Kinatarcan Island (Guintacan Island) is a charming island that offers travelers a chance to experience rustic island life in a peaceful and relaxing environment. It is composed of three Barangays, namely: Bitoon, Hagdan, and Langub. Exploring this Island will let you enjoy the beautiful rocky cliffs on the North side and along the western and eastern side, you’ll be seeing the cloistered white sand beaches. Moreover Kinatarcan (Guintacan) Island is actually part of the Municipality of Santa Fe and situated at the Southern Part of the Visayan sea that is close to Bantayan Island, which perhaps makes it the last frontier of Cebu.
The whole Kinatarcan island is just about nine kilometers long as its length and two kilometers as its width which means ambling around the whole island for only 2-3 hours is very possible. Additionally, Kinatarcan Island doesn’t own a big chain of Resort, except for the Kinatarcan Wellness Resort, which would about to open this month of May this year and owned by Miss Gina Lopez. According to one of the locals that I had a chance to talk to, Kinatarcan Island will soon be an Eco-Tourism destination in Cebu, just like the town of Aloguinsan, which I think would be great. Perchance, this would give the locals an opportunity to earn, while making them an Eco-Warriors if this Eco-Tourism development will adhere.
Anyway, I had a chance to visit this Island two years ago with my friends. But, we didn’t own a leisure time to explore the Island, since we only visit the cloistered La-aw lagoon. And, just this month before my 7 days backpacking in Northern Mindanao, I had a chance to explore Kinatarcan Island longer than my first sojourn. Hence, I decided to write a travel guide to this natural Jewel in Cebu that is waiting to be explored, which includes visiting to its top tourist attractions, like Laaw Lagoon, Tamboan ni Leon, Pasil, Langub, Hagdan and Bitoon beaches, Langub Cliff Diving Spot, and Langub floating dock. Additionally, it includes how to get to Kinatarcan Island from Cebu, going around Kinatarcan Island, where to stay and eat on Kinatarcan Island, Kinatarcan island sample itinerary, possible expenses to prepare, travel tips and things to do in Kinatarcan Island.
CONTENTS COVERED IN THIS GUIDE
Top Tourist Attractions in Kinatarcan Island
How To Get to Kinatarcan Island
Going Around Kinatarcan Island
Where To Stay in Kinatarcan Island
Where To eat in Kinatarcan Island
Kinatarcan Island Sample Itinerary
Kinatarcan Island Possible Expenses
Travel Tips And Other Things To Do In Kinatarcan Island
Top Tourist Attractions On Kinatarcan Island
This is the only beautiful spot I had a chance to visit during my first visit to Kinatarcan Island 2 years ago. Getting to Laaw lagoon, one must hike for 25-30 minutes from where the boat dock off, near the sea coast of Brgy. Hagdan. The trail going here is very open, having said that, you can’t find big trees to give you enough shade while hiking. Thus, I suggest that you go here around morning time or later in the afternoon, since it can be really hot, especially during summer time in the Philippines.
And just before you reach the Laaw Lagoon, one must pay the entrancef fee for PHP 50.00, which goes for the Eco-Tourism development. And after paying the entrance fee, you have to go along on a narrow pathway that seems like a huge rock being broken in the middle and created a very unique pathway. You’ll as well be seeing cave along the way, but it looks like just plain hanging on the bulwark of the limestone. There were stalagmites hanging, but sadly it looks like they were already a dead stalagmite.
The La-aw Cove is a lagoon that looks like being trapped and surrounded by a limestone and covered by a canopy of trees which makes the place so umbrageous, and most probably the reason why the water is cold. The lagoon is not that really wide, simply enough to attract your child like sense to play and enjoy its natural beauty with its crystal clear waters that is very enticing.
Moreover, the lagoon houses a luscious local food known as “Lato” or a sea grape (Caulerpa lentillifera). It is commonly eaten raw with vinegar after been washed in clean water, and mixed it with some chopped raw shallots and fresh tomatoes, and dressed with a blend of fish sauce or bagoong (fish paste). It is known to be very rich in iodine.
Tamboan ni Leon or a Coral Cliff
This is actually located right beside Laaw Lagoon, you just have to hike a few minutes from Laaw lagoon, since there’s a trail going to the Coral Cliff. The cliff is actually facing the open sea of the Visayan Sea, which gives you a chance to see a panoramic view of the vast ocean. There’s actually a great spot where you can have your instagrammable pose, but don’t dare to look down the cliff, since it is quite scary because it is high enough to make your feet shaking in fear. And, if you’re really into extreme adventure, you can try the cliff jumping here, but again, it is high enough to make you think twice if you jump or not. Moreover, you can also see the big boulders made of corals, which is likewise perfect for picture taking.
