Malapascua Dive Sites

The Malapascua dive sites are something to look forward to. That is to say, Malapascua offers over 20 different dive sites to choose from. Certainly the most well known dive is the early thresher shark dive at Monad Shoal. Thresher sharks are a deep water shark and are very rarely seen by divers. Malapascua is the only place in the world they can be seen every day at the cleaning stations (where the sharks go to get rid of the parasites on their skin by other fish). They are very distinctive with their long tail, which is about half of their body length.

Malapascua dive sites

 
Malapascua dive sites

Diving at Monad shoal during the thresher shark dive

Furthermore, there are also sightings of giant manta rays, eagle rays, etc. sometimes come so close you could almost touch them. Sometimes you will be lucky enough to see them on the same dive as a thresher shark. White tip sharks also grow very large and close encounters are almost guaranteed at Gato. Hammerhead sharks are around from December to April although these are less common. Furthermore you can spot devil rays and marble rays. Other very occasional visitors include turtles, whale sharks and once there was even a tiger shark!

Gato Island is another very famous Malapascua dive site. This dive site has a great variety of creatures – seas snakes, cuttlefish, seahorses (large and pygmy), frog fish, 100’s of nudibranchs, loads of macro and good soft coral.

Malapascua dive sites

are also very well known for incredible macro at all its dive sites. You can see many types of shrimps and crabs, including harlequin shrimp, ghost shrimp and xeno crabs. Pipe fish are all around including several types of ghost pipe fish. Also expect to see various types of cuttlefish, octopus (including blue-ringed octopus), moray eels, frog fish, to mention just a few. The night dive is spectacular, with mandarin fish mating all over the place, seahorses, bobtail squid, seahorses, and huge crabs and sea stars. Mimic and blue ring octopus can be seen as well as the occasional stargazer and hairy frog fish. Some have said the muck diving rivals Lembeh Straits.

There are several wrecks at various depths for all levels of divers from beginner snorkelers to technical divers including a couple from WWII.

Between November/December/January the visibility is reduced to 5-10 m. due to high plankton density which gives the water a greenish look. During this season you can spot more Manta Rays though. The rest of the year you can expect to find between 15 to 30 m. visibility. The water temperature ranges from 27°C to 30°C. However, from December to February it can drop to 25°C.

Monad Shoal

  • Distance: 30 min. Min.
  • Min. Depth: 16 meters
  • Max. Depth: 30 meters (Deeper if Deep Driver Trained)

Malapascua dive sites

 
Malapascua Dive Sites

On the way to Monad Shoal

Description:

Malapascua’s number one dive site is the world famous Monad Shoal. First of all the top of Monad shoal ranges from 14 meters to 27 meters. Secondly it has a drop-off that exceeds the limits of recreational diving. Most importantly, the famous Thresher sharks can be seen year round at this site. Thresher sharks are regular visitors to the many cleaning stations found on the top of the reef. Depending on the season you my also encounter white tip sharks, devil rays and giant manta rays. Other regular visitors to the cleaning stations include lionfish, sweetlips, octopus and batfish. We follow strict diving rules at Monad, to minimize the impact of divers and to increase the chance of a shark encounter. Please adhere to all rules explained by your dive guide during the dive briefing.

Enriched Air or Nitrox

As this is a deep dive, Nitrox is advised to extend your time with the Thresher Sharks. Specifically for the more experienced divers.

Kimud Shoal

  • Distance: 45 minutes
  • Min. Depth: 10 meters
  • Max. Depth: 30-40 meters

Description:

A sea mound situated near the island of Leyte, the top of the mound is covered in soft flower corals. Furthermore you can find barrel sponges and small outcrops of hard coral. The reef begins around 10 meters with one side gradually sloping down to 29 meters before becoming a severe drop off and the other side creating a stunning wall. Both sides are encrusted with an array of soft corals and sea fans. For example yellow fin tuna and unicorn fish thrive in the rich waters and the infamous thresher shark has also been spotted here. During the winter months of November – February this site is famous for the schooling hammerheads that can be seen in the blue waters off the mound. For advanced divers it is possible to arrange a blue dive to look for the hammerheads.

Nunez Shoal

  • Distance: 1:45 hours
  • Min. Depth: 10 meters
  • Max. Depths: 30-40 meters

Description:

Situated adjacent to Calanggaman island, this wall dives offers a little bit of everything. Hard corals and barrel sponges cover the gently sloping top of the reef creating an ideal environment for sea stars, frog fish, nudibranches and reef fish to hide within. The walls drop down to a plateau in 40 meters. However, there are further drops to well below recreational limits. Encrusted with sea fans, soft corals and sponges an array of the reef fish can be seen, moray eels. As a result you never quite know what you will see off the wall into the blue. The topography of this dive sites makes it suitable for all levels of divers.

 Deep Slope

  • Distance: 20 min.
  • Min. Depth: 16 meters
  • Max. Depth: 30 meters

Description:

An underwater pinnacle situated at the northern end of the island. The flat top starts in 12 meters and gently slopes to 13 meters creating a shallow soft coral encrusted plateau. Consequently the sheer sides create a beautiful wall dive; pristine soft corals and sea fans cover the entire wall and house a wide variety of macro life. For example, from pygmy sea horses and frog fish to the colorful and often strange nudibranch. Reef fish such as fusiliers and anthias find shelter around the wall from the sometimes-strong currents. This is a beautiful and interesting dive site suitable for all levels of divers.

