Thresher Shark Expedition
Frequently Asked Questions
HOW DO I GET THERE?
Most visitors fly into Cebu-Mactan International Airport. There are daily flights from many international ports, and countless connecting flights through Manila and other domestic locations. Cebu is also serviced by ferries from neighbouring islands. The Shark Guardian Malapascua expedition includes your transport from Cebu city to Evolution resort on Malapascua (and the reverse at the end of the expedition). Please ensure you are in Cebu on the morning of your departure day and specific transport details will be shared with you ahead of your trip. If you need help finding a hotel to stay the night before departure then email our booking team. Likewise depending on return flights or onward travel you may need a hotel at the end of the expedition also. The journey to the ferry port in Maya takes 3-6 hours, depending both on your chosen transport and traffic/weather conditions. From Maya Port it is approximately a 45 minute boat ride to the island. If taking a public ferry (P200) it is best to try and arrive to Maya as early as possible. As it gets later in the day boats have less passengers and you may have to either wait, or be asked to pay a higher price to cover the boat cost. *Note - if you are taking private transport the cutoff for pickup is 1pm.
WHAT SHOULD I BRING?
As Malapascua is in a tropical location it is certainly wise to pack light clothes, sunscreen, flip flops, swimsuits, mosquito repellant, and refillable water bottle as standard. The island does get tropical rain on occasion so a pair of runners and a light rain jacket are also a good idea. Given the remote location make sure that you bring any necessary medications in plentiful supply. Basic first-aid supples are available on the island, however there is no medical clinic or doctor. Batteries, chargers etc are also scarce so be sure to include those when packing.
WHAT IS THE LOCAL CURRENCY AND
WHERE DO I GET SOME?
The local currency is the Philippine Peso, readily available at money changers or ATMs nearby to the airport or in Cebu city. Many ATMs accept international Visa and Mastercard, AMEX can be more of a challenge. The further you get from the city, the more unreliable ATMs become. Malapascua does have a few ATMs, although these are also unreliable and carry high fees for international cards. Money changing is also very limited, so be sure to bring enough cash for incidental items while here.
HOW ABOUT FOOD & DRINKS?
The Philippines is very much a victim of its colonial past, with fried chicken and fast food sitting comfortably alongside delicious native dishes, such as adobo, afritada, kinilaw and sinigang. Cebu is famous for lechon - whole spit-roasted pig shared between friends and family. With increasing tourist numbers many resorts and restaurants also cater to vegetarian diets - be sure to check out the vegetarian menu at the resort! Tap water on the island is not safe to drink, but drinking water is available everywhere, along with the normal soft drinks, fresh juices, shakes and the like. Locals also enjoy a drink with friends old and new, with San Miguel and Red Horse beer and Tanduay rhum the normal preference, with a shout of "Tagay!" (Cheers!)
IS THE ISLAND SAFE?
Malapascua has a very low incidence of crime, particularly involving tourists, however normal precautions should apply. Leaving bags or phones unattended on the beach, isn't sensible anywhere. Follow common sense and use room safes to store valuables.
WHAT'S THE ELECTRICITY SITUATION?
The electricity supply in the Philippines is 220V/60Hz, and electrical outlets as below. We recommend bringing a suitable travel adapter to ensure connectivity.
Malapascua has fairly reliable power these days, although interruptions still happen occasionally. Evolution Resort has a generator onsite to enjoy uninterrupted supply 24/7.
WHAT CAN I DO IN MALAPASCUA?
Malapascua is known for its world-class diving, an offering 4 or 5 dives per day. Aside from breathtaking encounters with the famous thresher sharks, we also regularly spot other pelagic species including tiger sharks, white tip reef sharks, mobula rays, eagle rays and even the occasional manta! There is also fantastic macro life, with seahorses, frogfish, octopus and much more to be seen. The island also offers stunning beaches, and small fishing villages to gain a glimpse into real provincial life in the Philippines. Fat Bikes for rental offer a great environmentally sound way to explore the island, and allow access to some of the island's hidden gems. Island hopping and snorkeling trips are also offered by many operators.
ARE THERE ANY CULTURAL DIFFERENCES
I NEED TO BE AWARE OF?
The local language here is Bisayan, and the national language is Tagalog, however most locals speak English and you can expect warm greetings as you explore the island. Filipinos are friendly, inviting and good-natured, but do maintain some cultural conservatism. Filipinos normally defer to seniors or people older than themselves, and this often carries to tourists.
SHOULD I TIP ON THE ISLAND?
Tipping on the island is by no means mandatory, but is certainly appreciated. There is no usual range but 10% is a fair starting point. Note that some resorts and restaurants will add service charge and/or 12% VAT to prices. Published prices exclude service/tip but include tax.
HOW CAN I MAKE PAYMENTS AT
For international bank transfers we accept payments only via the Wise app or www.wise.com. This is a simple, fast, trustworthy and easily traceable method, and also carries very low fees of around 1%. You simply choose 'personal' payment, input our email address and follow the simple steps to complete the transaction. We can also accept Paypal payments to the same email address, however fees are close to 5%, and we credit only what arrives.
The email and payment details will be through email correspondence once you have started the booking process.
SPECIAL DIETARY REQUIRMENTS
The Philippines is not the easiest place to find good vegetarian and vegan food or to ensure dietary requirements are met. However, Evolution dive resort has a selection of delicious vegetarian and vegan options on it’s menu, as well as being very open to catering for specific dietary requests (they even make vegan pancakes!!). Please let us know in advance if you do have and special dietary requirements so we can ask the resort restaurant to be prepared. We also suggest you bring any snacks or supplements with you since there are only basic shops on Malapascua island eg bring nuts, seeds and other snacks from your home country.