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Your Ultimate Guide: How to Get from Cebu to Malapascua

cebu to malapascua

I wrote a short story set in Malapascua. It failed as a story. Malapascua, located in northern Cebu, some four hours away from the city, was one of my favorite destinations in Cebu. Almost every month, I found myself aboard the Ceres bus bound to Maya. I made some good friends there. Tata. Jeremy. Ron-ron. After the typhoon Haiyan, I wrote a long-ass narrative on its people, their resiliency, and the island itself for Sun.Star’s Yearbook magazine. But in this guide, I will detail the different ways of going from Cebu to Malapascua by public bus, by shared van, or by a private van.

Cebu to Malapascua Route

In a nutshell, Cebu->Maya->Boat to Malapascua. There is no direct transport from Cebu to Malapascua Island at all. Regardless of how you travel from the city, which non-city dwellers called Cebu even though the entire island is called Cebu—you get off at Maya Port, Daan Bantayan—the town found in the northernmost part of Cebu Island. From there, you board a boat bound to Malapascua Island.

how to get from cebu to malapascua

Quick Links to Malapascua Island Cebu

The Best Resorts to Stay in Malapascua Islands via Agoda
The Best Resorts to Stay in Malapascua Islands via Booking.com
The Top 14 Things to Do in Malapascua Cebu

When is the best time to go from Cebu to Malapascua?

Cebu City is the second largest city in the Philippines. It has three sister cities—Lapu-Lapu otherwise called Mactan (where the airport is located), Mandaue City, and Talisay City. So the traffic is sometimes unimaginable. And if you don’t want your trip to be mostly spent commuting, I highly advise you leave the city as early as possible. Ideally between the 3AM-6AM window.

How long does it take to go from Cebu to Malapascua?

If you check Google Maps, it would say about four hours. But the traffic is getting worse and worse. Take these hours with a grain of salt since again everything is highly dependent on road congestion. You will be very lucky if you made it to Malapascua Island within 5 hours.

Private Van – 4-5 hours

By Bus – 6-7 hours

Cebu to Malapascua by Private Van

Book your private city transfer to Malapascua and Kalanggaman without the hassle of going to the bus terminal. Your chosen vehicle will pick you up from your hotel at your chosen time or in Mactan Airport or anywhere else.

If money is not an issue for you, and you want to save some considerable time from commuting from Cebu to Malapascua, I highly recommend getting this. The traffic, especially in Cebu City and Mandaue area, are a nightmare for travelers pressed with time.

How much does it cost to go from Cebu to Maya Port by Private Van?

Sedan (Group of 1-3)US$ 78 / Php4400.00

SUV (Group of 4-5)US$ 85 /Php4800.00

Van (Group of 6-10)US$ 100. /Php5000.00

Book your comfortable and fast ride now

How to Get from the Airport to Cebu North Bus Terminal 

From Mactan-Cebu l Airport,  you can hail a cab and ask to be dropped off at Cebu North Bus Terminal. The fare from the airport should be between Php200-Php300.

You can also hail a private car via Grab, for non-Filipinos, that’s the Uber commonly used in Southeast Asia.

Another option is to take MyBus, Cebu’s answer to an airport shuttle. The fare is only Php25 and it will drop you off at Cebu North Bus Terminal in about 30-40 minutes, depending on the traffic. Buses leave every 20 minutes. It is parked outside the airport. Ask the security guards for the pickup up and drop-off point of MyBus. MyBus service time is between 6AM to 9PM.

Cebu to Malapascua by Bus

All buses bound north can be found at Cebu North Bus Terminal. When you are facing the terminal, most buses can be found on the left side. Check for the ones that say Maya displayed by the bus window.

The most common buses used when going around Cebu, in this case Cebu to Malapascua, are Ceres buses—those yellow buses you can see in the entire island. Ceres is a Cebu-based bus company that plies the Cebu-Maya route daily. It has two types of buses: Air-conditioned and non-air-conditioned.

cebu to malapascua

Ceres Bus Schedule from Cebu to Maya and Maya to Cebu

First Trip from Cebu to Maya: 03:00 AM

Last Trip from Cebu to Maya: 06:30 PM

First Trip from Maya to Cebu: 01:00 AM

Last Trip from Maya to Cebu: 08:00 PM

How much does it cost to from Cebu to Malapascua via Maya Port

Non-AC Bus – Php170.00
AC Bus – Php220

Note: Prices might have changed because of the gas price hikes.

