Bantayan Reopens to Tourists

In case you missed it, the Cebu Provincial Government has placed Cebu province under Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ) last October 16, 2020. With this, certain restrictions have been dissolved and protocols have been updated. Travel is slowly returning and tourists are now welcome to explore Cebu once again.

Read More: Cebu Province Now Open to Tourists

Bantayan Island is one of the most known tourist destinations in Cebu. Coined as the Paradise of the North, the island houses three municipalities namely Sta. Fe, Madridejos, and Bantayan. Sta. Fe is known for its vacation houses, resorts, and white sand beaches. Madridejos is known for its seafood products while Bantayan boasts its heritage and culture.

Before the implementation of the MGCQ, border controls in the province of Cebu have been stringent. Locals found it hard to travel from one municipality to another due to the multiple travel requirements they had to secure. But this issue has finally been addressed when the three mayors in Bantayan Island along with Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia met and updated the travel protocols to and from the island.

Bantayan Island Airport Now Open

First time to be flown on a chartered plane and an inaugural flight at that.

The Cebu Provincial Government and the Department of Tourism along with other government units and private institutions launched a tourism initiative called “Suroy Suroy Sugbo North Escapade” where they showcased Bantayan Island’s offerings. This initiative aims to encourage Cebu residents to visit local and neighboring tourist spots.

Last Friday, November 27, I was one of the first passengers aboard the maiden flight from Mactan Cebu International Airport to Bantayan Island Airport. Total travel time from Mactan Cebu International Airport to Bantayan Island Airport is approximately 40 minutes (Pre-departure, Fly time, Arrival).

Air Juan flies to Bantayan Island every Mondays and Thursdays only. A one-way ticket could cost around 1,300 pesos. Price may vary depending on season.

Flight Schedule (Mondays and Thursdays)
  • Mactan–Cebu International Airport – Bantayan Island Airport
    • ETD: 10:00AM
    • ETA: 10:40AM
  • Bantayan Island Airport – Mactan–Cebu International Airport
    • ETD: 11:00AM
    • ETA: 11:40AM
Bantayan Island Travel Requirements
BY LAND
  1. Have a valid identification card proving that you are a resident of Cebu.
  2. Have a confirmed and paid booking of your accommodation in Bantayan Island. You will present the confirmation sheet upon arrival. Note that you can only book resorts/vacation houses that are accredited by the Department of Tourism.
  3. Prepare your return boat tickets (Hagnaya-Sta Fe-Hagnaya). You will be asked to present your tickets upon arrival.
  4. Sta. Fe Bantayan has a their own contact tracing system. You will have to generate a QR code using an android gadget. You will be presenting this QR Code along with your confirmed booking at the seaport. After presenting your QR Code and booking confirmation, you will have to pay for the ecological fee which costs 30 pesos per person.
  5. If you are bringing your car to the island via Ro-Ro, you will have to pay for your vehicle entrance aside from the boat fee. The vehicle entrance to the island costs 20 pesos while the boat fees per vehicle vary depending on the size of your vehicle.

Flying over Kota Beach aboard Air Juan Cessna Plane
BY AIR
  1. Have a valid identification card proving that you are a resident of Cebu.
  2. Have a confirmed and paid booking of your accommodation in Bantayan Island. Make sure to book from an accredited resort/hotel/vacation house.
  3. Prepare your return air tickets (Cebu-Bantayan-Cebu). You will be asked to present your tickets upon arrival.
  4. Download the Traze App before departing Mactan Cebu International Airport. You will use this app during departure and arrival. Read more about it here: Mactan-Cebu International Airport Implements TRAZE Contact Tracing App
  5. Sta. Fe Bantayan has a their own contact tracing system. You will have to generate a QR code using an android gadget. You will be presenting this QR Code along with your confirmed booking at the airport.
  6. Upon arrival, you will have to go through the disinfection process. A machine will check your body temperature and you will have to go through an automated disinfecting booth.
  7. Coordinate with your resort/hotel/vacation house regarding your airport transportation.

If you are visiting Bantayan and you plan to stay at a friend’s house or you own a rest house on the island, you will be considered as a Locally Stranded Individual and you will need to present additional requirements to enter the island. LSIs need to present an acceptance letter from the LGU of destination.

Non-Cebu residents will have to present additional requirements before they are allowed to enter and to tour around Cebu. (More details coming soon…)

Tourists are required to wear facemasks at all times. Once caught by the authorities, you will have to pay a fine of P300.00. Quarantine passes are no longer required but for peace of mind, you can always bring it with you along with your company ID. The official executive order will be released by the mayors of each municipality in Bantayan.

Activities in Bantayan

  • Go island hopping and explore Virgin Island
  • Capture scenic views while kayaking at Balibid Lagoon
  • Visit Ogtong Cave
  • Drop by the Christmas Village and support local products
  • Visit Kota Heritage Park
  • Attend Mass at St. Peter & Paul Parish
  • Be one with nature at Bantayan Island Adventure Park
  • Observe crab extraction at SM Fishers Corp
  • Enjoy Bantayan’s Seafood
  • Sunrise/Sunset watching at Kota Beach/Sugar Beach/Sta. Fe Beach
  • Go swimming or sunbathing at Bantayan’s white sand beaches
My mind was set that I won’t be flying any time soon but this opportunity came! I am very grateful for the experience.

Recommended Accommodations

  • Anika Beach Resort
  • Kota Beach Resort
    • Beach Front Suite P4,500
    • Beach Front Cottage P4,000
    • Deluxe Cottage P3,000-3,500
    • Standard Aircon Room P2,300
  • Kadugyap House By The Sea
    • Villa P6,900
    • Room 1 & 2 P2,700
    • Room 3 P3,100
    • Room 5 P5,900
  • Ogtong Cave Resort
  • Beach Placid
  • Budyong Resort
  • Arnold’s Hotel

Note that the price indicated above may change without prior notice.

Book your activities online through the official tourism portal of Cebu Province: http://discover.cebu.gov.ph/.

If you have questions or need any clarification, feel free to leave a comment or message via e-mail. If you like this article and want to see or know more about my other trips and tips, follow me on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

Stay safe, observe proper health protocols, and explore responsibly!

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5 Comments Add yours

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