North Rock

  • Distance: 20 min.
  • Min. Depth: 15 meters
  • Max. Depth: 25 meters

Description:

Situated off the northern tip of Malapascua this dive site offers a little bit of everything. Subject to strong currents a luscious soft coral garden thrives here. As a result it creates an ideal home for array of different marine life. A small coral encrusted wall starts at 15 meters and drops down to 24 meters creating shelter for many varieties of nudibranchs, flatworms and lion fish. First of all the sloping reef at the top of the wall is home for sea anemones. Secondly, you can find gorgonian sea fans and giant elephant ears that harbor a wide range of frog fish. A nice dive site for the more experienced diver.

North Point

  • Distance: 20 min.
  • Min. Depth: 6 meters
  • Max. Depth: 27 meters

Description:

A constant favorite among divers this  site is subject to strong currents creating a perfect habitat for soft coral. As a result, soft coral grows in an abundance creating a magical color garden. Even without  the strong currents this site is normally always dived as a drift dive to maximize the stunning rock formations and canyons. In other words, they create ideal hiding places for scorpion fish, frog fish and lion fish. Furthermore the sort corals house many varieties of nudibranches and flatworms. On the other hand, sea horses have also been seen hanging off the coral branches. Other marine life includes angelfish, bat fish and moray eels. A great dive site for levels of divers.

The Light House

  • Distance: 20 min.
  • Min. Depth: 5 meters
  • Max. Depth: 10 meters

Description:

The perfect sunset dive, this site is almost a sure be to see the colorful mandarin fish performing their mating dance. The most prolific time of the month is around the full moon, but the activity can bee seen virtually every night. The first 20 minutes of the dive are spent observing the Mandarin fish; then it is time to move on and explore the remainder of the reef. Sea horses of varying shapes, colors and sizes are a common occurrence among the hard coral branches. Furthermore you can spot cuttlefish, blue ringed octopus, flamboyant cuttlefish and a wide array of crabs of  differing shapes and sizes. A nice dive site and a great dive for first time night divers.

Dakit Dakit

  • Distance: 10 min
  • Min. Depth: 5 meters
  • Max. Depth: 12 meters

Description:

A gently dive site created by a scattering of small islands formations, some below the surface some above. The site is prone to strong currents, creating a beautiful soft coral garden. Nudibranches heaven is what this site if often referred as. However it is also possible to see many different flatworms, pipe fish and sea horses hiding within the sort corals. Furthermore sardines and bait fish can be seen schooling within the relative safe of the small islands, and moray eels hide with the overhangs and crevasse. This is an ideal dive for all levels of divers especially those who need to refresh their diving skills.

Bantigue Bay

  • Distance: 15 min.
  • Min. Depth: 3 meters
  • Max. Depth: 12 meters

Description:

A muck dive without the muck is the best way to describe this shallow dive site. A small reef with pristine soft corals hiding an array of marine life. This includes Pegasus sea moths, cuttlefish, scorpion fish, nudibranches and lion fish. Time you spend in the sand is not wasted at this site as many different varieties of gobies, wasp fish, razor fish and pipe fish can be found for those who have a good eye. To sum up, a great check out dive site for those who have been out of the water for a while.

Day Trips to Malapascua dive sites

Calanggaman Island

  • Distance: 1.5 hours
  • Min. Depth: 5 meters
  • Max. Depth: 30-40 meters

Description:

Calanggaman Island is a small remote white-beached paradise. The top of the shoal lies in 5-12 meters and is covered in giant barrel sponges and sea fans. Fist of all, the southern section offers sloping reef walls covered with soft and hard corals, hiding within are lion fish, moray eels, nudibranch and scorpion fish. Secondly, the northern section offer spectacular wall dives encrusted with gorgonian fans and giant barrel sponges. You can see schools of snappers, fusiliers and anthias congregating off the large drop offs. For example, the deep walls offer every possible chance to encounter large sharks and rays. In short a good day trip for all levels of divers and comes highly recommended.

Gato Island (Day-trip)

  • Distance: 40 min
  • Min. Depth: 3 meters
  • Max. Depth: 17 meters

Description:

A small island situated between Malapascua and Cebu Island, this site is a gentle relaxing dive. The island walls gently taper towards a sandy bottom. Subsequently you can see elephant ears, barrel sponges, sea fans and soft corals cover the reef. As a result they create an ideal habitat for nudibranch, sea horses, Spanish dancers and hairy frog fish. Unfortunately in recent times the constant bombardment of dynamite fishing in the nearby villages of Tapilon and Maya, stopped us from diving this site. However due to popular demand we are once more diving this lovely site. In short a great dive site for any level of divers.

The Dona Marilyn Wreck (day-trip)

  • Distance: 1.5 hours
  • Min. Depth: 19 meters
  • Max. Depth: 32 meters

Description:

“Dona Marilyn” is a Filipino passenger ferry that sank on the 23rd of October 1988 in Typhoon Rudy. First of all the 98 meter long ferry now lies intact on her starboard side in 32 meters of water, creating a unique artificial reef. Secondly beneath the bow and stern you can find Marble rays and large White tip sharks sleeping. You can also see cuttlefish lurking around. The wreck is covered in hard, soft and black corals. Other fish life includes scorpion fish, puffers, bat fish, sweet lips and various nudibranches. For certified “wreck divers” it is possible to penetrate the passenger walkways on the port side of the wreck. Furthermore, for those interested in completing the wreck specially course, you can explore the hulls and lower decks. This dive site is for the more experienced diver.

Due to illegal scraping at Malapascua dive sites

 of the wreck, we do not visit this dive site at the time being.