Cebu, North: Malapascua Island Puts the Mmmmm in Magical!
When you plan out a trip to Malapascua Island, Cebu for the first time, you will definitely wonder if it’s worth it. Getting to Malapascua Island isn’t easy, after all.
First of all, you need to fly to Cebu City and make sure you get there early in the morning. Then, you need to take a 5-hour bus ride to the town of Maya. If you’re lucky, you can catch an airconditioned bus, which gets you to Maya an hour faster. Less lucky and you’ll have to endure the heat and dust of Cebu’s north.
It doesn’t stop there. You need to hop on a boat from Maya’s port, too. The last trip is at 3PM daily so it is important to leave Cebu City by 9AM. After a 40-minute boat ride, you’ll be on Malapascua Island.
Is all that worth it? Definitely!
Magic Malapascua Words
There are two magic words on everyone’s lips when in Malapascua, Cebu: Thresher Shark!
Anyone on the island with a diver’s license (minimum: advanced certification or 30 logged dives) is there to see the sharks. You can be sure of that!
Malapascua’s Monad Shoal is a world renowned dive site and the only place where you can see Thresher Sharks regularly, very early in the day. Monad Shoal is their cleaning station, where they go get cleaned by cleaner wrasses. If you’re lucky, you might even see a Manta Ray join in for her cleanup.
All dive shops in Malapascua offer daily trips to Monad Shoal. They leave the island at around 4:30 in the morning and get to Monad Shoal after about an hour. A single dive trip costs around Php2,000, inclusive of environmental fee, gear rental and tank.
Paradise for Non-Divers, Too
Non-divers, do not fret! You can enjoy Malaspacua’s sand and sea, and visit its marine creatures, too!
On the East side of the island lies Coral Garden, a popular snorkeling spot. You can get here on your own from the barangay’s beach (opposite Bounty Beach where the resorts are) or you can hire a local boatman to take you there. This should only cost you a maximum of Php500 for two people.
Malapascua Island, Cebu
However, since Haiyan/Yolanda flattened Malapascua last year, the health of the corals is not so good. A better idea is to join a dive trip to Gato Island or Chocolate Island, and get some snorkeling done while the divers dive. The reef life in these dive spots are amazing!
Endless White Sand, All Yours
Do you dream of endless white sand, and just you and your love? Well, you can have that at Malapascua, Cebu. It is one of the perks of a hard-to-get-to beach. Those who make that long trip are rewarded with Bounty Beach’s beauty and serenity. Enjoy it with your love or hang out with friends.
Malapascua is For Foodies, Too
Who would’ve thought that Malapascua has crave-worthy food?
My recent discoveries include Craic House’s Falafel Wrap, and Spicy Meatballs with Sweet Pea Guacamole and Sour Cream Mini Tortilla. Yum! I am actually craving a falafel right now!
Enjoy it with your favorite libation. The best time for this is, of course, Happy Hour. Two drinks for the price of one, while downing awesome food and enjoying the sunset – nothing in the world like it!
A Trip for Cause
A visit to Malapascua Cebu is also a great way to help locals who are still trying to recover from Haiyan/Yolanda’s devastation. Malapascua was flattened by last year’s super storm but only received little attention from the media and government/non-government organisations. Read about some of the verified ways to help out here: Help Super Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda Victims
Luckily, the resorts were able to ask their former guests for donations. After rebuilding the tourism infrastructure, the rest of the funds were doled out to locals in need.
They have not fully recovered, though. Your visit will add to their income, one way or another. It is a small contribution but it can go a long way.
So, what do you say after a visit to Malapascua Cebu? Mmm mmm mmm!
I’ve returned several times, before and after Haiyan/ Yolanda, and I will definitely come back for more. I’m pretty sure you’ll feel the same way. After all, Malapascua is a picturesque paradise, where you will get to see sharks and amazing reefs; plus, enjoy the sun, sand, and sea with good people and great food.
To know more about my trip to Malapascua, check out: http://traveldiveconnect.com/
Craic House/ Evolution Diving
Bounty Beach, Malapascua Island, Cebu, Philippines