Diving with thresher sharks in Malapascua
June 8, 2019
by Franca Levin
Do you enjoy adventure and wildlife? Do you want to see some amazing sharks swimming next to you? If the answer is yes, then this article is for you. I’ll tell you all you need to know to visit those big fellas.
There are more than 7000 islands in the Philippines, but tourists always follow more or less the same itinerary. Even though it still maintains the essence of being a remote island, Malapascua is slowly but consistently getting into the touristic brochure thanks to the possibility of diving with thresher sharks.
Boats depart to Malapascua from Maya. The easiest and most common way to get to Maya from Cebú City is by bus or van. Both depart from the North Bus Terminal and will take you to Maya Port. The cost of the bus is $230 (local currency) and the van $250 but is much faster. The savings are not considerable, so I suggest you take the van.
Once in Maya, the boats depart as soon as they get full, there’s no strict time table. The price is $100 and will take you about half an hour to make it to the island. If you arrive after 5 pm you’ll have to pay for a private boat.
Requirements for diving with thresher sharks
You know that, when it comes to wildlife, nobody can guarantee that the animal will come out whenever we want. But in Malapascua, the possibility of spotting some shark is about 90%, according to all the dive centers and resorts I spoke to. Pretty good odds, right?
The one and only requirement for diving with the thresher sharks is having, at least, the PADI Open Water certificate or equivalent. In that case, you’ll be doing an Adventure dive, that would count in the future if you want to go for the Advanced course. This is because you’ll go 30 meters deep in the water, so at least you need the Deep Dive.
It’s also possible to do the Advanced course there and go with the thresher sharks as part of the training. That’s actually what I did. You can easily do it in two days.
What to expect in your dive?
The diving spot is called Monad Shoal and is about 30 o 40 minutes boat ride from the island. Prepare yourself to wake up early in the morning, as all the tours depart between 4.30 and 5 am.
Once there, you will go into the water and start the descent until 16 to 18 meters deep. The guide or instructor will take you to the wall, to continue the descent until 30 meters. The wall is a bit scary because all you see at the beginning is darkness, but the feeling is amazing. At the bottom, there are some ropes, for those who are not very good in buoyancy. Just stay there, the sharks will come to you.
Other attractions in Malapascua
The only reason many tourists go to Malapascua is diving, but try to do something else as well. There are some amazing beaches in the north region, that you can easily go by motorcycle. The town is small but with a beautiful atmosphere, the Central Market is cheap, fresh and delicious. Don’t stay all day inside the resort, explore the island!