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!
I spent 3 days and 3 nights on Malapascua Cebu to explore all four corners of the island. I have put together this Malapascua itinerary 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.
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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 6:30am and 4:30pm.
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.
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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 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 between August and October.
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Now that you’ve got all the information on where to stay in Malapascua, the best time to visit 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!
#1 BOUNTY BEACH MALAPASCUA
The first thing I recommend doing when you arrive in Malapascua Cebu 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.
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 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.
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Drone shot of Bounty Beach Malapascua
Ocean Vida Bar and Restaurant – Malapascua Cebu
Bounty Beach Malapascua
#2 LANGOB BEACH
The second best beach on Malapascua Cebu is Langob Beach also known as North Beach. It is 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 whilst doing a great deed for the environment.
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Langob Beach in Malapascua Cebu
Drone shot of Langob Beach – Malapascua Itinerary
Palm tree paradise on Langob Beach
#3 LAPUS LAPUS CLIFF JUMPING
One of the best cliff jumping spots on Malapascua Cebu 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.
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Lapus Lapus Cliff – Malapascua Island Cebu
Top-down view of Lapus Lapus Cliff Jump
#4 HIDDEN BEACH
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 the 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
White sand shoreline at Hidden Beach Malapascua
Drone shot of Hidden Beach Malapascua
#5 GUGMA BEACH
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.
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Idyllic scenes at Gugma Beach
Paradise at Gugma Beach – Malapascua Cebu
On the way to Gugma Beach
#6 DIVING IN MALAPASCUA
For all you scuba divers, you’re in for a real treat when visiting Malapascua Island 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 Cebu 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!
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The Thresher Shark – Photo: Save Philippines Seas
#7 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 on 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. 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
#8 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
Reggae vibes in Malapascua Cebu
#9 LIGHTHOUSE BEACH
Lighthouse Beach is hands down my favorite spot on Malapascua Island 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 Island Cebu
#10 SATURDAY NIGHT DISCO
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!
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Saturday Night Disco – Malapascua Nightlife
#11 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!
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Kalanggaman Island sandbar – Photo: @hardyadrien
Palm tree forest on Kalanggaman – Photo: @hardyadrien
MALAPASCUA ISLAND MAP
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MALAPASCUA ISLAND – 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 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 Cebu and Bantayan Island is 2 to 3 hours depending on the sea conditions.
See More ∼ 15 Things To Do In Bantayan
AIRBNB MALAPASCUA CEBU
Another option for accommodation in Malapascua is to stay at an Airbnb, which generally has some great deals on Malapascua island.
MORE PHILIPPINES TRAVEL GUIDES
Bantayan Island Guide: 15 Things To Do In Bantayan
Cebu Travel Guide: 15 Things To Do In Cebu
Siquijor Travel Guide: 3 Day Siquijor Itinerary
Sumilon Island Guide: Sumilon Island Itinerary
Siargao Travel Guide: 15 Things To Do In Siargao
Bohol Travel Guide: 31 Epic Things To Do In Bohol
Camiguin Travel Guide: 13 Best Camiguin Tourist Spots
Dumaguete City Guide: Best Dumaguete Tourist Spots
MY CAMERA GEAR
• DSLR Mirrorless Camera: Sony A7ii
• Drone Camera: DJI Mavic Pro 2
• GoPro: GoPro Hero 7 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 Malapascua Cebu, please leave me a comment below and I will get back to you as soon as I can.