Bantayan Island

Bantayan Island

In the middle of the Visayan Sea, just off the main island of Cebu lies Bantayan Island, a former Spanish stronghold against Moro invaders. According to local legend, the island gets its name from the watchtowers that used to protect the area. Named Bantayan ng Hari (Watchtowers of the King), these towers kept an eye out for any Moro invaders that may come to the island’s shores.

But Bantayan Island’s military days are a thing of the past. Nowadays, the island is more known as a popular destination for those hoping to spend their days lying down on a beach.

The town of Santa Fe, in particular, is famous for the beaches that line the town’s shores, such as the pristine Sugar Beach, which has some of the finest white sand in the country or the small and private Paradise Beach, surrounded by crystal blue waters and shaded by coconut trees.

Virgin Island, which is just a short boat ride away from the island proper, is another must-see destination in Bantayan. It features clear turquoise waters that you can freely snorkel in as well as powdery white sand where you can lie down and soak up some sun. Don’t worry about lunch, as you can enjoy a seafood one right on the shore, provided by the island’s caretakers.

Sun isn’t the only thing you can soak up in Bantayan though. Make sure to pay a visit to some of the historical sites that dot the island. There’s the Saints Peter and Paul Church in the heart of Bantayan town. Finished in 1863, the church is built entirely with limestone and coral that’s found on the island.

There’s also the ruins of Kota Fort, found in the town of Madridejos. Formerly a military fortress, the ruins and the surrounding areas have been transformed into a park where locals and visitors alike can enjoy a picnic lunch.

Speaking of lunch, make sure to head on over to Bantayan Public Market to pick up some local

products. The island is known for its fishing industry so make sure to try out some of Bantayan’s famous dried fish. It’s best eaten with garlic rice, a sunnyside up egg, and plenty of vinegar.

Bantayan is beautiful all year round, but the best time to visit this island is between the months of January to June. But one thing’s for sure: If you’re a beach bum or a history fan, a visit to Bantayan Island in the Visayas should be next on your agenda.

Top Rated Restaurants in Bantayan Island

  1. CouCou Bar and Restaurant
    4.0 Stars
    International
    5 Reviews View
  2. Balikbayan Restaurant
    5.0 Stars
    Filipino
    1 Review View
  3. Island Daddy Dok's
    4.0 Stars
    Filipino
    1 Review View
  4. Le Petit Bonheur
    4.0 Stars
    Asian
    1 Review View
  5. Arjaynay Sutukil Seafood
    4.0 Stars
    Seafood
    1 Review View
  6. Chef Panyang
    2.0 Stars
    Fusion
    2 Reviews View

Top Rated Hotels in Bantayan Island

  1. Anika Island Resort
    4.8 Stars
    Hotel
    15 Reviews View
  2. Kota Beach Resort
    4.8 Stars
    Hotel
    4 Reviews View
  3. Santa Fe Beach Club
    5.0 Stars
    Hotel
    2 Reviews View
  4. Yooneek Beach Resort
    4.3 Stars
    Hotel
    3 Reviews View
  5. Ogtong Cave Resort
    4.0 Stars
    Hotel
    4 Reviews View
  6. Marlin Beach Resort
    4.0 Stars
    Hotel
    3 Reviews View
  7. Sunday Flower Beach Hotel and Resort
    5.0 Stars
    Hotel
    1 Review View
  8. Tristan's Beach Resort and Restaurant
    5.0 Stars
    Hotel
    1 Review View
  9. Beach Placid Resort
    3.5 Stars
    Hotel
    5 Reviews View
  10. Yooneek Inn
    4.0 Stars
    Hotel
    1 Review View

Top Rated Places in Bantayan Island

  1. Anika Island Resort
    4.8 Stars
    Hotel
    15 Reviews View
  2. Kota Beach Resort
    4.8 Stars
    Hotel
    4 Reviews View
  3. Hr Music Bar And Restaurant
    4.7 Stars
    Bar
    3 Reviews View
  4. CouCou Bar and Restaurant
    4.0 Stars
    International
    5 Reviews View
  5. Santa Fe Beach Club
    5.0 Stars
    Hotel
    2 Reviews View
  6. Yooneek Beach Resort
    4.3 Stars
    Hotel
    3 Reviews View
  7. Ogtong Cave Resort
    4.0 Stars
    Hotel
    4 Reviews View
  8. Marlin Beach Resort
    4.0 Stars
    Hotel
    3 Reviews View
  9. Cafe Del Mare
    4.0 Stars
    Bar
    3 Reviews View
  10. Balikbayan Restaurant
    5.0 Stars
    Filipino
    1 Review View