How to Spend 48 Hours in Malapascua, Philippines

Bounty Beach, Malapascua | via Wikimedia Commons
Bounty Beach, Malapascua | via Wikimedia Commons
Photo of Valerie Caulin
2 December 2017

An island famous for diving, the tiny island of Malapascua off the northernmost town of Cebu beckons those who love to enjoy rustic island vibe. Its name means, ” Bad Christmas”, a name given by the Spaniards when they reached the island on a stormy weather on Christmas day. Today, it is one of the top island destinations in Cebu. Here’s how you can enjoy Malaspacua in 48 hours.

Day 1


If you are a diver, you have to start your day early and proceed to Monad Shoal. From 5 a.m. – 6 a.m. divers can see thresher sharks, which the island is famous for. Other creatures in the shoal are manta rays. Gato Island is another popular diving site in Malapascua, famous for its underwater tunnels and white tip reef sharks.

Thresher Shark in Monad Shoal | via Wikimedia Commons

For those who are not divers, you might enjoy snorkeling and island hopping instead. Island tours include Lapus-lapus Island, Coral Garden, Los Bambos Beach, Dakit-Dakit Island, and Guimbitayan Island. Enjoy swimming, snorkelling around a Japanese shipwreck or climbing the lighthouse at Guimbitayan Island.


Going back to your resort, enjoy a relaxing nap surrounded by an idyllic environment. If you stay in a beachfront hotel, ask for beach loungers or a hammock and take a short rest from your fulfilled island tour earlier that day.

Wake up energised and rent a bike. Tour the island, pass local villages, and meet locals. Malapascua is a small island that it can be tour even on foot for more than just an hour, so if you can’t find a bike, you can enjoy a nice walk around the island. Along your way, take photos on a quiet beach or secret cove.

By late afternoon, take a pause and watch the sunset unfold.

Sunset in Malapascua | Via Wikimedia Commons


Enjoy sumptuous seafood dinner from your beach hotel or from the nearest local restaurant. Walk along the beach under the stars and then find a spot to grab a drink or two and listen to acoustic music, laugh with friends, meet fellow travelers. Head back to your accommodation and call it a day.

Day 2


Rise and shine and get a dose of daily exercise with a nice walk along the beach. Feel free to explore the island. Morning walks are great for watching local fishermen or school kids preparing for their day ahead.

Peaceful beach in Malapascua Island | © Matt Kieffer via Flickr

After breakfast, head to Bounty Beach and take a dip. While working on your tan, sign up for an island tour to Kalanggaman Island, which includes lunch.


Kalanggaman Island is geographically part of Leyte yet it is highly accessible from Malapascua with an hour-and-a-half boat ride. This island is famous for its long sand bar, crystal clear waters, and shady spots. Visitors can’t help but feel like castaways while on this island. For those with children, the waters near the sandbar is shallow.

Return back to your resort and laze around. Wait until happy hour and enjoy your drinks. A laid-back island, enjoy the art of doing nothing and wait till dusk.


Though well-visited, Malapascua is still far from being a party island. Still, it doesn’t mean there is zero nightlife. Feel free to enjoy your nightlife in your own resort or check out beach bars in Malapascua.

Back at your resort, end your Malapascua trip with good massage to knead your tired body from all the outdoor and water activities you’ve been engaging in.

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