The first image Malapascua offers will stay with you for a long time: an exceedingly beautiful pristine stretch of white sand, crystal clear waters bordered by coconut trees and a dozen of scattered native style resorts.
Malapascua is known to the locals as Logon and this vision of secret beach is whimsically named Bounty beach.
It lays 8km off the north of Cebu, has a community of about 4000 inhabitants.
A walk or a tour unto the whole Island will take you about 3 hours.
One way or another it's main resource is the sea: divers and fishermen work side by side with force of compromises.
Cebuano is the common language here, followed by Tagalog.
Most of the staff at the resorts and dive shops speak English fluently. Some locals speak enough to get by.
Mactan-Cebu Airport is the International and National gateway to Cebu island. Located at only 7Km SE of the North Bus Terminal in Cebu city.
There are 3 bus companies that ride To/From Maya from the North Bus Terminal in Cebu:
Ceres, Cebu AutoBus and Rough Riders. The journey takes 3 1/2 to 4 hours, video and air-con 190 pesos, non air-con 160 pesos.
You could hire a taxi, or a private car from Cebu to Maya, as well as arrange a pick-up with one of the resorts.
From Maya a local boat Ferry (banca) goes across am and pm with a break at lunch time, 'till 16:30.
It takes about 1/2 hour and costs 80 pesos. First boat from Maya is at 06:30
Be aware that a ferry will not leave unless it has enough people, so aim to arrive earlier rather than later
Crossing can be rather wet and bancas have very little shelter from the elements.
When arriving/departing from Malapascua shores be prepared to either jump into the shallow waters or walk down a rickety plank. At low tide you can transfer to a smaller boat for 20 pesos.
When arriving to Maya you may have to transfer to a very small banca for the last 200 meters.
A private banca to Malapascua can be hired from Maya for 1200 pesos.
If you have arranged transportation with your resort you don't need to worry about any of the above.
Malapascua can also be reached from Bantayan and from Leyte (San Isidero), but there's no ferry service.
There is no transport on the island, not that you will need any, as you can walk everywhere.
Alternatively, there are many locals who own mopeds that are willing to give you a lift. Sometimes they charged us a small fee, other times they didn't.
Snorkeling and fishing. With its spectacular underwater flora and fauna there is much to see, making snorkeling a fine experience. A resort will rent boats, alternatively locals will take you on their fishing rakie.
Scuba diving. Waters off the island offers some of the most exciting extreme dives in the Philippines, with adrenaline pumping adventure, thresher sharks and manta ray encounters.
The dive shops seem mindful of the environment and have a caring attitude towards their customers, which is as well considering the kind of fish roaming around. Dive shops offer introductory courses to advanced Scuba diving and there are a couple of wrecks to explore.
Walks. With about 6 km circumference, Malapascua has more than a few spots to see. It has a handful of exotic beaches like Bounty Beach, or Mangrove Bay, and to tower it all there is the Lighthouse, very popular when it comes to watching the sunset.
Malapascua is a diving destination. The main attractions are the thresher shark , the mandarin fish , and the pygmy seahorse , to sum just a few.
PADI Instructor Development Course, IDC. Each season more Divemaster are choosing Malapascua as their destination to Go Pro with the IDC course.
Philippine Adventures, ☎ +63(0)9298368022 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . Provides tailor-made packages to Malapascua for international tourists wishing to experience diving with thresher sharks on the Monad Shoal.
Malapascua Exotic Dive & Beach Resort (IDC Centre)Bounty Beach, ☎ +63(0)406-5428 (email@example.com). The first Dive Resort on the Island. Offers all in one - accommodation, restaurant, bar, diveshop, travel service, etc. This eco-friendly resort, that has its own recycling plant and 24-hours generator, offers first class dives. The Exotic Dive & Beach Resort is a PADI 5 Stars and the only National Geographic Center  in Malapascua. It's run by the Go Pro Family , and is one of the most flexible dive shops we have come accross. They cover more than 22 different dive sites around Malapascua, have daily dives to see the thresher sharks, as well as Nitrox, Wreck and Night dives. Courses range from Open Water through to a 100% pass rate Instructor development. Restaurant, accommodation and bar on-site.
Thresher Shark DiversThresher Shark Divers, ☎ +63(0)9276123359 (firstname.lastname@example.org). Daily thresher shark dives, manta dives, corals, wrecks, macro and muck diving. PADI 5 Stars IDC Center with a full range of course from beginner to Instructor. Also available: Diving Internships and Technical Diving.
Evolution Diving (east side of Bounty Beach), ☎ +63(0)9173038554 (email@example.com). 7AM to midnight. Evolution Diving offers a personalised and fun atmosphere for all divers. A TDI Five Star Instructor Training facility Evolution has incredible facilities right on the beach. As well as running 5 plus fun dives a day on Malapascua's best sites, Evolution also offers all PADI and SDI Recreational courses and all TDI Technical Courses. Evolution is the leading provider of Technical Diving and Exploration support in the Central and Southern Philippines.
