Malapascua in the Philippines

  • Relaxing environment on a private island
  • The forgotten gem loved by divers all over the world
  • Fantastic opportunities to see thresher sharks

Malapascua in the Philippines is a wonderful destination to combine a relaxing holiday with diving. Especially since many consider it to be the best diving here in the Philippines. The island has a relaxing environment and everything can take its own time. Malapascua was quite unknown for a long time but has now become a favorite destination for many diving enthusiasts in the world. The residents are very friendly and the island still feels quite unexploited with a pleasant calm atmosphere. Many backpackers also come here and the beaches are full of life.

Malapascua is a developing island with a simple infrastructure. Many of the obvious things we often take for granted in our homes are missing here. This means you have to keep an open mind and some things can be a little uncomfortable. For example, salt water, power outages at any time during the day, cooking can take time, etc. Just keep in mind that you are on vacation and it's no problem.

Beautiful island for relaxation

Although most people come here to Malapascua to dive in the crystal clear waters around the island, there is also plenty to do here for non-divers. After a long day in the sun, you can choose to relax in a hammock, enjoy a cheap massage either on the beach or in your room.

Snorkeling: There are some great snorkelling spots around the island and you can easily grab your mask and fins and head out from any beach you like. Near the lighthouse is a shallow wreck that you can easily dive down to. A 70-minute boat ride from Malapascua will take you to Kalangaman Island, a fantastically beautiful and well-photographed island where you can snorkel. If you want to go ashore there, a small sum is paid.

Massage: On the beach as well as at several resorts, you can get a massage and it's cheap for a really good massage. This is a very pleasant end to your diving day.

Walk around the island: You can easily walk around the island in about two hours or you can rent a motorbike. You can also hire a driver to take you to the best places on the island.

Combine: It is easy to combine Malapascua with other locations in the PhilippinesContact us then we will arrange it for you.

The diving in Malapascua

  • Malapascua is an excellent destination for all levels of divers
  • Thresher shark in nearby locations
  • Good destination for macro photography

Malapascua is best known for its shark diving and if you want to see the famous the fox shark then this is where you should go. In the deep waters around Monad and Kemod Shoal, thresher sharks live and hunt. If you enjoy macro photography, you are basically guaranteed to see nudibranchs, frogfish, seahorses and octopuses.

Diving with sharks at Malapascua

The thresher shark is a deep-dwelling shark and is rarely seen by divers. However, Malapascua is one of the few places in the world where you can see these beautiful sharks pretty much every day. They are very specific with their long tail fin which makes up roughly half the body length.

Malapascua is one of the best dive sites in the Philippines to meet and see big fish. You regularly see large manta rays that can reach a wingspan of up to six meters. Sometimes you can be lucky and see them on the same dive as the thresher sharks. You can also see mobulas, eagle rays and marble rays, whitetip reef sharks up close. Reef sharks are almost guaranteed at Gato Island. Hammerhead sharks often begin to show in December until April but seeing them is unfortunately quite rare. Other ephemeral visitors include turtles, whale sharks and on occasion tiger sharks have even been spotted!

Street Island

Gato Island is one of many very famous dive sites at Malapascua. The island has a great variety of animal species and offers nice reefs and caves. Here you can see sea snakes, octopus, seahorses, pygmy seahorses, frogfish and many species of nudibranchs and lots of soft corals.

Here at Malapascua there is also wreck diving with several wrecks at varying depths including wrecks from the Second World War. The wrecks are for all levels of divers, from beginners to technical divers. 

The water temperature is normally around 27 - 30°C degrees but in January - February it can go down to around 25°C degrees. We recommend diving in a 3 mm full suit with boots. Many divers choose to dive with a hood after several days of repeated diving. Remember to bring a thin windbreaker and enough sun protection. Full suit not only protects against cold, but also against hydroids that can be free in the water and can burn.

Term: Normal visibility on Malapascua is around 15-25 meters.

Weather: Typhoon season in the Philippines is from July – November, but Malapascua is rarely affected although it can be windy. The typhoons usually pass further north and since there are no mountains nearby, much of the rain that tends to fall in Leyte and Cebu is avoided. If you're looking for a nice, quiet holiday, go during typhoon season as the diving is often better and there are fewer tourists here. It's also that time of year that part liveaboard passing by here.