This is located in Brgy. Hagdan, where you can enjoy it before heading to Laaw lagoon. Perhaps, upon traipsing your feet here, the first beautiful scenery that fascinated your eyes is the untouched white sand beach, splendid coastal views, crystal clear water, lines of wild coconut trees and the colorful fishing boats on the seashore. There’s actually a stairs going upwards, which is the same stairs that you’ll be using when you go to Laaw Lagoon. And at the upper portion of the stairs, you’ll get to see the panoramic vista of the blue ocean and the long stretch of its unspoiled white sand beach.
This is where the passenger boat from Daanbantayan dock off, likely because it is located fronting Daanbantayan, which makes it a gateway of Kinatarcan Island. Additionally, the Kinatarcan Wellness Resort is sited here, which is about to open in the month of May this year. This place has a long stretch of white sand beach, and turquoise waters that would definitely going to entice you to take a dip. During my second visit, the waves were extremely big, that hinders us from getting down from the boat and swim.
This is where we actually stayed during my visit, since one of our friends is actually from here. He told us that Brgy. Langub is known as a place where dried fish are produced, or they called it as “Buwaran ug Bulad”. That’s why, I smell something very familiar when I traipsed my feet here, since it is one of my favorite viands during breakfast, but not all the time. I didn’t have a chance to swim here, since I find Hagdan, Pasil and Bitoon beaches are more enticing and the waters are undoubtedly crystal clear. Nonetheless, my friends had an amazing night on the Langub beach, since this is where we camp.
Langub Cliff Diving Spot
The minute I heard about cliff jumping, I already told myself that probably this is a place where I won’t enjoy, since I’m afraid of heights. Simply, I was extremely wrong, since the place doesn’t just own a backbreaking cliff diving, but it owns a turquoise water that surely makes you feel like it is a place where you can’t evade. Going here is quite hard, since you get to hike for about 5-10 minutes from the main road. And, the trail is confusing, since only locals of Langub know about this cliff diving spot. The good thing was, we were with one of our friends who is also from Langub. The first cliff has an estimated height of approximately 25-30 feet, which is truly high enough for me. And, the second cliff has an estimated height of roughly 10-15 feet, which I find it manageable for me. Truly, I tried it since some of my friends have started leaping out from the cliff and fallen off to the turquoise cold water.
The place has challenging sharp edges of soluble rocks around. Thus, make sure to be extra careful when you get down, just in case you don’t want to do the cliff jumping.
Langub Floating Dock
This was where our boat dock off before heading to Pasil beach and Hagdan beach. This spot offers a great chance for visitors to enjoy the turquoise water. There’s a narrow floating dock, which serves as a dependable spot for picture taking, and of course where the boat dock. It has become the favorite stopover for those that doing an island hopping tour. Moreover, there’s a lone floating cottage that is available for rent. Perhaps, it is the best place if you get to drop by and have your lunch.
Bitoon Beach is located in Brgy. Bitoon or also known as Brgy. Kinatarcan. Perchance, this place is where you can find the long strips of white sand beaches that are scattered on both eastern and western sides of Bitoon according to Miguel of Vivomigsgee. I didn’t have a chance to explore this side of the Kinatarcan Island during my second visit. And probably next time, I will get to traipse my feet here If I get the chance to go back. With the turquoise water that is very tempting and the white sand beach that Bitoon beach has to offer – This is possibly one of the many attractive things that you can’t get your eyes off once you arrive on Kinatarcan Island.
Additionally, there are more stunning Coves and beaches to discover and enjoy on Kinatarcan Island, which I haven’t had a chance to visit during my second visit, and to name a few; Biaring beach, Lighthouse on Kinatarcan Island, Forest beach, and a lot more that still need to be discovered. Perchance, on my third visit I will surely check these remaining hidden gems of Kinatarcan Island.
How To Get to Kinatarcan Island
There are daily flights to Cebu from Manila, Davao and other part of the Philippines with Major Airlines (Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific and Air Asia). From the Cebu Mactan Airport, ride a taxi going to Cebu North Bus Terminal.
