MALAPASCUA TRAVEL GUIDE – BEST THINGS TO DO IN MALAPASCUA!
Malapascua 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’m not a diver myself, but I can tell you now that there are many more fantastic things to do in Malapascua other than diving!
I spent 3 days and 3 nights on Malapascua Cebu to explore all four corners of the island and I have put together this complete Malapascua Travel Guide including how to get to Malapascua, things to do in Malapascua, where to stay in Malapascua and the best time to visit!
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WHERE IS MALAPSCUA ISLAND
Malapascua Island is located in the Visayan Sea approximately 7km off the northernmost tip of Cebu Island in the Philippines.
HOW TO GET TO GET TO MALAPASCUA
The most common route is from Cebu City to Malapascua with the use of the public bus and then a short boat ride to Malapascua Island.
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
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ARRIVING AT NEW MAYA PORT
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.
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.
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.
Must Read → 3 Weeks Philippines Itinerary
Drone shot of Malapascua Cebu
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, luxury travelers and everyone in between.
See the list of accommodations in Malapascua 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
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 Cebu which is between August and October.
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THINGS TO DO IN MALAPASCUA
Now that you’ve got all the information on where to stay in Malapascua Cebu, the best time to visit Malapascua and all the logistics, let’s get to the fun stuff!
So without further ado, here is my Ultimate Guide to the 11 Best Things To Do In Malapascua!
BOUNTY BEACH MALAPASCUA
The first thing I recommend doing when you arrive in Malapascua is taking a dip in the ocean to cool off and what better spot to do it than at Bounty Beach.
Most popular for its palm-fringed shoreline, white sands, turquoise waters, dive shops and beach resorts, Bounty Beach in Malapascua is the ultimate paradise.
No matter what time of day you visit Bounty Beach, there are plenty of things to do such as going for a stroll along the coastline, grabbing a bite to eat at one of the seaside restaurants or beach bumming in a hammock.
One of my favorite spots along Bounty Beach Malapascua is Ocean Vida Bar and Restaurant featuring bean bags on the sand with candlelit tables and it’s also one of the best spots on Malapascua Island to watch the sunset.
Bounty Beach Malapascua
Ocean Vida Bar and Restaurant – Malapascua Cebu
Bounty Beach Malapascua
The second best beach on Malapascua Cebu is Langob Beach also known as North Beach. It’s not quite popular as Bounty Beach so you can expect to see fewer tourists here which definitely isn’t a bad thing.
One of the best things to do on Langob Beach is going snorkeling around the reefs just a stone’s throw from the shore. It’s a popular location to spot large sardine bait balls that circulate the area.
Once a week, Neverland Hostel hosts a beach clean up that everybody is welcome to join and it’s a great opportunity to meet other like-minded travelers along with the resident locals on Malapascua whilst doing a great deed for the environment.
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Langob Beach in Malapascua Cebu
Langob Beach – Malapascua Itinerary
Langob Beach in Malapascua
LAPUS LAPUS CLIFF JUMPING
One of the best cliff jumping spots on Malapascua is the Lapus Lapus cliff jump located on the northwestern tip of the island. This is one adventure you must add to your Malapascua itinerary.
Lapus Lapus cliff features a range of different cliff jumps starting as low as 5 metres and the highest being 15 metres. Make sure to visit during high tide if you are game enough to take the leap.
If you happen to visit Lapus Lapus cliff during low tide you can explore the beaches and the caves at the base of the cliffs.
Lapus Lapus Cliff – Malapascua Island Cebu
Lapus Lapus Cliff Jump in Malapascua
Hidden Beach isn’t the most ‘Hidden Beach’ but it is indeed a worthy spot for a quick swim and a snorkel while you are adventuring around Malapascua Island.
Hidden Beach is located on the far most eastern end of Langob Beach and there is a set of concrete stairs leading over the headland which emerges on to the pristine shoreline of the so-called ‘Hidden Beach’.
Beach bum on the sand, snorkel the reef or explore the abandoned resort that was semi-destroyed during the infamous Yolanda typhoon 2013.
