Eight kilometres off the northern tip of Cebu, the tiny island of Malapascua is often touted as the next Boracay, largely because of Bounty Beach, a blindingly white stretch of sand on the island’s south coast. The island also has great diving, and is renowned for the chance to see thresher sharks. The nearest airport is Cebu, meaning that so far Malapascua has escaped over-development, but it’s changing fast, and many new resorts and dive shops have established themselves. The locals love to party and no matter when you visit, chances are there’ll be some kind of fiesta or pageant.

Diving is Malapascua’s main drawcard with a number of extreme dive sites that will get the adrenaline pumping more than your average gentle drift along a shallow reef, and there are several top quality outfits on the island. Divelink are both well-established, and recently opened Evolution is professional and also offers technical diving. Dives typically cost P1200-1500 including equipment. Sightings of thresher sharks at Monad Shoal have been less common in recent years, but they are still around, and given a few early mornings you should get lucky. There are also plenty of wrecks in the vicinity, including the passenger ferry Dona Marilyn, which went down in a 1984 typhoon and is now home to scorpion fish, flamefish and stingrays. Overnight trips can be arranged to the tiny volcanic island of Maripipi, where reef sharks and dolphins are common.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Philippines features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

The stunning Philippines in pictures

The stunning Philippines in pictures

Rough Guides writer Kiki Deere shares some of her best photographs of the Philippines from her latest trip to Southeast Asia.  Comprising 7107 islands, the …

18 Dec 2015 • Kiki Deere insert_drive_file Article
Gorgeous video explores the Philippines from above

Gorgeous video explores the Philippines from above

The Philippines is beautiful from the ground, but from above it's even better. This video soars hundreds of metres into the air to give you a bird's-eye view …

29 Jul 2015 • Lottie Gross videocam Video
Batanes: off the radar on The Philippines' remotest islands

Batanes: off the radar on The Philippines' remotest islands

Kiki Deere, co-author of the Rough Guide to the Philippines, heads off the tourist trail to Batanes. This cluster of islands, located almost 150km off the north…

25 May 2015 • Kiki Deere insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month