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Let’s explore the tropical paradise located in the Visayan Sea of the Philippines. Known for its crystal-clear waters, powdery white sand beaches, and laid-back island lifestyle, Bantayan Island is a popular destination for travelers seeking to escape the city life’s hustle and bustle. With an array of picturesque tourist spots, from stunning beaches to vibrant food markets, this island has something to offer for everyone. In this guide, we will explore the top 23 Bantayan Island tourist spots, so you can plan your perfect island getaway.

Related reading: 26 Tourist Attractions in Camotes Island

1. Explore the Pristine Waters of Hilantagaan Island 

Hilantagaan island Bantayan island

Located just off the coast of Bantayan Island, Hilantagaan Island is a popular destination for day trips and island hopping tours. 

This little islet is known for its pristine beaches and crystal-clear waters, making it a great spot for swimming, snorkeling, and diving.

You may go here on your own or by taking an island-hopping tour, which typically includes a trip to Virgin Island.

Location: Hilantagaan Island, Santa Fe

2. Discover the Beauty of the Virgin Island

Virgin island Bantayan island cebu
Virgin Island Bantayan Island

A small, uninhabited island just 30 minutes off the coast of Bantayan, Virgin Island is a popular destination for day trips and snorkeling.

This privately-owned island offers cozy cottages for rent and comfortable hammocks for a perfect afternoon of relaxation. They also have a restaurant that serves a wide range of delicious beach comfort food and beverages.

You’ll need to book a boat to carry you from Santa Fe to Virgin Island. You have two options for doing this: through your lodging or by going to the public port. More individuals are preferable since you may divide the cost of the trip among your group.

Location: Virgin Island Bantayan Island

3. Obo-ob Mangrove Eco Park

Situated on the western coast of the island, this mangrove forest is home to various species of birds and marine life.

The Obo-ob Mangrove Eco Park, also called the Omagieca Mangrove Garden, offers a different experience from the island’s beaches and is a must-visit attraction. This site is famous for being the filming location for the Filipino comedy-drama Camp Sawi.

The lush mangroves can be explored through a bamboo boardwalk that leads to the sea or by renting a kayak on site. For those who want to grab a bite, a community-run restaurant is conveniently located by the entrance.

Please note that the Bantayan Island government and tourist agency prioritize responsible tourism. OMAGIECA’s Obo-Ob Mangrove Garden teaches visitors about mangroves’ role in maritime ecosystems. OMAGIECA promotes coastal erosion management, tourism, and community livelihoods. Thus, remember the travelers’ creed if you visit this place.

Location: 5Q22+C43, Bantayan, Cebu

Contact number: +63 929 727 8119

4. Escape to Serenity at Paradise Beach

Photos from bantayanisland.com

Another stunning beach on the island, Paradise Beach, boasts turquoise waters and powder-white sand.

For those who prefer a more serene atmosphere and are not fond of lively beach activities such as volleyball, Paradise Beach is the ideal destination. It’s a semi-secluded spot, free from bustling crowds, and is perfect for basking in the sun and acquiring a gorgeous tan. 

During our visit, we only noticed a few locals peacefully enjoying the tranquil waters and deep-sea spearfishing, leaving the rest of the area vacant for us. At one end of Paradise Beach, you’ll find a series of beach umbrellas providing a haven from the scorching sun.

The peaceful ambiance of this place is heightened, particularly during sunset, and you can unwind without any distractions.

Location: Santa Fe, Cebu

5. Cool Off at Ogtong’s Cave Resort

A unique resort built around a natural cave filled with fresh water, Ogtong Cave Resort is a popular spot for cooling off and short dip.

Located within the privately-owned Ogtong Cave Resort, this natural cave may not be large enough for a full swimming session, but its crystal-clear, bluish, and cool waters are ideal for a refreshing dip. 

The resort and underground cave are conveniently accessible by tricycle, a common local mode of transportation, or by requesting a direct transfer from your hotel or tour company.

