Scuba diving in Malapascua Island
Malapascua Island is located north of Cebu. It has beautiful sandy beaches and untouched underwater scenery. Enjoy Shark dives and watch whitetip sharks and hammerheads. Reefs, drop offs, walls and several WWII wrecks are among the great wreck dive sites here. You are bound to see mandarin fish, countless nudibranchs, pygmy seahorses and cuttlefish just to mention few.
Always dive according to your level of training.
Never enter the water without checking with Malapascua Island diving centers for safety, additional information, level required for each dive site and without being accompanied by a professional.
All the information provided is purely informative for our readers and shouldn't be used as is to plan your immersion.
Average annual temperature: 27°C to 32°C (81° F to 89° F).
Average Water surface temperature: From 25 - 31°C (77 - 88°F)
Visibility often averaging: 30 - 100 feet (10 - 30 meters)
Coldest Month: January - February
Warmest Month: May
Rainfall season: From June to December.
Possible to dive all year round.
Malapascua Island has a lot of diving opportunities. The dive sites vary from coral reefs, sandy muck, walls to wrecks. The marine life is rich and the variety of depths on the dive sites provide something for everybody, from novice to advanced divers look for its location on Malapascua Island diving map. You can see manta rays and thresher sharks every day as well as whitetip sharks which are very common. You will find interesting drop offs that can reach 656 feet (200 meters). The marine reserves at Malapascua Island are home to sea snakes, cuttlefish, seahorses, nudibranchs, frogfish, and scorpion fish; see more in the Philippines diving photo gallery.
Malapascua is well known for shark diving and some sharks that can be seen on the dive sites here are White tip, nurse, bamboo, thresher and hammerheads. The best time to observe sharks is in the winter. In fact thresher sharks can be seen everyday which has made Malapascua very popular with underwater photographers looking for good shark shots. Soft corals are abundant on this island.
There are quite a few little islands close to Malapascua Island. One of them ,Gato is a sea snake and marine sanctuary. It's a little less than an hours boat ride away but worth the visit. The landscape is rocky and the marine life abundant. Lots of banded sea snakes can be seen here as well as moray eels, cuttle fish, scorpion fish and frog fish just to mention a few. There is lots of soft coral that is home to many kinds of nudibranches. You may see reef sharks in the cave on the island as well as cat and bamboo sharks. The underwater scenery is interesting with overhangs and swim throughs. Underwater photographers will enjoy a day out on the island and get great shots.
Lapus Lapus Island is a distinguished place with the most amazing (soft and hard) coral growth. Several marine lives are living in this spot including frogfish, various sweetlips, cuttlefish and lionfish. Great artificial reef was made with the help of the locals. The reef is at a depth of 39 feet (12 meters). Its beautiful sandy bottom is home to a variety of sea life which includes cuttlefish, lionfish, crabs, loads of nudibranch, shrimp and porcelain crabs.
Calanggaman Island is a breathtaking coral island with white sand and coconut trees. There are drop offs going to more than 40 meters (130 feet) with clear water and lots of hard corals and gorgonian fans. Lots of shrimp and critters as well as pelagics in the blue. The walls are covered in beautiful hard corals and gorgonian fans in which a variety of fish live.
The colorful reefs here are covered with beautiful coral formations and some old wrecks which have historical back grounds. Some wrecks are Japanese ships sank during the World War II. Most of the wrecks are intact and upright, you will see blue-ringed octopus and cuttlefish swimming near them. The wrecks are home to plenty of black corals and lots of fish life. The wrecks are at varying depths, some are shallow providing an opportunity for beginners to enjoy wreck diving while others are deep and require advanced skills to dive them. The Lighthouse Wreck is in shallow waters, maximum 5 meters (15 feett) and it was a Japanese WWII landing craft. It is quite broken with the hull in two. It went down after being bombed just before it landed with a big cargo of cement destined for gun placement. Large rocks are visible but actually these large rocks are cement that has become solid with time. Banded sea snakes, pipefish, yellow-tailed barracuda and juvenile harlequin sweetlips are among the fish life that you will see around the Lighthouse wreck.
Another wreck, the Tapilon was a WWII Japanese cargo carrier. She's lying in about 22m-28m / 70ft-90ft of water and although she is well broken up you can still make out its form. There's lots of small barracuda living around the wreck as well as moray eels, squid, scorpion fish and flatworms just to name a few. Colorful soft corals cover the wreck.