was 100 each bike for your whole stay.

      Enjoy Bantayan!

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  5. Cool escapade. We'll be going there this Holy Week. Thanks for the share!

    Jai,
    www.travelandfoodnotes.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete