The best beach in the Philippines—Bantayan Island, Cebu

Sta fe beach club budyong beach sandbar kota beach bantayan Island Cebu camp sawi cebu
Sunrise over Sta Fe beach club

Frugal husband was feeling a little burnout from work (he takes only a few days off a year) so we headed to the best beach in the Philippines to the beautiful island of Bantayan, Cebu.


Getting there is a hassle

Bantayan Island must be distinguished from Daanbantayan, which is a town located on the northern part of Cebu. Two different places as one is an island, the other is not. Getting to Bantayan Island requires a 3-4 hour drive from Cebu City, depending on traffic, a 1.5 hour ferry ride and a skip and a hop later, you’re at the beach!  We brought our car for the drive which cost us PhP 4,400.00/USD 85.00 to board it on the ferry.

Budyong kota beach bantayanKota beach camp sawi movieDSC02187_1DSC02209Camp sawi mangrove bantayanOmagieca camp sawiDSC02332-01-01Sta fe beach club bantayan CebuDSC02378-01DSC02391-01Titay's liloan CebuDSC02404-01DSC02349DSC02351Lungsod bantayan Island CebuDSC02354

Dog life on the beach

The beach

Any beach located in Sta Fe, Bantayan Island is great. You may choose to stay on the resorts located along the coastline or go frugal and stay in an airbnb in the interior and just walk to the beach. Any place is fine really. Places are still relatively affordable compared to Boracay. I’ve been coming to Bantayan since I was a kid and have noticed prices steadily rising ever since that local movie* featuring this island came out in 2016.

Growing up and spending summers in Sugar Beach Bantayan, I will always remember watching starfishes hanging out just along the shore. There was so much marine life then. You could literally walk a few steps ahead and find corals and fish. We used to go night swimming and gaze up at the stars.

On this trip we were unfortunately met with monsoon season on the western part of the island (think Kota beach side) and had to endure strong waves at the beach. We chose to switch beach resort accommodations on our last day to the Sta Fe Beach club at the eastern part of the island where the waters were calm and inviting. We finally had a proper beach day without the waves and murky waters. We went swimming in the evening and looked up at a shooting star. It was a beautiful trip where we had our fill of seafood, seabreeze, sun and sand. The seafood is just fresh in Bantayan. Despite the monsoon we were lucky it only rained once while we were there and the sun was often out to play. We went back to the city raring to get back in the grind.

Have you been to the beaches of Bantayan?



*Movie title is Camp Sawi.  Frugal husband totally enjoyed this movie.



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