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No dive trip to the Philippines is complete without a visit to the small island of Malapascua located two kilometres north of Cebu Island.

Malapascua is one of the best shark diving locations in the Philippines. Sharks seen here include white-tip, black-tip, bamboo, nurse, cat, hammerhead and the magnificent thresher sharks.

Malapascua’s Monad Shoal is known as the only place in the world where thresher sharks can be closely observed on a daily basis. Other large pelagics seen on Monad include manta and mobula rays, whilst an impressive array of nudibranch, pipefish and frogfish will keep macro photographers happy. Observe the colourful mandarin fish at Lighthouse during a dusk dive and head out to the marine reserve and sea snake sanctuary of Gato Island to get the best diving experience in this location.

September is a great month to visit, with manta ray sightings at their peak and many thresher sharks in the water. Encounters with hammerhead sharks are frequent from December through to April. It's a sleepy and relaxed island, but has its lively moments during the holiday seasons.

View suggested itineraries

Key info

  • Ideal for viewing: pelagic thresher shark, scalloped hammerhead shark, banded sea krait, mandarin fish, common cuttlefish, mobula ray

Dive trips

This dive location is featured in the following itineraries:

Big Fish Tour

For those who like their marine life BIG! This exciting and comprehensive dive itinerary includes encounters with whale sharks, manta rays and thresher sharks in three locations across the Philippines.

  • When to go: Nov-Apr
  • Duration inc. flights: 14 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £2,165 pp
  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea

Island Hopping Dive Safari

Choose from five exceptional diving locations in the Visayas region of the Philippines. Enjoy stress free diving adventures as you island hop between them, exploring everything from macro life to pelagics.

  • When to go: Jan-Dec
  • Duration inc. flights: 17 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £2,475 pp
  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea

Philippine Secrets Dive Safari

Join a dedicated dive safari to discover new dive sites in the Philippines. Highlights include pelagic encounters, wrecks and exploratory diving at locations that have been kept a secret for generations.

  • When to go: Mar-May
  • Duration inc. flights: 10 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £2,095 pp
  • Trip type: Group trip

Visayas Liveaboard

These liveaboard trips operate throughout the year to the Visayas, one of the best diving locations in the Philippines. Highlights include outstanding macro life in Dauin and Malapascua's thresher sharks.

  • When to go: Jun-Feb
  • Duration inc. flights: 12 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £3,395 pp
  • Trip type: Liveaboard trip

Discover the Visayas

This popular itinerary offers divers the chance of thresher shark encounters in Malapascua, a unique dive with a resident sardine baitball in Moalboal and plenty of time to discover the islands of the Visayas region.

  • When to go: Jan-Dec
  • Duration inc. flights: 13 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £2,045 pp
  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea

Sharks & Reefs

This two week itinerary is perfect for divers seeking thresher shark encounters in the clear blue waters at Monad Shoal, and the pristine reefs surrounding Panglao and Balicasag islands.

  • When to go: Jan-Dec
  • Duration inc. flights: 17 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £2,145 pp
  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea
Suggested accommodation options are shown below. Please contact us for further recommendations.

Evolution Resort

This small resort, owned and operated by dive instructors, offers a comprehensive range of PADI courses and boat dives to local sites around Malapascua, encountering thresher sharks, wrecks, macro life and plenty of reefs.

Ocean Vida Beach & Dive Resort

Located on Malapascua Island, this small modern property on Bounty Beach is an ideal place to base yourself for a few days whilst you head out to Monad Shoal in search of thresher sharks.

Tepanee Beach Resort

With its own private beach and prime location on Malapascua, this small, friendly property provides all you need for a tropical island getaway in the Philippines, together with world-class diving at nearby Monad Shoal.