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Malapascua Island is an island near the northermost tip of Cebu island that is renowned for its amazing diving sites and white sandy beaches.
Adventurous Retreat to the Stunningly Beautiful Malapascua Island
Malapascua Island has several premier diving spots, some of them known as shoals due to the large number of fish gathering there. The most famous of these spots is the Monad Shoal, which acts as a natural underwater fish cleaning station. This location was mainly used by bigger fish, such as manta rays and thresher sharks, to get their gills, mouth, and skin cleaned from ectoparasites by feeding them to the smaller fish, such as moon cleaner wrasse and bluestreak. The sight is extremely enjoyable to behold, watching the smaller fishes gobbling the parasites from the bigger fish's body, thereby cleaning it. It is as if you were watching a Formula race 1 pit stop crew tampering with the F1 car during a race, but instead of humans and cars, it was replaced by small fish and a big fish.
Since the water around the island is crystal clear, anywhere around the island is a good place for snorkeling. You can see the beautiful coral gardens and small pelagic fishes that live nearby the shore. If you want to, you can find plenty snorkeling trips to several spots in the surrounding islands as well, albeit at a price. Since not everybody can dive, this is the most sought activity on the island by visitors and tourists alike. As with other Southeast Asian countries, do not forget to haggle for the price offered to you, especially if you do not have the appearance of a local.
Another interesting activity to do is to just relax and enjoy the pleasant ambience of the island on the beach. Watching the wide blue horizon over yonder and feel the cool sea breeze touching your skin, you will definitely mesmerized by it. There are several beaches on the island, and the famous ones are Langob Beach, Lighthouse Beach, and the renowned Bounty Beach. The Lighthouse Beach is the place to go if you are raring to see the sunset, as well as other beautiful sceneries along the way. Langob Beach is where you can find serenity and solitude on the beach as it is very quiet and peaceful. Bounty Beach is where all the crowd is located, as the area is filled with resorts, restaurants, diving shops, and other facilities.
While you are visiting Malapascua Island, don't forget to enjoy the local delish as well. For those who have wanted to savor a sweet dish, try Binignit, a dessert make from a combination of fruits, sticky rice, sweet potato, among others. There is also Danggit, a salted rabbitfish that is usually eaten for breakfast. It is very simple yet heary, so make sure you don't miss it. As for the drinks, you can try Sikwate, a classic hot chocolate made from the local cacao beans and served with a rice cake and mangoes, creating a sensational harmony that will not be forgotten easily.
If you are staying at the Malapascua Island for quite a while, it is a good idea to spend a whole day or two to travel to the neighboring islands or island hopping. The most favorite destination is Kalanggaman Island, as the island is strikingly beautiful and serene, and since there is no hotel or resort at the Kalanggaman Island, those who want to spend the night there must camp. It is definitely a fun thing to do during your visit, staying in a tent under the starry night sky on the beach!
How to Get Tickets?
Since Malapascua Island is an island, there are no tickets for it. However, you will definitely need to pay for activities such as renting the snorkeling equipment, ride a boat to other islands, take a diving lesson, etc.
How To Get Around?
Most tourists in Malapascua prefer walking, as the island is quite small and therefore can be navigated easily by foot. Other options are renting a bicycle, or taking a habal-habal ride, which is a kind of local motorbike taxi service.
What Should I Wear?
You should dress accordingly to the season. However, the weather in Malapascua tends to be hot all year long since it is a beach, so it's best to stick to light clothes. Any kind of swimwear is allowed.
Best Time to Visit
If you want to avoid the crowd, visit Malapascua Island during the off-season such as March, April, September, or October. Otherwise, there will be plenty of tourists who came here either to dive or just enjoying the beaches.
Will I Need a Guide?
You will usually have to take a guide if you are going for snorkeling trip, island hopping trip, or any other trip that require you to rent a boat and get offshore. However, for activities inside the island, no guide is needed.
How To Get There?
To get to Malapascua Island from Cebu, you can take a bus, renting a van, or ride a taxi to Maya Port first. Each has their own prices and advantages, with bus being the cheapest option. From Maya Port, you will need to take a boat ride to the island. The fare costs 100 pesos and 50 pesos for adults and kids, respectively.