Malapascua Cebu is one of my favorite islands in the Philippines which is world-renowned for its incredible scuba diving sites such as Monad Shoal where you can swim with thresher sharks. I am not a diver myself but I can tell you now that there are many more fantastic things to do in Malapascua other than diving!
Malapascua Island is located in the Visayan Sea approximately 7km off the northernmost tip of Cebu Island in the Philippines.
A question that gets asked by travelers quite frequently is how to get to Malapascua? Well, the most common route is from Cebu to Malapascua with the use of the public bus and then a short boat ride to Malapascua Island.
In this guide, I’m going to hook you up with all the information you need on how to get to Malapascua Island, mainly focusing on how to get from Cebu to Malapascua and also how to get from Bantayan to Malapascua.
Let’s jump right into it…
Cebu To Malapascua
Getting from Cebu to Malapascua involves taking a bus ride from Cebu City to the New Maya Port at the northernmost tip of the island. From here you will have to board a wooden passenger boat and make the final stretch from Cebu to Malapascua Island.
Check out the tips below on how to get from Cebu to Malapascua.
The bus from Cebu to Malapascua operates on a daily basis and departs every hour from the Cebu North Bus Terminal bound for New Maya Port at the northernmost tip of Cebu Island.
The cost of the bus is around 230 pesos and the journey time is 4 hours.
Another option of how to go to Malapascua is to ride in a shared minivan or take a private transfer which includes a pick-up from your hotel in Cebu City and drop-off at New Maya Port.
This is the option that I went for because it was much more comfortable than the bus and the journey time was faster.
Book Now ∼ Shared Minivan from Cebu to Malapascua
Book Now ∼ Private Transfer from Cebu to Malapascua
The cost of the boat from New Maya Port to Malapascua is 100 pesos providing there is a minimum of 15 passengers to fill the boat. If there are less than 15 passengers the cost of the boat is 1500 pesos total which can be divided between you and other travelers heading over to Malapascua Cebu.
The bus or minivan will arrive at New Maya Port and from here you will need to take an outrigger boat over to Malapascua Island which takes around 30 minutes. Boats depart from New Maya Port to Malapascua every hour, 7 days a week, between 6:30 am and 4:30 pm.
If for some reason you miss the last boat to Malapascua Cebu, there is accommodation nearby to New Maya Port where you will have to spend the night and take the first boat over to the island the following morning. The name of the accommodation is D & N Lodge.
Idyllic beach scenes – Cebu to Malapascua
Bantayan To Malapascua
If you happen to be on Bantayan Island and finished with the adventures there, it’s time to think about how you’re going to get from Bantayan to Malapascua.
BANTAYAN TO MALAPASCUA – DIRECT BOAT
From Bantayan Island, you can rent a boat starting from 800-900 pesos per person and it will take you around 2 hours to reach Malapascua directly, depending on the sea conditions.
Head down to the main street in Santa Fe on Bantayan Island and pop into one of the tour desks to organise a boat from Bantayan to Malapascua, preferably the day before you plan to travel.
Alternatively, you can ask the reception at your accommodation to help you organise your transport from Bantayan to Malapascua.
BANTAYAN TO MALAPASCUA – FERRY, BUS & BOAT
If you want to save some cash, there is a cheaper route from Bantayan to Malapascua but it takes much longer and not recommended, in my opinion, but the option is there if you’re on a tight budget.
For 150 pesos plus a 10 pesos terminal fee, you can take the ferry from Bantayan Island to Hagnaya Port on mainland Cebu which takes around 1 hour.
From here you’ll need to make your way the New Maya Port via bus or tricycle and this journey takes around 1 hour.
From Maya Port Cebu, you can take the boat over to Malapascua for 100 pesos. The boats leave every 30 to 40 minutes, daily.
Note: After 5:00pm you may struggle to get a boat from Maya Port in Cebu to Malapascua which can end up resulting in you having to pay for a private boat which can be anywhere between 1500-1800 pesos, per person.
Bantayan to Malapascua on this particular route is slightly less direct but nevertheless, it’s still doable.
The total journey from Bantayan to Malapascua can take up 4 to 5 hours, between transportation and waiting times.
You can get from Bantayan to Malapascua a lot quicker by taking a direct private boat, however, the cheapest way is going to be via public transport.
Island Hopping in Bantayan
THINGS TO DO IN MALAPASCUA
Now that you’ve got all the information on how to get to Malapascua you may want to read my Ultimate Malapascua Travel Guide which includes 11 Best Things To Do In Malapascua Island!
WHERE TO STAY IN MALAPASCUA
Malapascua Island has dozens of accommodation options to choose from, so I have narrowed it down to a few of the best places to stay in Malapascua Cebu to fit the needs of budget backpackers and luxury travelers. See the list of accommodations below that I personally recommend:
Luxury: Tepanee Beach Resort
Tepanee Beach Resort is the best luxury accommodation on the oceanfront in Malapascua Cebu. Featuring a private beach area, hot tub, in house restaurant with a bar, beautiful gardens and free wifi. The beachside cottages are cosy with bamboo furnishings and fitted with air conditioning, mini bar, large bed, private bathroom and a balcony. Tepanee beach Resort can also help you to organise water activities, island hopping tours and scuba diving. Recommended for couples, families and friends!