Advantages of an AC Bus

  • Faster since there are fewer stops compare to the non-AC buses.
  • More comfortable since it is, well, air-conditioned, fewer seats, and more legroom
  • Can be cold, if you are not used to AC, bring a jacket with you

Disadvantages of an AC Bus

  • Slightly more expensive than the non-AC buses.
  • Fewer service time. AC buses are only available every hour

Advantages of a non-AC Bus

  • Can be hot and humid, but if you are used to Cebu weather, this won’t be an issue.
  • Cheaper than the AC buses
  • More service time. You can find a bus every 30 minutes or so.

Disadvantages of a non-AC Bus

  • Slower since there are more stops.
  • The bus can be cramped and full, so not as comfortable as the AC buses.

Cebu to Malapascua by Shared Van

thresher sharks in malapascua cebu

Shared vans bound for Maya Port can be found in Mandaue City Reclamation Area or SM City Cebu Northwing.

When you are in Cebu City, it is best to go to North Bus Terminal first since it is nearer than SM Cebu and the traffic is not that bad yet. If you are coming from the airport, there will be plenty of taxis outside that can take you to the Bus Terminal for around Php250-Php300.

From Mandaue, it is a 15-20 minute walk to Cebu North Reclamation Area where the vans are located. If you have heavy luggage or if you do not feel like walking, there will be plenty of tricycles outside that can take you for around Php20 per person.

Cebu North Reclamation Area to Maya Port

First Trip: 04:00 AM

Last Trip: 06:00 PM

How much does it cost?

Php150.00 per person, one way. Payment is made once you are aboard the van.

Van Schedule from SM Cebu to Maya Port

First Trip: 04:00 AM

Last Trip: 05:30 PM

How much does it cost?

Php150.00 per person, one way. Payment is made once you are aboard the van.

Maya to Malapascua by Boat

From Maya port, it is about an hour boat ride to Malapascua Island. The boats are open air and can accommodate up to 30 people.

The first trip from Maya port to Malapascua island is at 05:00 AM and the last trip is at 06:00 PM. Boat rides are daily and frequent, so you will not have a problem with this.

How much does the boat to Malapascua cost?

Php100-Php120.00 – shared boat
Php1500-Php2000 – private charted boat

Php100.00 per person, one way. Payment is made once you are aboard the boat. If in the likelihood, you arrive in the port during low tide, chances are you have to pay another Php20.00 to transport you from the port to the big pump boat, which cannot dock in the port.

If you arrive at Maya port past 6 in the evening, you have two options. To stay in the languid Maya or charter an entire boat to Malapascua.

Bantayan Island to Malapascua Island

Another popular island in northern Cebu, Bantayan Island is something you should check out as well. Bantayan is known for its beautiful beaches and very relaxed island life, so if you are coming from Cebu and want to make a stop there first before heading to Malapascua, that is totally an option.

You can charter a boat in Bantayan Island that will take you directly to Malapascua Island. The boat ride takes around 2-3 hours and costs Php2500-Php3000 for the entire boat (up to 12 people).

Since this is a private business, this greatly depends on the weather and availabilities of boats and boatmen. So I highly suggest you coordinate with your hotel or resort for such option.


Found this guide helpful? Show your support by booking your stay in our blog’s links. You won’t be charged extra for that. Agoda or Booking will share a tad bit, like really a tad tad bit, of its profit. Say $1 for each booking.

The Best Resorts to Stay in Malapascua Islands via Agoda
The Best Resorts to Stay in Malapascua Islands via Booking.com
The Top 14 Things to Do in Malapascua Cebu

Jona of Backpacking with a Book

Hi there, I’m Jona! I’m in my early 30s and is currently based in Ha Noi, Vietnam.I primarily write poetry and short stories in Cebuano and lengthy travel essays in English. Blogging has become an outlet to think out loud. I live the life I set for myself. I try to live an unapologetic life. For collaborations, projects, and other things, please email me at backpackingwithabook@gmail.com. Find me somewhere else!

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