Hidden Beach Malapascua Cebu
Shoreline at Hidden Beach Malapascua
Hidden Beach – Malapascua Cebu
Gugma Beach is yet another one of Malapascua’s iconic locations that lies in an idyllic cove surrounded by coconut palms and a colorful coral reef.
Gugma Beach can be easily reached via a dirt trail from Hidden Beach. The short walk beneath the palm trees makes for a great photo spot.
The only downside to Gugma Beach is the uninviting sea urchins that lurk in the shallow waters of the reef. But please don’t let this deter you from visiting as there are some nicer spots to swim at the southern end of Gugma Beach Malapascua.
Must Read → 11 Best Beaches In Cebu
Gugma Beach – Malapascua Cebu
Paradise at Gugma Beach in Malapascua
Gugma Beach – Malapascua
DIVING IN MALAPASCUA
For all you scuba divers, you’re in for a real treat when visiting Malapascua Cebu as it is home to a very fascinating underwater species, the Thresher Shark. Thresher Sharks can grow up to 4 meters long and the most unique feature on their bodies is their long whip-like tail.
Malapascua is the only place you can dive with Thresher Sharks in the Philippines and it’s said to be the only place in the world where they can be seen regularly.
Furthermore, it’s the main reason why Malapascua has made its mark on the map, ultimately becoming a popular tourist destination.
Diving with Thresher Sharks in Malapascua is a once in a lifetime experience which can be organised through one of the many dive shops on the island.
The Thresher Sharks are typically found at a popular dive site called Monad Shoal in the early hours of each morning. By early hours I mean you have to be in the water before sunrise which is some time between 4am and 5am. It’s an early rise but 100% worth getting out of bed for.
It’s a 30 meter dive down to Monad Shoal to where you can witness the wrasse, (small fish) cleaning the bacteria off of the Thresher Sharks which is commonly referred to as the ‘cleaning station.’
Diving with the Thresher Sharks on Malapascua Island Cebu is an absolute must during the time you plan on spending here and I guarantee you won’t regret it!
Search All ∼ Dive Resorts in Malapascua
Thresher Shark Malapascua – Photo: Save Philippines Seas
HAPPY HOUR AT HIPPOCAMPUS
Hippocampus Beach Resort plays host to arguably the best beach bar on Malapascua and happy hours are between 4pm and 6pm, every day of the week!
After sunset, there is usually a live band playing into the night and its a great place to meet other travelers and divers that are also hanging out on Malapascua Island.
Hippocampus also has an in-house restaurant if you wish to stick around after happy hour for dinner and more cocktails.
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Hippocampus Malapascua Cebu
VILLA SANDRA REGGAE BAR
Villa Sandra is another epic bar and restaurant in Malapascua Cebu that is most popular for its colorful decor and reggae vibes!
My friends and I went to Villa Sandra after happy hour at Hippocampus to see a live reggae band playing some funky beats and the beers were cheap. Lounge out on the cushions or chill in a hammock and enjoy the awesome vibes that Villa Sandra has to offer.
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Villa Sandra Malapascua Cebu
Reggae vibes in Malapascua
Lighthouse Beach is hands down my favorite spot on Malapascua Cebu to watch the sunset. This tucked-away little cove located on the west coast of the island is not to be missed during your visit to Malapascua Cebu!
If you happen to be staying at Neverland Hostel, it’s no more than a 5 to 10 minute walk over the headland to reach the shoreline at Lighthouse Beach.
There’s a small bar built into the cliffs on your way down to the beach, selling cold beers and other mixed drinks. The Lighthouse Beach Bar features a balcony terrace and wooden lounge chairs along the beach which is set up for guests to enjoy a relaxing time with a beer in hand while watching the sun setting over the horizon.
Lighthouse Beach Malapascua
Sunset at Lighthouse Beach – Malapascua Cebu
SATURDAY NIGHT DISCO IN MALAPASCUA
Ahhh what can I say about the Saturday Night Disco? It definitely wasn’t my cup of tea but it was the most talked-about party on Malapascua Cebu. Push came to shove from one of the guys at my hostel and so we ended up checking it out.
