DISCOVER THE INCREDIBLE VIRGIN ISLAND BANTAYAN!
Island hopping 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 Bantayan Island itinerary!
I have put together this easy to follow island hopping guide for Virgin Island Bantayan including where to book, how much it costs and what to expect!
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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.
Bantayan Island Hopping includes a visit to Virgin Island Cebu and also 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 Virgin Island Bantayan, 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 Virgin Island Bantayan 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 Virgin Island Bantayan.
On the boat to Virgin Island Bantayan
HOW MUCH IS BANTAYAN ISLAND HOPPING
The total cost for a small outrigger boat over to Virgin Island Bantayan 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 on the Virgin Island Bantayan trip.
I recommend going to the supermarket on Bantayan Island mainland to stock up on supplies for the day as it is much cheaper than the inflated prices on Sillon Island.
You can rent snorkeling gear on Bantayan Island or on Virgin Island Cebu for around 150-200 pesos.
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 on the Virgin Island Cebu tour the cheaper the entrance fee will average out to.
See More ∼ 15 Things To Do In Bantayan
Island Hopping Bantayan
WHAT TO EXPECT ON VIRGIN ISLAND BANTAYAN
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 Virgin island Bantayan 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 3m, the middle jump is 5m and the highest one is 8 meters. Work your way up from the smallest jump to the biggest jump for an adrenaline-driven activity on Virgin Island Bantayan Cebu.
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 Bantayan Virgin Island.
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8m cliff jump – Virgin Island Bantayan
Cliff jumping on Sillon Island (Virgin Island Bantayan)
Drone shot of Virgin Island Bantayan
VIRGIN ISLAND BANTAYAN – CONTINUED
The coastal walk on Virgin Island Cebu 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.
Virgin Island’s main beach 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.
The 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
Under the palms on Virgin Island Bantayan
Small beach cove on Virgin Island Cebu
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 Bantayan, 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.
The final leg of the tour takes around 15-minutes by boat from Balidbid Lagoon back to Kota Beach in Sante Fe which concludes the Virgin Island Bantayan adventure!
Search All ∼ Homestays / Hotels / Resorts in Bantayan
Arriving at Balidbid Lagoon Bantayan
Aerial shot of Balidbid Lagoon
Saltwater lagoon at Balidbid Bantayan
Floating in the current at Balidbid Lagoon
Empty beaches at Balidbid Lagoon
PIN LOCATION OF VIRGIN ISLAND BANTAYAN
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WHERE TO STAY NEAR VIRGIN ISLAND BANTAYAN
Bantayan Island, near to Sillon 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 Virgin Island Bantayan 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 near Virgin Island Bantayan and centrally located in Santa Fe. Offering beachfront villas and suites with free wifi, 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 cosy 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 fro couples, friends and families.
Budget: Edsan Apartments
Edsan Apartment is the best budget accommodation near Virgin Island Bantayan. The property is centrally located in Santa Fe and features a garden, bbq facilities, 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, private bathroom and a patio. Perfect for solo travelers, couples, friends and families!
FOR ALL OTHER PLACES TO STAY NEAR VIRGIN ISLAND BANTAYAN, SEARCH ON AGODA OR SEARCH ON BOOKING.COM
AIRBNB NEAR VIRGIN ISLAND BANTAYAN
Another option for accommodation near Virgin Island Bantayan is to stay at an Airbnb, which generally has some great deals on Bantayan Island.
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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
- Cebu: 15 Things To Do In Cebu
- Bohol: 31 Epic Things To Do In Bohol
- Siargao: 15 Things To Do In Siargao
- El Nido: El Nido Island Hopping
- Coron: Coron Island Hopping
- Boracay: 15 Things To Do In Boracay
- Siquijor: 3 Day Siquijor Itinerary
- Bantayan: 15 Things To Do In Bantayan
- Malapascua: 11 Things To Do In Malapascua
- Camiguin: 13 Best Camiguin Tourist Spots
- Romblon: 12 Epic Things To Do In Romblon
- Tablas: 10 Things To Do In Tablas
- Carabao: 7 Best Things To Do In Carabao
- Dumaguete: Best Dumaguete Tourist Spots
- Sumilon Island: Sumilon Island Itinerary
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WHAT TO PACK FOR VIRGIN ISLAND BANTAYAN
Everyday Backpack: One of the best backpacks on the market! The Nomatic 20L Backpack is perfect for on the go adventures. Featuring multiple storage spaces for valuables, drink bottles, chargers, notebooks and more. This sleek backpack was designed for you.
