Bantayan Island, Cebu, Philippines

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January 27th 2006
Published: February 2nd 2006
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Bantayan Island, CebuBantayan Island, CebuBantayan Island, Cebu

Our resort - Marlin's Beach Resort


Was in Cebu yet again for work. Had lots of fun though because there were a lot of us. We were all booked in Marriott which we all thoroughly enjoyed because of the new beddings and pillows (truly fit for a princess!) and the great breakfast spread. Sunday was Chinese New Year so the hotel was bedecked in red silk lanterns. We were working over the weekend though so we weren’t able to do much except a little shopping at Ayala Center and a night-out at Mr. A’s near Tops Saturday night (which was perfect because it was Chinese New Year’s Eve and we could see the fireworks BELOW - yes we were so high up, the fireworks looked like they were coming from just a little above the ground).

Anyway, after 3 days of work in Cebu City, we hied-off to one of the northern islands of Cebu - Bantayan Island. Leaving Cebu City at about 4PM of Sunday, January 29, we arrived at Marlin’s Beach Resort at about 7PM. The facilities were ok, in fact, the room was huge! It’s double the normal size of resort rooms but the service sucked big time. Every request was either not accommodated or had a charge. We were all tired so after dinner and a few rounds of drinks by the beach, we all settled in for the night.

In the morning, we were surprised to see that the waters have receded so far back into the ocean that I was able to take almost full shots of the island’s stretch of beach. The good thing though was that right in front of our resort are 3 huge sandbars which are perfect for just lolling around and wading. A few steps from the farthest sandbar is a drop-off so didn’t venture that far.

We wanted to go to Virgin Island but there wasn’t much time as we were leaving by lunch (Monday) so we just bummed around and enjoyed the lukewarm waters of Bantayan. It was great except that when the tide started to rise, sea grass and some pieces of trash rolled in together with the waves. I was also bit by a jellyfish! It stung so bad I immediately got out of the water and just lounged around the beach with this huge red patch on my back 😞

Bantayan Island is
Bantayan Island, CebuBantayan Island, CebuBantayan Island, Cebu

The beach at 7AM
worth a visit, especially if you’re in Cebu already but I don’t think I would be able to stay any longer than 2 days (it could get really boring). Anyway, it IS beautiful - see for yourself below 😊

Additional photos below
Photos: 32, Displayed: 23


Bantayan Island, CebuBantayan Island, Cebu
Bantayan Island, Cebu

Balls of sand at the sandbar
Bantayan Island, CebuBantayan Island, Cebu
Bantayan Island, Cebu

Corals (dead?) and starfishes

2nd February 2006

oh to have a job like yours. keep up the blog, i'm a fan. thanks
7th December 2006

Island Paradise
The photos are great!!!.
12th February 2007

lets preserve GODS GIVEN GIFT!!!!!
18th February 2007

Going to the Philipienes in April
Loved your website as I was looking for more detailed information on some of the areas like Cebu. Can you tell me where you would go if you had ten days or two weeks ? Or is there a good place to visit where you can do smaller day trips from ? I haven't had a real vacaction in years and I'm looking for any help navigating my way around this wonderful country.......I love thje idea of a place on the beach. Thanks Kelly
4th October 2007

Wonderful Photos!!!
You have done a good job. It is quite amusing that you were able to present the place with its value which is a nice place. But I would like to suggest if you don't mind that it is more appropriate to refer or call it as Santa Fe, Cebu or Santa Fe, Bantayan Island in Cebu for the beautiful beaches are really located in Santa Fe and it sounds nice if it is called with its proper name... Thnk you again...
6th March 2008

a dream!!!!!! wonderful....
24th March 2008

wow this is my home place even i travel in any places i still miss my hometown i love the seafoods here.i really love the place were i grow up BANTAYAN ISLAND.Ito ang paraiso ko!!!!
26th March 2008

How can i possibly get to bantyan islands if i am in cebu city? what is the transpo? tnx so much. i wanna go there.
1st April 2008

to mark
Hi Mark, go to the North Bus Terminal near Makro and look for the ones that go to Hagnaya port. Then take a boat or ferry to Bantayan Island itself. Same route if you want to go to Malapascua, only farther -- port is Maya. Happy trip!
7th April 2008

How much?
Thanks for the blog it makes my search way lot easy. I would like to followup on Mark's Question. How much do you think woul cost for 1 night and two days stay in bantayan? and what inn or hotel do you recomend the most? thanks.
7th April 2008

