Dive Sites Malapascua
Early morning dive starts between 5am – 6am depending on the weather. In 30 minutes you will reach Monad Shoal. The island has a diameter of 1,5km and a depth of 20 – 28 meters. In Monad Shoal there is a very high chance to see the thresher sharks. In 2015 there was a 80-90% sighting rate. Manta rays and mobulas are also spotted but mostly in 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 which starts at around 14-16 meter and is reachable in about 15-20min. The fairly small rock is one of the highlights of the divesites around Malapascua Island and a must go for everybody. The entire rock is covered with beautiful soft corals in different colors. In between you 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 over there. Nitrox is highly recommended.
A 10 minute boat ride takes you to this place at the northwestern side of Malapascua. A great rock formation down to 20m with beautiful soft corals, small reef fish, frogfish, lionfish, scorpionfish and nudibranches makes it a perfect dive site for beginners to advanced divers.
Lapus II lies right next to LapusLapus and starts with a sloping reef in 12m which turns into a small wall. The bottom here is at around 20m depth and the sandy bottom with a lot of black corals and sea fans is sloping down to a max. depth of 30m. Butterfly fish, damsels and anthias are living between the sponges, soft and leather corals which cover the entire dive site. Nudibranchs, frogfish and a high diversity of different shrimps and crabs made it their home. All in all a good dive site for all level of divers. Currents can be mild to strong.
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 longnosehawkfish, nudibranches, and even the odd thresher shark can be found along the wall, amidst the large black corals gardens. Pygmy seahorses can be seen at the deeper fan corals as well. During the dives we often offer BBQ on the beach. This daytrip is an unforgettable experience for all, divers, snorkelers and families. Often we combine this dive site with Nunez Shoal.
This shoal is located south of Malapascua and is a perfect combination with Calanggaman Island. Walls are covered with soft corals, the plateau is covered in hard & soft corals and the fish life is much better than around the waters of Malapascua. With a little bit of luck, blue ring octopus can be spotted here as well.
Within 45 min by boat we can reach Gato Island. Gato is famous for its sea snakes and big 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.
Before a beautiful coral garden, with corals just growing right under the surface and sloping down to a max depth of 12m – perfect for all divers. But sad to say, all these corals have been washed away by typhoon “Yolanda” and we don’t take any divers there anymore.
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 LapusLapus and can be reached within 15 min. 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.
A beautiful island located further north of Malapascua. This is a full day trip and the journey to that piece of paradise is only 3 hours away. Visibility is normally better than at other dive sites around Malapascua. Huge sea fans and a slope with breathtaking black corals in different colors are covering the bottom at one of these dive sites. A big diversity of reef fish such as sweet lips, parrot fish, groupers, turtles and much more can be seen here. Also black tip reef sharks are often spotted around Sambawan Island.
A huge volcano lies a little bit further north of Leyte. Dark sand covers the beaches and the bottom of the sea around Maripipi. Muck diving must be absolutely amazing here and can be compared to Dauin. For now we only found 2 great dive spots around this island, but many more are waiting to be discovered. Maybe you will become a Sea Explorer yourself one day.
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.
Malapascua got his name way back in time. It says that some Spaniards have been sailing through the Visayas in the year of 1520. Due to some bad weather their boat stranded on Malapascua on Christmas Day, 25th December 1520. While having a broken boat and sitting on a tropical island far away from home during a tropical storm, they called the island Mala Pascua, which literally means “Bad Christmas”. Nowadays everybody is talking about Malapascua island even though the older local people insist that their islands name is “Logon” (same name as the main village here on Malapascua).
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.
Today Malapascua is a laid back island with lovely people living here. The “Thresher Shark” made the island famous by divers and every year more and more people coming to enjoy the white sandy beaches, the lovely small resorts, the nicest local people and excellent diving. Surely a great place to visit and to completely forget about the western world.
These are only some of the featured dive sites – there are many more very interesting dive spots around Malapascua. Come and see for yourself!