Malapascua is one of the only places on earth where you are almost guaranteed encounters with the magnificent thresher shark. This is a very special experience.
Louisa, Original Diver
Malapascua is not necessarily the most luxurious of destinations but what people come here for is the diving. With the opportunity to see thresher sharks whilst diving as well as many more exciting dive sites, this is a scuba diver's paradise and well worth the visit.
Why we think you’ll love it
- Close encounters with thresher sharks are almost guaranteed.
- Pygmy seahorses that are found by eagle-eyed Filipino divemasters.
- The Dona Marilyn wreck which is overflowing with marine life and adds yet more variety to the diving.
From the gallery
Our Guide to Malapascua Diving Holidays
Undoubtedly what draws people to Malapascua and what is it most famous for is the chance of encounters with thresher sharks, which is almost impossible anywhere else in the world. These beautiful sharks normally live in deep waters off continental shelves so are not often seen by recreational divers. However at Malapascua, there are two underwater islands, with deep water trenches close-by, which act as cleaning stations for the sharks and other animals. Thresher sharks are missing a membrane on their eyes that would protect them from sunlight so they can only been seen around the cleaning stations very early in the morning, when there is just enough sunlight for them to see but not too much that it will damage their eyes. This means that the thresher shark dives normally take place very early in morning, usually between four and six, depending on who you dive with.
However, the thresher sharks are not all there is to see in the waters surrounding Malapascua. There is such great variety from macro diving to wall dives to sloping reefs with a possibility of seeing pygmy seahorses, nudibranchs galore, mantas, beautiful soft corals to name a few! Gato Island is a marine reserve and is famous for its fantastic dive sites and the Dona Marilyn wreck is also a favourite among divers. This was a passenger ferry that sunk over 20 years ago and is covered in marine life.
The island of Malapascua itself is very much dedicated towards the dive industry. Accommodation options are relatively basic but perfectly comfortable and mostly dotted along bounty beach. We have visited and scouted out the best accommodation options with excellent dive centres to experience these fascinating waters.