Good morning guys!
This beautiful little paradise north of Cebu Island was my first destination on my trip. I stayed there for 4 nights in a small bungalow next to the beach. On Malapascua Island, tourists and inhabitants live side by side. This is the perfect occasion to get to know the people who live there and hear their stories. One of those stories being the typhoon that hit the island in 2013. The island and its people are slowely recovering, but tourism – as their main source of income – is back to normal. Malapascua island doesn’t have any concrete roads and beaches are easily accessible on foot within a few minutes – that’s something special I’ve only seen on Malapascua Island.
What to do before you go to Malapascua Island
Change or withdraw money
If you arrive at Mactan Cebu International Airport, make sure to change money into the local currency or go withdraw money from an ATM. The BDO ATM worked the best for me(all the other ones wouldn’t let me withdraw money), but you can only withdraw 10,000PHP.
Get a SIM card
Since I intended to book accommodations during the trip and knew that Wifi access is not available everywhere in the Philippines, I bought myself a GLOBE SIM card with unlimited internet for 30 days for 1000PHP at the airport.
How to get there
Getting to Malapascua Island is pretty easy but takes a few hours. From Mactan Cebu International Airport you can take a taxi for about 2800 PHP to Maya port on the Northern tip of Cebu island. Our accommodation in Malapascua Island arranged the taxi for us. The trip will take you three to four hours, depending on the driver. From the Maya port you’ll have to take a boat that brings you to the island. Please note that boat drivers usually wait for more passengers to arrive, so there are no fixed scedules. The later you arrive, the less is the chance for you to share a boat with other tourists or inhabitants and therefore you’ll have to pay more. For example: We arrived at 5pm and it was pouring – the chances of somebody to take a boat with us were really low. After 15 min there were still no people arriving, so we had to pay the full price of a boat (1500PHP). Normally you would pay around 150PHP.
What to do on Malapascua Island
Go on a snorkelling tour around the island
The owner of the White Sand Bungalows organized the tour for us – we paid 1000PHP for a small boat and two guys that would take us around the island. You’ll have the spots pretty much all to yourself as most tourist come to Malapascua Island for diving. As far as I remember there are 4 stops during the tour. The first one is a small spot with corals and many fish. When we dipped into the water of the second place I was really surprised by what was underneath me – a Japanese ship from the World War II. Afterwards, the boys took us cliff jumping. I’m afraid of heights, so I stayed on the boat and watched my boyfriend jump from the cliff. The last stop was in the coral reef (the fee is included in the tour price) on the Eastern side of the island. When we drove around the island, we noticed the damaged houses and hotels that weren’t rebuilt after the typhoon in the North and East of the island. All the beaches on these sides were pretty much empty but so beautiful.
Visit Kalanggaman Island
When you arrive at Malapascua Island, you’ll be approached by a few Filipinos who will kindly accompany you to your accommodation, for free of course. Their intention is to sell the tours that they offer, one of them being a tour to Kalanggaman Island. I highly recommend you to visit this island. It is just stunningly beautiful. You can read more about the trip and the island on a seperate post. I’ll also link it here in this part of my blog post.
Dive with Treasure Sharks
The island is know for its Treasure Sharks. That is why the majority of the tourist on Malapascua Island are divers. There are many resorts, hotels and diving schools where you can rent the equipment.
Best sunrise & sunset views
You can find the best spot to watch the sun rise at the very Eastern part of Bounty Beach; sunset can be enjoyed from the Ocean Vida Beach and Dive Resort, that is also located on Bounty Beach but a bit further West. Take a seat in their comfy chairs and order a cocktail to start your evening.
Where to stay
White Sand Bungalows
I stayed at this place for four nights. There is a good amount of hotels and cottages for various prices on Malapascua Island. My budget for each night is at 50€ for two persons but I always try to find something really cheap, but still good looking. White Sand Bungalows offers different bungalows each varying in size and the price is really good. As there was only one bungalow left when I booked in December, I got the largest bungalow for 1500PHP (that’s about 30€) per night. After having traveled three weeks in the Philippines, 30€ is actually pretty much for something basic like this accomodation. When you travel somewhere else in the Philippines, you’ll easily find a cheaper place that offers better quality. Unfortunately, this place counts amongst the cheapest ones on Malapascua Island. But back to the bungalow: This bamboo bungalow (2nd picture) comes with a balcony and a view to the beach. The bathroom has all the basic facilities (like a fan, desk and a bed) and comes with a toilet that had to be flushed with a bucket of water. Yes, such places still exist. I really liked staying there, but this accommodation might not be for everyone. Therefore I provide you with another accommodation suggestion that I saw during my time on Malapascua Island.
White Sand Bungalows
reservation per mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tepanee Beach Resort
This Resort is located next to the White Sand Bungalow, is more modern and therefore only a bit pricier than where I stayed at. I actually wanted to stay there, but the remaining rooms were expensive for me. Tepanee Beach Resort has a private beach and two restaurants. I had a really good breakfast at the Chiringuito Bar which is located at the private beach of the resort. The second restaurant is Ristorante Amihan that offers a beautiful view over the beach and it’s blue water. (pictures 3-7)
Tepanee Beach Resort
reserve a room on their website
There are many other accommodations on Malapascua – most of them can be found on Bounty Beach.