How to Travel from Cebu to Sante Fe Beaches on Bantayan Island

How to Travel from Cebu to Sante Fe Beaches on Bantayan Island

25th Mar 2020

Undoubtedly the most visited part of northern Cebu, Bantayan Island is known for its numerous white sand beaches. The island is so stunning that the Camp Sawi movie was filmed in one of the resorts here! Bantayan Island is every beach goers’ dream destination.

Photo credits to @romasilvestre on Instagram

Getting to paradise is just a bus and ferry ride away. We’ve detailed the directions on how to get from Cebu to Bantayan Island below. Keep reading to know what to expect from our list of beaches on Bantayan Island. Why visit just one when you can visit them all?

How to Get from Cebu to Bantayan Island

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The easiest jump off point to get to Bantayan Island is Cebu City. After all, Bantayan Island is geographically a part of Cebu. Head to the North Bus Terminal and take a Ceres bus bound for Hagnaya Port. There are daily trips available, with a bus departing almost every hour. The commute shouldn’t take you more than 4 hours. Or you can also take a private car, which reduces travel time to only 3 hours. Book your ride here.

Once at Hagnaya Port, take a ferry to Santa Fe. Prepare 10 PHP for the terminal fee. Trips typically run from 4:00 AM until 4:30 PM. All in all, allot 5-6 hours of travel from Cebu to Bantayan Island. Upon arriving at Bantayan Island, the tourism office will collect a 30 PHP environmental fee. Hire a tricycle to get to your resort. To get around the island, you can either ride tricycles, jeeps, or rent a scooter or bike.

Virgin Island

Photo credits to @traveling2knowhere on Instagram

Virgin Island, also known as Sillon Island, is the farthest beach from Santa Fe. There is no other way to reach it except by renting a small boat. It should take about 30-40 minutes to reach it. Virgin Island is not too far from the Bantayan’s mainland so a day trip is possible. Since it’s a privately owned island, there is an entrance fee of 500 PHP, good for 2 pax. Additional people in the group will pay 100 PHP per head. With the boat fee and entrance fee, it’s better to round up more friends to go with so you can split the costs.

What can you do on Virgin Island? Well, you can play beach volleyball, snorkel with fish, have a drink at the bar, or buy trinkets at their souvenir shop. Thrill seekers would be delighted to know that cliff jumping is also available with varying heights of 3 meters, 5 meters, and 8 meters.

Paradise Beach

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One of the beaches people flock to in Santa Fe is Paradise Beach. To get to Paradise Beach, you can go by land or by sea. Travelling by boat might be better if you have lots of stuff with you. By land, it’s a 20 minute tricycle ride. If you plan to drive, just search Sandira Beach on Google Maps. Afterwards, you will need to trek for 15 minutes down to the beach.

You can visit anytime between 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM every day. There’s a small entrance fee to the beach: 50 PHP for adults and 25 PHP for kids. This will be collected by the tourist office. While you’re there, you might want to buy some drinks or snacks because there won’t be any stores by the shore. You can also bring your own of course. Huts are free to use. If it gets too hot, you can retreat under these shaded spots.

Kota Beach Resort

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Thanks to the hit film Camp Sawi, Kota Beach Resort in Bantayan Island has gained a lot of popularity.The beach is accessible via tricycle. You don’t have to be checked in at the resort to visit the beach. Just pay 50 PHP per head, or dine at their restaurant. There are also other dining options near the resort. Wander around the area and you’ll find the local market and different establishments.

Aside from the infamous Camp Sawi sign at the resort, Kota Beach has something unique that you won't find at other beaches: a sandbar! The sandbar only reveals itself during low tide. To change things up, sometimes the resort holds events like yoga sessions, BBQ nights, or movie nights.

Sugar Beach

Photo credits to @sammykyuddie on Instagram

Sugar Beach has the longest stretch of white sand on Bantayan Island. The beach was named after the sand’s fine texture and color that resembles sugar. There are barely any rocks that you can walk barefoot! It is also said that the sea water by Sugar Beach is not as salty. Your eyes won’t sting from playing in the water all day! To get here, it’s just a 10 minute tricycle ride from Santa Fe’s port.

Sugar Beach is accessible to the public—no entrance fees here! Although the beach is free for everyone, the cottages and rooms can be rented. Tent pitching is free, just bring your own. There are no stores or restaurants on the beach but there are a few shops nearby.

Accommodation on Bantayan Island, Cebu

There are also other resorts you can try on the island, check some of them below.