I have calculated our Bantayan Island costs after staying on the island for a few weeks. Here I will share all of our expenses to the island, so you know exactly how much your trip will cost you.
A comfortable weekend trip to Bantayan Island costs on average 7560 PHP for two people.
830 PHP in total for transport both ways per person.
2000 PHP for two nights in a nice guesthouse near Kota Beach.
900 PHP for sightseeing.
1500 PHP per person for eating restaurant food and drinks for two days.
These are all the basic costs with some wiggle room. Bellow I have also shared some other expenses we had on the island that you need to know about.
Transport to Bantayan Island Costs
The first expense is getting to Bantayan Island. To get to the island we spent:
150 PHP for a Grab from Ayala Mall to Cebu North Bus Terminal.
185 PHP for the aircon bus from the bus terminal to Hagnaya Port.
10 PHP Port fee.
180 PHP for the ferry from Hagnaya Port to Santa Fe Port on the island.
30 PHP Environmental fee.
20 PHP for a tricycle into Santa Fe.
In total 575 PHP was spent for transport to the island per person. Obviously you can split or cut the Grab cost if you take the bus to the bus station instead.
If we remove the Grab, 425 PHP is the cost from the bus station to Santa Fe on Bantayan Island.
The return cost is exactly the same minus the environmental fee, but with a 20 PHP port fee instead of 10 PHP. so in total 555 PHP for a return to Cebu.
Accommodation Cost on Bantayan Island
We spent on average 1200 PHP for accommodation on Bantayan Island, because we wanted two beds at any cost, and clearly we paid for it!
But I think if you book a few days in advance you can press the cost all the way down to 600-700 PHP per night (Agoda) if you are on a budget.
Here are our favorite hotels & guesthouses on the island, check out the article if you are looking for some great options on where to stay on the island.
But let’s say you want to stay somewhere comfortable, and central for a weekend trip. So you spend 1000 PHP per night.
So lets add another 2000 PHP for a weekend trip to the total cost.
Transport Costs for Exploring Bantayan Island
If you are on a two night weekend trip to Bantayan Island, you need to spend your time smart if you want to see everything. We talked to a bunch of people, and both of the options bellow are very good.
We went the motorcycle route, but I can see the appeal of being driven around.
You can hire a tricycle driver for 700 PHP to show you all the most popular sights on the island.
This includes some cliffs and a beach, a beautiful mangrove park, ruins of a German house, and a fascinating little cave. This trip takes about 4 hours.
Then add another 200 PHP for entry fees and a drink along the way.
Depending on your bargaining skills you will pay 150-300 PHP per 24 hours for an automatic scooter. Then you can add another 100 PHP for gas for the two days you will be riding around.
And the entry fees of 200 PHP will still be the same.
As you can see whichever option you chose it will cost you from 450-900 PHP to see all the main attractions on the island.
For the sake of having some wiggle room lets add 900 PHP to the total.
Food and Drink Costs
This was our biggest expense by far. Mostly because of the drink costs..
A good meal in a restaurant will set you back 150-450 PHP. On average we spent about 200 PHP on our food, plus another 30-75 PHP for a drink. So total for any meal would be about 250 PHP per person
Obviously you can go lower if you want, sometimes we shared some fries or springrolls for 100 PHP and had a large beer for 75 PHP. Those meals only cost 175 for the both of us.
On the higher end, they have an excellent pizza restaurant (We discuss it here) that will cost 400 PHP plus drinks that is easily 500 PHP or more between two people for dinner.
Again, for some wiggle room let’s say 250 PHP 2 times a day, plus another 250 PHP for some snacks for lunch or beers on the beach. That totals 750 PHP per person each day.
Total for a weekend that’s 1500 PHP per person.
Other costs on Bantayan Island
Some other costs that you may not have thought about are sunscreen, and souvenirs from the people on the beach.
Beach related expenses
A tube of sunscreen costs from around 100-500 PHP from the pharmacies in Santa Fe. If you are going to the be doing any swimming getting a tube of water resistant sunscreen will cost you about 400 PHP.
Souvenirs range from 70-150 PHP depending on your bargaining skills. Some of the bracelets the touts sell can be bought in town a lot cheaper.
If you want to visit any of the islands surrounding Bantayan Island that will also cost you 300-500 PHP depending on the trip.
And a trip to Malapascua will cost you significantly more, 2000 PHP for a private trip. However if you go here, you probably want to stick around for a while.
Most of the services on the island are privately run by the locals. So there is often a lot to be saved by bargaining with them for a while, or just asking around and getting multiple prices. If you are in doubt, ask some of the locals or expats that are not involved what they would pay.
Kota beach is free to use, and there is lots of room to lay down a beach towel and enjoy the day. We found that spending an entire day on the beach was a really cheap, and really fun way to spend the day!
Drinks and food can be had at one of the beach bars and restaurants along the beachfront. A beer on the beach will cost 60-75 PHP, while a water is about half of that.
Expensive Airport on Bantayan Island
If you decide to fly in that will cost you significantly more than taking the bus/ferry combo. In my opinion you are better of taking the bus, and spending the money on a nicer hotel instead.
For those who are adventurous, there is also a skydiving company right there on the island! One jump will cost you 18-20 000 PHP.
A night out partying in Santa Fe
If you want to grab a few drinks in the bars around town you can expect to pay about 50 PHP for a small beer.
There are a few spots where they play live music during the evenings of the weekend. While the music is free, it is expected that you give them a tip if you like the music. They are happy with anything you put in their box.
For a bucket of beer shared between two people, and a tip for the band, expect to pay about 350 PHP for the night out. Not bad at all!
As you can see, you can spend as much, or as little as you want on Bantayan island. Above is just an average of what we spent. If you budget is larger, or smaller you won’t have any problems adjusting it in either direction.
Overall we found Bantayan Island to be a very budget friendly destination, and we can strongly recommend it for a weekend (or multiple weeks like we did!). Enjoy your trip to this magnificent island!
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