Looking for the best things to do in Malapascua Island?!
Malapascua is one of the best islands in the Philippines, which is world-renowned for its incredible scuba diving sites 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 in Malapascua Cebu to explore all four corners of the island and I’ve put together this complete guide including how to get there, things to do in Malapascua Island, where to stay, and the best time to visit!
QUICK ANSWERS: MALAPASCUA ISLAND
Before going through all the things to do in Malapascua, let’s cover the essentials, such as the location, how to get there, the best Malapascua tour, and everything in between.
WHERE IS MALAPASCUA 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 MALAPASCUA CEBU?
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 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.
ARRIVING AT NEW MAYA PORT – CEBU MALAPASCUA FERRY
The bus or minivan will arrive at New Maya Port and from here you will need to take an outrigger boat over to the island which takes around 30 minutes.
The cost of the boat from New Maya Port to Malapascua Island is 200 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 the island.
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, I recommend spending the night at D & N Lodge near New Maya Port and taking the first boat over to the island the following morning.
Alternatively, consider getting this tour, which includes many great spots to include in your Malapascua Island itinerary.
BEST MALAPASCUA ISLAND HOPPING TOUR
BEST TIME TO VISIT MALAPASCUA ISLAND?
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, so expect to see many tourists during these months.
I recommend visiting 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 which is between August and October.
15 BEST THINGS TO DO IN MALAPASCUA
Now that you’ve got all the information on how to get to Malapascua Cebu, the best time to visit, and all the logistics, let’s get to the fun stuff – wdivhat to do in Malapascua!
So without further ado, here is your ultimate guide to the 15 Best Things To Do In Malapascua Island Cebu!
The first thing I recommend doing when you arrive on the island 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 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 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.
KALANGGAMAN ISLAND DAY TRIP
Another activity on this list of things to do in Malapascua is a day trip to Kalanggaman Island.
You can book a trip to Kalanggaman Island, which is the most convenient way to get there.
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 to reach Kalanggaman Island and the trip costs around 800 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.
The second best beach is Langob Beach also known as North Beach. It’s not quite as 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 go 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. Be sure to pack a quick-dry travel towel to dry off after Malapascua snorkeling.
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.
Related Article: 15 Things To Do In Bantayan Island
LAPUS LAPUS CLIFF JUMPING
One of the best cliff jumping spots on the island is the Lapus Lapus cliff jump located on the northwestern tip of the island. This is one adventure you must add to your itinerary.
Lapus Lapus cliff features a range of different cliff jumps starting as low as 5 meters and the highest being 15 meters. 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.
Must Read: 3 Weeks Philippines Itinerary
DIVING IN MALAPASCUA
For all you scuba divers, you’re in for a real treat when planning a Malapascua itinerary as it’s home to a 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.
This 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 that you can book online in advance.
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 sometime between 4 am and 5 am. It’s an early rise but 100% worth getting out of bed for.
It’s a 30-meter dive down to Monad Shoal 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 Thresher Sharks in Malapascua is an absolute must and I guarantee you won’t regret it!
Next on our list of what to do in Malapascua Island is a stunning beach you can’t miss out on.
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 onto 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 of 2013.
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TOUR THE ISLAND BY MOTORBIKE
When visiting Malapascua Island, embracing the local lifestyle and culture can make for the adventure of a lifetime.
The best way to do so is by renting a motorbike and touring the entire island at your own pace. With each turn revealing stunning landscapes and hidden gems, you’ll love cruising around.
Renting a motorbike in Malapascua will cost you 300-350 pesos per day, which is reasonable, and you’re definitely in for a cool trip!
Also, this is the best way to discover the island and see all the best beaches in Malapascua.
Gugma Beach is yet another of the Malapascua tourist spots 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.
The BEST Hotel in Malapascua
HAPPY HOUR AT HIPPOCAMPUS
Hippocampus Beach Resort plays host to arguably the best beach bar on the island and happy hours are between 4 pm and 6 pm, every day of the week!
After sunset, there is usually a live band playing into the night and it’s 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.
Must Read: Best Beaches In Cebu
EXPLORE GATO ISLAND & CAVES
If you’re an adventurous traveler, be sure to explore Gato Island and its stunning caves – some must-do Malapascua activities!
