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.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

Philippines features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

A postcard from the Philippines: saving the tarsiers in Bohol

A postcard from the Philippines: saving the tarsiers in Bohol

Tarsiers are the world's smallest primate – and 20 years ago they were dangerously close to extinction. But numbers are rising in Bohol, in the Philippines…

03 Nov 2017 • Mike MacEacheran insert_drive_file Article
Is Camiguin the most beautiful island you've never heard of?

Is Camiguin the most beautiful island you've never heard of?

The Philippines has hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons in the last few years. From Typhoon Yolanda, the superstorm which left a band of destruction fro…

02 Oct 2017 • Mike MacEacheran insert_drive_file Article
Puerto Princesa Underground River: the Philippines' 8km-long subterranean wonder

Puerto Princesa Underground River: the Philippines' 8km-long subterranean wonder

Deep underground on the island of Palawan in the Philippines lies the Puerto Princesa River. Both a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the ‘New 7 Wonders o…

10 Jan 2017 • Esme Fox insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Weekly newsletter

Sign up now for travel inspiration, discounts and competitions

Sign up now and get 20% off any ebook