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The Heli-Diver International LTD North American Journey Begins!

Thanks for joining our Heli-Divers International LTD North America blog!

Buckle up and follow your Heli-Guides lead!

Our 2021 Heli-Diving Safari plan is underway. Stay tuned as we choose the dive sites and keep you updated.

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🦈Day One 2021 Safari

Scuba diving in Malapascua Island is famous worldwide for being the only place in the world where you can observe the very rare Thresher Shark on a regular basis. As an aside, another diving destination where you can sometimes see them is the Brothers Islands in the Red Sea

Thresher Shark Dives:

The Thresher Sharks live usually in deep water and are very rarely spotted in shallow water. In Malapascua they come up to around 20m in the water first thing in the morning to get rid of the parasites on their skins. The best chance to spot the Thresher Sharks is at Monad Shoal dive site early morning. It is also a good spot to encounter Manta Rays!

Over the years, many documentaries have been filmed underwater at Monad Shoal and that’s what has made this place so famous. Encounters with the Thresher Shark is not guaranteed however if you dive in Malapascua for a week you excellent chances of coming back with fabulous shots of this very timid Shark!

Macro Diving and Wrecks:

Apart from the big stuff, there is also very interesting macro diving around the Islands. It is a great place to observe rare critters and macro species such as colourful Mandarin fishes, rare Blue Ring Octopus, superb Flamboyant Cuttlefish, Ornate Ghost Pipefishes, or the strange looking Frogfishes and Seahorses.This really is a great place for macro underwater photography so don’t forget your camera!

There are also 3 nice wrecks to dive ranging from 10m to 70m deep like the Dona Marilyn wreck located 1/4 of an hour away from Crimson resort by air. It is a former 100m long ferry passenger which sank in 1988 during a Typhoon.

Day trips and Hammerheads!

If you are done with Heli-Dive Safari, day trips to the nearby Gato Island can also be organized to observe Nurse Sharks, Whitetip Reef Sharks and even the rare bamboo Sharks resting in small cracks. Kalanggaman Island is also a great day trip for amazing reef life and amazing picture opportunities. Early morning dives are also organized to spot the Schooling  Hammerhead Sharks around Kimud Shoal. The best chances to see them are from December to April.

If you cannot heli-dive you can also explore this underwater world on a Liveaboard trip that generally combines Tubbataha Reef and Malapascua Island. Logistics are difficult so I recommend using this website to book in advance as Liveaboards in the Philippines can be pricey and these usually have the lowest rates. Most people like it because they have an easy booking system.

In this page you will find more detailed information about scuba diving in Malapascua Island.

Photos Malapascua Island

Best time to dive in Malapascua Island

Diving Season:

It is possible to dive all year round in Malapascua but there are different seasons depending on what you want to see.

  • Thresher Sharks and Manta Rays can be spotted year round but the best seasons for Manta rays are Winter and Spring.
  • Hammerhead Sharks can be seen schooling with best chances from December to April.
  • The visibility is reduced from November/December up to the end of January because of high plankton density. You can expect from 5m to 10m visibility during this period. During the rest of the year the visibility is ranging from 15m to 30m. However it is during this period that you can spot more Manta Rays! So it’s really up to you!
  • Best visibility from June to September.

Scuba Diving conditions

The water temperature ranges from 27°C to 30°C. However, in December, January and February the water temperature decreases to around 25°C.

You can expect visibility ranging from 15m to 30m most times of the year except in December and January when the blue water turns green because of the density of plankton. The visibility is quite poor from 5m to 10m but not too bad if you are there for the small critters.

Snorkelling in Malapascua Island

There are nice snorkelling spots around the Island including the shallow Japanese wreck. You can ask a local fisherman to take you on a day trip to the best sites. The coral is beautiful and the reef life is teeming. However, there are signs of bomb fishing and lots of coral has been damaged by anchors.

Diving Safety

If you are planning an upcoming dive trip or travelling to Malapascua Island, it is a really good idea to invest in travel insurance for scuba diving, because you never know what could happen and when you might need it (because accidents can happen). I recommend DAN and this diving insurance as they offer worldwide coverage and focus on providing scuba divers a quality insurance and medical assistance service.

🚁The dive sites for the 2021 Heli-Dive safari.

The Philippines is unarguably one of the world’s best diving destinations. People from different parts of the world come to the Philippines to experience some of the best diving sites a country can have.

10 – Best Dive Spots

Here are 10 unforgettable dive destinations you should not miss:

Apo Island in Dauin, Negros Oriental. This Island is named one of the 100 best dive sites in the world, thanks to the administrators who have taken all efforts in ensuring that the island lives up to world class standards. Locals of Dauin supported initiatives of scientists from Silliman University of Dumaguete to make the island one of the most well-documented and best protected marine sanctuary in the country.

Monad Shoal in Malapascua, Cebu. Divers from all over the world flock to Malapascua Island to see the elegant, oddly-shaped thresher sharks that breach the waters off the island, moving their way into the depths of Monad Shoal, where divers patiently wait for a sighting. A second dive through the blue waters of Malapascua in the afternoon will show you manta rays taking over the shoal.

Anilao in Batangas. Most Manila-based divers will point to Anilao when asked about their favorite dive site. There are dozens of dive sites in Anilao as weekend warriors troop to the place for a good weekend dive. Anilao has good diving conditions all year round and it has an incredibly rich marine life and fantastic underwater landscapes you need not go far to enjoy.

WWII Wrecks in Coron Bay, Palawan. The remains of the WWII Japanese warship has been an interesting diving attraction in this dive site in Coron Bay where some of the most diverse and richest marine life thrives.

Barracuda Lake in Coron Island, Palawan. Apart from wreck diving, Coron Island has Barracuda Lake, a seemingly underrated dive site in the Philippines. This lake is full of sharp thermoclines and alien underwater landscapes. Add to that the legend of the centuries-old monster-sized barracuda said to be the size of five large oil barrels.

Ticao Pass in Ticao, Masbate. This is known as “the Manta Bowl”. The rough waters off Ticao provide a perfect spot for the majestic manta rays. Divers can enjoy truly breathtaking sightings of these gentle giants gliding overhead. There are also whale sharks that use the pass on their way to Donsol – a favorite snorkeling spot.

Puerto Galera in Mindoro. The name was supposedly derived from a Spanish-era galleon wreck found off Puerto Galera in the 1990s. While there is no diveable galleons, the treasures of Puerto Galera is the over 40 dive sites in the area ranging from the easy and idyllic (Drop Off at Verde Island) to the dangerous (Washing Machine). Sabang is where the hardcore diving community and Long Beach is the easy-going beach culture.

Tubbataha Reef National Park in Sulu Sea, Palawan. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a national park. The Reef has over 600 fish species, 360 coral species, 11 shark species, and 13 dolphin and whale species. Tubbataha, is an important part of the world’s underwater ecology more than being a valuable and fantastic dive site.

Honda Bay in Puerto Princesa, Palawan. This is a more affordable luxury of a dive in Honda Bay. Equally teeming with the same richness as Tubbataha, Honda Bay has the advantage of being dotted with spectacular islands with sparkling white-sand beaches.

Blue Hole in Romblon Island, Romblon. This dive site may not be as popular as the others since Romblon remains a largely unvisited province. Blue Hole is a product of the efforts of the three German-Filipino Eschweiler brothers – Peter, Philipp, and Patrick. And it is an underwater sinkhole where divers can stare into a bottomless abyss.

Stay tuned as we dive the sites and write the reviews!