Dive Sites in Malapascua
Early morning dive starts between 5am – 6am depending on the weather. In 30 minutes you will reach Monad Shoal. This shoal has a diameter of 1.5 km and a depth of 20–28 meters, and there is a very high chance of seeing thresher sharks. In 2015, there was an 80-90% sighting rate. Manta rays and mobulas can also be spotted, but mostly during the afternoon dives. Dive with a longer smile, dive with Nitrox is highly recommended!
This shoal lies close to the island of Leyte, east of Malapascua and you can reach it in about 45 min. Besides sightings of thresher sharks and devil rays, there is a good chance to encounter hammerhead sharks. The top of the shoal is about 10-12 m deep and is covered in sponges, hard- and soft corals. The south side of Kemod shoal forms a slope which goes as deep as 30m before it turns into a great drop off. The rest of the shoal have stunning walls, covered with sea fans and corals. Yellow fin tuna, unicorn fish, mackerel and barracudas can be seen regularly. Best time for Kemod is between March – June.
An underwater pinnacle starts at around 14-16 meters and is reachable in about 15-20 minutes. The fairly small rock is one of the highlights of the dive sites around Malapascua Island and a must-go for everybody. The entire rock is covered with beautiful, soft corals in different colors. In between, you can easily find 5-10 different nudibranch species, giant and clown frogfish, different crabs and shrimps and – depending on the season – you can also find pygmy seahorses or harlequin shrimps. Nitrox is highly recommended.
Only 10-15 minutes boat ride away from the dive center, is a site for night dives. The dive starts with the observation of mating Mandarin fish. Seahorses, Blue ring octopus and an abundance of critters can be found here as well.
This picturesque spot is also perfect for snorkelers and swimmers, reachable in about 75-90min. It’s a beautiful wall dive with great coral growth. Rare longnose hawkfish, nudibranchs, and even the odd thresher shark can be found along the wall, amidst the large black coral gardens. Pygmy seahorses can be seen at the deeper fan corals as well. Between dives, we organize a BBQ on the beach. This day trip is an unforgettable experience for all divers, snorkelers and families. We combine this dive site with Nunez Shoal.
This shoal is located south of Malapascua and is a perfect combination with Kalanggaman Island. Walls are covered with soft corals, the plateau is covered in hard and soft corals and a good variety of fish life. With a little bit of luck, bluering octopus can be spotted here as well.
Within 45 minutes by boat, we can reach Gato Island. Gato is famous for its sea snakes and one or two whitetip reef sharks, which are resting in small caves underneath some rocks. A very beautiful dive is the tunnel, where you start from the north east and exit at the west side of Gato Island, especially if one or two white tip reef sharks are waiting you at the exit. It’s one of the best locations in the Visayas sea with an unbelievable variety of underwater life. Stunning rock formations, swim throughs and a lot more awaits you at this top dive site.
The island is located between Maya and Malapascua and is basically just a rock coming out of the water. Some trees are covering the stones and birds made the island their home. From the walls of the island it slopes gently to a max. depth of 18m. The entire slope is covered in soft and leather corals, where a lot of different nudibranchs, shrimps and crabs find their home. Spanish dancers, seahorses and frogfish can be found there as well. It is a great dive site for all levels of divers.
A sandy area full of surprises! It is amazing how many critters you can find on a field of sea grass. Hairy frogfish, seahorses and sea moth are residents over there. Plans of making an artificial reef have been implemented and the result can be admired during every dive.
A very diverse dive site which offers a unique underwater sand dune, with a lot of garden eels. The bottom is covered in sand and rubble in which flamboyant cuttlefish are sometimes trying to hide. Pygmy seahorses, yellow and pink ones can be seen inside the different sea fans along that reef. The sand dune slowly turns in to a small wall which is covered in soft corals. Cracks inside the wall offer a perfect place for frogfish to hide and to wait for their next prey. All in all a very interesting dive site for beginners and advanced divers.
The underwater pinnacle is situated close to the dive site of Lapus Lapus and can be reached within 15 minutes by boat. The shallow part starts in about 12m depth and slopes down to around 15m where it turns into a small wall. Pristine soft corals, sea fans and hard corals cover the wall which goes down to a max depth of 22m and turns into a sandy bottom. A lot of different nudibranchs, frogfish, lionfish, needlefish, pipefish and much more can be spotted on that dive site which is good for beginners to more advanced divers.
The only dive site which can be seen from the dive center of Sea Explorers. Small rocks are coming out of the water and make a stunning atmosphere especially during sunset. Strong currents can be found at this dive site, but during other times of the day it is a perfect dive site for check-up dives, open water and advanced divers. Between those soft corals you will find flatworms, nudibranchs and different shrimps. Schools of small sardines hiding in these waters while tunas and jacks often patrolling the place in hope to find some prey.
The dive site is a training site and located only 5 min. away from Sea Explorers Dive Center at the south western side of Malapascua Island. The bay is very shallow and slopes gently down to a max. depth of 12m. The entire bottom is covered with sand and some patches with sea grass where you can find sometimes seahorses or ghostpipefish inside. Definitely only for absolute beginners to do their confined water skills or their first discover scuba dive.
Capitancillo is one of the best coral reef around the area, with its amazing table corals colony on the shallow reef, it will give you the opportunity to enjoy a real aquarium during your safety stop, snorkelers can enjoy the area too. The trip to this amazing island takes 90-100 minutes and this day trip will be one of the best memories of your stay in Malapascua. School of fish are found around the deep wall making it a wonderful all round dive site. Sea fans often offer you the rare Denise’s pigmy seahorse, ghost pipefish and a lot of cool nudibranchs are a common encounter here.