An opportunity to scuba dive at a place where one can have encounters with thresher sharks and manta rays is something that every diver will look forward to. It is no surprise then that divers find their way to Malapascua Island whole year round because it is the only place where they can find thresher sharks at all seasons.
Malapascua is situated in the province of Cebu in the Philippines. It is at the northern tip of Cebu. While divers definitely find the place attractive, its sandy beaches fringed with coconut palms and surrounded by clear waters make it alluring to nature lovers as well.
How to reach Malapascua
Access to Malapascua is mainly through Cebu City. Many domestic and international Airlines serve Cebu. You can fly to Cebu from Manila or other cities of Philippines, or take a direct flight from cities like Hong Kong, Tokyo, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur etc. There are also ferries from Manila to Cebu. From Cebu, you can travel by road (bus or car) to Maya and from there can take a boat to Malapascua. The road journey will take about four hours and boat journey about 30 minutes. Many resorts have arrangements for picking up and transferring visitors.
What to do in Malapascua
- Diving and snorkelling are the main activities you can indulge in Malapascua. Sites like Monad Shoal, called Shark Point because of the presence of Thresher Sharks; Gato Island; North Point with its nudibranchs, scorpionfish, and seahorses; Lapus Lapus with its spectacular corals; Chocolate Island; North Wall; Chicken Curry Island; Ka Osting with its hairy frogfish; Nunez Shoal that offers a dazzling wall dive; House Reef; The East Side where you have dwarf lionfish, squids etc; The Sand Patch with moray eels and crabs; Twins suitable for shallow diving; Maripipi with its range of fishes; Buhoc Point; Maria’s Point suitable for advanced divers; Dona Marilyn Wreck, World War II Tapilon Wreck, the Japanese Pioneer Wreck, and Don Macario Wreck for wreck diving; and Kimud Shoal which is a sunken island, are popular among tourists.
- You can also enjoy nature’s bounty by simply relaxing at the different beaches.
- Climbing the octagonal steel tower of Malapascua Lighthouse to get a complete picture of the lovely island will be an interesting experience.
- Visiting Kalanggaman Island, which is a desert island surrounded by steep walls.
- Visiting Bantayan Island where one can go biking, ride a boat, swim, go free diving, go scuba diving, or snorkelling.
Resorts in Malapascua
Malapascua – Hippocampus Resort
A small and friendly, 18 roomed resort, Hippocampus Resort is located on Malapascua, specifically in Bounty Beach. The shallow water near the beach is perfect for swimming and a little further is a garden of corals with blue-colored staghorn corals. This reef is home to vibrant reef fishes and offers great snorkeling opportunities. Named after a seahorse species, there is a bounty of these creatures found on the nearby reefs. The rooms are surrounded by tropical gardens and fully furnished in a colonial-style that features a large veranda and an en-suite bathroom. The Deluxe and Superior rooms are all air-conditioned. A full-service restaurant is situated on the shore and the Magellan’s Bar is a place to stay to watch the sunset. Travel towards this island is approximately 3-4 hours by boat and car.
Malapascua – Tepanee Beach Resort
A little property with 4 different seafront cottages with double beds and a cottage with 6 rooms for sleeping, up to 3 persons in each, the Tepanee Beach resort is a good place to have a getaway. All accommodation is constructed with local materials and feature modern facilities including a veranda and air-conditioning. Dives for thresher sharks is close-by, 2-minute stroll down the Bounty Beach, yet remote enough to make you feel that you’re the only ones in the island.
The best time to visit Malapascua
From February to May it is spring in Malapascua when the weather is good and the sea is calm. This is the busiest season and those who want to visit should make their bookings in advance. From June to January, the weather is warm with the possibility of frequent rains. However, visibility is good during this season, and marine life continues to be rich.
Scuba Diving in Malapascua Island?
Check out our Malapascua Island dive guide and start planning your next dive trip!