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Throughout the Philippines and even South-East Asia Malapascua is known as a diver’s highlight. Diving season is all year round. All the small marine kritter South East Asia is famous for, like numerous nudibranch species, crabs including the rare harlequin shrimp, ghostpipefish, frogfish, various seahorses and Mandarin fish are very well represented around the island. Good divesites to look for these philippine specialities are Lapus-Lapus, Bantigi or Chocolate island. But Malapascua is also the place in the Philippines to look for larger fish:
Calanggaman island, about 60 min by boat, offers superb walls and mostly excellent visibilities. Larger pelagics like eagle ray, tuna, mackerel or trevally are frequently seen.
Gato island, a marine sanctuary, about 45 min by banca from Bounty beach, is a superb critter place but also breeding ground of black banded sea snakes and home to a large population of grey bamboo and white tip reef sharks, which can be easily observed. More experienced divers may cross the small island in an underwater tunnel.
Monad shoal, a sunken island, 30 min by banca, is the place to look for large pelagigs like tuna or barracuda. There is an excellent Manta ray cleaning station and the site is world famous for daily sightings of Thresher sharks, which ascent from deep water to their cleaning stations at about 22 m early every morning.
Large wrecks like Dona Marilyn Ferry, sunk in a typhoon in 1986 and now lying in a depth of 16 to 32 m, complete the picture of Malapascua as a top diving destination.