Malapascua Island, located in the Visayas region of the Philippines, is a tropical paradise known for its pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and diverse marine life. The island is a popular destination for travelers seeking adventure, relaxation, and a break from the hustle and bustle of city life. With so many things to do in Malapascua, visitors will surely find something that suits their interests.
One of the most popular activities in Malapascua is diving. The island is world-renowned for its incredible scuba diving sites where you can swim with thresher sharks. Diving with thresher sharks has been a huge reason the island is on the bucket list of many travelers, making it one of the most popular things to do in North Cebu. You can count the places with your one hand where you can see thresher sharks 365 days a year; Malapascua Island is one of them. However, there are many more fantastic things to do in Malapascua besides diving.
Getting to Malapascua Island
Malapascua Island is a small island located in the northern part of Cebu Island in the Philippines. The island is accessible by boat from the Maya port, which is located in the town of Daanbantayan, Cebu.
One can take a bus or a van from the Cebu North Bus Terminal in Cebu City to get to Maya Port. The travel time is approximately 4 hours, depending on the traffic. Once in Maya port, one can take a boat to Malapascua Island. The boat ride takes around 30 minutes to an hour, depending on the weather conditions.
Another option to get to Malapascua Island is by private transportation. One can rent a car or a motorbike to get to Maya port. The travel time is shorter, allowing the traveler to stop along the way and explore the different towns and attractions on Cebu Island.
Once in Malapascua Island, the best way to get around is by foot or motorbike. Motorbikes can be rented for a reasonable price, allowing the traveler to explore the different beaches and attractions on the island at their own pace. It is important to note that the roads in Malapascua Island are not paved and can be challenging to navigate during the rainy season.
Malapascua Island offers a range of accommodation options to fit every budget and preference. From budget-friendly hostels to luxurious beach resorts, visitors can find a place to stay that suits their needs.
For those who prefer camping, a few campsites are available on the island. However, it’s important to note that camping is not allowed on the beaches.
One of the most popular places to stay on Malapascua Island is the Blue Coral Beach Resort. This beachfront resort offers comfortable rooms with modern amenities, including air conditioning, hot showers, and free Wi-Fi. Guests can enjoy the resort’s restaurant, bar, and outdoor pool.
Another top-rated option is the Tepanee Beach Resort. This luxury resort features spacious villas with private balconies overlooking the ocean. Guests can relax on the resort’s private beach or take a dip in the infinity pool. The resort also offers restaurant and spa services.
For those who want to be close to the island’s famous diving spots, the Hippocampus Beach Resort is a great choice. This beachfront resort offers comfortable rooms with air conditioning and hot showers. Guests can also enjoy the resort’s restaurant and bar.
Villa Sandra is another great option for those seeking more budget-friendly accommodation. This guesthouse offers simple rooms with air conditioning and free Wi-Fi. Guests can also take advantage of the guesthouse’s shared kitchen and lounge area.
Exploring the Beaches
Malapascua Island is known for its beautiful beaches and crystal-clear waters. The island has several beaches, each with its unique charm and activities. Whether you want to relax and sunbathe or explore the underwater world, there is a beach for everyone.
Bounty Beach is the most popular beach on Malapascua Island. It is a long stretch of white sand beach with crystal-clear waters. The beach is lined with restaurants, bars, and shops, making it a hub of activity. Visitors can enjoy sunbathing, swimming, and snorkeling. The beach is also known for its stunning sunsets.
Logon Beach is a quieter beach located in the island’s northern part. It is a long stretch of white sand beach with crystal-clear waters. The beach is perfect for swimming and sunbathing. Visitors can also rent a boat and explore the nearby islands.
Langub Beach is a secluded beach located in the southern part of the island. It is a small beach with crystal-clear waters. Visitors can enjoy sunbathing and swimming. The beach is also known for its beautiful sunsets.
Gugma Beach is a quiet and secluded beach located in the island’s northern part. It is a small beach with crystal-clear waters. Visitors can enjoy sunbathing and swimming. The beach is also a great spot for watching the sunset.
