A visit to Virgin Island Bantayan is one of the best day trips you can do from Bantayan Island in North Cebu. Boasting crystal clear waters, cliff jumping, beach bars, and coastal boardwalks, this is one of the most beautiful places not to be missed on your itinerary.
I have put together this easy-to-follow island hopping guide for Virgin Island including where to book, how much it costs, and what to expect on the tour!
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WHERE TO BOOK A VIRGIN ISLAND BANTAYAN TOUR?
Virgin Island Bantayan, also known as Sillon Island, is best visited as a day trip from Bantayan Island and can be easily organised through the reception of your accommodation or at one of the tour desks dotted around the main town of Santa Fe.
Virgin Island Cebu is a short 30-minute boat ride from Kota Beach on the east coast of Bantayan Island.
The Bantayan Island Hopping tour includes a visit to Virgin Island and Balidbid Lagoon on Bantayan Island before returning back to Kota Beach in Santa Fe.
It’s up to you how long you want to spend on the island, you just have to communicate with the captain of your boat at the beginning of the tour.
To get an idea, my friends and I spent around 3 hours on the island and 1 hour at Balidbid Lagoon and felt this was a good amount of time to enjoy both locations. Though if you love beach bumming, you could easily spend a full day on the island.
On the boat to the island
HOW MUCH IS BANTAYAN ISLAND HOPPING
The total cost for the island hopping tour is around 800 pesos, so if you are a group of 4 and up to 8 people you can split the cost between you. Otherwise, you can take a private boat tour and pay the full price.
Any food, drinks and snorkeling gear rental is an additional cost. You can rent snorkeling gear on Bantayan Island or on Virgin Island Cebu for around 150-200 pesos.
I recommend going to the supermarket on Bantayan Island mainland to stock up on supplies for the day as it’s much cheaper than the inflated prices on Sillon Island.
VIRGIN ISLAND BANTAYAN ENTRANCE FEE
When you arrive at Virgin Island Bantayan, there is an additional entrance fee of 250 pesos per head for the first 2 guests and 200 pesos after that for additional people in your group.
Ultimately, the more people you have in your group the cheaper the entrance fee will average out to.
See More → 15 Things To Do In Bantayan
Island Hopping Bantayan
WHAT TO EXPECT ON THE TOUR
There are many things to do on Virgin Island Bantayan to keep you entertained for an entire day such as cliff jumping, snorkeling the reef, beach bumming in a hammock, swimming in the shallow turquoise waters and coastal strolls along the wooden boardwalk.
On the northern end of the island you can find the cliff jumping area which features a bamboo structure built into the side of the small cliffs.
There is a range of diving boards here starting as low as 3 meters, the middle jump is 5 meters and the highest one is 8 meters.
Work your way up from the smallest jump to the biggest jump and make sure you catch it all on camera.
After cliff jumping, my friends and I decided to explore the northern coastline and found paradise with no other tourists around. A white sand beach fringed with coconut palms was an idyllic scene I didn’t expect to find on the island.
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8 meter cliff jump
Cliff jumping on Sillon Island
Drone shot of the island
The coastal walk takes you along the edges of the rocky coastline and boasts epic views of the main beach. You can even go swimming and snorkeling by using the bamboo ladder access in certain spots along the boardwalk.
The main beach on the island is as dreamy as it gets and it looks like something straight out of a postcard. Sugary white sands, azure waters and shaded huts under the coconut trees is the definition of an island paradise.
Island locals have done a fantastic job decorating the area under the palms with hanging shell ornaments that chime in the wind and well-kept gardens that add to the tropical vibes.
Beach bars, small restaurants and sari-sari stores can also be found on Virgin Island Cebu if you want to grab a cold beer, fresh juice or something to eat.
A trip to Virgin Island Bantayan will leave you feeling sun-kissed and content after experiencing one of Cebu’s best-kept island paradises!
