Bantayan Island is definitely one of the best places to visit in Cebu province. With its white-sand beaches and provincial charm, it’s a favorite among beach lovers and those who prefer relaxing beach getaways. That saying, there’s more to Bantayan Island than beach bumming! Here we’ve compiled the best things to do in Bantayan Island, Cebu.
1. Soak up the sun in Kota Beach
A lot of people agree that Kota Beach is the best beachfront in the whole island. It’s also located near a sandbar, which is frequented not only by Instagrammers but also kite fliers.
Kota Beach is actually part of Kota Beach Resort, but even if you’re not a registered guest, you can still walk along the shore and take a swim.
If Kota Beach is crowded for your liking, there are other nice beaches you can visit in Bantayan Island including Beach Placid, Alice Beach, Sugar Beach and Maricaban Beach.
2. Cliff dive in the German Ruins
The German Ruins is considered the main cliff-jumping spot in Bantayan Island. Beside an unfinished house is a cliff where you can jump 20 feet high to the water below.
There is also a small beach cove here which you can enjoy afterwards.
3. Swim in a natural cave pool
Swimming in Ogtong Cave is one of the best activities in Bantayan Island. Ogtong Cave is a natural cave pool located inside the Ogtong Cave Resort, just several minutes away from the town proper of Sta. Fe. The cave pool is filled with spring water. It’s mostly kept untouched except for lights in the darker areas of the cave.
The bottom of the pool is uneven and it’s not wide enough for a proper swim, but nonetheless it’s a great place for a refreshing dip.
There are other cave pools you can visit in Bantayan Island, including Hydra Cave and the cave pool in Bantayan Island Nature Park and Resort, which are both located in Barangay Tamiao.
4. Island hop
From Bantayan Island, you can island hop to Hilantagaan Island and Virgin Island.
Hilantagaan Island is a seaside community located across a wide snorkeling area. Here you can snorkel or cliff dive from elevated points along the shore. Meanwhile, Virgin Island is a private resort that offers various activities including swimming, snorkeling and cliff jumping. It also has a fish sanctuary where you can fish feed or snorkel.
Island hopping costs P1000 good for 2 people, plus P100 per additional pax.
5. Paddle in a lagoon
If you’re looking for other activities in the island aside from the usual tours, why not try stand-up paddling in a lagoon? This is an underrated activity, as most tourists only do land tour and island hopping.
Stand-up paddling is easy and fun. It’s ideal even for beginners. After the activity, there’s a small sandbar in the lagoon where you can swim and relax.
This activity takes 2 hours. Rate is P600 per person. You may contact SUP Bantayan for reservations.
6. Kite surfing
With its sea breeze, Bantayan Island is a great place for kite surfing. If you’re a beginner, there are learning areas with gentle waves and shallow water where you can practice.
An introductory 2-hour course costs about P4000 per person. There are also multi-day packages you can avail if you enjoy this activity. One of the businesses that offer kite surfing lessons include KiteBantayan.
Bantayan Island is one of the handful places in the Philippines where you can experience sky diving. Skydive Cebu offers this activity for P19,000 for a tandem skydive. Not only will you be taking in a once-in-a-lifetime adventure, you will also get to see a nice vista of the island from above.
8. Enjoy unlimited scallops
Scallops in the island aren’t as cheap as that in Carles in Iloilo, but the prices are friendly even for budget backpackers. You can buy fresh scallops in the market for cooking (we recommend grilling with cheese and garlic), which is what some people do during island hopping, or buy from the several vendors selling cooked scallops along the popular beaches in the island.
We bought a bag of scallops for P100. I’d had scallops before, but this is the first time I actually liked it. Freshness really makes a difference.
9. Buy dried fish at the tiangge
Fishing is the main livelihood of Bantayan Island. As such, you can buy a variety of dried fish (also called “bulad” or “buwad”) and squid at the tiangge for take-home. The dried fish in this island is sold cheaper compared to other places in Cebu.
For vegetarians who are looking for something to buy in the market, there are fresh seaweeds such as goso and lato.
10. Enjoy nightlife
The town of Sta. Fe is generally quiet and peaceful, but if you want to have drinks at night, you can find several bars in the area.
If you want to eat and drink, you may opt to go to MJ Square where you can find a central bar and restaurants offering local and international cuisine.
And there you have it! The best things to do in Bantayan Island, Cebu. Do you have other recommendations? Let us know in the comments below!