THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION CAN BE VERY HELPFUL, BEFORE YOUR DEPARTURE, AND DURING YOUR STAY.
We like to provide as much useful information about the Philippines, and especially Malapascua Island, as possible. Here you will find a lot of info on how to get here, what you should bring, best travel times and much more.
- TRANSFERS TO MALAPASCUA
- CREDIT CARDS & PAYPAL
- MOBILE PHONES
- WHAT TO DO
Before departure from your home, be sure that your passport is valid for at least six (6) months beyond the period of your stay in the Philippines. A return ticket or outward ticket to show that you will be leaving the country must be presented to the immigration officers upon arrival.
TRANSFERS TO MALAPASCUA
There are several different ways of traveling to the island of Malapascua. The easiest way for you, is by arranging the transfer from Cebu to Malapascua with us. We will have a driver waiting for you at the airport, or at the hotel where you are staying if it is located in Cebu. The private driver will bring you to the port in Maya, the most northern point of Cebu. With a traditional outrigger boat, called a “bangka”, (which will also be waiting for you at the port) you will be dropped off directly in front of our resort Ocean Vida, on the beautiful Bounty Beach. From there, you are a few footsteps away from our welcoming reception.
Another option would be to take the local bus from the North Bus Terminal in Cebu City. Here, you need to take a yellow/white bus (Ceres Liner) to Maya. In Maya there are public boats waiting and they will head to Malapascua once the boats are at full capacity (15 people). There is an official schedule posted where boats should leave every 30 minutes, but in reality, the boats are only leaving when they are filled up with enough customers. Sometimes, this can take a long time and patience is required, especially when it’s getting dark at night. If you missed the last boat, usually around 6 PM, the people at the port will try to sell you a private trip to Malapascua, which will require you to pay a lot more money than the standard rate.
On Malapascua Island there are no ATM machines. This means there is absolutely no chance to get any cash on the island itself. Ocean Vida is an official money exchanger where you can change common currencies into Philippine pesos, based on the daily rates from www.oanda.com . Please think and plan in advance for how much money you might need while staying on the island. The next ATM is in Bogo City which is about 1.5 hour travel (one way) from Malapascua Island. Since this is the only location to get cash in the Northern region of Cebu, sometimes the ATM is “out of service” due to no cash being left inside the machine. Please be aware and plan ahead by getting cash directly from Cebu City.
CREDIT CARDS & PAYPAL
There are a few businesses on the island that accept credit cards. Some of them have a high surcharge, while some of them do not charge anything.
Here in Ocean Vida Beach & Dive Resort we happily accept credit cards without a surcharge, and we also accept PayPal. This same applies to our partners Buena Vida Resort & Spa and Sea Explorers Dive Center.
The Philippines are easily accessible for tourists, which makes it easy to get a visa here. Upon arrival at the airport, you will receive a 30-day tourist visa, free of charge, if you show the immigration officer your outbound ticket. If you decide to stay longer in the Philippines, you can extend your visa every month at the immigration office in Cebu City. It is possible to stay up to one year in the Philippines as a tourist, as long as your departure is confirmed.
No specific vaccinations are required for visiting the Philippines, especially Cebu. However, this can change at any time and therefore we advise you to get more information at the institute for tropical diseases in your home country.
Before you arrive in the Philippines, we advise you to bring with a working and unlocked mobile phone. Filipinos are world champions in sending text messages and you can only profit from that while traveling. Smart and Globe are the main providers, and a prepaid SIM card is very cheap to buy.
Upon arrival at the airports, the providers always have good deals for tourists with regards to the mobile network. You buy your SIM card usually with load/credit already on it, but it’s easy to renew/reload anywhere in the Philippines, even here on Malapascua. International calls can be made when you have enough credit and it’s far cheaper than using the SIM card from your home country. Mobile data is available as well for a good internet connection during your stay.
Since the humidity level is very high on Malapascua Island, you don´t need a lot of warm clothes. We rarely experience strong wind days, but in case we do, we recommend having a long sleeve shirt and a pair of light pants packed with you. Anyway, it is always good to have these items for protecting your skin from the hot sun or for mosquitos in tropical conditions at sunset. Shorts, t-shirts, dresses, swim suits and a pair of flip-flops might be the most necessary clothes for your time on Malapascua.
You might be thankful if you bring a hat or a cap to protect your face from the sun during the day. Sun cream and mosquito repellant are mandatory to use in this tropical climate.
WHAT TO DO
The island got famous due to the Threshers Sharks in the late 1990s. At the dive site where they can be seen, Monad Shoal, a sunken island, you have a 90% guarantee to catch a glimpse of the Thresher Sharks during an early morning dive.
That’s why the number one activity on Malapascua is, scuba diving. If you are already a diver or if you want to do a dive course (included in this is a first time, trial dive), let us know, and we can help arrange this for you.
In Buena Vida Resort & Spa, the visitors of Malapascua have the possibility to get professional massages, manicures, pedicures, facials, body treatments and yoga classes.
They also run a gym center to keep your body trained during your visit here on the island.
Other activities on Malapascua include: going for a walk around the small, but beautiful island, shopping at the local sari-sari stores, watching the sunset, rent a kayak or standup paddle-board, visiting the lighthouse in the North of the island, discover secret beaches, and snorkel trips around the island or to other islands nearby.
For more details, drop us a line or pass by at our reception. We would love to help guide you in your activities and needs.