Cebu to Malapascua

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How to get from Cebu to Malapascua?

Malapascua is one of the lesser-known destinations in Central Philippines. This beautiful island is known for its gorgeous beaches and chill vibe. Many tourists visit Malapascua for scuba diving, snorkelling and swimming with thresher sharks.

There is no direct route from Cebu to Malapascua, which is located just north of Cebu Island, but the travel is worth it. First you’ll need to take a bus (4-5 hours) or taxi (2.5 hours) to Maya on the northern tip of Cebu. Then you’ll take a 45-minute ferry from Maya to Malapascua.

The bus is the cheaper option from Cebu to Malapascua, with combined fares starting from 270 PHP ($5). If you prefer a more private and faster ride, you can also take a taxi for at least 2,600 PHP ($48.50).

2 ways to get from Cebu to Malapascua

Transport modeDurationCostsAvailability
Bus5 hours270 PHP ($5)Read article for more info
Taxi3.5 hours2,600 PHP ($48.50)Read article for more info

Itinerary from Cebu to Malapascua

Cebu to Malapascua by Bus

Duration: 5 hours
Cost: from 270 PHP ($5)
Duration: 5 hours
Cost: from 270 PHP ($5)

To get from Cebu to Malapascua at an affordable rate, you will first need to take the bus from the city to Maya Port. From there, you can take a ferry to Malapascua.

Step 1: Cebu to Maya by Bus

Duration: 4 hours
Cost: 170 PHP ($3.15)230 PHP ($4.30)
Duration: 4 hours
Cost: 170 PHP ($3.15)230 PHP ($4.30)

All buses heading to Maya in the north of Cebu are parked in the North Bus Terminal, which is just a few minutes from SM City Cebu.

Ceres Bus and Rough Riders are the two bus companies operating trips to Maya. Be aware that there are two ports in Maya: New Maya Port and Old Maya Port. Ceres Bus makes its final stop at New Maya Port. Rough Riders buses stop at the Old Maya Ferry Port.

Buses from Cebu to Maya run 24 hours a day. The aircon buses leave every 1-2 hours, and non-AC buses run every 20-30 minutes. Unfortunately, we don’t have the complete schedule, so you need to leave some extra time between getting the bus and ferry.

You can reach Maya faster (about 4 hours) with a non-aircon bus, as they travel non-stop from Cebu City to Maya. Aircon buses can take 5-6 hours because they make a lot of stops. The bus fare is 170 PHP ($3.15) for non-aircon and 230 PHP ($4.30) for aircon buses.

Ceres Bus

  • Departs from North Bus Terminal along M. Logarta Avenue, next to Union Bank
  • Arrives at New Maya Ferry Port, near the Sugbo Maya Seafood Grill & Coffee Shop

Ceres Bus is a trusted bus company in Cebu. However, sometimes drivers tend to drive fast.

Rough Riders

  • Departs from North Bus Terminal along M. Logarta Avenue, next to Union Bank
  • Arrives at the Old Maya Ferry Port, near San Isidro Labrador Parish

Rough Riders is known for providing trips to the north of Cebu. Most of their buses are non-air-conditioned, and their drivers also tend to drive fast.

Cebu to Maya Port by Van

You can also get from Cebu to Maya by van. Vans depart from the North Bus Terminal. A seat costs about 200 PHP ($3.75) and travel time is at least 4 hours. The advantage is that vans travel faster than airconditioned buses. However, they might be a bit cramped for taller passengers and those carrying huge luggage.

Step 2: Maya to Malapascua by Ferry

Duration: 45 minutes
Cost: 100 PHP ($1.85)
Duration: 45 minutes
Cost: 100 PHP ($1.85)

Ferries bound for Malapascua depart from the New Maya Port. You can find the ticket booth towards the end of the port. Tickets cost about 100 PHP ($1.85) per person. There are no specific schedules for departures. Ferries leave when they are full or have about 15 passengers.

Ferries operate from 6:30 to 16:30. Don’t be easily swayed by touts who tell you that there are no ferries operating if you arrived in the port between these hours. Up until recently, you could also arrange a ferry leaving after this time, but the Coastguard has now banned all ferries leaving after 17:30 (since April 2019).

During operating hours, some ferry operators are happy to provide a private ride for 1,500 PHP ($28). The ferries dock at Maya-Malapascua Ferry Dock, a few minutes away from French Kiss Divers. Be aware that during low tide, the ferries may not make it all the way to the shore. You may need to hire a small rowing boat. The charge per person is 20 PHP ($0.35).

Note: Be sure to bring enough cash, as most of the establishments in Malapascua require payment through cash. The main mode of transport around the island is the motorbike taxi. For short distances, expect to pay 10 PHP ($0.15). For travelling from the north to the south of the island, you’ll pay about 30 PHP ($0.55). Motorbikes can be rented for 1,000 PHP ($18.50) per day. 

Cebu to Malapascua by Taxi

Duration: 3.5 hours
Cost: 2,600 PHP ($48.50)
Duration: 3.5 hours
Cost: 2,600 PHP ($48.50)

Travelling with a small group from Cebu to Malapascua? Taxis can also be arranged to take you to Maya Port. Taxi meters are not used for this long-distance trip. The drivers offer a fixed price and you can negotiate. Fares usually start at 2,500 PHP ($46.50) for the 2.5-hour journey. Taxis can only drop you off at the New Ferry Terminal.

You’ll still have to arrange for your ferry to Malapascua (the same 45-min ferry described in Option 1). The good thing is, you can ask the driver to help you buy the ferry ticket.

If you really want a personalized car ride, you may arrange for a one-way transfer with the hotel you are going to stay in, but these tend to be more expensive. You may have to pay somewhere between 5,300 PHP ($99)6,000 PHP ($110). This already includes the ferry ride and other transport arrangements on Malapascua.

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