(Photo by: Evolution Divecenter)
Malapascua has a great variety of dive sites - there is big stuff and small stuff, reefs and wrecks, amazing coral dives and sandy muck dives, wall dives and more. Because the diving is very varied with many different influences there is a great variety of marine life. All the dive sites have excellent macro, so there is always plenty to see. Some divers have rated Malapascua's dive spots as some of the world's best diving!
Check the following divesites:
Thresher Sharks! One of the few places in the world that you have a good chance of regularly seeing thresher sharks is a place called Monad shoals and it is just 20 minutes by boat from Malapascua. On a stretch of reef top about a depth of 23m the sharks appear at the start of the day, sometimes just one and if you are lucky up to four or more. Their early appearance means an early start for the divers – often leaving at 5.00am! Occasionally manta rays and hammerheads are seen here as well.
The dive sites at the nearby Calanggaman Island combine steep walls along which you may see passing pelagics with beautiful corals surrounding big boulders. The dives here are often part of a day trip with snorkelling in the shallows.
Tiny Gato Island is a sea snake sanctuary and is the home of several resting white tip reef sharks. The Gato Island cave runs through the island and divers can make their way from one side of the island to the other via the cave.
The Donna Marilyn wreck is a 90m long cargo boat that sank in 1982. At 32m deep it is easily accessible and perfect for dives on Nitrox. There is good coral growth on the wreck and it is home to both macro and micro species.
Malapascua is also and excellent area for Macro, often compared with Lembeh, in Sulawesi, Indonesia. Many housereef slopes are incredible macro sites, not to forget the Mandarin Fish dive in the Lighthouse divesite.
Surrounding Malapascua and just minutes away from the dive centre there are a number of reefs that are perfect for novices and photographers.
Malapascua is a beautiful small island just off the northern tip of Cebu. Small enough to walk around in just a few hours and dotted with tiny fishing villages it is very much the classic Pacific island hideaway. The white sands of Bounty beach are the main business stretch of the island and it has a sprinkling of dive shops and resorts but the island largely remains quiet and free from large numbers of visitors.
Divers come here for the chances to see thresher sharks, manta rays and to dive at Gato Island and the Donna Marilyn wreck. It also offers offers whitetip sharks, hammerheads (seasonal), wrecks, mandarin fish, countless nudibranchs, pygmy seahorses, cuttlefish, beautiful unspoiled coral gardens and a huge diversity of marine life. Malapascua Island has something for all divers, so come and dive the best kept secret of the Philippines - indeed of South East Asia. The Philippines is the new Thailand, but with much better diving and without the crowds.
For non divers there is a sense of peace and tranquillity on the island that is hard to beat. The interior of the island has small cottages with pretty flowered filled gardens and a maze of pathways that run from cove to cove. There are beautiful clear skies in the evenings allowing you to watch shooting stars. The overall calm is helped by the absence of any four wheel motor vehicles!
It is a small island and this can mean that electrical supply is on occasion sporadic and the water can be a little salty but this is a small price to pay as most of us would like to see Malapascua retain its natural feel. The island is an idyllic getaway for divers and non-divers alike.