Location: Brgy. Pooc, Santa Fe, Philippines

Contact number: +63 932 433 6282

6. Discovering the Enchanting Balidbid Lagoon

Located in the heart of Bantayan Island, Balidbid Lagoon boasts crystal clear waters that shimmer in the sunlight, surrounded by lush greenery and towering limestone cliffs that provide a breathtaking backdrop. The lagoon’s pristine waters are ideal for swimming, kayaking, and even paddle boarding.

One of the unique features of Balidbid Lagoon is its lush mangrove forest that thrives in brackish waters. You can take a peaceful and serene kayak ride through the forest and marvel at the amazing ecosystem that exists in this enchanting lagoon.

The calm and clear waters of Balidbid Lagoon are also perfect for snorkeling, giving you the opportunity to get up close and personal with a variety of marine life, such as colorful corals, sea stars, and schools of fish. It’s a snorkeler’s paradise!

To get to Balidbid Lagoon, you can take a 20-minute tricycle ride from Bantayan town proper to Barangay Balidbid. From there, you can hire a local boatman to take you on a scenic 10-minute boat ride to the lagoon.

Location: Balidbid Lagoon, Santa Fe, Cebu

7. Be Amazed by The “The Ruins” History

Nestled in the charming town of Santa Fe in Bantayan Island, “The Ruins” is a hidden gem that’s worth exploring. This abandoned building was once a luxurious resort that was destroyed by a typhoon in the 1980s, leaving only its magnificent ruins as a reminder of its past grandeur.

As you approach “The Ruins,” you’ll be greeted by a stunning and eerie sight – the ruins of the resort, overgrown with vines and surrounded by coconut trees. The structure is still intact, with its brick walls and arched windows standing strong despite the ravages of time and nature. The building’s stunning architecture and the haunting beauty of the ruins make it an ideal spot for photography enthusiasts.

The “Ruins” also offers a stunning view of the beach and the sunset, making it a popular spot for romantic walks and picnics. Its unique and captivating charm is a must-see for visitors to Bantayan Island, and it’s an ideal spot for those seeking to immerse themselves in the history and culture of the region.

Location: Santa Fe, Cebu, Philippines

8. St. Peter and Paul Church

Another historic church on the island, St. Peter and Paul Church, is known for its beautiful architecture and intricate carvings.

This historic church is one of the oldest in the Philippines and is a popular pilgrimage site for Catholics.

Location: Pres. M. L. Quezon St., Bayan ng Bantayan, 6052, Cebu

9. Visit the Idyllic Kota Beach

Famous for its beautiful sandbar in Kota Beach, located in Sta. Fe, Bantayan Island in Cebu.

If you’re fun of watching Filipino comedy-drama, then you might already watch the movie “Camp Sawi”. And this is where it was exactly filmed. 

There are many types of accommodations in here, from a fan room to beach front suite. For complete details of your queries and bookings, you can visit their website kotabeachresort.com.

Location: F. Duarte St, Santa Fe, Cebu

Contact number: (032) 438 9042

✅ Check discounted room rates here.

10. Experience Tropical Getaway at Budyong Beach Resort

Budyong Beach Resort is an ideal destination for those seeking an affordable yet comfortable beachfront accommodation. Located next to Kota Beach, this resort offers stunning views of the sandbars and the crystal-clear waters of Santa Fe.

The resort’s nipa hut cabanas are designed to provide a rustic yet comfortable experience, with traditional thatched roofs and wooden walls that blend seamlessly with the natural surroundings. The resort’s location amidst coconut trees and a white sandy shoreline provides a perfect tropical ambiance that will take care of your vacation needs.

Its beachfront location also means that you can enjoy the sea breeze and soak up the sun from the comfort of your own cabana. You can also take a dip in the refreshing waters of the ocean or simply stroll along the beach and take in the scenic views.

Location: Poblacion, Bantayan Island, Santa Fe, 6024 Cebu

Contact number: (032) 438 9285

11. Madridejos Town

A quaint town on the northern tip of the island, Madridejos, formerly known as Lawis, is known for its vibrant fishing industry and colorful local culture.

