Want to know how to get from Mactan-Cebu Airport? In this post, we’ll share a summary of the three ways to get there and compare each option on duration, costs and level of comfort. For each option, we go into more detail to help you decide which transport provider to book with and where to buy your tickets.
What to expect when visiting Cebu
Cebu is a highly urbanized city in the Philippines’ Visayas region. Often, it is the gateway to the province’s world-famous gems — diving in Malapascua, sardine run in Moalboal, canyoneering in Alegria, and swimming with whale sharks (butanding) in Oslob.
But if you have at least an extra day, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to spend it here. Cebu City played a huge role in the country’s history. You can learn all about it with a visit to Magellan’s Cross and Fort San Pedro. In for a food trip? You will find the best lechon (the Philippines’ iconic roasted pig) in Cebu City!
Mactan-Cebu International Airport is located in Lapu-Lapu City on Mactan Island, next to Cebu Island. It’s the second-busiest airport in the Philippines, serving Cebu and the surrounding areas.
If you’re heading to famous destinations like Moalboal or Malapascua, you don’t have to travel to the city to get a ride. Direct shared van transfers and taxis are already available from Cebu Airport to various tourist destinations in Cebu.
Fares start from 850 PHP ($15.00) for a van and 3,600 PHP ($64.00) for a private transfer, respectively.
3 ways to get from Mactan-Cebu Airport
There are three ways to travel the distance of 15 km (9 miles) from Mactan-Cebu Airport: by bus (1 hour), minivan (3h-4h) and taxi (45 minutes). The journey takes between 45 minutes - 4h and the quickest way is by taxi. The lowest priced tickets start from 40 PHP ($0.70) – 50 PHP ($0.80) for the bus.
Depending on your destination in the city centre, you can choose from 2 bus companies from Cebu Airport. MyBus parks at SM City Cebu to the north and Sugbo Transit stops at South Bus Terminal to the south.
MyBus makes its final stop at SM City Cebu, a popular mall in the city centre. Also located here is the North Bus Terminal, where you can find all buses bound for northern Cebu.
From SM City Cebu, you can walk, take a jeepney, or hop on a short taxi ride to your hotel in the city. Note that jeepney fares start at 10 PHP ($0.10) and taxi flag down rate is 40 PHP ($0.70).
MyBus departs every 20 minutes, whether it is full or not. Operating hours from Cebu Airport to SM City are 07:00 to 22:00. From SM City to the airport, it’s 06:00 to 21:00. A MyBus ticket costs 50 PHP ($0.80).
The bus route from Cebu Airport to SM City is as follows:
MCIA Terminal 1/2 Arrivals Halls – Island Central Mall/Island Souvenirs – Plaridel St. Maayo Medical Center – City Times Square/Big Hotel – Mantawi Int’l Drive (across Chong Hua Hospital) – Mantawi Int’l Drive (MO2 Restobar) – SM City Cebu
The bus makes the same stops on the way back to the airport.
Sugbo Transit Bus
If you’re only passing through Cebu City to get to the island’s southern destinations like Moalboal and Oslob, then take Sugbo Transit Bus. This makes its final stop at South Bus Terminal, from where you can transfer to another bus going south.
Sugbo Transit Bus operates from 05:00 to 18:00, with a 1-hour interval. A ticket costs 40 PHP ($0.70).
Below is the Sugbo bus route from Cebu Airport to South Bus Terminal:
MCIA Arrivals Hall – Island Central Mall – Pacific Mall Mandaue – North Bus Terminal – Robinson’s Galleria – Robinson’s Fuente – South Bus Terminal
The bus takes the exact opposite route going back to Cebu Airport.
Mactan-Cebu Airport by Taxi
Duration: 45 minutes
Starts from: 400 PHP ($7.00)
Duration: 45 minutes
Cost: 400 PHP ($7.00)
We highly recommend booking a cab via Grab from Cebu Airport. Grab rates are a bit cheaper and you have a better chance of getting a nice car. If you have a local sim card, good news! You won’t have a hard time booking a Grab taxi at Cebu Airport.
Grab rates from Cebu Airport to the city centre start from 400 PHP ($7.00). The journey takes around 45 minutes. Note that taxi rates and travel time depend on the traffic in Cebu City.
If you don’t have a local sim or are not into taxi-hailing apps, read further for other taxi options.
Metered taxis at Cebu Airport
Metered taxis are parked just outside Cebu Airport’s arrival hall.
There is always a staff member present in this area to hand you a small slip just before you board the taxi. This contains the details of the taxi, so make sure you keep it in case you need to file a complaint or retrieve something you left behind.
There are two types of taxis available: the airport taxi and the regular taxi.
Airport taxis are more expensive
Airport taxis are yellow and are operated by the airport, which makes them more expensive. The flag-down rate is 70 PHP ($1.20). Expect to pay from 400 PHP ($7.00) – 530 PHP ($9.00) for the journey to downtown Cebu.
