Are you feeling the heat of the summer? Then it’s about time to look for a travel destination that does not only offer a relaxing getaway from the hustles and bustles of city life, but is also rich in aquatic resources and marine life. From its vast underwater attractions to its crystal clear waters lies an island with immeasurable beauty. Malapascua Island is a well-liked travel destination that will surely fill you with wanderlust. Malapascua, which means “Unfortunate Christmas,” is a small island located in the northern part of Cebu and has been known as a scuba diving haven among tourists. Why this island is a must-see tourist destination? Let’s take a look at some of the wonders of Malapascua Island…
Malapascua Island is considered one of the best diving spots in the Philippines. Divers from different parts of the world gather to witness the remarkable beauty and experience breathtaking diving activity on the island. One of its famous diving areas is the Monad Shoal, an island situated below the surface where the famous thresher sharks can be spotted. This new diving spot, discovered by Thresher shark divers, has been tried and tested and has become a perfect site for thresher shark encounters. Sightings of Giant manta rays are also frequent as well as other sea creatures such as lion fish and octopus.
Gato is a well-known marine sanctuary or safe haven for Sea Kraits or Sea Snakes. This specific diving spot presents a huge variety of marine life such as the cuttlefish, nudibranchs, Harlequin Ghost Pipefish, Pygmy Sea horses, big mouth mackerel, white tip reef sharks and many more.
This island situated at the north western part of Malapascua is the home of the most marvelous soft and hard coral reefs and rock formations. It also offers an array of sea creatures such as giant frog fish, cuttlefish, lionfish and nudibranchs which are perfect for professional divers.
If you’re into night diving, Lighthouse is the most promising site for night divers. It can be very challenging due to limited visibility but undoubtedly offers a totally unique and unforgettable experience compared to the normal diving by day. It is also the best spot for capturing the beauty of the Mandarin fish, which can be considered as one of the most beautiful species in the world. Their mating process, which is normally done during full moon, is definitely a rare experience for any experienced diver.
The scenic and picture perfect spot has been a tourist attraction which is best not only for swimming or diving but as well as snorkeling and beach bumming. Unique formations and marine life such as nudibranches, tuna, crabs, shrimps and rare long nose hawk fish can be seen within the day. This island is perfect for families who are opting for a unique and truly unforgettable experience aside from the normal beach activities.
Another picturesque spot in Malapascua Island which is perfect for macro photography is the Chocolate Island. The whole island is covered with soft corals where marine life such as nudibranchs resides. Presence of other sea creatures such as sea snakes, moray eels, seahorses, shrimps and flatworms are abundant.
Originated from the actual name of the Cebu passenger ferry bound to Manila who sank in a strong typhoon about 20 years ago, Dona Marilyn has become an exceptional ship wreck diving spot among advanced divers. Despite tremendous damage due to sinking, the remaining scraps of the ship are still visible, and the whole vessel and metal parts are still complete. Due to the measurement of the ship, it will take time before a certain diver can actually explore the whole area. Sea creatures such as marble rays, white tip sharks and large cuttle fishes are common in this diving area. The ultimate challenge lies not only on the depth of the ship, but as well as knowing the whole history behind the tragedy most especially those lives that were lost which can create an unearthly and mysterious atmosphere.
Malapascua Island does not only offer extreme and advance diving experience but also perfect for non-divers who prefer a relaxing experience simply by watching the sunrise and sunset. Other activities such as island hopping, snorkeling and cliff diving are also available for adrenaline junkies out there. This island destination is perfect for thrill-seekers and people who just love extreme adventures.