The town is the location of the famous 1970s Kota Park and Immaculate Conception Parish church – which was built by the Augustinians (the first evangelizer of the Philippine Islands) in the year 1580.

Location: Madridejos Town, Bantayan, Cebu

12. The 1970s, Kota Park

Kota Park in Madridejos is a great addition to your travel plans, especially since it doesn’t have an admission fee. The park boasts a beach section, a pier, and a fort dating back to the 1970s, making it an ideal spot to witness stunning sunsets.

Aside from the breathtaking sunrise and sunset views, the park’s 1970s fort is perfect for swimming during high tide, and when the tide is low, you may glimpse a few exposed rocks.

Location: Poblacion, Madridejos, Bantayan Cebu

13. Experience Fun at Santa Fe Beach Club Resort

Sta Fe beach club bantayan island
Sta Fe Beach club

A popular resort located on Santa Fe Beach, the Santa Fe Beach Club offers a variety of activities and amenities for visitors, including swimming pools, beachfront cabanas, and a restaurant and bar.

Location: Santa Fe, Central Visayas, Philippines, Santa Fe, Philippines

Contact number: (032) 438 9090

14. Marlins Beach

This relaxed hotel is located on the beach and overlooks the Visayan Sea. It is situated 1 km away from Santa Fe Ferry Port and 10 km from Omagieca Obo-ob Mangrove Garden nature reserve.

The hotel’s rooms are decorated with colorful Philippine furnishings and include amenities such as flat-screen TVs and fans. Guests can upgrade to rooms with balconies, air-conditioning, and minifridges, some of which provide sea views. The hotel also offers cottages.

Complimentary continental breakfast and ferry transfers are available to guests. The hotel’s seafront restaurant serves both local and international dishes, while the beach eatery/bar specializes in barbecued seafood. The hotel also provides motorbike rentals and massages for guests.

Location: Roska Street 4, Santa Fe Cebu, 6045

Contact number: (032) 438 9093

15. Bantayan Island Nature Park and Resort

Photos from Unsplash/Dave Feril

Visit this beautiful park on the island to feel more connected to the natural world around you. In addition to that, there is a natural cave pool, a swimming pool that is 25 meters by 12 meters, a fish bath, cabanas, a cliff deck, and event halls.

Location: Sitio Kalubian, Island Bantayan Island 6052 Cebu, Bantayan, Cebu

Contact number: +63 917 710 1865

16. Be Amazed by Kabangbang Rock Formation

The stunning and massive rock formations, along with a giant cross and breathtaking panoramic scenery, attract many tourists to visit. The Quarry has now become a source of pride for Bantayan Island and is considered one of the most photogenic destinations in Cebu.

The site was named after the rock formations, which were created as a result of limestone mining or extraction. The Quarry is defined as a location, usually a large and deep pit, where stones or other materials have been removed.

Location: Brgy. Kabangbang, Batayan Cebu

17. Anika Island Resort 

A luxury resort located in the northern part of the island, Anika Island Resort offers a variety of amenities and activities for visitors, including a private beach, swimming pool, spa, and restaurant.

Location: Anika Island Resort

18. Coconut Road at Marikaban Beach

As you step onto the powdery white sand of Marikaban Beach, you’ll immediately be struck by the serene beauty of the surroundings. The beach is surrounded by coconut trees, providing natural shade from the tropical sun. 

The calm and clear waters of the beach are perfect for swimming, kayaking, and paddleboarding. You can also take a relaxing stroll along the shore or just soak up the sun on the beach chairs and hammocks that are available for rent.

Marikaban Beach is an excellent spot for those who want to escape the crowds and enjoy a peaceful day by the sea. You’ll be able to enjoy the sound of the waves and the gentle breeze blowing through the palm trees. Whether you’re looking to relax or explore, Marikaban Beach is a must-visit destination that offers a true taste of paradise.

