We often get asked, “what is the best way to get to Malapascua?”
To help future guests who may have the same question, I decided to outline some options for you here.
If you ask me, the BEST way is to hire a private transport. We pick you up at your door step and bring you right to our resort (arrival by mid afternoon latest). We check your progress along the way and you don’t have to worry about a thing.
If you decide on this option the pricing for the service is listed below. All you have to do is give us the time and location of the pickup and we will call the contractor and arrange everything.
Price as of May 2017
Car (2 pax) + boat = 5000PHP each way (day rate); 6000PHP (after sunset rate)
Van (3-6 pax) + boat = 6000PHP each way (day rate); 7000PHP (after sunset rate)
As private transfers to Malapascua are all run by local transport companies we advise that prices are subject to change although tend to remain fairly steady.
For budget-friendly travelers or those who seek adventure along your journey, there are public transport options:
CEBU TO MAYA (port at the north of Cebu)
If you catch a taxi in Cebu City, most drivers will be willing to negotiate a price for a trip to Maya. The price can vary upon the driver, but expect to pay no less than 2500PHP per trip, unless you are a seasoned bargaining machine. Standard of vehicle varies wildly, as does drivers skill/regard for ‘normal’ road rules.
At North Bus Terminal in Cebu City, there are loads of Ceres Liner buses that head to various destinations throughout Cebu. Hop on a bus headed to Maya. The trip will cost about 160PHP per person in a non-AC bus, around 180PHP for Ac and the journey will normally take between 5-6 hours. Ceres Liner departs Northern Bus Terminal about every 30 minutes (or whenever the bus driver feels like it) starting at 1am. If you are lucky to find the AC bus leaving on time, the extra 20PHP is worth it and you get free (though intermittent) WiFi. The bus will stop once for toilet/stretch/snack break – make sure you remember your bus number (as many other Ceres buses may be parked) and hop back on the right bus. Also be sure that your bus doesn’t depart without you!
If you fancy a more “local” experience, I’d say check out the Ceres Liner. I once sat next to a live rooster – welcome to the Philippines!
I personally prefer to take the V-hire. It is an air conditioned mini-van and unlike Ceres Liner, makes NO stops along the way to pick up passengers. So the trip is shorter, ranging from 3-4 hours and costs around 180PHP per person. The disadvantage of V-hire is that departure time is unpredictable and I have had to wait up to an hour at North Bus Terminal before the van was full enough to depart. Another disadvantage is that the driver will cram every last person onto the van, so if you are one of the last ones to board you will be squeezed into the back row where you will be sitting skin-to-skin with your neighbours and where AC will hardly reach. The tip is to try to grab a seat in the first row or even the front seat, where you are closest to the air con vent and there is most leg space!
You can find V-hires near the exit closest to the main street at North Bus Terminal. Many white vans are usually lined up so you can’t miss it.
MAYA TO MALAPASCUA
Public ferries don’t run on a fixed schedule. The boat will leave whenever it is full – this can range anywhere from 10 minutes to a couple of hours. In my personal experience, I have not had to wait more than an hour but I have heard worse from other people. The public boat costs about 100PHP per person but this price can vary – the captain can charge whatever he wants, so make sure to negotiate before you get on the boat. If you prefer NOT to wait until the boat is full, you can also negotiate the boat for private hire – this shouldn’t cost you more than 1500PHP per trip. Once on the boat, the crossing takes approximately 40 minutes to the paradise of Malapascua.
There may be additional costs with public boat – if you are picked up by a small flat boat (during low tide) to take you to/from the boat, expect to pay 20PHP per person and 20PHP per luggage. If you are picked up twice by a small boat, once in Maya and once in Malapascua, expect to pay the additional cost each time. Porters will also charge for carrying luggage, and will expect payment directly.
The public boat will stop running at about 4pm. If you reach Maya after 4pm, and have unfortunately missed the last boat, you have 2 options: 1) hire a private boat to cross to Malapascua or 2) spend the night in Maya. If you choose to stay in Maya we recommend accommodations called Skips. The public boat will resume around 7am.
Once you reach Malapascua, depending on your drop-off point, you can either follow the directions of Malapascuas famously friendly locals, or take a short motorcycle taxi ride towards Evolution.
So as you can see, there are many options available to get you to our little paradise, take your pick!