Souvenirs. There are a couple of Malapascua T-shirt vendors around Bounty Beach, as well as craftsmen that sell wooden threshers shark figurines.
Groceries. There are a bunch of local shops scattered around the island. That sell from toiletries and painkillers to light bulbs, water, sodas, and snacks. There are fruit shops that sell bananas, apples, coconuts, tomatoes and other products.
Dive Shop. The big Dive Centers have a Dive Shop where you can buy wet suits, masks, knives, etc.
Books. We saw 3 shelves with a few hundred books up for free exchange at Malapascua Exotic Dive & Beach Resort (IDC Centre)
You will see local eateries spread all over the island. Do not let their worn aspect put you off of a good and cheap meal; usually rice with choices of veggies, meat, and fish. Some evening stalls barbecue finger-licking pork satay.
La Isla Bonita offers Philippine dishes and pizzas
Ging Ging's is a popular choice, eatery with a large array of options
Kiwi's Restaurant down a track behind Ging Ging's, a small family run eatery with great food and good prices.
Oscar's Restaurant. An eclectic mix of international dishes with a daily changing menu. Open air beachfront restaurant located above Thresher Shark Divers.
The Craic House, Bounty Beach, Malapascua Island (East end of Bounty Beach), ☎ +63 (0)905 719 7323, . 7AM to midnight. Rated the best restaurant on Malapascua by TripAdvisor users, The Craic House serves up delicious daily specials based on the best local produce and quality imported ingredients personally sourced by the owners. Everything that can be homemade IS homemade from bread, wraps, falafel, cakes, pies, relishes, pates - you name it.
Purple Snapper Bar & Restaurant, (behind Malapascua Legend and Daño Beach Resort), . They have great burgers. Also try their pizzas and Fettucine Chicken Aldfredo.
Angelina, Angelina Beach, Malapascua Island, Daan Bantayan, Cebu, Philippines (South west of the island), ☎ 09153404906, . 8AM-10PM. Original Italian food300-500.
Disco. During high season, there is a popular disco event every Saturday, surrounded by stalls that sell beers and sodas, or food. Not to be missed!
The Pub Upstairs (The Pub Upstairs). An open air bar located above Thresher Shark Divers, nestled amongst the palm trees with a sea view, The Pub Upstairs is a lively watering hole for an apres-dive beer or cocktail. An excellent selection of local and imported beers and spirits.
The Craic House, Bounty Beach, Malapascua Island (East end of Bounty Beach), . The Craic House is a real Irish bar on a perfect Filipino beach. An Irish word, 'Craic' means fun and enjoyment and with a buzzing atmosphere The Craic House delivers this. With a selection of 10,000 tunes to choose from The Craic House has the best music selection around - no Lady Gaga guaranteed. With contemporary cooking and drink specials this is the perfect place to meet people and have a great time and make sure to get your own 'Craic Addict' T-shirt before you leave.
On arrival a few official looking touts await the visitors but they are superfluous, considering the number of resorts, so take your time to choose what suits you best.
Touts won't charge you a fee; they'll get 50 pesos from the resorts, so be aware that they might just take you to the closest one rather than the best one.
Daño Beach Resort, cell 09156661584 or 09273817894. Lemuel Daño is the manager. There are 20 odd bungalows, all facing the sea; they have a thatched roof, bamboo veranda and the concrete cottages are simple, with a large room and come equipped with a bathroom. These are the perfect place to enjoy your stay on the island.
MGmatterhorn a small and very clean guesthouse, managed by Marites Monteclar, not on the beach. It's on the way to Bakaw-Kiwi eatery. One fan room good for two and about November 2011 two more air-con rooms. Free WiFi. Prices starting from 700 pesos per day and room. Strictly no cooking in the rooms. Cell 09155543310 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Look the pics on www.malapascua.de. Look for matterhorn.
Aabana Beach and Watersports Resort (Mike & Dioses), (Mike= +63 905 263 2914), ☎ +63 905 263 2915 (Mike@malapascua.de), . checkin: 14:00; checkout: 12:00. All cottages have big terrace, air-con, warm and cold water shower, Flatscreen LCD satellite TV, individual safety digital box, refrigerator and free wi-fi.There are also cottages which have a unique KITCHEN on the terrace for private guest use.(11°20'00N,124°07'08E)
Slam's Garden Resort, Barangay Logon, 6013, Daan-Bantayan, ☎ 00639274874092, . Superior and deluxe rooms, all equipped with air-conditioning, safe and Wi-Fi. Facilities and services are Scuba diving, SLAM'S Garden Bar & Pub and massage service.From 2,400.00.
There is no ATM nor money changers. Hotels might change cash but, on the other hand, they might not and you will have to make your way back to mainland and ride for an hour to get to the nearest bank. Make sure you get there with enough cash for your stay and a little longer for the probable extension.
We did find at least one dive shop on the island that was able to exchange USD currency to the Peso for us at a decent rate.