Mid Range: HippoCampus Beach Resort
This 3-star accommodation is one of the most popular places to stay in Malapascua Cebu. Located on the shores of Bounty Beach, Hippocampus features a seaside restaurant and bar, tropical gardens and a dive shop. Each room has air conditioning/fan, large beds, private bathroom, work desk, free wifi and ocean views from the balcony! PADI and SSI-certified scuba diving are also available at the resort. Perfect place to stay for friends, couples and families!
Budget: Neverland Malapascua
I personally stayed at Neverland and can’t recommend this place enough! The staff are super friendly and will welcome you into their loving community. The rooms available are thatched bamboo huts that sleep up to two people and fitted with power sockets, fan, comfortable beds and a mosquito net. There is also a dormitory room with bunk beds if you don’t mind sharing a room with other guests. Neverland has an in-house vegan restaurant with delicious food and the wifi is solid! For all you budget travelers, I can highly recommend staying at Neverland during your visit to Malapascua Cebu.
BEST TIME TO VISIT MALAPASCUA CEBU
The best time to visit Malapascua Island Cebu, weather-wise, is between December and June when temperatures are hot and there is barely any rainfall. This is also high season in Malapascua so expect to see many tourists during these months.
I recommend visiting Malapascua on the shoulder months of the high season which would be July and November which sees a bit of rainfall but usually only lasts for a couple of hours and the rest of the day is sunny.
Try to avoid the typhoon season in Malapascua which is typically between August and October.
MALAPASCUA CEBU – THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO
There are no ATM machines on Malapascua Island so you will have to stock up on cash before you arrive. I recommend doing so in Cebu City where there are hundreds of ATM machines located around the city.
Getting around the island is quite simply done by either motorbike, bicycle or on foot. The majority of travelers will get around Malapascua by walking as the island is so small and you can literally walk from one end to the other in less than one hour. If your legs are painted on, you can rent a motorbike from a local for around 300 pesos per day or get a ride on the back of a motorbike taxi for as little as 30 pesos.
Internet connection on Malapascua Cebu is relatively good. Both Smart and Globe SIM cards will work just fine, though if you don’t have either, the best wifi I found on the island is at Neverland Hostel.
MALAPASCUA ISLAND MAP
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MORE PHILIPPINES TRAVEL GUIDES
Philippines Travel Guide: 3 Weeks Philippines Itinerary
Cebu Travel Guide: 15 Things To Do In Cebu
Bohol Travel Guide: 31 Epic Things To Do In Bohol
Siargao Travel Guide: 15 Things To Do In Siargao
El Nido Travel Guide: El Nido Island Hopping
Coron Travel Guide: Coron Island Hopping
Boracay Travel Guide: 15 Things To Do In Boracay
Siquijor Travel Guide: 3 Day Siquijor Itinerary
Bantayan Island Guide: 15 Things To Do In Bantayan
Malapascua Island Guide: 11 Things To Do In Malapascua
Camiguin Travel Guide: 13 Best Camiguin Tourist Spots
Romblon Travel Guide: 12 Epic Things To Do In Romblon
Tablas Travel Guide: 10 Things To Do In Tablas
Carabao Travel Guide: 7 Best Things To Do In Carabao
Dumaguete City Guide: Best Dumaguete Tourist Spots
Sumilon Island Guide: Sumilon Island Itinerary
MY CAMERA GEAR
• DSLR Mirrorless Camera: Sony A7ii
• Drone Camera: DJI Mavic Pro 2
• GoPro: GoPro Hero 8 Black
• Everyday Lens: Sony F2.8 24/70mm
• Camera Bag: Lowepro Protactic 31L
• Selfie Stick: Sandmarc Metal Edition 1.2m
• Tripod: Joby Flexible GorillaPod
• GoPro Dome: Underwater GoPro Dome
• Power Bank: Anker Powerbank
• External Hardrive: WD Elements 4TB
WHAT TO PACK FOR PHILIPPINES?
• Waterproof Phone Case: Universal Waterproof Case
• Reusable Water Bottle: Hydro Flask Water Bottle
• Rain Jacket: North Face Rain Jacket
• Water Shoes: Slip-on Water Shoes
• Day Bag: Nomatic 20L Day Bag
• Power Adapter: Universal Power Adapter
• Packing Cubes: 4 Set Packing Cubes
• Microfibre Towel: Quick Dry Travel Towel
• Travel Insurance: World Nomads Travel Insurance
• Money Belt: Hidden Money Belt
I hope you enjoyed reading this article and if you have any questions at all about how to get to Malapascua, please leave me a comment below and I will get back to you as soon as I can.