When you try to get to Malapascua from Maya the guys there will try almost everything to make an extra buck. They'll try to convince you there aren't any more boats leaving and so on, all the while hustling you to buy a very expensive 'special tranfer' - I found out about this scam by visiting gotomalapascua.com (posted a link below) - anyway, just ignore them ad ou'll eventually get to go for the regular fare.
When we arrived at Maya, we were surprised to find that there's no pier.
The car left us on a small stretch of muddy beach and we had to slosh in the water then climb into a really very small boat (our luggage was loaded into another one) no bigger than a bath-tube! This boat brought us to a larger one and we had to climb from one to the other that was much higher. We managed somehow not to drop in the sea and enjoyed a nice trip under the moonlight and upon flat sea.
Arriving at Malapscua we found out that there's no pier neither there and in order to disembark we hat to climb a very narrow and steep "ladder" consisting of a wooden board with several laths attached to it!
I dare not think about this trip with rough sea!!!!
We heard also from guest in our resort that they can embark you also from rocks near the small muddy beach and it can be uncomfortable too, as they are slippery.
We also heard that soon (but there's no time reference) a pier will be constructed in Maya, so this trip will be more confortable and easier.
1. If you want to take the Ceres bus: go to the reclamation area near Macro. Take the Bagay-Maya route. There's also a ceres bus in north terminal. The fare is p85++. You can also take a van (locally called v-hire) which can be found in SM City Cebu. I have no idea about the time or their tel. no. as we came from Daanbantayan and has a private car.
2. You are then going to buy a ticket for the 'big banca' which is p40.
3. If it is low tide, you are going to take a 'little banca' which will take you to the big one. All for p10/each. It's just a short ride - about a minute. The little bancas jostle with each other for passengers, so it could be noisy. You can swim if you want to.
4. The big banca, which sits about 20-30 on a good day takes about 45min. It will take to the island. Some of them carries some sort of flotation device, others needs prayers. Some have shades, so if you are not keen on sunbathing, or are already showing some signs of skin cancer, you can bring an umbrella or a towel will do.
earliest boat to Malapascua leaves Maya 9:30am (leaves when full, in our case we left earlier than 9:30)
earliest boat to Maya leaves Malapascua 6:30 (in our case we left around 7)
last boat to Maya leaves Malapascua around 5:00
the trip is only 30 mins.
We took the first trip ( 1AM ) to Maya from Norton Bus Terminal, I think it is Ceres Bus Lines. It only took us around 4 hours to reach Maya port. It was just an ordinary bus and it costs P120.00 or $3.00
Malapascua isn't the easiest place to get to....which to me only enhances its appeal. The nearest airport is Cebu, which is served direct from Hong Kong, Singapore and Tokyo by Cathay, Phillipine Air, Silk Air (Singapore's affiliate) and Cebu Pacific Air respectively. Lots of connections available on Cebu Pacific and Phillipine from Manila as well. From Cebu, you can either take the bus or hire a car---I'd recommend the latter for convenience and comfort, but I'm getting old.....so..... check with whoever you're going to stay/dive with for info. Exotic can have you met in Cebu, taken to a hotel, and picked up again in the morning if you need help.
After a 3-4 hour trip to Maya, its a short boat ride across to Malapascua.
Blue Water Malapascua Beach Resort offers to fetch their guests from Maya to the island at a fixed rate of P800 for the exclusive use of the boat. It's a good deal if there's plenty of you otherwise it's expensive. We opted for the public boat ride which costs P40 per head only.
The road transport is quite complicated and please take special in your transportation calculation and don't blame me if you under-budget and resort to reduce number of dives to cover your costing error.
Option 1) Dive Resort arranging your transfer
If you have USD60 (up to 3-4 person only) to spend on ONE-WAY transfer, then your resort will pick you up from Mactan-Cebu International Airport or ferry terminal, drive you to Maya, you hop on their boat and next thing is you'll be checking in with one welcome drink in your hand.
- 3 hours road transport time & half hour ferry transfer
Option 2) Private Taxi
Private taxi drivers will be harassing you the moment you're waiting for you baggage claim or the moment you step out of ferry terminal. One way taxi transfer is between PHP2000-2500
- 3 hours road transport time
- ferry transfer not included
Option 3) Public Bus (cheapest option)
Private taxi drivers will be harassing you the moment you're waiting for you baggage claim or the moment you step out of ferry terminal. Pay around PHP100-150 to get you to Cebu North Bus Terminal. Catch public bus (non-air con) from terminal to Maya at the price of PHP80
- 3.5 - 4 hours road transport time
Prices quoted are one way only, please double the amount unless you want to settle down at Malapascua. :->
Take USD1 = PHP50 for easy calculation purpose.
The moment you step out of your taxi or bus (poor man like me), all the boatmen will come to you and offer special trip at the price of PHP500 (USD10) and negotiable to PHP300 (USD6).
Don't bother about their offer (if you arrive before 5pm), walk towards the end of the road (passed petrol pumps) and you'll see a small booth selling boat ticket at PHP20 per person. You may need to wait for awhile, but the boat will eventually move because some local will demand the right to be transported to the other side at appointed time.
Just look out for your baggage at all time while waiting for the boat journey to start.
Now that you know how to get there, just reverse the boat-road-air order to bring you out of Malapascua/Cebu.
International divers from Singapore or Hong Kong can fly Cebu Pacific Air directly to Cebu Island & arrive at Mactan-Cebu International Airport (Cebu Pacific's hub). Divers/visitors from Kuala Lumpur will need to transit at Manila.
Forget about Air Asia/Tiger Airway (arrive at Clark) because you'll need extra hours/day to finally fly into Cebu due to the distance/timing limitation.
Air transportation is just one part of the journey.
If you're happen to be at Bohol, then ferry services will make up the 1st part of you travel.
upon reaching the maya wharf you'll have to wait for the pumpboat going to malapascua island....i arrived at maya around 930 and i waited until 10 before the first trip to malapascua arrived.....and i waited for another 30 minutes before the boat finally left for malapascua....
To reach Maya port from Cebu City, go to the North Terminal and ride a Ceres Bus that goes to Maya. They have aircon and non-aircon buses going there. But if you want to catch the aircon buses, try to inquire for the schedule ahead. They have a trip as early as 520am(aircon).
take a bus from Cebu Northern Terminal - (fare is Php100)
take "d rough riders" bus because this bus would take you directly to maya other buses makes a detour to hagnaya which would give you additional 30 min travel time.
"d rough riders" leaves at 5am and 6am...the last "d rough riders" and cebu autobus leaves at noon...
I came from Cebu City (more or less the only option you have) and started with a 4½ hour bus ride on a public bus. Painful, but you get a chance to talk to some locals and see a lot of coastline and farmland.
Once arriving at the northern point of Cebu island you have to get the banca to Malapascua and now the crazy part: I arrive, boat doesn't leave???, answer: not enough people, ok - so we just pay more?, nope - one *** tourist refuse to spend another 1.5 USD !!!, so we wait and stare at this guy, a few more shows up, Now it's only 1 USD - so he surrenders, and now the really funny part: 10+ local people were sitting at a cafe on the shore waiting for this to happen and now they come on board too and get a free ride ;o)
It's ok with me that the local people want to save the 30 P (50 P for tourists), but I'll never forget that tourist! I even offered to pay for the entire boat if they wouldn't take him along, but that was too complicated for the boatmen to understand...
we took AutoBus which left Cebu North Terminal 1AM and arrived Maya at around 4AM.
going back to Cebu, we took Ceres Bus which left Maya past 8AM and arrived Cebu before 12noon.