Bantayan Islands, you find them in the Visayas Sea at the North end of Cebu Island and than a little to the West. A group of about 20 islands, strechting out over 8 kilometers southwest of Bantayan Port area.
Bantayan Is the biggest of the Bantayan Islands and is divided in three municipalities:
- Bantayan, in the center of the Island, with a daily ferry leaving for Cadiz- Negros
- Santa Fé, where the Cebu Ferries dock at the South
- Mandridejos, in the North with the remains of an old fortress
Bantayan Islands is the island where most of the chickens and the dried and salted fish of the Philippines are produced. You see mega poultry farms there and when going on the ferry or hop on a bus you will be surrounded by eggs.
The smell sometimes is overwhelming. When travelling the island you know you are near one, even if you do not see them, for they are mostly hidden behind huge walls. And there is a lot of fish being dried everywhere you go.
You still can see the trail of Typhoon Yolanda passing through the island in 2013 leaving the island in a complete mess.
It is clearly marked by topless palm trees and even some abandoned and wrecked buildings still waiting for repairs.
There is not much to do on Bantayan Island entertainment wise, the tourist areas are mainly concentrated around Santa Fé and you must not expect plenty of restaurants and bars.
Internet on the island is weak. The best provider for me was Smart. but I was not staying in Santa Fe, when going up there for a day trip I found the internet much better and faster than from Bantayan itself.
Are you ready for the whitest beach ever?
If you love nature and white unspoiled beaches Bantayan is the place to go in the Philippines.
It has lots of flowers blooming, lots of beautiful landscape to watch. I saw a Pied harrier twice during my one week stay on the island and bird watching can be fun since there is a huge variety of birds.
You arrive in Bantayan, coming from Cebu, in Santa Fe, here is where most of the resorts are. And the famous white beaches. And white they are, see for yourself:
make sure you book the right hotel with real beach access, since some of the resorts offer only a concrete wall into the ocean or a beachfront position near a lagoon and mangrove like mine did:
Most resorts are pretty basic, they offer a good clean room and a restaurant, but not more than that.
Day Trip to Mandridejos
Hop on a jeepney near the Bantayan Public Market and visit Madridejos in the north part of the island.
You will find the remains of a fortress there and a boardwalk right into the ocean.