Dive amongst millions of sardines as they form mesmerizing shapes along the deep scenic walls at Panagsama, in Moalboal. Plus a day trip to Oslob where you will dive with the gentle giant whalesharks. Then travel to Malapascua for close encounters with amazing Thresher Sharks as they come up from the deep for a clean on Monad Shoal.
Staying at Magic Island Dive Resort, you’ll have 6 dive days to explore the reefs and deep walls of Pescador island and the mainland wall dives of Talisay, Tongo Point, Ronda, Sampaguita and Lido to name a few. But what you’ll also see here is much bigger than any fish you’ve seen before… sardines… thousands upon thousands of resident sardines.
After three hour private van ride heading south of Cebu City, arrive at Magic Island Dive Resort in Moalboal where staff will make you feel right at home. Here you’ll have 6 dive days to explore the reefs and deep walls of Pescador island and the mainland wall dives of Talisay, Tongo Point, Ronda, Sampaguita and Lido to name a few.
Apart from healthy reef and amazing macro life, the highlight is diving with the resident sardines… thousands upon thousands of them! The sardines gracefully move in unison as they avoid predators and your bubbles, forming mesmerizing, constantly moving shapes. With good visibility and sunlight, this is an incredible sight, especially when jack fish, tuna and if you are extremely lucky, thresher sharks come in to hunt on them.
On day 7 you’ll transfer to Evolution resort on the small, picturesque island of Malapascua, just off the coast of Northern Cebu. The private van ride will take approximately 4-5 hours but be sure to enjoy the scenery of the little towns and rice paddies as you go by. When you reach Maya pier, you will take a private banka or outrigger boat for a 30 minute ride directly Evolution Resort.
There’s little chance of a lie in for the 4 dive days you’ll spend on Malapascua as you’ll want to go to Monad Shoal every morning to see the Thresher sharks. Typically the dive boat leaves between 4:30-5:00 am but its well worth the early rise. It is a humbling sight to watch these graceful and beautiful sharks swim calmly around you, as if in a trance, as they allow the small cleaner wrasse fish to do their thing. Divers frequently see 3 or 4 individuals during a dive but its not uncommon to see many more. Follow your dive guides signs and be patient, they will come to you. We are certainly lucky that the Thresher sharks remain incredibly tolerant of scuba divers.
Malapascua is not all about Thresher Sharks though; there are a lot of other great dives to do. A day trip to Gato Island is one option and includes diving through the island via a colourful tunnel where there are often a few White Tip Reef Sharks chilling out. Take time to look around the inside and outside of the cave for little critters like crabs and frogfish. A visit to Kalanggaman Island with it’ deep walls and long sandy beach is like being out of a Robinson Crusoe adventure and is a proper day out with barbecue lunch. And just out in front of Evolution Resort and other nearby sites are some great macro life living in the sea grass like ornate ghost pipefish, hairy frogfish, shrimps and flamboyant cuttlefish to name a few!
During your off gas day to take a walk around the island and meet the local families who are friendly and welcoming and finish your day clinking glasses a the Craic Bar with your toes in the sand, watching the sun go down.