Regular taxis are usually old, but cheaper
The regular white taxis at Cebu Airport are definitely cheaper, but might not be as comfortable as taking a Grab car or an airport taxi.
The flag-down rate for a regular taxi from Cebu Airport is 40 PHP ($0.70). Rates to the city centre are usually around 250 PHP ($4.40) to 300 PHP ($5.00).
We don’t recommend taking a colorum taxi
There are also ‘colorum’ vehicles at Cebu Airport. These are privately owned, not registered as public transport. They offer fixed fares for a more personalised ride, but we don’t think it’s worth the risk if you’re just going to the city.
With a colorum vehicle, there will be no record of your ride and you’ll have a hard time filing a complaint in case something goes wrong.
Hailing a taxi to Cebu Airport
If you’re headed from the city to Cebu Airport, you can simply hail a taxi from the street. Both regular-metered and airport taxis accept passengers.
Mactan-Cebu Airport by Minivan
Starts from: 850 PHP ($15.00)
Cost: 850 PHP ($15.00)
Hoping to head straight from Cebu Airport to Cebu’s famous tourist destinations without making a stop in the city? You can take a shared van or a private transfer.
Below we explain the options for how to get from Cebu Airport to various destinations in Cebu. If you already booked a night in Cebu City or the options below are not available, check our route guides to each of the destinations for more options:
*COVID-19 UPDATE: The last time we checked (July 2022), the minivans are unavailable. You can check the booking buttons in the table below for possible changes. If it’s still not available, you can check the section about private transfers.
Pre-pandemic, Klook used to operate one daily van trip from Cebu Airport to Moalboal in the south and to Maya Port (gateway point to Malapascua) in the north.
Van ticket prices from Cebu Airport to Moalboal and Malapascua start from 850 PHP ($14.50).
*COVID-19 UPDATE: The last time we checked (July 2022), the minivans on this route are unavailable. Please check the provided links to see if anything has changed.
As there is only one van trip available per route daily, make sure that this matches your flight schedule.
Cebu Airport to other destinations in Cebu by Private Transfer
Duration: 3-4 hours
Costs: 3,600 PHP ($64.00)
Duration: 3-4 hours
Costs: 3,600 PHP ($64.00)
You can also take a private transfer between Cebu Airport and your favourite destination in Cebu. We recommend pre-booking your ride via Klook so that your driver will be waiting for you at the airport as soon as you arrive.
Here are some famous destinations and their rates.
Whilst we wouldn’t recommend spending too long in Cebu City, there might be a night or two where you need to relax and recover from a long journey. We’ve selected the perfect places for you to do just that.
Our favourite stays in Cebu are great value for money, comfortable and run by amazing staff. Check them out below!
Area: Cebu City centre — approx. 10-minute drive to Cebu City business area and Ayala Centre Cebu Mall
If you want to spend your time in Cebu surrounded by ultimate comfort, then Seda Central Bloc is where you need to book. The rooftop pool and bar offer spectacular views of the city. You have to come watch the sunset here!
The rooms are sleek and modern, containing anything you could possibly need. Every morning you can visit their gym after enjoying the delicious complimentary breakfast.
Area: Mandaue City centre — approx. 15-minute drive to main Cebu City centre
Felix Residences is exceptional value for money. The standard of everything is much higher than you’d expect for the price tag. The rooms are comfortable, clean and modern, with the beds being the highlight of most people’s stay here. You’ll sleep like a baby!
The staff are great, offering a service that makes you feel well looked after from the get go.
Frequently Asked Questions about Mactan-Cebu Airport
What is the distance from Mactan-Cebu Airport?
The distance from Mactan-Cebu Airport is 15 km (9 miles).
What is the fastest way to get from Mactan-Cebu Airport?
The fastest way to get from Mactan-Cebu Airport is by taxi and takes 45 minutes.
What is the cheapest way to get from Mactan-Cebu Airport?
The cheapest way to get from Mactan-Cebu Airport is by bus with ticket costs starting from 40 PHP ($0.70) – 50 PHP ($0.80).
Rounding it up
We hope this guide was helpful in planning how to get from Mactan-Cebu Airport. If there's anything else you're wondering about, drop us a comment and we'll do our best to answer you within a few days.
PS: If you've recently travelled this route, share your experience with fellow travellers and help us improve this post. Thanks for helping out our travel community!
Based in Bali, Maarten’s passion for travel is undeniable. In 2016, he decided to quit his job as a stock analyst and started doing what he always dreamed of: travelling through South East Asia and helping other people plan their trips. When he is not working on Gecko Routes, you’ll find him surfing in the ocean or exploring the best gems of Indonesia.
Aleksandra is a writer and editor who recently moved from Hong Kong to London. She’s worked and studied in four countries (and counting) and picked up a new hobby in each of them. She’s a big fan of long train journeys so you can count on her to take the scenic route, finding a few hidden gems along the way.