Guimbitayan Beach is a quiet and secluded beach located in the southern part of the island. It is a small beach with crystal-clear waters. Visitors can enjoy sunbathing and swimming. The beach is also known for its stunning sunsets.
North Beach is a quiet and secluded beach located in the island’s northern part. It is a small beach with crystal-clear waters. Visitors can enjoy sunbathing and swimming. The beach is also a great spot for watching the sunset.
South Beach is a quiet and secluded beach located in the southern part of the island. It is a small beach with crystal-clear waters. Visitors can enjoy sunbathing and swimming. The beach is also known for its beautiful sunsets.
Hidden Beach is a secluded beach located in the island’s northern part. It is a small beach with crystal-clear waters. Visitors can enjoy sunbathing and swimming. The beach is also a great spot for watching the sunset. The beach is accessible only by boat.
Malapascua Island’s beaches allow visitors to relax and enjoy the island’s natural beauty. Whether you want to sunbathe, swim, or explore the underwater world, there is a beach for everyone.
Malapascua Island is surrounded by other beautiful islands that are worth exploring. Island hopping is a popular activity among tourists, and it’s a great way to experience the beauty of the Philippines. Here are some of the best islands to visit during an island hopping tour:
Kalanggaman Island is a small island located in the municipality of Palompon, Leyte. It’s known for its crystal-clear waters, white sand beaches, and stunning sandbars. The island is perfect for swimming, snorkeling, and sunbathing. It’s also a great spot for camping, as tents are available for rent on the island. A day trip to Kalanggaman Island is a must-do activity when visiting Malapascua Island.
Gato Island is a small island located off the coast of Malapascua Island. It’s a popular diving spot, as it’s home to various marine life, including white-tip sharks, sea snakes, and barracudas. The island is also known for its underwater tunnel, which is a unique feature that divers love to explore. A day trip to Gato Island is a great way to experience the beauty of the Philippines’ underwater world.
Bantayan Island is located in the northern part of Cebu. It’s known for its stunning beaches, crystal-clear waters, and laid-back atmosphere. The island is perfect for swimming, snorkeling, and sunbathing. It’s also a great spot for island hopping, as several smaller islands surrounding Bantayan Island are worth exploring. A day trip to Bantayan Island is a great way to experience the beauty of the Philippines’ beaches.
Island hopping is a great way to experience the beauty of the Philippines. Whether you’re looking for stunning beaches, crystal-clear waters, or unique underwater features, there’s an island for everyone. A day trip to Kalanggaman Island, Gato Island, or Bantayan Island is a must-do activity when visiting Malapascua Island.
Diving in Malapascua Island
Malapascua Island is a world-renowned destination for scuba divers. The island is home to several diving spots offering diverse marine life and underwater landscapes. This section will cover three of the most famous diving spots in Malapascua Island: Monad Shoal, Kemod Shoal, and Lighthouse Reef.
Monad Shoal is a sunken coral plateau and probably the most famous diving spot in Malapascua Island. It is famous for its thresher sharks, which can be seen daily. Divers can expect to see these majestic creatures early in the morning, around 5 am to 6 am. The dive site is suitable for advanced divers, with a depth of 20 – 28 meters. Divers must have an AOW or higher certification to dive at Monad Shoal.
Kemod Shoal is another popular diving spot in Malapascua Island. It is located on the southern part of the island and is home to a diverse range of marine life. Divers can expect to see reef sharks, manta rays, and various fish species. The dive site is suitable for all levels of divers, with a 5 – 30 meters depth.
Lighthouse Reef is a shallow dive site located on the island’s northern part. The dive site is suitable for beginner divers, with a depth of 5 – 15 meters. Divers can expect marine life, including mandarin fish and sea turtles. The dive site is also suitable for night dives, where divers can see nocturnal marine life.
When diving in Malapascua Island, following the local community rules on scuba diving practices is essential. Divers must have the necessary equipment, including a dive computer, BCD, and wet suit. Divers who do not have the necessary equipment can rent them from diving schools on the island.
Diving schools on the island offer various courses, from PADI Open Water Certification to Advanced Open Water Diver (AOWD) certification. Some popular diving schools on the island include Sea Explorers and French Kiss Divers. These diving schools offer a range of courses and have experienced instructors who can guide divers through their diving journey.
