scuba diving malapascua

Scuba Diving Malapascua: Your Friendly Guide

If you’re a fan of scuba diving and are visiting the Philippines, check out Scuba Diving Malapascua in Cebu. With its diverse range of dive sites and breathtaking underwater scenery, Malapascua is a must-visit spot for any scuba diving enthusiast. It is the perfect destination for you, especially if you want to spot the infamous Thresher shark.

How to go to Malapascua

Malapascua is a small island in the Philippines, located about 7 kilometers off the northern tip of Cebu.

Here’s how you can go to Malapascua Island.

  1. Plane ride: Book a flight to Cebu (Mactan Cebu International Airport). Some international airports have direct flights to Cebu. Otherwise, take the Manila to Cebu route.
  2. Land trip: From the airport, you can ride a taxi or rent a van (which you can book in advance) to take you directly to New Maya Port in the town of Daanbantayan. You can also ride a taxi to the Cebu North Bus Terminal, and then take a bus to the port. The trip takes about 4 hours, depending on traffic.
  3. Boat ride: Upon arriving at the New Maya Port, take an outrigger boat to Malapascua Island. The trip takes about 30 minutes, with boats departing every hour between 6:30 am and 4:30 pm daily.

Boat schedules may change depending on the weather, so be sure to check the weather when you plan your trip.

Thresher shark encounters

The thresher shark encounter is a unique and wonderful experience where you can see the elusive thresher sharks up close in their natural habitat. The best time to see them is during early morning dives at Monad Shoal and recently at the Kimud Shoal, where they come to get cleaned by smaller fishes like the moon cleaner wrasse and the Bluestreak cleaner wrasse.

The Monad and Kimud shoals are advanced dive sites in Malapascua, so you need an advanced diving level certification to encounter Thresher sharks. If you need to get certified, you can contact us at Sea Explorers Philippines to learn about PADI diving courses in Malapascua Island.

Malapascua scuba diving sites

Malapascua offers many fascinating diving sites, including the following:

Monad Shoal 

Monad Shoal is a famous diving site in Malapascua that offers a unique and exciting diving experience. It is known for its thresher shark encounters, where you can see the elusive sharks up close.

Certification level: Advanced

Kimud Shoal 

Kimud Shoal is an excellent dive site in Malapascua, Cebu, similar to Monad Shoal. It is known for its thresher shark sightings but is also home to other marine creatures worth seeing. Some of these include pygmy seahorses, frogfish, and nudibranchs. At Kimud Shoal, you can also explore the stunning coral formations that are home to a variety of fish.

Diving level certification: Advanced

Deep Rock

Deep Rock is a popular diving site off the coast of Malapascua Island, known for its impressive underwater rock formations and intricate maze of crevices and ledges. You can spot various marine life, such as barracudas, snappers, and groupers.

Diving level certification: Intermediate to advanced

Gato Island

This small island off the coast of Malapascua is known for its underwater tunnel, home to white-tip reef sharks. You can also explore the nearby reef, home to a variety of marine life, such as cuttlefish, octopuses, and sea snakes.

Diving level certification: Intermediate to advanced


Lighthouse is a dive site named after the tall lighthouse that stands on the nearby Gato Island. You can explore the nearby reef, home to various marine life, such as frogfish, moray eels, and lionfish.

Diving level certification: All levels


This dive site is located on the southern tip of Malapascua Island and is known for its beautiful coral gardens. You can swim through the colorful coral formations, spotting colorful fish such as angelfish, butterflyfish, and triggerfish.

Diving level certification: All levels

You may check out more Malapascua dive sites here.

Scuba diving Malapascua: best time to go

The best time to go scuba diving in Malapascua is from November to May, a period characterized by dry, sunny weather. During this time, the sea is calmer, and visibility is ideal, which makes it an excellent time for diving enthusiasts to explore the underwater scenery. However, diving in Malapascua is still possible throughout the year, though the conditions may vary due to the monsoon season that typically lasts from June to October.


Malapascua scuba diving is a must-try experience for any diving enthusiast. With its diverse range of dive sites, breathtaking underwater scenery, and unique marine life encounters, such as thresher sharks, Malapascua has become one of the top diving destinations in the Philippines.

Whether you are a licensed and experienced scuba diver or are still planning to get certified, we at Sea Explorers can assist you in making your scuba diving experience in Malapascua safe, fun, and truly memorable.

To view the prices at Sea Explorers Philippines, click links below:

PADI Dive Courses

Diving Rates & Packages