Must Read → 3 Weeks Philippines Itinerary
Coastal walks on Bantayan Virgin Island
Aerial shot of Sillon Island
Palm trees on the beach
Small beach cove
BALIDBID LAGOON BANTAYAN
The last stop of the Bantayan Island Hopping is to Balidbid Lagoon which is located on the east coast of Bantayan Island’s mainland.
From Virgin Island, it’s a short 20-minute boat ride across the seaway to reach Balidbid Lagoon, arriving on a small beach lined with coconut palms. Once you step off the boat on to the shoreline you will have to pay a small entrance fee of 20 pesos and then take a short walk over to sandbank to this beautiful Bantayan lagoon.
This insane location blew me away when I sent my drone up to capture some aerial shots of Balidbid Lagoon and it reminded me of the Whitsundays in Australia!
Balidbid features a saltwater lagoon with an ocean inlet that is surrounded by lush greenery and boasts glistening white sandbanks along the edges.
There was a slight current in the lagoon when we visited, so we walked upstream, jumped in the water and floated down towards the end of the inlet. We did this several times as it was lots of fun and also very relaxing!
We spent around 1 hour at Balidbid Lagoon enjoying the cool waters and it was a perfect way to end the Bantayan Island Hopping tour.
The final leg of the trip takes around 15-minutes by boat from Balidbid Lagoon back to Kota Beach in Sante Fe which concludes island-hopping tour!
Search All → Homestays / Hotels / Resorts in Bantayan
Arriving at Balidbid Lagoon
Aerial shot of Balidbid Lagoon
Saltwater lagoon at Balidbid Bantayan
Floating in the current
Empty beaches at Balidbid Lagoon
MAP OF SILLON ISLAND
WHERE TO STAY ON BANTAYAN ISLAND
Bantayan Island has dozens of accommodation options to choose from, so I have narrowed it down to a few of the best places to stay near to fit the needs of budget backpackers and luxury travelers.
See the list of accommodations below that I personally recommend:
Luxury: Coral Blue Oriental Beach Villas
Coral Blue Oriental is one of the best semi-luxury accommodations and centrally located in Santa Fe. Offering beachfront villas and suites with free wifi, a private beach area, seaside restaurant, and a bar. There are one-bedroom and two-bedroom villas available which air-conditioned and fitted with a flat-screen tv, DVD player, lock safe, fridge, and balcony with ocean views. Recommended for couples, families, and friends!
Mid Range: Sf Cantina
I personally stayed at Sf Cantina, a small and cozy guesthouse located right on the beach in Sante Fe. The property features a beach bar and restaurant, free wifi, lounge chairs, and oceanfront accommodation. The rooms have air conditioning and fitted with a flat-screen tv, large bed, wardrobe, and private bathroom. Continental breakfast is also available at Sf Cantina. Affordable place to stay for couples, friends, and families.
Budget: Edsan Apartments
Edsan Apartment is the best budget accommodation on Bantayan Island. The property is centrally located in Santa Fe and features a garden, bbq facilities, a shared kitchen area, terrace, and free wifi. Enjoy your privacy in these budget apartments which can sleep 2 people and up to 6 people and fitted with air-conditioning/fan-cooled, large beds, a private bathroom, and a patio. Perfect for solo travelers, couples, friends, and families!
FOR ALL OTHER PLACES TO STAY ON BANTAYAN ISLAND, SEARCH ON AGODA OR SEARCH ON BOOKING.COM
AIRBNB BANTAYAN ISLAND
Another option for accommodation in Bantayan Island is to stay at an Airbnb, which generally has some great deals.
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BEST TOURS IN CEBU
LONELY PLANET PHILIPPINES
One of the best books to take on your trip is the Lonely Planet Philippines Travel Guide!
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MORE PHILIPPINES TRAVEL GUIDES
- Philippines Guide: 3 Weeks Philippines Itinerary
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- Bantayan: 15 Things To Do In Bantayan
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- Dumaguete: Best Dumaguete Tourist Spots
- Sumilon Island: Sumilon Island Itinerary
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I hope you enjoyed reading this article and if you have any questions at all about Virgin Island Bantayan, please leave me a comment below and I will get back to you as soon as I can.