Malapascua Island has a lot to offer beyond its world-renowned diving sites. Visitors can enjoy various activities on the island, including snorkeling, cliff jumping, yoga and spa treatments, and sports.
Snorkeling is a great way to explore the island’s underwater world without scuba diving equipment. Visitors can rent snorkeling gear and explore the shallow reefs around the island, where they can see a variety of colorful fish and coral. Some of the best snorkeling spots on the island include Langub Beach and the Coral Garden.
For those seeking a more adrenaline-fueled activity, cliff jumping is popular. Visitors can jump from the cliffs at the island’s southern end into the crystal clear waters below. However, exercising caution and only jumping from safe heights is important.
Yoga and Spa Treatments
Malapascua Island is a great place to relax and unwind. Visitors can enjoy yoga classes on the beach or in one of the island’s yoga studios. Additionally, various spa treatments are available, including massages, facials, and body scrubs.
For those who want to stay active during their visit, Malapascua Island offers a variety of sports activities. Visitors can play basketball or volleyball on the island’s courts, or rent a paddleboard and explore the island’s coastline. There are also options for kayaking and windsurfing.
Local Flora and Fauna
Malapascua Island is a paradise for marine life enthusiasts. The island is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna on land and underwater. The island is surrounded by crystal-clear waters that are teeming with life. Here are some of the most common marine species that can be spotted in Malapascua Island:
- Fish: Malapascua Island is home to a wide variety of fish species. Some of the most common fish species that can be found in the waters around the island include mackerel, tuna, and barracuda. These fish can be seen swimming in schools or hunting for prey.
- Corals: Malapascua Island’s waters are also home to various coral species. These corals provide a habitat for many marine creatures and are an important part of the marine ecosystem.
- Hippocampus: Malapascua Island is famous for its seahorses, particularly the pygmy seahorse. These tiny creatures can be found hiding in the corals and are a popular subject for underwater photographers.
- Sea snakes: Malapascua Island is also home to several species of sea snakes. These snakes are venomous but are not aggressive towards humans. They can often be seen swimming near the surface of the water.
- Squid and octopuses: These intelligent creatures can often be seen hiding in the corals or swimming in the open water. They are a popular subject for underwater photographers.
- Nudibranchs: These colorful sea slugs are a favorite among underwater photographers. Malapascua Island is home to a wide variety of nudibranch species.
Overall, Malapascua Island is a haven for marine life enthusiasts. The island’s diverse marine ecosystem is a testament to the importance of preserving our oceans and the creatures that call it home.
When to Visit
Malapascua Island is a year-round destination, but the best time to visit is between December and June. The weather is hot and dry during these months, making it perfect for beach activities and island hopping. The island is also less likely to experience typhoons during this period.
The peak season in Malapascua Island is from December to April, so expect the island to be bustling with tourists during these months. Accommodations and tours may also be more expensive during this time. If you’re looking for a quieter and more affordable trip, consider visiting during the low season from July to November. However, remember that this is also the rainy season, so be prepared for occasional downpours.
If you plan to go diving with the thresher sharks, the best time to visit is from November to May. During this period, the sharks are more likely to be seen at Monad Shoal, a popular dive spot in the island. However, if you’re not into diving, you can still enjoy the island’s other attractions and activities during the non-peak season.
The best time to visit Malapascua Island depends on your preferences and travel goals. Consider your budget, weather conditions, and desired activities when planning your trip.
Malapascua Island is a tropical paradise that offers travelers a wide range of activities. From diving with thresher sharks to exploring hidden beaches, there is something for everyone on this small island.
Travelers can spend their days swimming, beach bumming, snorkeling, island hopping, or even cliff jumping. For those who love adventure, Malapascua Island offers some of the best diving spots in the world. Diving with thresher sharks is a popular activity, and the island is one of the few places in the world where you can see these creatures year-round.
In addition to diving, travelers can explore the island on a motorcycle tour or enjoy happy hour at one of the many bars. Malapascua Island has various restaurants serving local and international cuisine, making it easy to find something to suit every taste.