The famous Funtastic Island is a blend of an astounding picturesque of blue-green waters, breath-taking sunsets and rocky cliff façade similar to ones at Coron, Palawan, white sandbar beach and a humble fishing village of hospitable and kind-hearted people.
Funtastic Island is located at Gibitngil, an island barangay in Medellin, one of the municipalities in the northern most provinces of Cebu. Because of the Department of Tourism’s ramped up efforts to development the tourism industry, the mayor’s office of Medellin and the local government unit at Gibitngil, developed the island to make it a tourist attraction.
Go to the Cebu North Bus Terminal, located at M.L. Logarta Ave., Mandaue City, Cebu. It is located near SM Hypermart. There’s a UnionBank beside it.
If you’re not from Cebu you may use the map below to locate Cebu North Bus Terminal. You may also click on the car icon located at the upper right of the map, this will open Google Maps for you. Just enter your location at the upper field and “Cebu North Bus Terminal” at the lower field and it will give you directions from your location to Cebu North Bus Terminal.
At the Cebu North Bus Terminal, take a bus going to Kawait, Medellin. The fare is estimated to be PHP 150.00 per head. If you want to spend more time at Funtastic Island, it’s advisable to leave Cebu North Bus Terminal by 5:00 AM or earlier so that you can reach the island before noon or mid-morning.
It is estimated to be a 4-hour bus ride because of some stop overs and controlled travel speed, or if you are riding a private vehicle, travel time could be just 3 hours. Below is the travel route from Cebu North Bus Terminal going to Kawit, Medellin, Cebu. The distance is estimated to be 117 km.
When you reach Carmen, a northern town in Cebu around 36.8 km away from Cebu North Bus Terminal, approximately 1 hour and 25 minutes from departure, you will have a stopover at Bastop Coffee Shop.
In this stopover, you will have a 10-minute break for you to buy some food, drinks, breathe fresh air or go to the bathroom. At Bastop Coffee Shop, well, the place it’s not entirely a coffee shop, it has a cafeteria, snack stall, local delicacies store locally known as “pasalubong” or take home gift.
After the short stopover, the bus will travel straight to Kawit, Medellin, Cebu. You will have to ask the conductor or the bus driver to drop you to the nearest point where you can take a pump boat to Gibitngil Island, an island across Medellin proper. When you reach Kawit, Medellin, remind the conductor or the bus driver to drop you to the nearest point where you can ride a pump boat of Gibitngil. When you’re off the bus, you might want to buy some food and drinks at the public market or the sidewalk.
Also ask the locals where you can ride a pump boat for Funtastic Island. It is common for pump boat owners to charge as much as PHP 1,500.00 for a 2 way ride from the shore of Kawit to the shore of Funtastic Island at Gibitngil Island.
It seems almost all of the fishermen or pump boat owners in the area have agreed amongst themselves to set a standard price of PHP 1,500.00. For this price they will drop you off Funtastic Island and they will also pick you up later in the afternoon or the day after, if you’re staying overnight, depending on the time agreed. You can always choose to pay 50% down payment first. While the amount is a bit expensive, you can always haggle or negotiate for the price. If your group is composed of a few people the price can be easier to negotiate.
For our part, since there were only 3 of us when we went there, we tried to haggle for a discount, at first the boat owner didn’t want to give us a discount because according to him that’s their price and that the waves are quite bigger than usual so it’s more dangerous to travel to Funtastic Island but after we showed signs that we will look for cheaper options he finally gave in at PHP 1,000.00. The name of the pump boat we hired is the Sea Horse.
Sometimes they stick with their standard price especially when it is windy season because of stronger currents and bigger waves in the area. But if you’re the soft and kindhearted person, you realize that these people don’t earn big enough to enjoy what we have in the city life, they live a simple life and rarely get the chance to earn a good amount of cash so you can always choose to see paying the standard price as a form of generosity or a part of your socio-economic responsibility.
Travel Tip: Please don’t ever forget to ask for a mobile number of the boat owner so that you can communicate whenever there are changes or you are ready for pick-up from Funtastic Island.
As you can far ahead, that is Gibitngil Island. We have to pass by the right side of the island and go straight where Funtastic Island is located.
Along the way you pass by a lot of stone cliffs along the island. These stones cliffs are hundreds of centuries old and are formed by the constant smashing of waves. They’re a natural wonder. You will also see beautiful coral reefs below the clear shallow green sea waters.
As soon as you arrive in the shores of Gibitngil Island, you need to go to the reception area to pay for your cottage. It is this small house, the people here are working for the local government unit of Medellin. Funtastic Island is a government project to promote more travel and tourism in Medellin. You will recognize the small cottage when you see it.
Now enjoy Funtastic Island!
Funtastic Island is made of a coral reef and large natural sea rocks near the shores. The government of Medellin developed this, created artificial bridges, added small brightly colored cottages like a children’s playground to make it uniquely themed. So when you reach here, choose your cottage. We recommend the one with the room where you can stay overnight, or the one across it. They are located at the second level of the island.
The photo above shows the cottages standing on the small islets which serves as an extension of Funtastic Island. It is connected through a bridge. The cottages here are ideal for day use.
If you want to swim in deeper waters then here’s the way. You can use the stairs.
As you can see, the waves are really strong. This is normal especially on “ber” months (referring to September to December) or the habagat season where the winds are usually strong causing the tides to create bigger waves. You can hear the waves pound the rocks with force. If you want to swim, just be careful not to go too far in the open sea or get too close by the rocks.
If you’re planning for an overnight stay, the corner most cottage is the only one available for this. Rate is PHP 1,000.oo/night.
If you are only planning to stay for the day then we recommend this cottage for you. It has the best panoramic view overlooking the vast open sea, the cliffs and the shore of Funtastic Island.
If you’re staying at the cottage in the previous photo, this will be your view at sunset. It’s priceless!
There’s a grill at the left side of the photo. It’s for common use. This is where you cook. The photo is taken from the cottage with room where you can use for an overnight stay.
The above is the view taken outside the room where you can have your overnight stay.
These are the man-made bridges connecting the large rocks and man-made islands of Funtastic Island. The design is actually quite creative. The white shore is also visible and as well as the fishing village at the back.
What to do in Funtastic Island?
Here’s a list of some of the activities you can enjoy:
Diving and Cliff Jumping
Funtastic Island Rates
Entrance Fee: PHP 10.00 per person
Zipline: PHP 50.00 per ride
Kayak: PHP 150 per hour
Small Cottage A: PHP 50.00
Small Cottage B: PHP 75.00
Small Cottage C: PHP 150.00
Medium Kiosk with Dividing Board: PHP 200.00
Medium Cottage with Grilling Area: PHP 200.00
Big Kiosk on top: PHP 250.00
Local government of Medellin Mobile Nos.: at 09176236248 or 09328667661
Telephone Nos.: 4362031 and 4362959.
More info: http://medellin.gov.ph