Malapascua Island is situated in the northern tip of Cebu City, Philippines. It is a paradise island widely known for its magnificent and colorful marine life which makes this island an incredible diving spot. It is a divers haven due to its rich marine biodiversity and its the only place in the world where you can witness the magical Thresher shark in there natural habitat. The long powdery soft sand is an idyllic spot for relaxation and it offers a peaceful vibe. The Azure water are refreshing and offers an inviting feel for a hot summer afternoon. The place is a total paradise, the locals were accommodating and the food were absolutely delicious.
Scuba diving is one of the top activities in Malapascua. There are resorts that offers scuba diving lessons, that includes thresher shark viewing. I want to learn scuba diving and to experience swimming with the thresher shark but sadly since I travel in a shoestring budget I wasn’t able experience it. One of the best option if you travel in a tight budget is snorkeling. There are locals who offers snorkeling for 400 pesos including the gears for three snorkeling spots. First was the coral gardens where you can feel that you were in a “nemo” movie because of the hundreds or maybe thousands of different species of corals and school of fish. The vivid marine life are just surreal. It’s just a magical. Second spot was the Japanese shipwreck, this is quite creepy but really exciting. The shipwreck will you give you chills in to your bones but the best part is you can see a lot of different species of corals bringing life to this shipwreck. Third, is another coral garden near this huge rock where sea snakes locally known as “walo-walo” hunt for food during sun down. This snake have a reputation of being dangerous due its venom, it is said that this snakes can kill you in a matter of minutes. Nevertheless the life underwater is just breath-taking. You can see huge walls of corals, an array of colors and the unspoiled beauty of its oceans. During the boat ride for snorkeling you will also got the chance to circle the whole island since the three snorkeling destination is located around the island. There are still untouched beaches , long white sand shores and small caves on huge rocks. By the way, on our way back to the beach I saw locals jumping in this really high cliff, I just want to stop the boat and jump on that cliff!!
Aside from the picturesque beauty of this island, Malapascua also offers delicious local cuisine. There are a bunch of “karinderya” or local restaurants in the area that serves the best seafood’s. Ging-gings restaurants is one of the well-known restaurant in the area. You can have a complete meal in a really, really affordable price also it is a well-known diner in the island. Most locals and tourist eat there and you must be willing to wait because it will take several minutes to complete your order since it is freshly cooked. Gings-gings karinderya has a free wifi so you can upload your photos and update your status in your various social media accounts while waiting for your order. There are some fancy restaurants in the island if you are dreaming of a romantic dinner. Also, there are some small diners along the streets where you can experience the culture of the community. When I was there I’ve got a free dinner thanks to the couple that I meet during my snorkeling expedition. The lovely couple was from Cebu city and they invited me to have dinner with them, we ate at the shore with the moon shinning so bright, the cool breeze of the night and the soothing sound of the waves. After that wonderful dinner I decided to stay on the shore while drinking my ice cold beer, the solitude and the bazillion stars above are perfect for an unforgettable night.
During my stay there I am very lucky to get a really nice room for just 300 pesos a night. The room had its own restroom a comfortable bed and an electric fan. Some of the resorts in the island offers a quite expensive stay but there are a lot of transient houses and home stay that offers affordable prices for a backpacker like me, you just have to go around the community and look for cheap rooms by yourself. The locals are really friendly and helpful they will accommodate you in looking for nice place to stay.
How to get there:
Take a flight from manila to Cebu. Book your flight as early possible to get a cheaper price for your tickets. From Mactan Airport take a taxi to North bus terminal and catch the earliest trip. I took the first trip at around 2am and I arrived in Maya port at around 6am. The earlier the better. The fare is 150pesos for a non-air-conditioned buses and for air conditioned buses its 190 pesos. I take the non-air-conditioned bus because it’s cheaper. The trip is about 4 to 5 hours to Maya port. At Maya port take a local boat that cost 80 pesos per head the boat leaves at 6:30 in the morning and there last trip is around 3 in the afternoon. It will take approximately 30 minutes to reach the paradise island of Malapascua.
Here are some of my photos: