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. But that image changes the last years, cause Malapascua business is really exploding, more and more concrete build hotel like buildings coming up, replacing the native style houses.
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(now 2012 - 11,000 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.
CLINIC/HOSPITAL There is a newly built basic CLINIC on Malapascua Island, close by to the BARANGAY HALL. That little CLINIC is now operating since 2012, but a Doctor comes only every Saturday to Malapascua's little Clinic. So to help in case of an emergancy injurie outside of a saturday, one still has to go to the next Doctor in Daanbantayan, and that is long way by boat and land transport.
For divers to get notice, the next decompression chamber is far away in Lahug, Cebu City, military hospital.
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.
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 -called HABAL HABAL ; that are willing to give you a lift. They charge a fee of php 10 for short ride, and php 20-30 from south to north and rent a motorbike for a whole day php 1000.00
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. Marine Protected Areas for Snorkeling are: CORAL GARDEN (close to AABANA Beach & Watersport Resort)East side, LAPUS LAPUS (close to LOS BAMBOOS RESORT) North West point, DAKIT DAKIT (close to BLUE CORALS RESORT) South East point
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.
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)and also at the BLUE CORALS RESORT.
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.
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!
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 or the one paying them the most rather than the best one.
Only a few cottage left over cause of building all new rooms. They have a thatched roof, bamboo (amakan) wall and veranda. The cottages are simple fan rooms, are located in garden area with seaview. 2 rooms share 1 CR. Price range is php 500 - 600 per night, including breakfast. These are the perfect place to enjoy your stay on the island. Mikes % Dioses Beachcottage have the widest and cleanest beach on Malapascua, pure white sand and some BAHAY KUBOS for their guest are located on the beach. Mike & Diose is still number 1 in Tripadvisor and marked as the best and friendliest host with his service team of Malapascua. More infos see under the website www.malapascua-island.com Or go to: http://www.malapascua.de/
Or go to: https://sites.google.com/site/abougibi/
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.