Travel Guide: Malapascua, Cebu

 

Here’s the ultimate travel guide to Malapascua Island in Cebu –  travel tips on how to go there, where to stay, what to do… you name it! This is a quick and easy guide to get you going to Malapascua Island, Cebu.

About Malapascua: Known for its serene and beautiful beaches, Malapascua is also known for its Macro diving as well as the sighting of a special kind of shark: the Thresher Shark. This is one of the few places where you could see these graceful yet fierce beauty.

Here’s a first hand experience from my visit a week ago.

How to go to Malapascua from Cebu-Mactan Airport:

  1. Ride Mybus to North Bus Terminal.
    • Fare: 40 pesos, travel time is around 30 minutes
    • Alternative: Taxi (From the airport to the North bus is around 250 pesos)
    • Route and schedule is here.
  2. At North Bus Terminal, ride a bus or a van to Maya Port.
    • Aircon bus: 220 pesos, travel time is 4-6 hours (depending on how many stop overs)
    • Van: 250 pesos
  3. At Maya Port, take a public boat to Malapascua island.
    • Fixed rate: 100 pesos (you pay at the ticket booth)
    • Travel time: 30 mins
    • Arrive before 4pm if you want to catch the last public boat. Otherwise, find a guesthouse around Maya.
    • Alternative: Charter a private boat for 1500 pesos.

Where to stay:

  1. Where we stayed this time: Blue Water Resort
    • Affordable rate that comes with free breakfast (like, real breakfast) and a set of amenities. Our room (good for 2) costs 1200 pesos/night, with own bath and even an aircon.
    • Has a beach front, a restaurant, a bar, and a hammock, and awesome staff.
    • Has a pool that starts at 4 feet, with a smaller pool that looks like a Jacuzzi.
    • With awesome staff.
    • Offers diving services
  2. Where I stayed before: Malapascua Budget Inn
    • Has a good common area to meet fellow backpackers.
    • I only stayed in a dorm, and it was pretty cramped. Each bed has it’s curtain though, giving it a bit more privacy.
    • Toilets are bearable.
    • Literally beside the market, where there’s affordable food and yummy barbecue.
    • 10 minutes walk from the beach.
  3. Dorms (ranges from 350 – 425 pesos)
    • Malapascua Budget Inn, Romantic Place Guesthouse, Thresher Cove Dive Resort, Lionfish
  4. Beach resorts (ranges from 700 to 5000 pesos)
    • The coast is surrounded by a lot of resorts that would fit anyone’s budget.
    • Blue Water Resort, Slam’s Garden Resort, Cocobana, Hippocampus, etc.
  5. Others
    • Some local accommodations are not listed online. Some are along the coast and some are within the village proper. It’s pretty safe to say that even those who haven’t booked can easily find a place in Malapascua.
    • On a side note, we met a guy who paid 150pesos/night on accommodation.

Where to eat:

  • We mostly ate at the market and paid between 110 – 240 pesos depending on what we ordered. We always ordered a fruit shake.
    • Grilled fish ranges from 100 to 200 pesos.
    • Grilled squid ranges from 200 to 350 pesos.
    • Big shrimps is around 30-40pesos/piece.
    • Corn is 60 pesos.
    • Pork belly is 100 pesos.
    • Fruit shake is 50 pesos.
    • Pre-cooked meal (e.g. veggies with pork, rice) around 60 pesos.
  • Others
    • Ging-ging’s Restaurant – Affordable local cuisine. Price ranges from 65 pesos and up for a meal.
    • Blue Water Resort, Kokay’s Maldito, Devocean, Angelina, etc.

Things to do in Malapascua:

  1. Swimming/hanging out at the beach.
  2. Soaking at the pool (if available)
  3. Go around the island (by foot or by motorbike)
  4. Island hopping
    • You can swim and snorkel
    • 3 to 4 hours of going around Malapascua.
    • Boat price is 1000-1200 pesos. Good for 4 (or 6) people, inclusive of snorkeling gear.
  5. Side trip to Kalanggaman Island
    • Starts at 9am. Travel time to Kalanggaman is  1.5 hours
    • Rate is 800 pesos, inclusive of lunch.
    • Environmental fee to be paid at the island is 150 pesos (local tourists) and 500 pesos (foreign tourists)
  6. Diving
    • Cost (plus 200pesos/day sanctuary fee). NoteThe more dives you do, the better you can negotiate the prices.
      • Sea Slug Divers – 1200/dive including equipment
        • some equipment are a bit worn down.
      • Blue Water Resort – 1600/dive including equipment
        • equipment are in good condition.
      • Dive-Link – 1400/dive including equipment
        • all staff are run by Filipinos.
      • Fun and Sun Dive – 1400/dive including equipment
      • Thresher Shark Divers – 1550/dive; 13000/10 dives
      • Sea Explorers – 1900/dive excluding equipment
    • Dive sites:
      • Monad shoal for the thresher sharks
      • Lapus-lapus for an amazing macro life
      • Gato Island for an amazing macro life, white tip sharks, and a cave experience
      • Lighthouse (night diving) to see the Mandarin fishes — with the possibility of them “making love”.

Budget/Expense/Cost Breakdown

Accommodation (4 nights per person) 2400 pesos
1200/night private room with toilet & bath, good for 2
Transportation 705 pesos
Airport to North Bus Terminal 40
North bus terminal to maya port 220
Maya port to Malapascua 100
Malapascua to Maya port 100
Maya port to North bus terminal 220
North bus terminal to Cebu-Mactan airport 25
Food (5 days) 1528 pesos
Total Expenses (excluding airfare, side trips/tours, and pasalubong) 4633 pesos

 

Other reading: Being in Malapascua, Cebu link >> here 

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3 thoughts on “Travel Guide: Malapascua, Cebu

  1. Tim

    That’s not a bad price for travel at all. I wanted to go to Cebu when I was in the Philippines for work. That said, I never got the chance to do so. It does seem like a quite nice place to go to.

  2. Serena Joy

    thank you for writing such a detailed post on Malapascua! I’m planning a trip to the Philippines for 2019 and I’m still doing a lot of research to see what I can do during my 3 weeks there! I want to do some diving, I’ve heard the Dona Marilyn (https://dive.site/explore/site/dona-marilyn-vZR0) is a fantastic wreck to explore, but I really want to see all the best that this part of the world has to offer, not only underwater.

    1. Malapascua is a beautiful island! It’s an amazing place to get away from the all the chaos, a place to enjoy the beach, and just have a great time. It’s not as buzzling as some of the party islands but there are some places to hangout at with bands and drinks. If you have time to spare, I think Malapascua is a great place to settle in. 🙂

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