Malapascua Island | Travel Guide

November 13, 2015

Malapascua Island is in Visayas region specifically in the northern part of Cebu. It’s famous and attracts foreign tourists who loves diving. If you’re lucky you’ll see thresher sharks in Monad Shoal near the island.

malapascua island

Malapascua Island

No need to worry for those non-divers because there are lots of other things that you can do in the island. There’s island hopping, snorkeling, cliff jumping and biking around the island.

Here’s how to get there

  • Fly to Cebu (Airfare: P 1,180 | Travel time: 1 hour and 30 mins)

Book a flight to Cebu that will take you to Mactan Airport. It’s better to choose the first flight going there while take the last schedule for the your return flight so you can enjoy the 3-day trip.

Gate 116 to Cebu

Gate 116 to Cebu
  • North Bus Terminal (Fare: P 180 | Travel Time: 6 hours)

From Mactan Airport, take a taxi and head to North Bus Terminal which will take around 20-30 minutes for P 200 then take a bus going to Maya Port.  You can either choose the Yellow Ceres Bus or the Red Rough Riders Bus.  Bus fare for aircon bus is around P 180 while non-aircon is P 163. Choose the aircon bus!

Rough Rider

I missed the Ceres Aircon Bus that’s why I end up with Rough Rider’s non-aircon bus.

Travel time is around 5-6 hours depending on the traffic specifically near Consolacion. Some bus stops to pick up passengers along the way.

Bus Schedule:
Cebu to Maya is 24 hours
Maya to Cebu from 1AM to 6PM

Other transportation to Maya port: (Fare: P 3,000-6,000 | Travel time: 3 hours)

  1. Pick-Up Vehicle – You can contact the resort where you’re going to arrange a pick-up from the airport to Malapascua Island for P 5,000-6,000 per way
  2. Taxi – Cebu taxis can take you to any part of Cebu but it definitely comes with a great (expensive) price.
  3. V-hire – It’s a short-term for Van for hire, they are located in SM City. It’s a good deal if you’re in a large group.
  • Maya port to Malapascua Island (Fare: P 140 | Travel Time: 30 mins)

Upon arrival to Maya port wait for the public boat that will take you to Malapascua Island for P 100. If it’s low tide you need to pay P 20 for the small boat. It takes around 30 minutes to Malapascua Island. First trip is at 6:30 AM and the last trip is at 3:00 PM.

Maya Port

Beware!!!

There are scammers saying that there are no public boats anymore and will offer you a private transfer for P 1,000-2,000. Say no!

public boat

One of the public boats to Malapascua Island
  • Motorcycle or Habal-habal ride (Fare: Free from resort | Travel time: 5-10 mins)

Once you reached the island you can hire a motorcycle (habal-habal) to take you to the resort where you’ll stay. It cost P 20, the resort paid for my motorbike transfer.

habal habal experience

Habal-habal ride

Where to Stay

I booked mine at Thresher Cove Resort‘s mixed dorm for P 596 for 2 nights through Agoda. You can book the Deluxe Room for P 2,600 per night, breakfast included good for 2.

Thresher Cove Resort 0002

Pool Area in Thresher Cove Resort.

Where to eat

There are restaurants and eateries on the main beach. You can either hire a motorbike to take you there or you can walk and ask locals for directions. It’s totally safe to walk there at night. There’s Ging-Ging and Veah Ivan Eatery for affordable meals.

Veah Ivan Eatery

Vhea Ivan Eatery with the accommodating owners

Dinner

We ordered vegetable curry, shrimp, crabs and our favorite tortang talong.

Things to do

  • Island hopping 

Rent a boat for P 1,200 for island hopping and snorkeling. Places to visit are Coral Garden, Small Island, Japanese Shipwreck and the Cliff Jumping Site. There are lots of corals and fishes to see underwater. Be careful at the Japanese Shipwreck area because there are lots of small jellyfish that will sting you.

Additional payment of P 50 for the Bantay-Dagat Police and P 150 for the fins and snorkeling gear.

exploring malapascua island

Island hopping

malapascua

Exploring at small island.

Island hopping in Malapascua

Island hopping with my new-found friends.

Rent a boat for P 3,500 to go to Kalanggaman Island. It’s in Palompon, Leyte and it will take you 1 ½ hour from Malapascua Island. You’ll enjoy the crystal clear water, snorkeling and the sand bar.

kalanggaman island

Kalanggaman Island

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Closer view of Kalanggaman Island


  • Diving Lesson

Start your diving lesson at the island for P 2,500 for discover scuba diving in the pool or P 3,500 for pool and open water diving lesson.

