Malapascua Island is a small island off the northeastern coast of Cebu in the Philippines. It features warm, tropical waters, palm trees, white beaches, and excellent dive sites.
The main thing to do on the island (except for relaxing) is diving. There are plenty of dive spots around the island. Two excellent choices are Gato island and Calamanggan Island. These dive spots will provide ample opportunities to see sea snakes, frog fish, white tip reef sharks, octopi, and cuttlefish.
The highlight of the dive areas is a site called Monad Shoal. This place is frequented by the gracious Thresher Sharks almost every morning. Guarantees can’t be made, but you’d be very unlucky not to see at least one. There is no Thresher Shark season, so you can see them all year round.
You can snorkel right off the beach in Malapascua island. In the shallow parts, you can find crabs hiding in the grass and a few types of small fish. For more interesting snorkeling spots, take the three-hour snorkeling tour around the island. You’ll be taken to three different spots, the second one being the most interesting.
Leftovers of what was once a Japanese warship lie on the bottom off the sea, just off the coast of the island. It’s only 10-15 feet deep, so for those who are able to hold your breath for a while, it’s a great spot. I found a frogfish and several funny looking creatures that I didn’t know existed.
Not far from the wreck is a cliff that you can jump off. Make sure it’s high tide so you won’t slam into the rocks! Another good place to snorkel is Calamanggan island. The island is about 1 1/2 hours away, and daily trips are offered by the locals.
Other things to do
Malapascua Island is pretty small and there really isn’t much else to do. You can rent a motorbike to explore the island and visit some of the local villages. The paths are pretty narrow though, so if you’ve never driven a motorbike before, I’d pass on this adventure.
One more thing we enjoyed doing was watching the sunset. There are a few good places to shoot sunset pictures. The best one is a mile or so away from the main beach where the lighthouse is located. You can’t climb it, but it’s on one of the hills so you’ll have a nice view.