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.

Thresher sharks can be seen lurking around Malapascua all year round. Swimming with them still needs some luck though, and we recommend diving between sunrise to 09:00 for the best chance.

When travelling from Cebu City to Malapascua, you can take land transport only up to Maya Port. From here, you’ll have to transfer to a boat bound for Malapascua Island.

2 ways to get from Cebu to Malapascua

Transport modeDurationCostsAvailability
Bus5 hours270 PHP ($4.70)Read article for more info
Taxi4.5 hours3,100 PHP ($54)Read article for more info

There are 2 ways to travel the 115 km distance from Cebu to Malapascua: a combined bus and boat for 5 hours and a combined taxi and boat for 4.5 hours. Rates start from 270 PHP ($4.70) and 3,100 PHP ($54), respectively.

On a budget? We recommend taking a combined bus and boat from Cebu to Malapascua. Fares start from as low as 270 PHP ($4.70) for the 5-hour journey.

If you prefer a private transfer, you can also take a combined taxi and boat from Cebu to Malapascua. Combined rates start from 3,100 PHP ($54). Travel time is around 4.5 hours.

NOTE: Be sure to bring enough cash when going to Malapascua. Most establishments on the island require cash payment.

The main mode of transport around Malapascua is a motorbike taxi. Expect to pay 10 PHP ($0.15) for short distances and up to 30 PHP ($0.50) for longer distances. Motorbikes can also be rented for 1,000 PHP ($17) per day. 

Itinerary from Cebu to Malapascua

Cebu to Malapascua by Bus

Duration: 5 hours
Cost: from 270 PHP ($4.70)
Duration: 5 hours
Cost: from 270 PHP ($4.70)

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 here, you can take a boat to Malapascua.

Step 1: Cebu to Maya by Bus

Duration: 4 hours
Cost: 170 PHP ($2.95)230 PHP ($4)
Duration: 4 hours
Cost: 170 PHP ($2.95)230 PHP ($4)

Ceres Bus and Rough Riders are the main companies operating from Cebu to Malapascua via Maya. Their buses, both non-aircon and airconditioned, are available 24 hours a day.

You can reach the port faster (about 4 hours) with a non-aircon bus because they travel non-stop from Cebu City to Maya. Aircon buses make a lot of stops and can take 5-6 hours to complete the journey.

A bus ticket costs 170 PHP ($2.95) for non-aircon and 230 PHP ($4) for aircon buses.

Departure and arrival station

All buses bound for Maya depart from the North Bus Terminal outside SM City Cebu.

Ceres Bus and Rough Riders have different arrival points. We recommend taking a Ceres Bus since its last stop is the Maya New Ferry Port, where you can catch a boat bound for Malapascua.

Rough Rider buses can only take you up to the Old Ferry Terminal in Maya. This terminal is still 2 km away from the New Port, so you will have to take an additional tricycle or motorbike taxi to get there.

Alternative option: Cebu to Maya Port by Minivan

You can also get from Cebu to Malapascua via Maya by minivan. A seat costs about 200 PHP ($3.45) and travel time is around 4 hours. Take a van with a sign that says “Maya.”

The advantage of taking a van is that they travel faster than air-conditioned buses. However, they might be a bit cramped for taller passengers and those carrying bulky luggage.

Minivans also depart from the North Bus Terminal. These minivans make a few stops along the way to drop off passengers. The last stop is at the New Maya Port, from where you can easily transfer to a boat bound for Malapascua.

NOTE: All vans going to Maya Port pass by Bogo City to drop off and pick up passengers. After that, it continues on its way to the northern tip of mainland Cebu. Make sure to pick a van with the end destination as Maya Port because there are also vans that operate only up to Bogo City.

Step 2: Maya to Malapascua by Boat

Duration: 45 minutes
Cost: 100 PHP ($1.70)
Duration: 45 minutes
Cost: 100 PHP ($1.70)

At the New Ferry Port, walk towards the end to find the ticket booth. A ticket costs about 100 PHP ($1.70) per person. There are no specific schedules for departures. Boats leave when they are full or have about 15 passengers.

Public boats operate from 06:30 to 16:30. Don’t be easily swayed by touts who say that there are no ferries operating if you arrived in the port between these hours.

Some operators also offer private boat rides for 1,500 PHP ($26).

The boats dock at Maya-Malapascua Boat Station on the island’s southwest coast. Note that when the tide is low, the boats do not make it all the way to the shore. You may need to hire a small rowing boat, which costs 20 PHP ($0.30) per person.

Cebu to Malapascua by Taxi

Duration: 4.5 hours
Cost: 3,100 PHP ($54)
Duration: 4.5 hours
Cost: 3,100 PHP ($54)

Travelling in a small group from Cebu to Malapascua? You can also take a taxi to Maya Port and then transfer to a boat to Malapascua Island.

Step 1: Cebu to Maya Port by Taxi

Duration: 3hrs 45m
Cost: 3,000 PHP ($52)
Duration: 3hrs 45m
Cost: 3,000 PHP ($52)

Drivers rarely use the taxi metre for long-distance trips like this. They offer a fixed price and you can negotiate. Fares start at 3,000 PHP ($52) for the almost 4-hour journey.

When taking a taxi from Cebu to Maya, it’s best to ask for your hotel’s assistance in finding a trusted driver. Ask to be dropped off at the New Ferry Port in Maya.

Get a private transfer with Klook

There is also an option to book your taxi via Klook. Rates start from 4,400 PHP ($76) for a one-way taxi ride that fits 3 people.

That’s more expensive than taking a regular taxi, but this Klook service gets really good reviews for its accommodating drivers and comfortable cars.

Check Private Transfers with Klook

Step 2: Maya Port to Malapascua by Boat

Duration: 45 minutes
Cost: 100 PHP ($1.70)
Duration: 45 minutes
Cost: 100 PHP ($1.70)

From Maya Port, you can then take a ferry to Malapascua (the same 45-minute ferry described in the first option).

A ferry ticket costs 100 PHP ($1.70) for a public boat. Private boats are also available for 1,500 PHP ($26).

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