Sunday, May 1, 2011

how to get to mactan island from cebu city

nowadays, i found myself in mactan island more often than ever before. i had tried all the public transportation that i know that can get me to this island -- the fast, the crawling slow, the heavy traffic and everything in between in a public transport. yes, it is connected with two bridges but these are way too far from cebu city. these bridges are located in mandaue city and getting there is inconvenient for me, more expensive and to top it all off, the traffic could get really nasty.

but before i ended up with my preferred way, which i will share at the end of this post, i had gone through the following. this is with reference from cebu city's central area, if there's such a term. of course, if you have a car on your own, it's downright easy but if you want a dash of fun in your life, local commute can be really exciting.

firstly, here is a google map link to jump-start your visual intelligence.

i took a 21B jeepney bound for mandaue, which couldn't be done now from cebu city's downtown area. beginning early this year, 21B jeepneys' route does not reach there anymore. anyway, i remember it to be a very long arduous jeepney ride with the traffic and heat, too many traffic-violating stops and a route that almost snakes through the nook and cranny of the city.

my end destination was the colloquially termed 'haywii' or yeah if you're with the nice accent, the highway. generally, people would stop in front of the too famous san miguel brewery in mandaue for in this area, jeepneys bound for cebu north and mactan island start their journey.

even if i only had one jeepney ride at this time, i was too exhausted to fight for another jeepney seat that would take me to mactan. you really can't see mactan in the jeepney's signboards because most locals will likely regard mactan as the barangay mactan in lapu-lapu city. just a quick information, mactan island consists of lapu-lapu city and cordova town.

i then hailed a taxi for mactan! which could be an expensive alternative because some taxi drivers would ask for a fixed rate, especially if you're bound to the outskirts of lapu-lapu city or to one of the mactan resorts.

i no longer use this option for the taxi rate has long gone up, too up for my comfort.

during the olden times when i still have the luxury of time, i took a jeepney bound for mandaue like in number one and i also then took a jeepney to mactan island. this is the cheaper way albeit the inconvenience.

i went to sm city cebu's v-hire terminal to catch a van for mactan. this is a better option compared to the first two since i don't have to make jeepney transfers. however, this terminal does not operate 24 hours a day but only starts in the morning and until the evening. i'm not sure with the exact hours, though. another problem with taking a public van is you have to wait until it gets filled up which is not advisable if you're running late. rates are fixed which aren't really expensive considering the trouble you can do away with. vans are air-conditioned, though you may doubt with the older vans.

i took a taxi straight to mactan! most of the time, i do this when i'm heading to the airport. i couldn't gamble on taking any other public transportation for i certainly would not want to miss my plane!

and lastly, i took a ferry from cebu city pier 3 to mactan. i realized the existence of ferries only after several expensive taxi rides. to date, i usually go this way most especially that it gets me straight to my connecting jeepney ride!

this is the queue for the ticket counter in cebu city pier 3. a normal ferry ticket is priced at Php12. Php10 for students and senior citizens. Php7 for children.

Mactan Ferry Ticket Counter in Cebu City Pier 3

i'm a bit apprehensive with the ferry terminal's ticket counter since i could not see the person behind that one-way mirror and there are too many posts cluttered all over. anyway, just ignore everything and make sure to pay the exact amount because too often, the counter does not have loose change. also prepare a Php1 coin for your terminal fee which i think, useless and wasteful, considering the paper used to print that Php1 ticket.

Cebu City Pier 3

on the left, is the bigger ferry which i only saw just recently and on the right is the boat bound for tubigon, bohol.

Mactan Ferry
this is the smaller ferry that had just arrived.

Mactan Ferry

this is how the inside of the small ferry looks like which is the same with the bigger ferry, wherein plastic benches are also being used. the small ferry takes about 30 minutes to reach mactan island while the bigger and faster ferry takes about 20 minutes. ferry rides are generally safe, with life jackets above you. ferries don't get too full for the docked ferry would need to depart on time in order to make way for the next arriving ferry.

however, this is not exactly the case during rush hour or during festivities in either mactan or cebu city. the queue for the ticket counter can get excruciatingly long and since this small port is not housed in a large building, you have to wait outside so, consider the heat during the day and the stuffiness during the night. other than these times, it is adequately convenient.

Mactan Channel
the receding cebu city pier. bye for now!

Muelle Port in Lapu-Lapu City

and then, welcome to mactan island! the ferry terminal in mactan is in lapu-lapu city and it's called muelle port which is at the back of Virgen de la Regla Church.


although for now, these ferries generally cater to the common public and not for the socialites. but i hope someday, the ferry travel across the mactan strait can be a tourist must-do in cebu, like what i had tried in tokyo and in hong kong, especially at night when you can see all the city lights. of course, there's a LOT to improve like the cleanliness of our ports and discipline in lining up. you see, impressions can get across the world these days and sometimes, one experience can be a make or break.

[Dec 5, 2012 Update]
Someone left a comment in the original blogger's comment section but for some reason, it's not published in Disqus. tsk! Disqus is not available when this blog is viewed in mobile format. Another tsk!

Anyway, I hope this still can help that person.

Question: Did you have troubles with luggage on ferry? Thanks

My answer: It is rather inconvenient if you have a big luggage because you need to carry it down a wooden ramp to get to the boat. And during peak hours, it gets really crowded.


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