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World | Philippines | Diving Malapascua Island:

Malapascua Island overview


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Malapascua Island dive site map


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Scuba Diving in Malapascua Island, Cebu, the Philippines


Water temperature:

25 - 31°C (27 - 88°F)

Suit:

3mm wetsuit - shortie

Visibility:

10 - 30 metres (30 - 100 feet)

Type of diving:

Shark dives, reefs, walls, wrecks

Marine life:

Hammerhead sharks, thresher sharks, sea snakes, seahorses, remoras, filefish, batfish, catfish, stonefish, lionfish, clownfish, glassfish, sweepers, feather stars, nudibranchs etc

When to go:

Any time of year, although the dry season runs from November to May so offers better visibility

How to get there:

From the UK– It is possible top fly to Cebu City from the UK via Hong Kong. Once at Cebu City get a transfer or taxi to Maya in the north of Cebu. From here it is possible to get a ferry (stopping at 5pm) or fishing boat across to Malapascua Island


Malapascua Island, the Philippines - Courtesy of Rik Vercoe

As a diver, if you haven't heard of Malapascua Island before you arrive in Cebu, you will when you get here. Divers travelling around Cebu generally seemed to have this picked out as the highlight of their diving. This is due to a dive site known as Monad Shoal, an underwater seamount visited daily by thresher sharks. The island itself is located about 30 minute's boat ride almost directly north of Maya, the northern most town on the tip of Cebu Island. At only 2 km long it is small and isolated with white sand beaches and a palm tree back-drop. Bounty Beach is the main area with almost all the dive centres, resorts and restaurant bars located here. From Maya there is a ferry, or if you prefer it you can have a local fishing boat take you across. This is the only option if, as we did, you travel after dark or miss the last ferry.

Accommodation is generally a room or beach hut with a fan to cool you at night. There is only one resort with air-conditioned huts (at the time of writing). At 3 times the price of a fan-cooled beach hut (still cheap at 25 per hut / night) air-conditioning was not necessary when we visited here in late April / early May with daytime temperatures around 30°C (86°F) and night time 26°C (79°F). Water temperature fluctuated between 25°C (77°F) and 28°C (82°F) depending on depth.

Diving generally starts early with the first boats leaving around 5.30am to 6.00am and as diving seems to be pretty much the only reason anyone is here there isn't much in the way of night life. The bars mostly close around 10.00pm to 11.00pm, but as long as there is custom they will stay open if you are a resident.


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