During our island tour, we were able to go around the island the whole day. Click here to check Part 1 of this post.
It was said to have the finest sand quality in the whole island. Its sprawling coastline is dotted with palm trees to provide shade for those who wish to sit by the beach.
Santa Fe Beach Club
Considered as one of the posh accommodations in Bantayan,Santa Fe Beach Club also houses the Ogtong Cave.They had built concrete steps to make it easier for those who wanted to take a dip.
It was built by the concerned citizens of Bantayan to help protect the mangrove forests. During the tour, our guide even gave a short lecture on how important mangroves are and even demonstrated how tedious it is to plant a mangrove seed.(Okay,so was that a seed or something else?Char! )
At the other end of the island is where one can go to wait for the golden hour. They said it was the best spot for sunset watching.
This was our second to the last stop. The ruins from the old garrison place was a little eerie and rustic at the same time.
St.Peter and Paul Cathedral
The cathedral was said to be the first and the oldest cathedral in Cebu.
Just a few minutes from mainland Bantayan,Virgin Island is a known spot perfect for snorkeling and fish feeding. They said that a resort would soon be established here.We didn't get to visit Virgin Island because of time constraints but it gave us a good reason to come back.
I was surprised by the number of foreigners retiring in Bantayan. They were everywhere. And I couldn't blame them considering how charming and laid back the atmosphere in Bantayan is. This little pizza place by the sea was a popular place among locals and tourists alike.Their thin crust pizza topped with gooey cheese was a good afternoon snack made even more relaxing with the azure waters viewed from the dining deck.
This is where the shifting sandbar appears.The waters here is shallow, perfect for swimming.
How to reach Bantayan Island
From Mactan International Airport,take a cab to North Terminal.Ceres Bus Lines has the most number of trips to Hagnaya Port.Travel time is around 3-4hours.Alternatively,some taxi drivers would agree to take you to Hagnaya at around 2-3k depending on your haggling skills.
From Hagnaya Port,one can ride the RORO to Bantayan Island.
Motorcycles can be rented (half day or whole day) as well.It's easy touring around the island.
Where we stayed :
Because of the influx of tourists in Bantayan,it has a wide array of choices when it comes to accommodation.We stayed at this newly built inn owned by an engineer (their house is actually on the same compound) that has really nice view of the beach.Otherwise, you can visit www.wowbantayan.com for the other recommended hotels,inns and home stay facilities.