Updated: Nov 2, 2021
'A tiny island with a big heart' is how many people describe Malapascua Island. However, at only 2.5 kilometers long, and with no roads, it may not be the first destination that springs to mind when choosing your next dive vacation. Situated off the very northern tip of Cebu in the Philippines, Malapascua is also a challenge to get to, however, this remote hideaway in the heart of the Coral Triangle is home to some very special marine life that makes it a scuba diving gem.
Here are some awesome things about Malapascua Island diving:
It's one of the only places in the world where divers can get up close and personal with thresher sharks.
It's in the Coral Triangle, so the marine diversity and reef life are exceptional.
The macro life, especially nudibranchs and seahorses, is prolific.
It's an excellent location for finding and photographing mandarin fish.
In May, mating flamboyant cuttlefish are an awesome spectacle.
There is a sea snake reserve at nearby Gato Island.
How to Get to Malapascua Island
Fly international to Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport (MNL), then take a domestic connection to Mactan-Cebu International Airport (CEB). It's then a 2.5-hour drive north to Maya where a boat will take you the 30-minute transit to Malapascua.
Water Temperatures: 78°F (25°C) in January, rising to an endothermic 85°F (29°C) in May.
Visibility: 60-80ft (15-25m).
Depth Range: 16-131ft (5-40m).
Diving Difficulty: Suitable for all levels.
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