Hi Jeff! On peak seasons, average aircon room would be about P3K/night. I was not really able to go around town in search of meals so I don't know how much the meals outside the resort restos would cost. According to my friends, Kota Beach Resort is the best :)
9th April 2008

Yes its true, I've stayed 5 or 6 times at Kota Beach, I think it has the best beach front by far. and the food at the resort isnt that expensive. Im taking my husband and by then 2 and a half yr old son this Dec. 2008, already looking forward to it! I love it there, but I wouldn't stay more than 2 nights/3 days, it can get really boring afterwards.
11th April 2008

Hi Jadee, Thanks for your comment, i visit one of the blogs for the kota beach resort damn its pretty good and nice ambiance. I wonder how much would it cost for 2 days stay in there. Also I would like to know, since you've been there already, if they have any swimming pool? hehehe thanks.
15th April 2008

hello! i just want to ask how much would it cost to travel from cebu city to bantayan and also the expenses like the resort and the meals. my friends are thinking of going to bantayan island especially the virgin island and we are seeking information for the probable cost to go there. i hope for your help with this. thanks a lot. godbless!
15th April 2008

Hi Connie!
Expenses are as follows: Rent-a-car to Bantayan, 1-way is P2K. Boat (if I remember correctly) is P800. Resort is P3K/night/room. Meals average of P300 per meal.
17th April 2008

Virgin Island of Bantayan?
Thanks connie. I'll take that into consideration teh Virgin Island. and Regarding fot he expense It cool and not that really expensive though. Thanks... Wish to see you connie at bantayan soon hehehe. Thank alot guys.
7th May 2008

hi there..
me and my gf is planning to go there in BANTAYAN this coming DEC 2nd week I guess..can you possibley tell me how much itll gonna cost us to stay there for 1night and the food and the activities..i will appreciate your reply..thanks
8th May 2008

so peaceful
been bantayan 5 times never tire of the serenity,and natural ambiance,,,,,,try tristan resort,,,800 to 1000 pes,,,with good restuarant,,santa fe got great beaches ,,great place to chill out,,,,,
8th May 2008

its beautiful in bantayan
unforgettable bantayan, went there last feb 2008 with my mahal na colleen... happiest moment of my life... very relaxing... romantic place i can say... go there and you'll see... wonderful place than boracay... bopeep
15th May 2008

Best Resort
Thats my Father homeland...I highly recommend its a virgin island...
15th May 2008

original islander
bantayan island has really improved through the years.. cant wait to go back to my parent's hometown once again. i remember goin to the beach for no entrance fees.. and all u have to bring is your sunblock, ur swimsuit and urself.
24th June 2008

wow......i missed my place of origin
hi, thanks for ur fantastic photo i really missed my home town,but anyway i will be home this coming 31 of Aug. so i will be enjoy my vacation,
11th July 2008

Hi Rachel, I'm Tagalog, a pure Manilena :) That's why these places fascinate me so much :) Ang ganda ng Pilipinas!
1st August 2008

Been dyin to go there!
Hopefully by Holy week next year I'll be in Bantayan...hehe...they say its the most fun time in the island. Wat u tnk? I've been to Boracay, but people who've been to Bantayan say its better...woooo...can't wait to visit the island...haha
14th August 2008
Hi, I'm a visitor from Japan!! All pictures are so cool!! I miss my experience in Bantayan Island. I've been roaming around the world through the internet to find something new about Cebu. I mean I used to stay in Cebu for a year for studying English. As a reslut, I 'm attracted by everything from Cebu when I was there. By the way, I have a web-blogs about Cebu, so please visit my site if you like!! Don't angry at me what I wrote,,I just wanna know Cebu more!! Have Fun!! Nobu. Cebu cuisine »ÖYf
9th September 2008

evertime i went to my province which is Bantayan we always visit marlins resourt...nice service
25th September 2008

