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Planning a trip to Malapascua Island? Here’s how…

The tourism industry in Malapascua Island is now slowly recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic.| Wenilyn Sabalo

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu’s northern escapade would not be complete without a quick visit to Malapascua Island in Daanbantayan town.

The island takes pride in its white sand beaches and crystal clear waters.  It also has at least seven marine protected areas – Monad Shoal, Dakitdakit Island, Gato Island, Kangkatao-Lighthouse, Lapus Lapus, Bantigue Cove, and Coral Garden – which are located close to it and are rich in corals and other marine resources, according to Logon Barangay Captain Lemuel Daño.

Daño adds that visiting these dive spots guarantees a close encounter with thresher sharks, tiger sharks, hammerhead sharks, and manta and devil rays among others.

illegal shark hunting

This photo taken in 2013 of a Thresher Shark giving birth in Monad Shoal in Malapascua Island has established the shoal’s role as a habitat for the non-lethal sharks. (Coral Reefs)

So, if you’re up for an ocean adventure or want to experience island relaxation as you meditate with the sounds of the waves and sea breeze, pack your things and begin your Malapascua trip now.

How? Read on!

Malapascua Island is geographically bounded on the East by Leyte, West by Kinatarcan Island, North by Carnaza Island, and South by Kalanggaman Island.| Photo from Google Maps

You can choose from various transportation options to get to Malapascua Island. Travel typically starts at the North Bus Terminal in Cebu City, where public transportation like air-conditioned and non-aircon buses and V-hires are available.

Taking public transport takes about five hours.

The fare for the non-aircon bus is at least P250 and P320 for airconditioned buses.

Cebu North Bus Terminal| Wenilyn Sabalo

Buses are parked at the Cebu North Bus Terminal.| Wenilyn Sabalo

If you own a private vehicle, traveling to the New Maya Port in Daanbantayan town would be much easier and your travel time will be shorter.

Parking is fine. The New Maya Port has its vehicle parking area.

Designated parking for vehicles at New Maya Port

The vehicle parking area at New Maya Port. | Wenilyn Sabalo

Upon arrival at the Maya Port, travelers are to proceed to the Daanbantayan Tourism Information Center to register and pay the environmental fee of P75 for locals and P120 for foreign guests.

Children who are 12 years and below are free of charge.

New Maya Port Tourism Information Center| Wenilyn Sabalo

New Maya Port Tourism Information Center.| Wenilyn Sabalo

Daanbantayan town residents are exempted from paying environmental fees if they can present proof of residency.

A 20 percent discount is also extended to Filipino senior citizens, persons with disability, students, and solo parents after they present their government-issued IDs.

Guests are required to pay environment fee prior to their trip to Malapascua Island. | Photo by Wenilyn Sabalo

From there, you proceed to a small booth located just outside the Tourism Information Center to secure a boat ticket sold at P200 per person.

Pump boats would take guests to Malapascua Island.

Pump boats are docked at the Maya Port. | Photo by Wenilyn Sabalo

Boat ride typically takes 40 to 45 minutes.

If you are prone to seasickness, make sure to take your prescribed medicine ahead of your travel because sea waters could be rough at times.

This pump boat is about to dock at the Maya Port. | Wenilyn Sabalo

Boat trips to Malapascua Island starts as early as 7 a.m., with a scheduled interval of 30 minutes.

However, unscheduled changes may be implemented when there are very few passengers. This normally happens on weekdays, according to ticketing office personnel.

The last trip for the day is at 5 p.m.

Travelers who are in a hurry or those who will prefer to go on a special trip can make arrangements with the boat captain. Special trips cost at least P2,000 for a one-way ride.

The port at Malapascua Island| Wenilyn Sabalo

So, what are you waiting for?

Make sure to add a visit to Malapascua Island to your bucket list.

Traveling to the island may be challenging, but it is indeed worth it.


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TAGS: beaches, Daanbantayan, diving, Malapascua Island, Monad shoal, thresher shark, tourist spots, tourists, Travel
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