Cebu, Philippines · 48 hotels available
Daanbantayan used to be a lookout point for pirates, but today it is a prosperous town that sees several travelers every year. It’s located at the northernmost point of the island of Cebu, and is known for powdery beaches.
From Cebu City, get on a Ceres bus in the North Terminal. It will take you all the way to Daanbantayan for less than 200 pesos. Bigger groups may opt to hire a van at the North Terminal as well, but it may be a little more expensive.
To go around, get on a jeepney, tricycle, or even try habal-habal (riding on a motorcycle).
Most tourists pass through Daanbantayan to get to the famous Malapascua Island, a diving paradise with rich marine wildlife with sprawling coral reefs. The beach is covered with white sands, palm trees, and several dive shops, yet the island itself doesn’t feel so crowded even during peak season.
Monad Shoal is a popular destination for recreational divers and is also known to be the home of several subspecies of thresher sharks. More adventurous travelers may opt to add this in their itinerary.
Other places of interest are the Sta. Rosa de Lima Parish, a 19th century church famous for its original, well-preserved façade, and Tapilon Point, a high area where natives used to watch out for pirates and would-be colonizers.
Diving is usually the number one activity in Daanbantayan because of Monad Shoal and Malapascua Island. If this may be too extreme for you, you can simply go island hopping around Malapascua, Carnaza Island, and the nearby Skull Cove for a unique experience.
If you want to eat the best seafood around Daanbantayan, best go to Malapascua Island. Bakhaw Kiwi is rated as one of the best restaurants on the island, and boasts a menu of various cuisines – from Filipino to Moroccan, from Chinese to Indian. Vegeterian options are available for non-meat eaters.
If anyone’s craving some Italian flavor, again, Malapascua has something to satisfy your needs. Head to Angelina Beach Pizzeria and you’ll be serve with some of the freshest pastas and pizzas on the island. Best to try their Pizza al Salame, Spaghetti al Nero di Seppia, and Risotto Frutti di Mare.
On mainland Daanbantayan, there’s not too many bars to visit – but no visit to this area is complete without drinking at Datudaya Restobar, a famous landmark before heading out to Malapascua Island. Oscar’s Bar & Restaurant on Malapascua, however, is often the best choice to buy a bucket of beer with some friends.
There are several hostels, pension houses, and transient hotels ideal for backpackers on a budget, but there are many high end resorts around as well. Kandaya resort is one of the most popular hotel in Daanbantayan mainland, with an elegant beachfront view that includes a spa and an infinity pool.