Universal Power Adapter: Don’t leave home without one! I highly recommend getting this Universal Power Adapter so that you are able to charge all of your electronics when you’re on the road. Compatible in Asia, UK, Europe, Africa, USA, SA and Australia.
Hidden Money Belt: I never go on a trip without one! The best thing is they are always out of sight, hidden beneath your clothing. With RFID blocking, they are perfectly designed to keep your credit cards, cash and other valuables safe when you’re out adventuring!
Waterproof Phone Case: A waterproof phone case is a must-have item! This universal case will keep your phone safe from water damage, sand and scratches during your adventures. Suitable for all smartphone models.
Portable Charger: One of the best portable chargers on the market! The Anker Power Bank keeps your phone and accessories charged on those longer adventures. Featuring 2 USB charging ports, rechargeable battery, works with iPhone, iPad, Samsung, Oppo and Android.
Microfibre Travel Towel: To pack a towel or not to pack a towel? A standard bathroom towel can take up a lot of space in your travel bag. Get your hands on a quick-dry Microfibre Travel Towel which is perfect for the beach, backpacking, camping and general traveling.
Rain Jacket: A light-weight rain jacket is an absolute must when traveling! North Face waterproof rain jackets come in both men and women sizes, featuring a breathable mesh lining and adjustable hood that can be tucked away inside the collar.
Kindle: The best alternative for books! Kindle e-readers are perfect for long haul flights, reading on the beach or a quiet evening away from the bars. Kindle’s are waterproof with rechargeable batteries and adjustable light settings to suit indoor/outdoor conditions.
Packing Cubes: My favorite item in my backpack! Perfect for organizing your shirts, pants, jackets, socks, underwear and more. This 5 Set Packing Cubes makes packing easier and more efficient, adding extra space in your bag for your next trip.
Activated Charcoal Tablets: Want to avoid food poisoning? Most of us have been a victim of travelers diarrhea from eating street food. Organic Activated Charcoal Tablets are fast-acting and will rid your system of the bad bacteria that causes stomach upset.
MY CAMERA GEAR
Everyday Camera: The most affordable mirrorless camera on the market! I personally use the Sony A7ii Mirrorless Camera on all of my adventures. It’s compact, lightweight and super easy to use for all levels of photography. A 28-70mm Sony lens is also included.
Drone Camera: Take your photography to new heights! The DJI Mavic Pro 2 Drone is at the top of the game when it comes to high-quality images and video, easy to control functions and traveler-friendly capabilities. I guarantee you won’t regret purchasing one.
GoPro Hero 8: One of the most popular cameras on the planet! I love using the GoPro Hero 8 for all of my underwater shots and fast-paced adventures. The GoPro Hero 8 captures the best moments with its wide range of functions that are very simple to use!
Camera Bag: My favorite camera bag I have ever owned! The Lowepro Protactic 450 AW II Camera Bag features a waterproof rain cover, drink bottle holder, padded compartments for cameras, drones, lenses, accessories and it also has a laptop pocket.
Selfie Stick: Everyone loves a good selfie, right!? The Sandmarc Metal Edition Selfie Stick is sleek, stylish and can extend to 1.2m. I find it much easier to take photos and videos with the GoPro when it is mounted to the Sandmarc Selfie Stick!
Camera Tripod: The Joby GorillaPod is suitable for all cameras. This tripod is easy to use and perfect for setting up a time-lapse video or even using it as a selfie stick. The legs are flexible so you can wrap it around a tree or a pole to get creative with your shot.
GoPro Dome: Have you ever wanted to capture those under/over water shots with the GoPro? This epic underwater GoPro dome housing is the best camera accessory to have to create the perfect 50/50 shot. I use mine every time I am in the ocean!
Memory Card: The best thing about SanDisk Extreme Pro is that it delivers maximum speed for images and videos. Having 64GB of storage means that you can store hundreds of files on this SD card for 2-3 days and not have to worry about running out of space.
External Hard Drive: As a photographer, my images and video files take up a lot of space on my MacBook so I use the WD Elements External Hard Drive to store everything. With 4TB worth of storage space, this is more than enough for 1 year worth of content.
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FINAL THOUGHTS OF VIRGIN ISLAND BANTAYAN
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.