Those looking for the perfect beach destination will love Bantayan Island. Its blinding white-sand beaches are some of Cebu's very best and the island's mellow, easygoing vibe is highly seductive. With little traffic, it's a wonderful place to explore by scooter – circumnavigating the coastline makes a fine day out. Offshore there's a blissful tropical islet, deservedly popular as a day-trip destination. However, Bantayan does not have any rewarding dive sites and the snorkelling is pretty limited too.
The relaxed, bucolic settlement of Santa Fe on the island's southern coast is where most travellers base themselves. This little town boasts a sublime stretch of sandy beach and a decent selection of hotels and restobars. About 10km west of Santa Fe is Bantayan Town, the island's beautifully preserved administrative heart.
Holy Week sees Bantayan turn into an epic fiesta. People sleep on the beaches and hotel prices double, triple and even quadruple.
These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Bantayan Island.