Dont miss budyong beach
Take a bus from cebu to Hagnaya port its around 90 peso , taxi is around 3 000 peso and not really faster. then take a ferry to bantayan (speed ferry is double fast then normal one) on the pier waiting a lot tricycles who can bring u for some peso to Budyong beach resort . its absolutly the nicest beach on bantayan 1 night stay is between 1.300 - 1.500 peso (aircon) very near are a lot nice restaurants, nightlife is very poor like on most of these small islands. these beach is one of the nicest ive ever seen in my life and the pic u see before cannot show how its really looking. i was there 08.2007 the weather was pretty good. i go again in end of novuntil 4th of dec 2008 the links are from beach and hotel and if u wanna know more just ask me here
7th October 2008

missing the island of beauty
Really missing the island of beaty hope it will not take a long time I can be there again. Miss the happenings of going back and forth with Super Island Express Bantayan - Cadiz. Remisnishing the past. . . .. . . Hi! Babes. . . .
10th October 2008

the best island
I grew up in Bantayan Island and now i lived here in manila but still I remembered the times when I was young How I played near the sea and go fishing with my grand father..Oh! I really missed it so much
20th October 2008

ganda ng bantayan island
how i wish i could go back to my birth place i miss ticad i miss my relatives here sana malapit na
7th February 2009

love this place
i spent two months on this island. love the fact no one is hardly coming to visit. more room for me and my wife to move around. thanks for staying away..
3rd March 2009

hi, just want to ask what's the earliest time for buses going to bantayan? and the schedule of the ferry. we're going there on holy week do you think it's crowded there on holy week? i dont want something like bora its too crowded.thanks.
10th March 2009

parking space at Maya port
hi! i would just like to ask if there's a parking space at Maya port where we can leave our cars if we bring along a private vehicle and just pay an overnight fee? if there is, is it safe/secure enought? would appreciate your feedbacks. thanks!
9th April 2009

one of the bests
bantayan is really one of the bests place for relaxation. The only hassle part is the bus ride from cebu to hagnaya, i believe it a 3 hour plus ride then around 50 minutes ferry ride from hagnaya to sta.fe...but the beaches are really nice. i was there with bunch of friends and it was worth it man... their seashore is super clean and their sea is awesome...we also went to virgin island but on the other side, its like a hidden paradise...WWWWWWWWWOOOOOOOOWWWWWWW! i recommend this place compared to bora!
25th April 2009

boring is what you make it
boring people make "boring" remarks. get some imagination, sweetie, it's free.
25th April 2009

tioo bad you stayed at marlin's
we also stayed at marlin's five years ago and we were disappointed. the food was bad and expensive. here's a TIP: if you want good food, take a tricycle to the town's main public market a few kilometers away and buy the freshest fish and veggies you can find. the market is very clean and dry. return to the beach area and look for this portuguese pizza restaurant. they will cook your food for a minimal fee. yummy!
25th April 2009

to RA
Yeah, yeah I'm boring... and what are you? An ass? (Did you even try to read my blog, smartass?)
6th May 2009

First time to visit Cebu
Hi, I saw your blog and I was talking to a Dell customer service Cebu office regarding visiting Cebu. Bantayan Island was recommended to see for vacation. Is Bantayan Island highly recommended or is it better to go to Mactan Island for first time visitor of Cebu?
17th May 2009

Is it a good time to visit bantayan early august? Just wondering.
Hi Marilyn. Where are you from?
28th May 2009

a dream soon to come true!
my grandfather, LOLO FAUSTO, hails from Bantayan island. He died on shipwreck long before my father saw's been my chidhood dream to set foot on my grandfather's homeland - Bantayan! Now, I am 36 years old, got a family of my own, and tomorow, May 29, 2009, i shall be taking such journey... how i wish I can meet my relatives there... SAYSON families
30th May 2009

my lovely place
this is were my heart is,i grow up in this place.kahit saan ako nakapunta talagang namiss ko place ko lalo na ang mga buwad diri lami kaayo doooo....
6th June 2009

daghan salamat
it was really wonderfall to spent holly week in bantayan especially after the beaches and the wonderfal people,friendlyand very kind,especially in suba and many thanks to tinga family, belen,tia,dolores, asuncion and many more,hope i will abe to spent another holy celebration this comming 2010,again many thanks.
6th June 2009

nice place
really it was very nice place to stay,were in people very friendly, and i found out peolpe there are very religious, and you know alot of beautiful girls around in `bantayan proper, im looking forward for my next vacation,hoping i could see her again to know her name.
3rd August 2009

a nice and peaceful beaches in the philippine island
Hi! You know, ive been in sta. fe, bantayan, cebu many times. And this place was so much fun to live. The best thing is the beach which is very white and sugar like sand. A place where you can go without fear coz its so peaceful and all people are friendly. edna of iligan city
7th September 2009

beautiful place
i'd been's a very fascinating place and i can't wait to see the view of the beach again...miss the place...
12th September 2009

