Malapascua – Philippines – GRANDPAcking Costs

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MAY 2016:


My costs start in Bantayan Island and include:

  • Transport from Bantayan to my Malapascua hotel
  • 1 night in a BELOW GRANDPAcking Standard Fan Room (breakfast included)
  • 10 nights in a GRANDPAcking Standard Fan Room (breakfast included)
  • Food & Drink
  • Mobile Data / Communications
  • Visa cost apportionment
  • 5 SCUBA Dives


For more detail, read about Bantayan Island to Malapascua Island, Malapascua Information, and Where To Stay On Malapascua.

Click here to read about Retirement Locations in this country.

Click here for detailed Travel Information and more Travel Budgets in this country.

Read About – GRANDPAcking Costs if you don’t know how to interpret my figures.



Cost Of Existence (COE):

My costs are purely provided for information purposes. I do not always follow ‘GRANDPAcking Standards’. But, my costs are real costs and they may help you formulate your own budget.

Accommodation: My main Malapascua Beachfront accommodation met ‘GRANDPAcking Standard’; It was a Double Fan Room with Hot Water Ensuite (breakfast included).

Transport: I did not need any transport; I walked everywhere.

Communications & Fees: In Manila Airport, I purchased a 1 month Globe SIMcard with ‘unlimited’ data and no texts nor calls; I top this up each month. I did not need a top up in Malapascua.

Food & Drink: I averaged PHP282 / day. I had a good free breakfast in my resort; breakfast came with a free tea / coffee. I purchased coffee sachets and used these for extra coffee – the resort were happy to give me hot water. I ate all of my Lunches in Tinpots – which I am happy to do. In Tinpots, I eat a lot of Vegetarian.

I missed a few Dinners … I was ill with a bad head cold. When I did eat Dinner, I ate in one of the Budget Restaurants … I wasn’t prepared to pay PHP300+ for (what looked like) pretty average meals in the Tourist Restaurants. My resort did not provide free drinking water (they charged PHP20 to refill a 1l bottle) so I purchased a large 6.6L bottle (PHP100) and refilled it as required (PHP50).

My ‘Cost of Existing / Day’ was PHP1,101 / NZ$36 / US$24 / €22 / £17.


My available ‘LIVING Funds’ each day were PHP1,325 / NZ$44 / US$29 / €26 / £20.

Visa: The Philippines Visa isn’t cheap, so I have apportioned the Visa costs. It comes out at just over US$1 / day.

Getting There: It cost me PHP380 to get from my Bantayan Hotel to my Malapascua Island hotel.

This consisted of 2 Buses and 2 Boats.

Drink / Partying: A small San Miguel costs PHP55-70 in the resorts (which is above average) but it is only PHP45 in budget restaurants in the back streets; but it isn’t nice to drink in such places. However, I am becoming partial to the local rum and coke (which I buy at local shops) and, sometimes, I just relax on the beach with a ‘tipple’ socialising with other guests. I averaged PHP177 / night on drinks (but, I also had some ‘party’ nights).

Personal: None

Entertainment / Trips: I did 5 SCUBA dives. These were to the best 3 dive spots: one of which takes 1.5 hours to get to by boat. I negotiated their ‘standard’ price down from PHP1,800 / dive to PHP1,250 / dive (all inclusive) but had to pay 3% more to pay by Credit Card.

Shopping: Minimal.

Other / Gifts: Minimal.

My actual GRANDPAcking costs came in at PHP1,947 / NZ$64 / US$43 / €93 / £30 per day. This was 80% of my total budget… I still had 20% left to play with.


To afford to take a GRANDPAcker ‘Holiday’ to Malapascua Island, you will need to choose Where To Stay very carefully. I suggest that you look for ‘specials’ online and compare it to my Where To Stay post. Then, you can pick the best deal for you.

Cost Of Existence (COE):

Accommodation: As usual for The Philippines, it is hard to find a decent ‘GRANDPAcking Standard’ Double Fan Room with Ensuite for less than PHP1,000 / night.

In Malapascua, expect to pay more: PHP1,300 / night (including breakfast for 2 people) – after negotiating a discount.

Big discounts will be hard to find … Malapascua is full in Peak Season … they don’t have to discount … but they will give you something if you are staying 1 month.

Target rooms in the PHP1,500-1,800 / night range and make them an offer. This should get you a nice fan room with cold water ensuite … with luck, you may even get a hot water shower.

Transport: You do not need transport on the island. I have budgeted for you to take a Day trip to (somewhere like) Bogo each week. This covers the return ferry to Maya and the return bus ticket from Maya to Bogo.

Communications: I have included a prepaid 1 Month Globe ‘unlimited’ data package with no texts and no talk time.

Food: Getting breakfast included will help you a lot. The breakfasts are usually of a good size and quality. This means that you can target a cheap Lunch in a Tinpot. For Dinner, I have budgeted for you to have something from the cheaper half of the menu in one of the back street budget restaurants.

The ‘Cost Of Existence’ of 2 GRANDPAckers is about PHP1,895 / NZ$62 / US$42 / €37 / £29 per day.


This is about PHP531 per day to LIVE on (i.e. 22% of your GRANDPAcking budget).

With that amount of LIVING funds available you could:

  • Buy 12 small bottles of beer in a budget restaurant
  • Buy 3 or 4 ‘2 for 1’ cocktails in Happy Hour
  • Buy 3 (750ml) bottles of Tanduay Rum with 1.5L bottles of coke
  • Upgrade your Dinner and eat in a Tourist Restaurant (and have PHP100-150 left)
  • Save up for 5 days and each have 1 SCUBA dive

On a GRANDPAcking Budget, LIVING will be ‘tight’. You will need to spend most of your time walking, sunbathing, relaxing and enjoying nature.


Malapascua Island is only worth a visit if you want to specifically come to SCUBA dive Thresher Sharks … like CoronTablas, Carabao, Boracay, Siquijor, and Panglao it is more expensive than other destinations in S.E.Asia – mainly because of the higher accommodation costs.

You won’t be able to afford to SCUBA dive on a GRANDPAcking Budget. You will need to save up extra funds first.

You will (most probably) end up in the south west of the island near the Blue Corals Beach Resort. Your accommodation budget will provide few options as to where to stay.

Malapascua Island has NOT made it into my GRANDPAcking Retirement REVIEWS.

If you want a ‘small island life-style holiday’, I strongly suggest that you compare Malapascua to Gili Air, Indonesia before deciding whether or not to come here. Gili Air beats Malapascua ‘hands down’ in almost all respects. SCUBA diving is cheaper there too (but not as good).

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