Planning a scuba diving trip in Malapascua? Here are a few of my favorite dive sites from our week on the island.
One of the highlights and the main draw that brings scuba divers to Malapascua is the opportunity to dive with thresher sharks. About 30 meters (98 feet) underwater at Malapascua’s Monad Shoal, you are nearly guaranteed to see thresher sharks. Monad Shoal is a thresher shark cleaning station where every morning the sharks swim by to have small fish “clean” them by nibbling off particles of dead skin or bacteria off of them.
At this site you’ll also find devil rays and in the afternoon at a nearby site you’ll find manta rays. We had no luck seeing any manta rays but we managed to see a devil ray and four thresher sharks during our dives.
It was so thrilling to see the thresher sharks live and relatively up close and well worth the 4AM wake up to head out on the boat to the dive site.
I did find this dive to be cold even with my 3mm full wet suit, so if you get cold easily, I’d recommend a thicker suit or wearing two.
Night Dive at Chocolate Island
This was Peter’s and my first time doing a night dive. I was hesitant at first because the idea of being underwater and not being able to see beyond my flashlight was slightly terrifying, but when I found out that the dive was shallow (~15m or 50 feet) I was much more confident. Plus, the underwater life is completely different at night than it is during the day and I was excited to see what we’d find.
During our night dive at Chocolate Island we saw crabs, frogfish, nudibranches and Peter’s favorite— sea snakes. Not only did we see multiple sea snakes but we saw one huge banded snake (aka a very deadly sea snake) that was wrapped around a rock and a couple meters long. If you’re scared of snakes, you’d be extra terrified of them underwater where they can swim riiiiiiight up to you at any second.
On top of that, one of the divers from another group was climbing back on to the boat after the night dive and as she took off one of her fins to hand to the super helpful boat crew, a snake flung off her fin and on to her shoulder before slithering back into the water.
This was an awesome first night dive but quite possibly also our last unless I can erase all the sea snake memories from Peter’s brain.
Gato Island is a two-dive day trip from Malapascua and definitely worth the the boat ride. The first dive we did was a cave dive where we saw our first white tip reef shark passing by.
As we continued the dive we also saw moray eeels, spider crabs, a banded sea snake and a large school of mackerel.
We also found another white tip reef shark resting under a rock.
After lunch on the boat, we had our second dive where we saw another white tip reef shark, a seahorse, nudibranches, a banded sea snake and another school of mackerel.
I would definitely recommend making the trip to Gato Island during your visit to Malapascua. If we had more time we would have also made a trip to Kalanggaman Island.