Bags are packed again and it is time to move on. It has been hard to find information on the internet about traveling to Bantayan Island. Most websites are outdated and some say there is one ferry, others say it only departs on Tuesday and that the bus leaves only 1 time per day, the one thing I know for sure is that I needed to get to the Hagnaya Port.
So the schedule is a bit vague. And while traveling it will become more clear. As happens more often lately while traveling. When you decide to use public transport in the Philippines make sure you have a lot of patience, time your trips wisely, and be flexible.
First stop: Northern Bus Terminal Cebu City.
I was staying in the Quest Hotel and the taxi to the terminal cost 78 pesos, terminal fees are 10 pesos.
If you do not want to pay the terminal fees have the drover drop you off in front of the terminal, it will only be a few steps to the platform.
The Northern Bus Terminal is old and walking around the busses I learned that there is The Island Bus Company that has busses departing for Hagnaya Port, but I saw a (what I thought was a better deal) Ceres aircon bus going all the way from Cebu City to the Bantayan town proper. That means that I will be arriving at a ferry in time. Reviewing my own trip I realized I might as well have taken the Island Bus Company, if your hotel is near Santa Fé, the Island Bus Company is a good option. Plenty of transport is offered at Santa Fé port to bring you to your hotel.
But I had to go to Bantayan City. so I choose the Ceres air-con bus. When I asked when it was leaving, I got no real answer. Only shrugs, and answers like, soon, just wait here.
It was 10 o’clock in the morning and the bus departing at 10 was full, so I had to wait for the next bus.
Later, arriving in Hagnaya I found out I might as well have taken the Island Bus Company, it is cheaper, departs more often and I could have stepped on the ferry myself any time after arriving. Since there are ferries leaving every 20 minutes.
My trip to Hagnaya:
Company: Ceres air-con bus
Price: 200 pesos (4 euro)
Departure time: 10.00 and 12.30
Duration: 3.5 hours
The dispatcher told me to take a seat since the bus was full and told me the next bus would arrive in 20 minutes. And so it did, around 10.30 the bus pulled up at the platform. Engines running, air-con on, opening its doors for passengers.
They put the backpack in the hatch and I took a seat. And waited……..and waited…….and waited……..
We left at 12.45, all the time the engine was running, they started the onboard video, somewhere around 12 and it took ages!
Facilities at the northern bus terminal: food and drinks are available, toilets also, very old and dirty and costs are 5 pesos to pee and 10 pesos for ‘other’ toilet visits.
Arriving in Hagnaya Port.
In Hagnaya you have to leave the bus if you like you can leave your hand luggage behind.
You have to buy a ticket for the ferry and wait for the embarkment.
Company: Super Shuttle Ferry
Price: 170 pesos
Terminal fee: 10 pesos
Departure time: mine left at 16.00, for more information on traveling to Bantayan Island click here
Duration: 45 minutes
Please note: stock up on food and visit the CR before paying your terminal fee, after you have passed the ticket counter there is no food other than local vendors with hard-boiled eggs chicharron, and sugar bananas. And there is no CR. The CR in the Port building is free of charge, and although very old, it is rather clean.
Onboard the ferry they sell drinks and noodle soup, CR is available below deck.
Arriving in Sta Fé
In the Port you get back on the Ceres bus that will stop every so often and drive you to the Bantayan waiting shed in front of the multipurpose building at the town square.
At the port of Santa Fe there are many tricycle drivers waiting for customers, no problem to find yourself a ride there.
Be aware of the porters, willing to help you with your luggage, same at the bus station in Bantayan, you will have to pay them once they carry your luggage.
Total costs op my trip:
Taxi to Northern Bus Terminal Cebu City: 78 pesos
Bus terminal fee: 10 pesos
Ceres Bus to Bantayan, via Santa Fé: 200 pesos
Boat ticket to Bantayan: 170 pesos
Terminal Fee, port Hagnaya: 10 pesos