The best way and commonly practiced way in getting to Malapascua Island is to be in Cebu City in the first place.
Being the capital of this provincial island, Cebu City has everything (almost) you need for your travels, vacation, business, retirement, investment, hotel reservation, among other relevant needs.
It means that you can get your choices of transports for Malapascua Island. When I visited the island last time, what I did was took a bus from North Bus Terminal in Cebu City, then got off at Maya Port.
Maya Port is the last stop of buses or terminal. Then I took an outrigger boat for Malapascua that took less than thirty minutes.
Let me enumerate and describe the vehicles you might take, so please keep reading down below.
To keep your excitement up, here are the best ways in getting to Malapascua Island...
Since, it is an island, you need to take a land transport in the first place, and then take another transport for the island. Here are your choices public land transports...
Buses, taxis, V-Hires (Van), and private vehicles will be your for choices of vehicles when you are already in Cebu (or Lapu Lapu City, Mactan).
For a bus, you can take it from Cebu North Bus Terminal. You can get there by a metered-Taxi or by a jeepney from any point in Cebu and nearby area.
At the bus terminal, you can take the Ceres Bus (yellow bus) or Rough Riders bus. These buses will take you to Maya Port where you can get a small boat for Malapascua Island.
Maya Port is the last stop for both bus companies. The fare is Php180 (or so) for air-con and less for non-aircon bus.
At Maya Port, you can go to the small Ticket Booth for your small public boat (outrigger) ride, which will take around 20 minutes. The boat fare is around Php50 (or more).
Boats leave when they are full, meaning there is no fix schedule. The last one leaves before sundown—that is, before 6pm in the Philippines.
The non-aircon buses do not stop to pick up or drop off passengers (except at terminals). A bus takes only around 4 hours to Maya Port area.
On the other hand, the non-aircon buses take around 5 hours as because they make short stops along the way so that passengers can visit the washrooms or buy personal needs at the shops.
Please, do double check the schedule to be sure.
This could be faster than a bus since it is a non-stop ride when getting to Malapascua Island. But it could be costly (around Php5,000). Although they offer a regular rate, try to negotiate (with gentle smiles) to make a good deal.
It usually takes about 3 hours to reach Maya Port. It would help if you contacted your resort in advance to pick you up at the port. Otherwise, you need to take the small outrigger boat to Malapascua Island.
You can take a taxi from anywhere in Cebu City or on Mactan Island where the international airport (MCIA T2) or domestic airport (T1) are located.
This could be great for a good number of passengers (around 5-8 persons). After your deal with the driver you can just rest or sleep all the way and not worry about your luggage or anything else. In Cebu City, you can hire one from SM City Cebu (a huge department store).
Or, ask somebody who knows where to find these vehicles because, although they have small terminals everywhere, they have fixed destinations or route. The V-Hires are usually being rented for a day by small group of passengers for a quicker trip to a particular site or resort and return with that same vehicle.
Pick Up Vehicles
These are the transports that you can arrange with your resort or hotel when getting to Malapascua Island. It can be part of your package or a separate arrangement.
Your resort (or dive shop) will arrange a private taxi (or its own vehicle) and a boat transfer.The pick up can be done from anywhere in Cebu City or at the airport on Mactan Island (either T2 or T1). The average rate is between USD100-120 for a one way trip.
There are two kinds of small boats (outrigger boats, which we also call 'pumpboats' are being commonly used to transport goods and passengers to and from smaller island.
The same boats are being used to enjoy
island hopping and other fun water activities including scuba diving, sunbathing, and snorkeling, among others.
From Maya Port, a small port where you get off from your land transport, you can hire a private boat from Php1,000 and above rate.
However, it is also great to take the public boat which is cheaper and more fun. The cost for a public boat ride is only about Php50 (rate changes over time).
Quick Heads Ups
Beware of scams. Some guys pretend to be official guides and lure you to arranging a resort/room and say bad things about the others because they are paid as commissioners by other businesses. (On personal note, Filipinos are generally helpful and very friendly!)
Porters can carry your luggage for an amount they offer (per bag or item). Depending on the size of your luggage, it costs less than a hundred pesos. Certainly, you can give more if you wish to.
Other Options for Maya Port Direction
On getting to Malapascua Island, you can take a van-for-hire to other places aside from taking a bus from the North Bus Terminal. Here are your choices...
From Cebu to Bogo
You can easily take a bus anywhere from Cebu or a V-hire (mini-van) from their terminals in places such as Shoe Mart (SM) or Ayala Center Cebu (shopping mall) for Bogo City.
From Bogo to Maya
In Bogo, you can then take a jeepney, a motorcab (or motorcycle taxi – a motorbike with a side car or something similar to Tuktuk in Thailand). Buses are also available for Maya Port from Bogo.
Tips Regarding Cash
Bring cash with you because most places accept only cash--in Philippine money (Peso). Dollars are not preferable.
Also, make sure that you have small denominations and not in thousands. Having cash in 20s, 50s, or 100s in pesos is better for faster transactions.
Keep your cash safely close to you or in your safe pockets. Most Filipinos keep or put their valuables right in-front of them, such as in their bags or small backpacks, and not on their backs.
Anyway, when you arrive at your respective resorts (hotels) and other service providers, you will have your own safety boxes where you can deposit your valuables and use your own safety numbers (pin).
That’s it. Hope this guide helps you in some way or another.
Until then, enjoy Malapascua Island.
If you are looking or wish to find ways to get to other islands in the province, you may use the following links for greater details (when ready).
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