There’s a MyBus outside the airport near the exit gate on the right side. From the Airport, the drop off point is in Parkmall and SM Cebu. The fare is Php 50.00. Trip schedules are from 7:00AM to 9:00PM with a 30 minute interval. And since Parkmall is located near the Cebu North Bus Terminal, you just have to ride a Jeepney or Taxi going to the terminal. The Jeepney fare from Parkmall is around PHP 8.00, but don’t forget to look for 01K Jeepney. And for the Taxi, the fare is around PHP 70.00-100.00, depending on the traffic flow.
From North Bus Terminal
Take a Ceres Bus bound for Daanbantayan and you should tell the driver or the Bus conductor to drop you off at the Daanbantayan Public Market. The fare is around PHP 180 to PHP 200.00, and the travel time from Cebu North Bus Terminal is around 3-4 hours. But, if you desire to get to Daanbantayan faster, you can ride a Van for less than 3 hours. The only downside of riding a Van is that, it can be real hard to move your body, since it is not spacious. As you reached the Daanbantayan Public Market, ask the locals in the area where is the Mahayahay port that bound for Kinatarcan Island. From there, hop a boat that will take you to Kinatarcan Island. The fare is around Php 50.00 per person for one way trip and the travel time is more than an hour.
Since Kinatarcan (Guintacan) Island doesn’t own a bunch of visitors in a day, the schedule of the boat trip that leaves from the Mahayahay Port to Kinatarcan Island is sometimes not fix. But, the boat mostly departs around 11:00 AM or 12:00 Noon. And at some instances, the passenger boat departs when they have around 20-30 passengers or else you have to really wait. Bear in mind that there are only a few boats as of this writing that travels to the Island everyday. So, make sure to get to the port before 11:00 AM or 12: 00 noon
You can likewise choose to charter a private boat if you’re traveling in a large group, which can carry up to 10-15 passengers for PHP 1,500.00 to PHP 3,000.00, depending on the boat size, or a larger private boat that can carry more than 30 people, but it is quite expensive.
Going Back to the mainland Daanbantayan
The return boat usually leaves at approximately 7:00 AM on Pasil Beach the following day. Thus, make sure to get up early to catch the morning trip, or unless you and your friends have rented an entire boat for your trip back to the mainland Daanbantayan.
From Bantayan Island
There’s actually a passenger boat that travels to Kinatarcan Island from Bantayan Island. It is located in Yooneek Beach and leaves before 11:00 AM, but sometimes the boat leaves around 1:00 PM. They only have 1 trip a day, and the fare is only PHP 70.00 per person. The travel time is more than an hour, which will dock off on Bitoon beach. The same passenger boat that leaves Bitoon beach to Bantayan Island the following day at 7:00 AM.
Going Around Kinatarcan Island
Believe me or not, but the exciting way to amble around Kinatarcan Island is on foot, which my friends and I have done it, we walk from Brgy. Langub to the end part of Pasil. Yes, it is far, but very gratifying. And by saying that, you’ll get to meet the locals that are very friendly. Simply, if you’re not fond of hiking, then there are motorcycles available, that brings you to another beautiful spot on the Island. But bare in mind that the Motorcycle fare can get really expensive, probably because they’re trying to get a chance, since only rare tourist that visit the island. Moreover, if you have rented a boat, and you desire to tour around the Island, and drop by to some of the stunning spots around the Island, then it would be better.
Where To Stay in Kinatarcan Island
This is ultimately my favorite whenever I’m on the Island. Perhaps, because I find it more comfortable and enjoyable as I’m fond of camping. You can just pitch your tent at any beach that you’d like to spend your night, since there are numerous secluded beach on the Island. You can as well camp at Willie’s Beach Resort, but you’ll get to pay PHP 200.00 per head, which includes the use of the comfort room, which I guess very important and water for bathing. You can as well charge your mobile phones and other gadgets.
Kinatarcan Wellness Resort
Perhaps, this is the only resort on the island that provides a convenient stay. They have available rooms with A/C and also, glamping tents are available for guests. This resort has the amenities that you’ll love, like Restaurant, Native Huts, Earth domes and Bungalow, which are fully air conditioned. They as well offer an Island hopping tour. Moreover, walking around their beautiful garden is also another thing that you’ll like to do, especially during the morning.
Accomodation Cost starts at Php 3,500 all-in.
If you have inquiries, you may contact the resort at (032) 238 2672 or email them at kinatarcanwellnessresort@gmail
Kuya Willie’s Beach Resort
This is located in Pasil, where passenger boat from Daanbantayan dock off. The only downside here is that, water is not available, but you can fetch a water nearby, which is PHP 4.00 per container.
