Travel Guide to Malapascua

Over Chinese New Year, Peter and I spent a week scuba diving off of Malapascua Island in the Philippines.

Malapascua Island is located off of Cebu’s northernmost tip and is famous for thresher shark diving.

While we originally went to Malapascua just to see the thresher sharks and to get certified as PADI Advanced Open Water divers (more diving blog posts later), it became clear during our visit why so many divers fall in love with this small island.

How to get to Malapascua Island in the Philippines and recommendations on where to eat, sleep and dive

How to Get There

Fly in to Mactan-Cebu International Airport. If you prefer to do private transfers (which Peter and I did) almost every hotel can help arrange for a private car and boat to Malapascua. Expect to pay about 4500 PHP for this each way.

By car it’s about a 3 hour drive to the Maya town ferry pier followed by a 30 minute boat ride to Malapascua Island.

How to get to Malapascua Island in the Philippines and recommendations on where to eat, sleep and dive

If you decide to organize the transport yourself, you can take a taxi, bus or van to the Maya ferry pier before taking the public ferry across. It’s much cheaper, but less convenient.

Full details on the public transportation options are available here.

Evolution Dive Resort

Since most visitors to Malapascua are there for the diving, I recommend you staying and dive with Evolution Dive Resort.

Evolution Dive Resort
http://evolution.com.ph/

We stayed in a Deluxe Room which was clean and spacious. Although we had some issues with the shower, they were resolved quickly. I was happy to have air conditioning (the garden rooms are fan only) even if we may not have needed it and to have our own porch to sit and read from.

How to get to Malapascua Island in the Philippines and recommendations on where to eat, sleep and dive

A full review of diving with Evolution is coming soon, but I would highly recommend diving with them.

How to get to Malapascua Island in the Philippines and recommendations on where to eat, sleep and dive

Where to Eat

Angelina. You must eat at Angelina’s. This family owned Italian restaurant is absolutely delicious and earns it’s #1 Tripadvisor ranking.

We had a hard time finding good food on Malapascua (Evolution’s Craic House is okay but avoid eating at nearby Ocean Vida) so we were pleasantly surprised to find amazing and authentic Italian food along the beach.

Peter and I had 3 dinners at Angelina and my favorite dishes amongst the many we tried were the quattro formagi gnocchi, the bruciaculo pizza and the hazelnut gelato.

I can’t explain enough how much I looked forward to dinners at Angelina after a day of diving!

How Long to Stay

We spent 5 full days in Malapascua and actually would have preferred one more day on the island. However, because the first day we arrived, we just did a training dive for our Advanced Open Water certification and did not do any other dives, 5 days is likely the right amount of time for anyone who is already advanced certified. That’s not to say you wouldn’t enjoy a shorter trip, but with the travel time, I’d definitely recommend at least 3-4 days of diving.

How to get to Malapascua Island in the Philippines and recommendations on where to eat, sleep and dive

How to get to Malapascua Island in the Philippines and recommendations on where to eat, sleep and dive