Snorkeling in Malapascua

With the common sightings of Thresher Sharks in Monad Shoal, Malapascua Island has become a divers’ paradise.  But worry no more, non-divers like me may also enjoy the island’s diverse marine world through snorkeling.

It was raining during our boat ride to Malapascua but when I texted our boatman, Kuya Jevie, he assured us that the rain will eventually stop and we may proceed with our snorkeling later in the afternoon.  True enough, the rain stopped and the sun showed his mighty rays even before we had our lunch at Ging-ging’s.

Coral Garden
Coral Garden

After lunch, Kuya Jevie fetched us in front of our resort and entrusted us to his brother and his son, Arvin to bring us to the snorkeling sites of Malapascua.  Our first stop was the Coral Garden.  I honestly don’t like the quality of corals in Coral Garden.  Maybe because I’m struggling to find my comfortable stance.  As if being a non-swimmer is not enough, the big waves in the area pushed us far away from our boat.  We had to wave for Arvin to bring us back to our boat since our life vest and constant peddling was not enough.

Soft corals dispersed around the 50 ft. cliff diving area
Soft corals dispersed around the 50 ft. cliff diving area

We then moved on to the site of 50ft. cliff diving.  As we are not that brave to jump from the cliff, we induced Arvin to leap while we snorkel and watch him.  I enjoyed snorkeling around the area than in Coral Garden.  The water was calmer and the combination of hard and soft corals in its shallow waters reminded me of my snorkeling in Balicasag.

A group of Striped catfish
A group of Striped catfish

Our next stop was in Guimbitayan, fronting Malapascua lighthouse, whose main attraction is the sunken ship from WWII.  From our boat, we could already see parts of the wrecked Japanese ship’s skeleton.  With the help of our dear guide, Arvin, I swam to the end of the skeleton which is just 2 ft deep.  Today, the remains of the ship has been covered by corals where hermit crabs and small fishes frequently show up.

Malapascua Lighthouse from our boat
Malapascua Lighthouse from our boat

The sunken ship was reminiscent of the ghostly images of “The Discovery of Titanic”,  a book about how the Titanic remains were found.  It was a scary yet satisfying swim as it was my first time to see wrecked ship in person.

Japanese shipwreck
Japanese shipwreck
Is it just me or is it really eerie?
Is it just me or is it really eerie?

Dakit-dakit island was supposed to be our last destination for snorkeling but we passed it up because of the strong waves.  As per our request, we were dropped in Barrio Logon where the locals reside instead of in front of Cocobana Beach Resort.

Mating starfishes scatter along the shores of Barrio Logon, Malapascua Island
Mating starfishes scatter along the shores of Barrio Logon, Malapascua Island

Snorkeling Contact Information:

  • Jevie Diano – +639-26-516-7712 (UPDATED 04.10.14)
  • Snorkeling Fee:  250.00 Php / pax (inclusive of life vest and Coral Garden sanctuary fee)
  • Snorkeling Gears: 100.00 Php.  We had our own mask so we did not pay for the gears. 

Kuya Jevie’s service is worth recommending.  Although he is not the one who accompanied us during our snorkeling in Malapascua, he entrusted us to his affectionate son.  You can really see that they really just wanted to help us.  In fact, Kuya Jevie welcomed us as the paddle boat that brought us to Malapascua arrived and escorted us to our hotel.  Arvin also walked us back to our hotel after our snorkeling trip and accompanied us during our trip to the lighthouse and Bantigue Cove.  He even helped us in haggling for our souvenirs and our boat back to mainland Cebu!

You may also like:


7 thoughts on “Snorkeling in Malapascua

  1. Hi,
    Malapascua is indeed an awesome place and this travel blog is very informative for DIY travellers like me. I just have few questions. How many hours did you spend for the Island Hopping? Is staying for 2days/1 night enough to enjoy the Island (of course I’ll take an early flight bound for Cebu). I’m planning of Roaming around Malapascua in Day 1 then Island hopping in day 2 if the activity wont take too much of our time. I would appreciate any info that you could share. BTW, I’m planning to go to Bantayan Island after an overnight stay in Malapascua. Thanks! =)

    1. Hi Jr!

      Thanks for dropping by! You should allow a half-day travel time from the city to Malapascua. We left our hotel in Cebu City before 6AM and arrived in Malapascua by noon. After lunch, we did island hopping ’til sunset. The next day, we explored the other sides of the island like the lighthouse, bantigue cove, etc. Since we stayed in front of Bounty beach, we enjoyed that part during our spare time. I think 2 days will be fine for your itinerary.

      However, if you like to dive in Monad Shoal to see the tresher sharks, allot another half day (morning). Another option is visiting Kalanggaman Island in Leyte which requires 1 whole day at a minimum. Should you have any other questions, I’ll be happy to answer you. Happy travel!

  2. Wow, that’s a quick response! I thank the travel Gods(if there’s any) for finding this blog. Actually, I’m not into diving (I’d like to try though), but I have to pass on it since I’m scared of sharks/Stingrays, etc hahahaha!!! I can do snorkelling ☺. I think the island hopping would be enough for us. As long as we visit that 50 ft high cliff jump and, of course that bantigue cove you mentioned in your blog, I could say I have experienced Malapascua. I have tons of questions and might flood your comment section hehehe! I also plan to go to Bantayan Island after Malapascua, I’m not sure yet if I will hire a “Bangka” or take a land trip. I’ve heard that there are buses/jeepneys from Maya port bound to Hagnaya. If that is true and buses are airconditioned, then I’d take the land trip. That way it would be much cheaper than renting a bangka (correct me if I’m wrong). I’m kind of a backpacker and I don’t mind long trips as long as I’m more than contented with what I would see and experience. Anyway, I really appreciate your immediate response. I’ll consolidate my questions and post it here if you wont mind. ☺

    1. Surething. Just post them here and i’ll try to answer them the best possible way I can.

      About your trip to Bantayan, i”m sure about the buses from Maya to Hagnaya but i have no idea if that would be cheaper than renting a bangka. Our trip to Bantayan was a separate trip from Cebu city but you may try reading some blogs that had the same itinerary as yours. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s