Travel to a diver’s dream destination in Cebu, Malapascua Island. Find out the top tourist spots in this island aside from its famous thresher sharks diving spots.
Cebu has over 160 islands and islets, and one of the must-visit is Malapascua Island. Located in the northern part of Cebu in the Philippines, it is a top ecotourism destination because of its unique offer: diving with thresher sharks.
Malapascua Island is the only place in the world where you can dive with thresher sharks nearly on a daily basis in their natural habitat.
In fact, thresher sharks are regarded as local celebrities on the island, with thousands of tourists visiting every year for guaranteed encounters. But that’s not the only thing that makes Malapascua a true island paradise.
The underwater scene in Malapascua Island is teeming with beautiful corals and rock formations, perfect for divers, underwater photographers, or anyone who wants to experience life under the sea.
Moreover, there are many powdery white sand Malapascua beaches here that can rival the best beaches in Cebu.
If you’re planning to visit the thresher sharks and explore the beaches in Malapascua, Cebu this year, here are the top things to do on the island that you should include in your itinerary.
It’s one of the famous diving spots in all of Malapascua Island because this is where the famous thresher sharks can be spotted year-round every single day. Yes, that’s right. Thresher shark sightings are guaranteed! In fact, it’s the only place in the whole world where you can encounter these majestic sea creatures nearly on a daily basis.
The fact that diving to see these thresher sharks is completely eco-friendly and sustainable.
Compared to whale sharks that are often led to dive sites with food and sometimes, motorboats, the thresher sharks in Malapascua Island naturally swim to Monad Shoal every day for their natural cleaning session.
Monad Shoal is teeming with wrasse, a small electric blue fish that cleans sea creatures naturally from small fish to big sharks.
If you’re diving with thresher sharks, try exposing a bit of skin and the wrasse will eat up those dead skin cells with gusto! Don’t worry, it won’t hurt. In fact, it’s a bit ticklish!
The best time to see the thresher sharks is very early in the morning, around 4 o’clock in the morning. This is when they have a natural cleaning session with the wrasse.
Monad Shoal has a length of 1.5 kilometers and a depth of nearly 27 meters from the surface. But don’t feel bad if you miss them, you can still swim with manta rays, eagle rays, hammerhead sharks, and devil rays in Monad Shoal.
Photo by Tepanee Beach Resort
The crescent-shaped beach is popular for its lineup of classy beachfront hotels and restaurants. It's one of the best beaches in Malapascua for its idyllic atmosphere and calm waters.
It’s also a great spot to capture the sunset and some island vibes for travel photography.
You need to take a steep and slightly bumpy motorcycle ride to reach the beach but the tranquility and beauty of the beach make it all worth your while.
The azure waters, white sand, lesser crowds, and amazing sunset truly make it a beach paradise. If you want to do some beach yoga, you can do it on the shores of Langub Beach in peace.
This is the first beach that will greet you upon arriving on the island paradise. As Malapascua Island’s main beach, it is probably the most commercialized with a lot of hotels, restaurants, and dive shops near the shore.
If you fancy a cocktail while watching the sunset, simply walk into one of the beachfront bars and get yourself a drink.
Many diver tourists come to Malapascua Island to see the thresher sharks in Monad Shoal.
There’s an underwater tunnel where you can swim through. Inside the small underwater caves, you’ll find big whitetip reef sharks and sea snacks resting. You can also encounter big schools of fish during your dive.
Like in Monad Shoal, you can also find thresher sharks here, as well as hammerhead sharks, barracudas, yellowfin tuna, mackerel, and unicorn fish. The site is teeming with corals, sponges, and sea fans.
Bugtong Bato or North Wall is a dive site near Malapascua Island. Divers will enjoy the sloping reef in Bugtong Bato as well as a mini wall, the sandy bottom, and all the underwater creatures that hid in the corals.
If you've always wanted to swim with a large school of batfish, do include this dive site in your Malapascua diving tour.
It’s always best to check the local weather before a dive. Sometimes, the currents here get pretty strong that tours often finish early.
Head to the Lighthouse Reef and tick off this item from your bucket list. Here you’ll find one of the world’s most beautiful and psychedelic fish: the Mandarin fish.
Underwater photographers dive here not just for the Mandarin fish but also for the blue ring octopus, seahorses, and a small but equally captivating World War II shipwreck.
As the name suggests, this beach is near the Malapascua lighthouse where you can enjoy amazing panoramic views from the top.
But what makes the Lighthouse Beach famous is the Japanese World War II landing craft wreck in a shallow snorkeling spot. Like most beaches in Malapascua, people go here to watch the sunset in peace.
A trip to Malapascua Island isn't just about diving to see the thresher sharks. It's about experiencing a different kind of island life, one that is far from the party and bustling island life.
In Malapascua, Cebu, you're not only diving deep to see the majestic sea creatures, but you're also immersing yourself in the island culture.
You'll see firsthand how the locals are able to sustain their eco-tourism model. You’ll see how the diving rules are strictly enforced to ensure that the activities do not pose any harm to these sea creatures and their habitat.
A trip to Malapascua Island allows you to commune with nature, with the sea, with the people, and experience peace in a true island paradise.
If you’re planning to explore Malapascua, Cebu, add Cebu tours and activities that can help you make the most of your trip.