The Saturday Night Disco is held at the community church basketball court on the northern end of Malapascua and the party kicks off at around 11pm.
Basically, every man, woman, child and dog will without a doubt be at the Saturday Night Disco having the time of their lives.
The resident DJ plays outdated techno music mixed with a combination of strobe lights, copious amounts of Red Horse beer and lots of silly dancing! As a tourist attending the Saturday Night Disco, you will be welcomed in as one of the locals to join in on the fun!
Search All ∼ Hostels / Hotels / Resorts in Malapascua
Saturday Night Disco – Malapascua Nightlife
KALANGGAMAN ISLAND DAY TRIP
Last but not least on this Malapascua itinerary is a day trip to Kalanggaman Island, a slice of paradise off the south coast of Malapascua Island.
You can book a join-in trip to Kalanggaman Island through any of the dive shops/tour desks along Bounty Beach or organise your own private boat with a local, preferably one day in advance.
Kalanggaman Island is most famous for its incredible sandbar that is surrounded by crystalline waters and a lush palm tree forest on one end. This little tropical paradise seemingly lies in the middle of the ocean.
It takes around 2 hours by boat from Malapascua to Kalanggaman Island and the trip costs around 8oo pesos for the boat and 500 pesos entrance fee. This tour also includes a bbq lunch on board the boat.
If you wish to spend a night on Kalanggaman island the only option is to stay in a tent at the campground on the island. You can take your own tent to set up at the campground or you can rent one when you’re there for around 400 pesos. There is also a fee of 750 pesos that must be paid to stay overnight.
A day trip or overnight stay at Kalanggaman Island is one of the best things to do in Malapascua Cebu!
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Kalanggaman Island sandbar – Photo: @hardyadrien
Palm tree forest on Kalanggaman – Photo: @hardyadrien
MALAPASCUA ISLAND MAP
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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 Malapascua 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 TO BANTAYAN ISLAND
For your next destination after Malapascua, I highly recommend heading over to Bantayan Island which is located just off the northwestern tip of Cebu.
The only way to get to Bantayan Island from Malapascua is to take an outrigger boat and the cost is around 800-900 pesos per person. If you can find a small group of people to share the boat with the cost will be lower.
The journey time between Malapascua and Bantayan Island is around 2 to 3 hours depending on the sea conditions.
See More ∼ 15 Things To Do In Bantayan
Another option for accommodation in Malapascua is to stay at an Airbnb, which generally has some great deals!
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LONELY PLANET – PHILIPPINES
One of the best books to take on your trip is the Lonely Planet Philippines Travel Guide!
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MORE PHILIPPINES TRAVEL GUIDES
- Philippines Guide: 3 Weeks Philippines Itinerary
- Cebu: 15 Things To Do In Cebu
- Bohol: 31 Epic Things To Do In Bohol
- Siargao: 15 Things To Do In Siargao
- El Nido: El Nido Island Hopping
- Coron: Coron Island Hopping
- Boracay: 15 Things To Do In Boracay
- Siquijor: 3 Day Siquijor Itinerary
- Bantayan: 15 Things To Do In Bantayan
- Malapascua: 11 Things To Do In Malapascua
- Camiguin: 13 Best Camiguin Tourist Spots
- Romblon: 12 Epic Things To Do In Romblon
- Tablas: 10 Things To Do In Tablas
- Carabao: 7 Best Things To Do In Carabao
- Dumaguete: Best Dumaguete Tourist Spots
- Sumilon Island: Sumilon Island Itinerary
WHAT TO PACK FOR MALAPASCUA
Everyday Backpack: One of the best backpacks on the market! The Nomatic 20L Backpack is perfect for on the go adventures. Featuring multiple storage spaces for valuables, drink bottles, chargers, notebooks and more. This sleek backpack was designed for you.
Universal Power Adapter: Don’t leave home without one! I highly recommend getting this Universal Power Adapter so that you are able to charge all of your electronics when you’re on the road. Compatible in Asia, UK, Europe, Africa, USA, SA and Australia.
