Planning for a chill escapade on a long weekend? The white sand beaches of Bantayan Island is the perfect remedy for a jam-packed week. Whether it’s the holiday season or not, you can never go wrong with a quick visit to this island in the Northern part of Cebu.
My long weekend last November 30 to December 2 was everything I expected– spontaneous and adventurous. The weather was not very cooperative but I’m glad we were able to enjoy every moment amidst the pouring rain. If you want to know how we were able to pull-off this spontaneous trip to Bantayan Island, continue reading until the end.
Accommodation: Wasap Beach Camp
We didn’t really plan everything except for the accommodation– Wasap Beach Camp, a very chill resort in Sta. Fe. The ambiance of the place ignited our backpacker souls.
Located in Barangay Okoy, Sta. Fe, Wasap Beach Camp is a heaven-like crib for campers and backpackers. Currently, it only has 1 private room with access to a private bathroom and a common kitchen. But don’t worry, you can also rent a tent or bring your own tent to camp overnight. Campers also have access to the common kitchen and a common bathroom.
What does the place offer?
- Free breakfast
- Clean bathrooms (inside the room and a common bathroom near the kitchen)
- Kitchen with complete set of utensils
- Cookware, stove, microwave, water heater
- Tents for rent
- SUP (standup paddle) for 500 pesos (5 hours)
Where is Wasap Beach Camp located?
Wasap Beach Camp is located in Barangay Okoy, Sta. Fe, just a few minutes drive from the port. However, one of the cons of its location is that it’s quite far from the main road– most especially from the town center.
I believe the owner of this beach camp is the same as the owner of the famous Bacalla Woods in San Fernando, Cebu. Unfortunately, we were not able to meet the owner since during that time the campers were out to attend an event.
Bantayan Itinerary Day 1
North Bus Terminal to Sta. Fe
From North Bus Terminal, take the bus going to Hagnaya Port. There are also Ceres buses going all the way to Bantayan Proper for an additional cost but since we are only going to stay in Sta. Fe, we decided to take the bus until Hagnaya Port only. From Hagnaya Port, we waited for the barge to Sta. Fe.
Sta. Fe to Wasap Beach Camp
Upon arrival in Sta. Fe, a lot of tricycle drivers will offer a ride to your resort. If you prefer to drive on your own, you can also rent a motorcycle from the port.
Arrival in Wasap Beach Camp
We were greeted by the caretaker (also called as the camp master) and he led us to our room. We spent some time checking out the place and resting before we decided to drive to the town center to eat lunch.
Lunch at Micky Santoro Hotel and Restaurant
Wouldn’t say that the food was not delicious but we did spend a big portion of our pocket money for one meal and for that we regretted it big time! It was already too late for us to leave the restaurant when we saw the menu because we were the only customers at that time.
In fairness to this restaurant, if you want to enjoy a good meal and you have more cash to splurge, you can check out this place. Since we were only expecting a cheap trip, this restaurant didn’t really win us that time.
Tip: Go straight to MJ Square if you want various choices and value for your money.
Drive all the way to Madridejos and back
After lunch, we decided to drive all the way to Madridejos, passing through Bantayan proper, to check out Kota Park.
Afternoon in Kota Park
It rained when we arrived in Kota Park so we were not able to see the place in its most beautiful form.
Called it a day, ate dinner, watched the stars
We drove all the way back to Sta. Fe. The sky was clear that time– perfect for chilling by the seashore. We still have a long day tomorrow.
Bantayan Itinerary Day 2
We were kinda in doubt whether the free breakfast was legit or not until the camp master delivered it. We had a great meal before we prepared for the big day ahead.
We already arranged an island hopping package with Edward, the tricycle driver who drove us to the beach camp and who let us rent a motorcycle. We were in contact with him for the island hopping this day.
It was difficult for the “bangka” to dock near the shore because it was low tide.
Our first stop was the Fish Sanctuary. The entrance fee was 100 per head.
The most expensive entrance fee of all. This newly renovated tourist destination is indeed a true gem in your Bantayan itinerary. You can find lots of activities here. In fact, you can even stay overnight if you wish to maximize the island. Upon arrival, you will be greeted with the staff to pay the entrance fee of 250 pesos.
The highlight of our Virgin Island trip was the cliff jumping attraction. Here you can find a 20-feet tower and a 5-feet cliff where you can cliff-jump to your heart’s desire.
Tip #1: If you don’t know how to swim but still want to try cliff-diving, you can ask for the lifeguards to assist you.
Lunch at MJ Square
If you want to enjoy a big and budget-friendly meal, go over to MJ Square at the heart of Sta. Fe. You’ll find a variety of options from grilled foods to seafood dishes. There are also refreshments to beat the torching heat.
Stix Smoke House has unlimited rice meals, platter meals, and seafood options for an affordable price.
Obo-ob Mangrove Ecopark
After a fulfilling meal at MJ Square, we decided to drive all the way to Obo-ob Mangrove Ecopark where you can find the famous “Camp Sawi” signage from the movie. We were not able to enjoy the place that much because it started raining when we arrived.
Tip #1: Be sure to use the toilet before entering the eco-park because there are no toilet rooms along the way.
Tip #2: Also, you might want to bring your own umbrella or rain protection. The facility has a limited number of umbrellas only.
Bantayan Itinerary Day 3
Of course, our last day in Bantayan didn’t go in vain. We spent the rest of the day exploring some of the parts we were not able to explore yesterday due to the pouring rain.
Sta. Fe Ruins, Cliff Diving Spot
This cliff diving spot should not be missed in your Bantayan itinerary too most especially if you’re an adrenaline junkie.
From the Ruins, we drove all the way to Paradise Beach. We didn’t expect it’ll be in a secluded area but the view was all worth it. It’s perfect for those who want to enjoy a relaxing afternoon. We took a dip for a while and then called it a day.
Summary of expenses
175 – Ceres bus to Hagnaya Port
185 – Ferry to Sta. Fe Port
10 – Terminal fee (Sta. Fe Port)
30 – Ecological fee (Sta. Fe Port)
20 – Tricycle from port to Baranggay Okoy
350 – Motorbike rental fee for 2 days (with 2 hours extension)
50 – motorcycle gas
200 – pumpboat gas
500 – pumpboat rental fee for island hopping
250 – Virgin Island entrance
100 – Fish sanctuary entrance
50 – Obo-ob Mangrove Eco Park entrance
50 – Paradise Beach entrance
20 – tricycle from MJ Square to Baranggay Okoy
960 – meals, snacks, drinks
185 – Ferry from Sta. Fe to Hagnaya Port
5 – Terminal fee (Sta. Fe Port)
175 – bus from Hagnaya to North bus terminal
So that’s it folks! To wrap up this post, here’s a beautiful sunset taken on our way back to Cebu.