Tent – Php 250.00
Hammock – Php 150
Nanay Lydia’s Home
Another beautiful and simple accomodation to stay in Kinatarcan Island. They have a dependable source of water, which is free of charge if you choose to stay here.
Tent – Php 250
Basic room– Php 300 00/per person
Multicab rental – Php 600.00
Aside from Kinatarcan Wellness Resort, this is I guess a good option if you desire to have a comfortable stay, but budget friendly. Staying here for a night will only cost you PHP 250.00 per person. You can as well cook your own food, since every guest will allow to use their shared kitchen. Just look for Kuya Berlito Mantao, the owner of this place, and he will be happy to assist you.
Where to eat in Kinatarcan Island
Kinatarcan Island is still left in its natural state, hence big commercial establishments like Hotels and restaurants are not yet present. But, if you’re genuinely looking for a place to eat, I suggest that you ask the locals around, since they knew more about the Island. During my second visit, there are Carenderia’s in Brgy. Langub, then in Pasil. And if you want to cook your own food, there are available seafoods, especially during the morning. Again, just ask the locals around where to buy.
Kinatarcan Island sample Itinerary
05:00 AM Meet up at the Cebu North Bus Terminal
05:30 AM Depart for Daanbantayan
09:30 AM ETA Daanbantayan Market (Buying the necessary supplies needed in Kinatarcan Island)
11:00 AM Depart for Kinatarkan Island
12:20 PM ETA Pasil (Docking Off Area)
12:40 PM Lunch
02:00 PM Exploring Langub Beach & Bitoon Beach
05:30 PM Sunset Viewing
06:00 PM Prepare for dinner
07:30 PM Dinner Time
09:00 PM Social Time
11:00 PM Sleeping time
06:00 AM Wake up call
06:30 AM Coffee time while preparing for breakfast
07:30 AM Breakfast
09:00 AM Depart for Pasil Beach
09:20 AM Drop off at Langub Floating Dock (Swimming)
09:50 AM ETA Pasil Beach (Swimming)
10:30 AM Depart for Hagdan
10:50 AM ETA Hagdan (Exploring Hagdan Beach, Laaw Lagoon and Tamboan ni Leon or a Coral Cliff)
01:30 PM Depart for Daanbantayan (Lunch while on the boat)
02:50 PM ETA Daanbantayan
03:30 PM Depart for Cebu City
07:30 PM ETA Cebu City
08:30 PM Home sweet home
Possible Expenses to Prepare In Kinatarcan Island
Fare Cebu to Daanbantayan (back & forth) – PHP 380.00
Daanbantayan to Kinatarkan Island – PHP 50.00
Food share (Lunch, Dinner, Breakfast) – PHP 500.00Laaw Lagoon Entrance Fee – PHP 50.00
Boat rental for Island Hopping including the return trip to the mainland Daanbantayan (2,500 / 8 person) – PHP 315.00
Total Expenses – PHP 1,295.00
Note: All prices are subject to change without prior notice.
Travel Tips And Other Things To Do In Kinatarcan Island
Sunset viewing on Carnaza Island is truly incomparable. So, don’t miss that moment when the sky started to transform into a colorful hue of light during sunset.
Expect big waves when going to Kinatarcan (Guintacan) Island always make sure to secure all your gadgets and put them in the dry bag. We are just lucky enough that during our trip to Guintacan Island the ocean has been just so calm.
- Bring your own camping gear like your tent and all the necessary stuff that you’ll be needing if you want to camp on the beach.
- Bringing your cook set when you decide to stay overnight on this Island is very advisable. Also, buy the necessary supplies from the Mainland of Daanbantayan. There are small stores on the Island, but that won’t guarantee that all the supplies that you’ll be needed will be available in their stores.
- Kinatarcan (Guintacan) Island is a perfect place for those that loves to explore the paradise under the ocean. I advise you to bring your own swimming and snorkeling gear.
- During the morning, you’ll be finding out fresh seafood near the seashore. You can always ask the locals where to buy.
- Mobile signals on some part of the island are not stable except on Pasil beach, which can be very decent.
- Bring enough cash, since there’s no ATM machine on the island.
- I highly suggest that you have to bring your Powerbank and make sure that all your gadgets are fully charged before going on this Island, since their electricity on the island is not available 24 hours.
- Always remember that – Your garbage your obligation. Never leave your garbage when visiting this Island, as you depart, kindly bring them with you and leave them on the mainland of Daanbantayan. Don’t forget to bring your food waste bag.
- Please remember to Leave No Trace (LNT) behind. Take good care of our mother nature. Just enjoy and be responsible enough.