When people asked where I was going next, I told them Bantayan, then usually got a question about where that is or what there is to do there. I had no idea. I just heard it was nice so I figured I would give it a shot.
I had a vague idea of what there was to do there, but it didn’t help much. I mean, I barely knew how to get there. I was just hoping what I read was right and went for it. I’ll start with that.
Getting to Bantayan from Malapascua was a shot in the dark for me. Good news though, I made it! First, you go out to the beach on Malapascua with your backpack and the boat drivers will flock to you. They will take you to Maya where you will get on a bus and tell them you need to go to Bogo.
I was afraid I was going to miss my stop, but the bus will go to the Bogo terminal. Just tell the ticket guy where you need to go and they will most likely tell you when to get off. Then you wait for a bus to Hagnaya Port. Its highly likely that people atthe Bogo terminal will be asking where you’re going and tell you which bus to get on. When in doubt ask the drivers.
Next stop Hagnaya! This is where you will get on the ferry to take you to Bantayan. Just follow the flow of people, I think that’s where everyone on that bus was going. It leaves every couple of hours, but I couldn’t say which hours for sure. Once you make it to Bantayan, there will be plenty of tricycle drivers waiting to take you to your final destination. It’s pretty easy!
To get there from Cebu City, go to the North bus terminal and get on a bus to Maya. This bus will also stop in Bogo and follow the directions above from there. Easy peasy, lemon squeazy! Now onto the good stuff, what to do once you finally get there.
I’ll start with the obvious. Relax on the beach I thought only existed in dreams. It’s surprisingly empty, super pretty, and extremely spacious. There may not be a ton of places to get food and drinks right on the beach, but Yooneek was perfect for what we were looking for with food, drinks, and lots of beach chairs.
Admire the boats and wander up and down the beach. It’s quite enjoyable and a nice way to move around but still relax. If that even makes sense. If it doesn’t, I would still recommend doing it, even just for a little bit.
Drink some delicious fresh mango juice. This is pretty self explanatory. My favorites were at Yooneek, Cafe del Mar, and Giordanos. Some days I would have two or three mango juices and end up not eating until night. It was just so delicious and refreshing.
If you’re feeling adventurous, rent a scooter and explore the island. It’s not too expensive, about 300 PHP a day. We set out with a map, but it didn’t help us at all. Our plan was to go to Old Bantayan then the Nature Park Resort, but we ended up doing that backwards, so it still worked out. Both ways the scenery was quite enjoyable. There is also a cave you can venture off to with a scooter.
Last but not least, do a little island hopping. I’m not 100% where to find tours, but I would ask at my hotel first to see what they had to say. I know I saw a few groups leaving and they usually went to Virgin Island.
Have you been to Bantayan? What did you do there? Do you want to go?