9th November 2009

3 hours drive?
My wife and I together with our 6 yr old kid is planning to goto cebu and goto bantayan. We plan to go in dec , after a day in mnl, we plan to go there for a day, so from the airport, it is 3 hour drive? Is there a specific place that is safe and nice to stay like bora type where there are cottages and you could walk to the shore at night and early morning? How much do you guys think would be the expense?
17th December 2009

ang akon natawhan
mabuhay ang mga bantayanos
4th February 2010

Hello, On 1959, my parents sent me to a chinese boarding school in Madredijos for two years. At the time, I was only seven years old. What happend to the shcool. Thank you so much. Anita Foss
18th February 2010

wow. . .its beautiful... preserve the beauty of bantayan island. hope i will get there..
18th February 2010

Bantayan native
Bantayan is a paradise island, beautiful, unspoiled, peaceful, idyllic and friendly. Hope it will stay that way... and people in administration work towards protecting it from commercialism and pollution. To Maureen I hope you met some of your relatives while you were there. One of the councilors in Bantayan town is I believe a relative? His name is Marlon Pacana, middlename Sayson.
26th April 2010

its a very nice place to stay.Can u future also the ways of transportaion and i hear from my mum about the Ogtong cave and the place.Im planning to visit philippines especilly bantayan coz i hear it from mum,shes from cebu city.And im 12 years old my mum is filipina and my dad is from zambia.
22nd May 2010

bantayan is beautiful
8th June 2010

As I look at the pictures of bantayan, I imagine myself running in beautiful, neat beach.
28th June 2010

i wnt to see whats on bantayan island. and i wnt tro have a vacation der. becoz many of my friends told me that bantayan island is a very beautiful place, hope i can go der smeday.
15th July 2010

in reply to Anita Foss
a good day to you, The school at recent times was renovated into more sophisticated one. just visit MADRIDEJOS for the clarification.
30th July 2010

Let's hope the oil never get this far.
11th September 2010

Ohh nice place. I can\\
Thanks for the uploaded pix. we have now the ideas to where we're going.hehe actually, i've been there for so many times na. but this will be the first time of my gf to be there. i'm greatly sure that she will like the place and the nicest beaches there. i like also the seafoods there(danggit, pusit, tocino and etc.) cottages are not so expensive, people there were so hospitable and i should say the best place to relax and forget your work first.hehehe hope we enjoy our few days of stay there next month...
8th October 2010
This Bantayan island is one of my visit list in my dream, in Indonesia its just like Bali. I want to surf, dive, and swim in its beach.. Its look so clean and clear water.. its look fresh and cool water. It remembered me when i visit this website there are complete post and photograph of this island. The view and space in this island is heavens like, set free our depressing mind, wash our soul with its fresh air. Wow i imagine how if i could stay there for long time and enjoying the panoramic of the beach every morning when i open my eyes, there are only blue and clear water in front of me.
15th October 2010
Bantayan Island, Cebu

thats what we call I miss this place
17th November 2010
Bantayan Island, Cebu

Nice picture especially picture no.23
3rd December 2010

2nd February 2011

ganahan lageh ko muanha..
11th April 2011

bantayan escapade
Lami moanha sa bantayan para makabakasyon sa samok nga mga city diri manila
11th April 2011

Is there other accommodation other than the marlin resort... a cottage perhaps...
17th April 2011
Bantayan Island, Cebu

its so nice
2nd June 2011

Bantayan Island, Cebu, Philippines
Hello!!! I've been to Bantayan every summer since when I was a kid and believe me, I knew the beauty of it. Are all of the photos are from Marlin's beach resort? I've never been there and the sand bars look wider than those in Sugar beach. I hope you have visited the 400 year old cathedral where the walls are said to made of corals, lime sugar, egg whites and flour and boy it's still standing magnificently. authentic lechon de cebu are served in Jela's ans Peping's restaurant at a price of Php 45 to 50 per serving. Kota park in Madridejos is another tourist destination in the island with it's boarlwalk standing in the middle of the ocean by high tide. Visit Barangay Bunakan during sunset... it can compete wit what Manila Bay's sunset has to offer. By the way, Holy week is the best time to visit the Island where feasts are held during good friday, If you're lucky you may be get 1/4 kilo of lechon de cebu for free! =)
15th October 2011

I lived and worked for an architect called Ramon Tinga in Bantayan for many years and from your photos i see nothing of the Bantayan market area newly built ,it burnt down whilst i was there,all you show is the beaches of Santa Fe

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