Hidden Money Belt: I never go on a trip without one! The best thing is they are always out of sight, hidden beneath your clothing. With RFID blocking, they are perfectly designed to keep your credit cards, cash and other valuables safe when you’re out adventuring!
Waterproof Phone Case: A waterproof phone case is a must-have item! This universal case will keep your phone safe from water damage, sand and scratches during your adventures. Suitable for all smartphone models.
Portable Charger: One of the best portable chargers on the market! The Anker Power Bank keeps your phone and accessories charged on those longer adventures. Featuring 2 USB charging ports, rechargeable battery, works with iPhone, iPad, Samsung, Oppo and Android.
Microfibre Travel Towel: To pack a towel or not to pack a towel? A standard bathroom towel can take up a lot of space in your travel bag. Get your hands on a quick-dry Microfibre Travel Towel which is perfect for the beach, backpacking, camping and general traveling.
Rain Jacket: A light-weight rain jacket is an absolute must when traveling! North Face waterproof rain jackets come in both men and women sizes, featuring a breathable mesh lining and adjustable hood that can be tucked away inside the collar.
Kindle: The best alternative for books! Kindle e-readers are perfect for long haul flights, reading on the beach or a quiet evening away from the bars. Kindle’s are waterproof with rechargeable batteries and adjustable light settings to suit indoor/outdoor conditions.
Packing Cubes: My favorite item in my backpack! Perfect for organizing your shirts, pants, jackets, socks, underwear and more. This 5 Set Packing Cubes makes packing easier and more efficient, adding extra space in your bag for your next trip.
Activated Charcoal Tablets: Want to avoid food poisoning? Most of us have been a victim of travelers diarrhea from eating street food. Organic Activated Charcoal Tablets are fast-acting and will rid your system of the bad bacteria that causes stomach upset.
MY CAMERA GEAR
Everyday Camera: The most affordable mirrorless camera on the market! I personally use the Sony A7ii Mirrorless Camera on all of my adventures. It’s compact, lightweight and super easy to use for all levels of photography. A 28-70mm Sony lens is also included.
Drone Camera: Take your photography to new heights! The DJI Mavic Pro 2 Drone is at the top of the game when it comes to high-quality images and video, easy to control functions and traveler-friendly capabilities. I guarantee you won’t regret purchasing one.
GoPro Hero 8: One of the most popular cameras on the planet! I love using the GoPro Hero 8 for all of my underwater shots and fast-paced adventures. The GoPro Hero 8 captures the best moments with its wide range of functions that are very simple to use!
Camera Bag: My favorite camera bag I have ever owned! The Lowepro Protactic 450 AW II Camera Bag features a waterproof rain cover, drink bottle holder, padded compartments for cameras, drones, lenses, accessories and it also has a laptop pocket.
Selfie Stick: Everyone loves a good selfie, right!? The Sandmarc Metal Edition Selfie Stick is sleek, stylish and can extend to 1.2m. I find it much easier to take photos and videos with the GoPro when it is mounted to the Sandmarc Selfie Stick!
Camera Tripod: The Joby GorillaPod is suitable for all cameras. This tripod is easy to use and perfect for setting up a time-lapse video or even using it as a selfie stick. The legs are flexible so you can wrap it around a tree or a pole to get creative with your shot.
GoPro Dome: Have you ever wanted to capture those under/over water shots with the GoPro? This epic underwater GoPro dome housing is the best camera accessory to have to create the perfect 50/50 shot. I use mine every time I am in the ocean!
Memory Card: The best thing about SanDisk Extreme Pro is that it delivers maximum speed for images and videos. Having 64GB of storage means that you can store hundreds of files on this SD card for 2-3 days and not have to worry about running out of space.
External Hard Drive: As a photographer, my images and video files take up a lot of space on my MacBook so I use the WD Elements External Hard Drive to store everything. With 4TB worth of storage space, this is more than enough for 1 year worth of content.
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I’ve got a wide range of digital products for sale and I’m sure you’ll find something that will come in handy during your travels!
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FINAL THOUGHTS OF MALAPASCUA
I hope you enjoyed reading this article and if you have any questions at all about Malapascua Cebu, please leave me a comment below and I will get back to you as soon as I can.