The name Malapascua means "Unfortunate Christmas" in english. there's nothing unfortunate if and when you experience the beauty that the white sand beaches that the island has to offer. It is situated only 8 km off the northeast tip of Cebu Island in the green, blue Visayan sea. Malapascua lies in the middle of the Philippines. It is an archipelago, which attracts the majority of the country's tourists.
It is relatively new to the international market, but already rates highly on the list of the world’s best beaches. This tiny island has a dazzlingly white bounty beach, which is one of the best in the Philippines. Time stands still as soon you step into this "Pacific Island Dream". Malapascua Island is popular to tourists who love to swim and snorkel. This has also become a major dive centre, well-known for the crowds of harvester sharks using the marine highway between Cebu and Leyte islands. Its extraordinary long white beach stretches around the south-east coast of the island facing Cebu, Leyte and Biliran.
The other side of the island has a more bird's-eye rocky coastline and is an elegant alternative for the ever-popular white beach. Malapascua also called "Logon" is located about 8 km. northeast of Cebu mainland and 25 km. west of Leyte.
Some of the tourist says, it is the new Boracay. Far from as crowded as the famous Boracay, yet simply accessible from Cebu's international airport, this little paradise has everything the sun-worshipper or adventurer seek out. Take a dive in the crystal clear ocean at the break of a World War II Japaneese ship, go snorkeling among the fishes at the many coral reefs surrounding the island, take a tour around the island, or just relax in the white sand and let the wind in the palm trees soothe you to sleep.
Driest climate is between Feruary-May, but okay for the rest of the year but with mostly short period of rain. Once you've gone here you'll always keep coming back.
Malapascua is also long-familiar among the international dive society. Divers travel here to meet the friendly Thresher shark. These are big and up to 6 meters, but safe to humans. The Thresher lives in very deep waters but show up daily at Monad Shoal to be cleaned by cleaner fish. This is one of the few places in the world where we can have a glimpse of this splendid fish close-up at only 23 meters distance downward.
If you want to enjoy island hopping in malapascua, hiring a banca, that is a local outrigger boat, for a day will make some of the remoter islands around Malapascua easy to get to. Take a packed lunch, a lot of drinks and spend some hours on the water accompanied by dolphins with a bit of fortune.
One possible destination is Calanggaman Island, about 75 minutes by boat. With its perfect sandbank and abundant vegetation it gives the feeling of a virgin paradise. Snorkeling and swimming are tremendous. Besides some private rangers just a few dozen people live in Calanggaman, whose lives have not changed a lot during the past decades. You might be able to buy a fish for your lunch. Other possible dream islands are Carnasa or the more distant Maripipi with its huge and scenic volcano.
HOW TO GET THERE
There are regular ferries to Cebu pier from almost all the islands of the Philippines.
The main gateway for Malapascua is Mactan-Cebu International Airport in Cebu City.
Four international airlines have direct Cebu connections: Cathay Pacific, Malaysian Airlines, Qatar Airways and Singapore Airlines (Silk Air). Mactan/Cebu International Airport is a small, relaxed airport on Mactan Island, about 15 km from the city centre.Three airlines are also flying to Cebu daily - Air Philippines, Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines.
Cebu to Maya by bus
From the airport take a taxi for about 150 pesos to the Cebu North bus station and get on one of the frequent buses to Maya (e.g. Ceres, the aircon buses are brand-new). These will take you for 95 pesos in 3 ½ - 4 hours on mostly good roads directly to Maya pier at the northernmost tip of Cebu Island.
Cebu to Maya by taxi
Hiring an air-conditioned taxi from the airport to Maya will cost about 2, 200 pesos. This is a very comfortable option, saves about one hour travel time and makes the scenic road, which mostly follows the shoreline, quite pleasant.
Maya to Malapascua
At Maya pier porters are waiting to carry your baggage for a few pesos on one of the outrigger boats servicing Malapascua. At low tide these pump boats cannot come in, so small crafts will ferry you to the boat. Be prepared to get wet feet walking through some shallow water! Regular boats leave for Malapascua until 5 p.m. about every 30 to 60 minutes (fare 40 pesos), as soon as enough passengers are on board. An instant special ride is available for 800 PHP. After 5 p.m. it may be hard to find a boat, so rather plan an overnight stay in Cebu City, when you are late. The boat ride to Malapascua’s Bounty beach will take 30 to 40 minutes. Hippocampus is located at the eastern end of the beach about two minutes walking from the boating point; our boys will give you a hand with your luggage.
Philippine Country Links