Bantayan Island is home to some of the best beaches in Cebu – its coastline dotted with pockets of white sandy coves, azure blue water and rows of swaying palms. We’ve wrapped up the 6 best Bantayan Island beaches to add to your itinerary whilst you’re in paradise!
Best time to visit the Bantayan Island beaches
To make the most out of your Bantayan Island trip, you’ll want to hit the sweet spot when the weather is good but the crowds are minimal. This means aiming for November – April when it’s the dry season, but avoiding weekends, public holidays and most importantly, Holy Week. Unless, of course, you happen to like crowds of tourists.
How to get to Bantayan Island
What to bring to the Bantayan Island beaches
6 Best Bantayan Island Beaches
1. Paradise Beach
Paradise Beach isn’t just one of the best Bantayan Island beaches, it’s also our personal favourite! Hidden behind a jagged limestone wall, Paradise Beach is shielded from unknowing eyes, but take the staircase down to the beach and you’ll be blown away by what awaits.
This stunning stretch of coastline more than lives up to its name, with fine white sand and crystal clear water inviting you to spend a day in paradise. Don’t forget your mask and snorkel, because with water clarity this good you’ll definitely want to get a better look below the surface.
2. Virgin Island
It may be found just off the coast, but Virgin Island is still regarded as an amazing Bantayan Island beach. This island hopping destination attracts tourists from all over, looking to explore its pristine beaches, rugged cliffs and stunning waters.
To reach Virgin Island Bantayan you’ll need to take a 30-minute boat ride from Santa Fe. As you make your approach you’ll be met with glistening white sand and vibrant blue water – a true sign that you’re in paradise. If you’re looking to do more than just beach bumming, there are a number of activities including cliff diving on Virgin Island.
3. Kota Beach
Kota Beach is perhaps the most popular Bantayan Island beach with its wispy white sandbar and calm waters, perfect for paddleboarding. SUP Bantayan is posted at the entrance so you can rent a paddleboard to explore this shapeshifting sandbar, then grab a cool coconut or cocktail at Kota Beach Resort to freshen up.
4. Sugar Beach
An invisible line in the sand separates Kota Beach from Sugar Beach, so you can expect just as soft – if not softer – fine white sand and crystal clear water. Sugar Beach Bantayan is less developed than the Kota Beach end, with rows of short coconut trees lining the coast. As most tourists flock to the sandbar, Sugar Beach is far more secluded despite its close proximity to Kota Beach.
5. Santa Fe Beach
Located right next to the Santa Fe Port, we were left totally in awe of the beachfront at Santa Fe Beach Club. Whilst it looked like any other beach resort, the sand at Santa Fe Beach Club was the finest we’d come across in all of Bantayan.
Guests of the resort can enjoy the beach facilities as part of their reservation, but if you’re staying elsewhere and just want to experience the beach you can purchase a day pass which also includes access to Ogtong Cave Resort.
6. Balidbid Lagoon
Last but by no means least is Balidbid Lagoon, the most unique Bantayan Island beach we have on our roundup. This winding waterway merges the river with the sea, and is an awesome place to explore on paddleboard. The guys of SUP Bantayan also operate tours through Balidbid Lagoon, so you can make your way through the mangroves, stopping at the secluded beaches along the way.