You’ll be amazed by the intricate rock formations and the corals that line the cave walls.
Also, you’ll see reef sharks and sea snakes. Don’t worry though as they’re used to seeing humans and won’t harm you.
I recommend bringing your GoPro to record the diving session – you’ll love it here!
Note that you can’t go to Gato Island on your own and have to book a tour online or with a local tour operator in Malapascua.
The price is generally around $150 per person, including transfers by boat, lunch, a flashlight, a diving computer, and all the gear you need.
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ENJOY MALAPASCUA NIGHTLIFE AT 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.
Enjoy the Malapascua nightlife, lounge out on the cushions, and soak in the awesome vibes that Villa Sandra has to offer.
Lighthouse Beach is hands down my favorite spot to watch the sunset and one of the best Malapascua things to do.
This tucked-away little cove located on the west coast of the island is not to be missed during your visit.
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.
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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 the island.
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 the island and the party kicks off at around 11 pm.
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!
RELAX AT LOGON BEACH
Logon Beach is one of the most peaceful beaches in Malapascua with very few boats passing by.
Located on the southeastern part of the island, it’s easily reachable by motorbike.
My recommendation is to come right before sunset when all the boats will be gone and you’ll be able to enjoy the sunset – a must-do activity in Malapascua Island!
SPEND THE DAY AT LANGUB BEACH
Last but not least on this list of things to do in Malapascua Island is visiting Langub Beach.
Nestled on the northern tip of the island, it’s a good alternative to Langob Beach since it’s slightly off the main road.
You can go swimming, work on your tan, or just enjoy life with your loved ones. I would recommend coming early in the morning or evening as there is barely any shade.
And when coming in the evening, you can’t resist a drink at Dory’s Bar & Sugba which is right on the beach!
MALAPASCUA CEBU – THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO
There is only one ATM machine on Malapascua Island so it’s possible to withdraw cash if you need it, however, I recommend withdrawing cash before you arrive on the island in case the machine doesn’t work.
Getting around the island is quite simply done by either motorbike, bicycle, or on foot. The majority of travelers will get around by walking as the island is so small and you can literally walk from one end to the other in less than one hour.
You can also 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.
The Internet connection on the island is relatively good. Both Smart and Globe SIM cards will work just fine, and most establishments have WiFi.
Alternatively, I recommend purchasing an eSIM online in advance and enjoying unlimited data throughout the Philippines.
MALAPASCUA ISLAND TO BANTAYAN ISLAND
For your next destination, 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 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 to Bantayan Island is around 2 to 3 hours depending on the sea conditions.
See More: 15 Things To Do In Bantayan
BANTAYAN OR MALAPASCUA – WHICH IS THE BEST?
Choosing between Bantayan Island and Malapascua Island in the Philippines comes down to personal preference.
Bantayan, larger and more populated, offers a lively local culture, long stretches of white sand beaches, and a wide range of accommodations.
On the other hand, Malapascua Cebu is smaller, less developed, and provides a secluded experience, which is great for a chill getaway.
WHERE TO STAY IN MALAPASCUA
Malapascua Island Cebu has dozens of accommodation options to choose from, so I have narrowed it down to a few of the best places to stay to fit the needs of budget backpackers, luxury travelers, and everyone in between.
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. It features a private beach area, a hot tub, an in-house restaurant with a bar, beautiful gardens, and free wifi.
The beachside cottages are cozy with bamboo furnishings and fitted with air conditioning, a minibar, a large bed, a private bathroom, and a balcony.
Tepanee Beach Resort can also help you organize 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 on the island.
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, a private bathroom, a 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: JPH Resort
I personally stayed at JPH and can’t recommend this place enough!
The staff are super friendly and will welcome you into their loving community. The rooms are comfortable with modern amenities and air conditioning.
They also offer bigger rooms to accommodate up to 4 people, which is convenient for bigger groups or families. The best part? It’s located within walking distance from the beach!
WHAT TO PACK FOR MALAPASCUA
When visiting Malapascua Island, here are some items I recommend taking with you:
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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.
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THANKS FOR READING
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