Malapascua Island - The Little Boracay in Cebu

An Overnight Stay in Malapascua Island - The Paradise Island in Daanbantayan, Cebu

Summer is here and Malapascua Island is calling. If you haven't been there yet, you might want to include it in your next getaway in Cebu. Though the place is more than 4 hours drive from Cebu North Bus Terminal, your trip will be all worth it.
How to go to Malapascua Island Daanbantayan Cebu
Malapascua Island Daanbantayan Cebu

Malapascua Island in Daanbantayan is home to thresher sharks and is one of the most popular diving spots in Cebu Province, the other one being the Pescador Island in Moalboal. There are several diving resorts and spa at the beachfront upon reaching Malapascua. If you are not a diver like myself, you can still enjoy this beautiful island paradise. 
Hippocampus Beach Resort and Devocean Malapascua Divers
Hippocampus Beach Resort and Devocean Malapascua Divers are  popular hang out place for divers. There are many foreigners there when we get there mostly westerners.

Fish Buddies Dive Shop Malapascua Island Cebu
Fish Buddies Dive Shop

The island is indeed comparable to Boracay having been blessed with white sand powdery beach but unlike Boracay, Malapascua has a shorter shoreline. The other reason why this island is called Little Boracay in Cebu is maybe because there are a lot of westerners there just like Boracay. This island reminds me of Digyo Island, one of the islands in Cuatro Islas which I can call if you will allow me to (lol) as the Little Boracay in Leyte. Boracay as you know it is now being threatened to be closed but hopefully not, just the same, you might be interested to go to either Malapascua Island, Digyo Island (one of the islands in Cuatro Islas), Coron Island or any island of your choosing.
How to go to Malapascua Island Little Boracay in Cebu Philippines
Malapascua Island Little Boracay in Cebu Philippines

I did not see people swimming on the beachfront, where the port is situated. If you want to go for a swim, I believe you need to go to the back portion of the island. As for us, we were unexpectedly being brought to the unspoiled beautiful Guimbitayan Beach, it is a motorbike ride away and will take you a few minutes to get there. The road is steep, narrow and bumpy. It is advisable to ride just one person for each motorbike for safety purposes. 
how to go to Guimbitayan Beach Malapascua Island Cebu
Guimbitayan Beach Malapascua Island, Daanbantayan, Cebu

Shortcut to the barangay road in Malapascua to ride a motorbike bound for Guimbitayan and the convenience store
From left to right: The aisle heading to the barangay road to hire a motorbike to go to the Guimbitayan beach or to the back portion of the island. At the roadside, there is a convenience store that we ordered coffee from, we woke up very early to optimize our time in the island.

As we were told, to have an amazing view of the sunrise, we should go to the lighthouse but upon seeing the beach, we didn't go to the lighthouse as the weather was a little gloomy then so we just went for a swim. There is also a cave near this place (on the other side), you may ask the locals for direction. 
Guimbitayan Beach and the Lighthouse, Malapascua Island, Cebu, Philippines
Guimbitayan Beach and the Lighthouse, Malapascua Island, Daanbantayan, Cebu, Philippines

You can actually go to Kalanggaman Island from Malapascua. Travel time is between 1.5 hours to 2 hours depending on the weather condition. For divers there are tour packages that you can choose from ranging from tour to the islet, shipwreck and of course the diving spot where thresher sharks are. You can also go to Carnaza Island from Malapascua but per my niece and the guide I talked to, you need to charter a boat to get there. 

We stayed in Malapascua for just one night. Yes, it is feasible. There are a lot of places to stay there and if you are looking for Malapascua resorts at the beachfront, upon reaching Malapascua at the Bountry Beach the guide that will approach you will tell you where Malapascua budget inns are. These following resorts are on the beachfront: Malapascua Legend Water Sports and Resort, Hippocampus Beach Resort, Cocobana Beach Resort, Little Mermaid Dive ResortBuena Vida Resort and Spa, Malapascua Starlight Resort, Malapascua Exotic Dive Resort (the pioneer dive resort in Malapascua). You can also check out other places to stay in Malapascua via,,, and any other booking websites. 
Places to Stay in Malapascua Island, Cebu, Philippines
This is the place beside Sol Diver's Club where the guide brought us, it only cost us P1500 for one night for an aircon accommodation, you can also opt to have it as fan room instead for P800. No wifi though but the owners are nice.
places to stay in malapascua Malapascua Legend Water Sports and Resort
Malapascua Legend Water Sports and Resort. We love hanging out there, they have a free wifi and the staff are nice. I believe all staff at the resorts in Malapascua are nice but we frequented at Malapascua Legend as it is very close to where we stayed at. 

  1. Go to Cebu North Bus Terminal [Update 2/23/21: The terminal is now at SM City Cebu parking grounds]
  2. Ride a bus bound for Maya via Bagay. Fare is P215/person (aircon). For van (aircon), fare is P250. 
  3. We rode a Ceres bus and it dropped us off at the Maya Port. Travel time was more than 4 hours with one stopover at Bastap in Carmen. At the Maya Port, buy a ticket for Malapascua at the tourism desk for P100. Travel time to Malapascua Island from Maya Port is 30 to 40 minutes depending on weather condition. Per the tourism staff I talked to, the outrigger boat/motorized banca departs every 30 minutes.
  4. That's it, it's as easy as 1-2-3. Once you arrived at Mapascua Island, there are several beach resorts that you can choose from. We got there with no prior reservation. On your way back to mainland Cebu , there are vans at the Maya Port, pretty convenient! If you want to take a bus, just walk a few meters from the port.
Maya Port Daanbantayan Cebu
Maya Port, Daanbantayan, Cebu

When traveling, always flash your smile when you can and if you have the guts, go ahead and start a conversation. It is important to make friends while traveling, it maybe fleeting but for sure, you learn a thing or two.

make friends while traveling
Top: We met these guys from Barcelona and Australia while on our way to Malapascua. Bottom left: We met these diving instructors from Devocean Divers Malapascua at the store where we stayed at. Bottom right: The guide who approached us and referred us to a budget place to stay at behind Hippocampus Beach Resort. On our way back home, we chatted with 2 Brits who were heading to Bantayan Island

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