MANY local and international tourists often flock to the northern area of Cebu to view the sceneries and eat the delicacies it offers.
The list to do in the north of Cebu is long: eat tinap-anan, bingka, and native chicken; trek the mountains; and visit the beaches.
One of the popular summer getaways for Cebuanos is also there. The Bantayan Island, including Santa Fe, has always captivated thousands of visitors because it offers good food, fun nightlife, and breathtaking white sand beaches.
But did you know that Santa Fe has a lot more to offer?
Enter Kinatarcan Island.
It is a rocky island located in the middle of mainland Cebu and the famous Bantayan Island. With approximately 10,000 residents, the island is a part of the Municipality of Santa Fe.
It is composed of three barangays: Hagdan, Langub, and Bitoon. The last one is also known as Barangay Kinatarcan and the "centro" of the island.
Some locals also call the island Hagkilan, a word that connects the names of the three barangays.
What makes Kinatarcan special
Kinatarcan is a rocky island that offers a lot of excellent cliff wonders. Its beautiful beaches feature some of the finest white sands that you will ever feel. To top everything off, the sea will just snatch the breath out of you.
Tourist attractions in Kinatarcan
To tour around the Island of Kinatarcan, you have two options. Do you want it by sea or by land? By pump boat or by motorcycle? The costs of each will be mentioned later so keep on reading!
Have you ever seen a "lato" farm in a lagoon? If not, then this is your chance! Kinatarcan has the Laaw Lagoon where residents grow and cultivate lato, a popular type of edible seaweed in the Philippines. The lagoon is surrounded by trees and gigantic limestone, giving it an enchanted feel in the middle of a green thicket.
Swimming in the lagoon is prohibited to maintain and grow the lato farm. So be a responsible tourist and respect the people who earn their income from the lato farm in the lagoon.
The rocky terrain of the island offers a lot of cliff diving and jumping spots, but it doesn't get any better than the Langub Cliffs. The cliffs are approximately 15 to 20 feet high and the landing waters are more than three meters deep. Beneath the cliffs are humungous and colorful corals, which are a sight to see.
The surface of the cliffs are very spiky rocks and have a lot of fissures. So always watch your steps and put on your footwear all the time.
Tamboan ni Leon
Are you looking for Sabtang Island or the Nusa Penida feels in Cebu? You can get a similar feel in the Tamboan ni Leon or the Coral Cliff. Gigantic waves smash over huge boulders of the 50 to 60 feet high cliffs of Kinatarcan. The cyanic waters that cover it are just perfect.
The guides will never allow tourists that are under the influence of alcohol to start the tour to this spot due to many reasons. The way to the cliff is very steep and rocky. The cliffs are also very high with strong winds, which can be very dangerous to someone who has a compromised balance.
This is the beach of Barangay Hagdan. On the way to the beach, tourists will have to walk down 100 steps to enjoy the beauty and long stretch of white sand and blue waters.
Forest Beach is located in Barangay Kinatarcan, which gives you legitimate hippie feels. It has a jumping board. You can rest on the hammocks. It has some grilling spots and very comfortable cottages.
They also offer lodging that can be very convenient for tourists since they offer free fresh water for rinsing. Forest Beach's spot is located on the west side of the island where you can witness one of the most picturesque sunset spots in your life.
The owner of the resort of Forest Beach is a member of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church. If you come by the weekend, please pay respects to the residents when they do their praise and worship.
Those were some of the top tourist spots of Kinatarcan, but they have a lot more to offer: The Lighthouse, The Floating Docks, the Byaring Beach, and many more! We enjoyed our tour even more because of our very kind guides and drivers. See them for yourself!
How to get to the island?
To get to the island, you will have to take a bus going to the Municipality of Daanbantayan and stop by their public market. Upon arrival, take a motorcycle ride going to Mahayahay Port. (If you want to bring a private vehicle, you can leave it at the port's parking area). Then look for a pump boat that offers a trip to the island.
Lodging and tour information
We spent a very comfortable night at Forest Beach, thanks to Berlito Mantao. You can call him here: 0920-380-4640. For tour guides and motorcycle rides, you can contact Fritz at 0938-222-7931 or 0907-885-9860.
Other important notes
• Always put your face masks and face shields on.
• Bring your own water. Fresh water supply on the island is scarce.
• Respect the locals, their practices, and beliefs.
• Bring sunscreen.
• Book everything beforehand.
• Withdraw all the money that you need ahead of time. There are no ATMs available on the island.
• Be a responsible tourist.
• Leave no trace.
• Put your garbage in your pockets.
• Transportation by bus from Cebu City to Daanbantayan (VV) – P600
• Transportation by motorcycle from Daanbantayan Public Market to Mahayahay Port – P20
• Transportation by boat from Mahayahay Port to Pasil Beach, Kinatarcan – P80
• Motorcycle for an island tour – P250
• Room accommodation – P250
• Boat rental – P2,000
• Entrance or environmental fees (and the like) – P100
• Food – P300