Malapascua is an island located north of Cebu in the Philippines. Malapascua is known for beautiful beaches and great diving opportunities.
How to get to Malapascua
We came from Cebu airport and took a cab to the northern busstation and then a bus to Maya port. The buses are very cheap and they leave every 30 minutes so you don’t need to hurry from you’re flight. The best advice I can give you is the ask somebody if you don’t know where to go, or how to get to the busstation. The bustrip is approximately 4-5h.
When you get to Maya port you will have to take a boat to Malapascua Island. The boat trip is about 30 min – 1h long, it depends on the weather. One important thing to know is that the Maya port will close 5.30 PM. So if you get their later you need to pay more than the ordinary price and charter a private boat. You should try to bargain a lower price than what they say!!!
The bus is very cheap from Cebu to Maya port. Around 200 peso for one person all the way. For the boat from Maya port to Malapascua cost 100 peso, but as I said about after the closing hours is the price much more expensive. Just because it’s dark and no ordinary boats available. We paid 1000 peso each because we arrived to the port after 6.00PM.
The Island hopping at Malapascua cost 500 peso for one person and for the Kalanggaman Island trip 1300 for one person, but it was so worth it! Lunch is included in the Kalanggaman trip. There are no taxis or “real” roads so you just go with a motorbike and it’s very cheap. Some hotels have their own drivers and then you don’t need to pay, just ask first.
What to do on Malapascua
A must visit is the Kalanggaman island. It’s one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. Crystal clear water and not so many tourists at all. The most astonishing thing about Kalanggaman island is that it is located in the middle of nowhere, ocean in all directions which gives you the feeling on being completely free.
Another recommendation is visiting the beach bar “Oscar’s” on the main beach on Malapascua. Really good food and a very cozy place in the evening to watch the sunset.
How much time do you need there
We stayed for 3 nights and I thought it was enough. It depends on if you just wanna relax or if you are interested in diving or not. There is many great diving centers who offer the opportunity to take the diving certificate. The diving is very popular on Malapascua because of the thresher sharks.
You should spare on day for the day trip to Kalanggaman island because it is a whole day activity, from 9.00AM to 5.00PM.
When is the best time to visit Malapascua
The high season starts around December to May so if you wanna avoid all the tourists you should go in August to November.
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There is one fee that you can avoid. When you take the boat do they want to help you with the luggage, and carry your bag on the boat. What they don’t mention before doing it is that they charge you for it, and let you get to choose the amount yourself. They are standing around you waiting to get paid. Pay 20 peso maximum! If you don’t want to pay just take your bag and carry it by yourself.
Another trap is the private taxi drivers who tries to convince you that they drive you to the port much faster than the bus. It is only a matter of minutes instead of hours, and they charge you 8 times more than the bus ticket.
In Malapascua on the main beach is it a lot of children, they are trying to sell souvenirs to the tourists. They know all the selling tricks, including crying and begging you to buy anything. Be aware of them, but be kind.
Where to stay
There are like two sides of the island. Don’t know if there is any different names but the best side is the one where all the boats arrive. It’s like the main beach, with some restaurants, hotels, diving centers and shops. We stayed at the “Moonlight resort” and it was just a 5 min walk to the beach. Perfect rooms, good breakfast and very kind staff.
Why should Malapascua be on my bucket list?
Because it truly is a paradise island and not yet discovered by so many tourists. It’s like one of those places you wanna go back to one day in your life.