Location: Obo-ob-Marikaban Road, Santa Fe, Cebu

19. Visit The Enchanted Sta. Fe Butterfly Garden (closed)

The Sta. Fe Butterfly Garden is a must-visit destination for nature lovers in Bantayan Island. This charming garden is home to a variety of colorful butterflies, as well as other flora and fauna that are native to the region.

As you walk through the garden, you’ll be able to see butterflies in all stages of their life cycle, from eggs to caterpillars to fully-formed butterflies. You can also learn about the plants that the butterflies depend on for their survival and see other creatures such as turtles, birds, and fish. The garden is a peaceful and serene spot that’s perfect for a relaxing day out with friends or family.

Location: Sta. Fe Butterfly Garden

20. Try out SuTuKil – (Sugba, Tuwa, Kilaw)

Sutukil is a must-try dining experience for visitors to Bantayan Island. The name “Sutukil” is derived from three different cooking methods – “Su” for “Sugba” or grilled, “Tu” for “Tula” or stewed, and “Kil” for “Kilaw” or ceviche. Sutukil refers to a restaurant where you can choose your seafood fresh from the market and have it cooked using one of these methods.

The experience of dining at a Sutukil restaurant is unforgettable. You’ll be able to select the seafood of your choice, including everything from shrimp and squid to crabs and fish, and have it cooked to your liking. The flavors are fresh, simple, and delicious, allowing the natural flavors of the seafood to shine through. Sutukil is a unique and authentic dining experience that’s not to be missed when visiting Bantayan Island.

Location: Arjaymay Sutukil

21. Experience Paradise at Sugar Beach

Sugar Beach is a stunning destination located on Bantayan Island that’s perfect for those looking to unwind and relax in a tropical paradise. The beach is aptly named for its soft, powdery white sand that feels like walking on sugar.

The crystal-clear waters are perfect for swimming, snorkeling, and diving, and you can even rent a kayak or paddleboard to explore the coastline. Sugar Beach is also known for its stunning sunsets, and you can end your day with a relaxing stroll along the beach as you watch the sky turn into shades of pink and orange. 

Whether you’re looking for adventure or just a quiet day by the sea, Sugar Beach is a must-visit destination that offers a true taste of paradise.

Location: C. Batiancila Street, Bayan ng Santa Fe, Cebu

22. Kiteboarding or Kitesurfing

Photos from kitebanytayan.com

Kiteboarding or kitesurfing is a thrilling water sport that’s becoming increasingly popular in Bantayan Island. With its clear waters and constant breeze, the island provides ideal conditions for kiteboarding enthusiasts of all levels.

Kiteboarding involves using a kite to harness the power of the wind and propel a rider across the water on a board. Beginners can take lessons from experienced instructors who will teach them the basics of safety, technique, and equipment. More experienced riders can challenge themselves with jumps and tricks while enjoying the stunning coastal scenery of Bantayan Island. Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, kiteboarding is an adrenaline-pumping experience that’s not to be missed when visiting this beautiful island.

Location: KiteBantayan Learning Center A. Batobalonos Street Santa Fe, Island, 6047 Cebu

23. Indulge in Fresh Seafood Delights at MJ Square

If you are a seafood lover, then a visit to MJ Square food market on Bantayan Island is a must-try experience. This bustling food hub offers a variety of restaurants that specialize in serving fresh and delicious seafood, making it a popular destination for tourists and locals alike.

MJ Square’s seafood restaurants offer an array of options to choose from, including fresh squids, fish, crabs, scallops, and lobsters, which can be prepared and cooked according to your preference. The seafood served here is known for its quality, freshness, and taste, and the dishes are served in generous portions at affordable prices.

Apart from seafood, the food market also has a selection of shops selling souvenirs to foreign visitors. From keychains, t-shirts, and local handicrafts, you can find plenty of items to take back home as a reminder of your visit to Bantayan Island.

Location: Sta. Fe, Cebu

Now that you have all of our top picks for your next Bantayan island escapade.

Let us know in the comment below your experience.

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