Diving

Diving equipment
  • Biking

I read in other blogs that you can rent a bike and explore the island. It was part of my plan but I never get the chance to do it because I don’t have enough time. It’s better to book a 4-day trip or 1 week to enjoy everything.

 Sample Itinerary

Download Itinerary here.

Time

Activity/Where How Duration

Estimated Amount

DAY 1 – Cebu City tour and off to Malapascua Island

03:50 Check in NAIA 3
05:50 ETD to Cebu
07:05 ETA in Mactan Airport
07:30 Mactan Shrine Take a taxi 45 mins

P 150

08:50 City Tour

Basilica del Santo Niño

Magellan’s Cross

Cebu Provincial Capitol Building

Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral

Take a taxi 1 hour

P 300

09:45 ETD to Bus Station North Take a taxi to the bus station 20 mins

P 200

or Ride a cab 21D (drop off at SM Cebu) then 01K (North Bus Terminal) 30 mins

P 14

10:00 Ceres Line (Yellow)

Rough Riders (Red)

Aircon 6 hours

P 180

Non-aircon

P 163

12:00 Stopover (Lunch) 30 mins
15:30 Take a ferry Maya Port to Malapascua Island Additional P20 if it’s low tide 45 mins

P100

16:00 Ride a motorcycle The resort will pay for it. 10 mins
16:10 Check in (Affordable Accommodation at Thresher Cove Resort)
17:00 Shower, Dinner and Social
22:00 Sleep

DAY 2 – Kalanggaman Island Tour

05:00 Wake Up / Morning  Swimming
07:00 Breakfast
08:45 ETD to Kalanggaman Island 2 hours
10:45 ETA in Kalanggaman Island Boat Rent 4 hours

P 3,500

Entrance Fee

(P 500 – Foreigners)

P 250

Fins, snorkeling gears

P 150

12:00 Lunch
14:30 ETD to Malapascua Island

(Expect strong winds and waves against the boat)

2 hours
18:00 Shower, Dinner and Social
23:00 Sleep

DAY 3 – Island hopping and Back to Manila

5:30 Wake Up
6:00 Island Hopping

Coral Garden

Small Island

Japanese Shipwreck

Cliff Jumping Site

Boat Rent 3 hours

P 1,200-1,400

Environmental Fee

P 50

Fins, snorkeling gears

P 150

10:00 Shower
11:00 Brunch
11:30 Check out
  Ride a habal-habal to Main beach The resort will pay for it. 10 mins
1:00 ETA to Maya Port Additional P20 if it’s low tide 45 mins

P 80

19:00 ETA Mandaue City Ceres Aircon Bus 6 hours

P 180

  ETD Mactan Airport Ride a Taxi or habal-habal 30 mins

P 250

19:30 Check-in via web or at the airport
  Dinner
21:50 ETD to Manila
23:10 ETA in Manila

Days Recommended: 4 Days

Budget

I planned this trip with a budget of P 6,000 only and here’s the breakdown of expenses. Sharing the rent for the boats with my new found friends saved me a lot of money. That’s the tip! Make friends and split the bill.

 

Breakdown of Expenses

Airfare

P 1,180

Transportation

P 1,239

Accommodation

P 596

Food

P 793

Tours and Rentals

P 2,047

Total Expenses

P 5,855

Tips

  • Book an early flight to Cebu while get the evening for the return flight.
  • Book hotels on Agoda for cheaper rates. I booked the mixed dorm at Threscher Cove Resort.
  • Stock Cash (NO ATM at the island)
  • Bottle Water
  • Snacks (Don’t want to starve for the 6-hours-bus ride)
  • Best time to visit will always be off peak season to avoid the crowd.


I hope this article helps you plan your Malapascua Trip and don’t forget to share your experience.

Good luck on your adventure!

Check out my other Cebu trip articles.

Stay at Thresher Cove Resort.
Check out Kalanggaman Island.

  • Emil John Bustos

    Kalanggaman via Cebu for only 1500/pax (Joined Tours)

    For Group Tours availability:

    Malapascua Island Hopping 350/pax

    Contact Emil- 09152653631/ Shandra – 09956229201

    http://www.facebook.com/seatosummittravel