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Dive Review of Exotic Dive Resort in
Philippines/Malapascua Island

March, 2012, an Instant Reader Report by Stanley Zuk, NY, US
Sr. Reviewer   (11 reports, with 1 Helpful vote)
Report Number 6525
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
Over 1000 dives
Where else diving
Cozumel, Cayman Islands, Panama, Bonaire, Curacao, Hawaii, Mauritius,
Rodrigues, Tanzania, Qatar, Philippines, Palau, Yap, Vanuatu, Cook Islands,
Fiji, Fakarava, Rangiroa, Bora Bora, Sipadan, Layang Layang, Seychelles,
Maldives, many others...
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, rainy  
calm, choppy  
Water Temp
26   to 28    Celsius  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
20   to 30    Meters  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
safety stop  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
2 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
2 stars  
Large Pelagics
  2 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
Boat Facilities
Overall rating for UWP's  
Shore Facilities  
4 stars  
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
4 stars
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars    
5 stars   
3 stars    
Exotic Dive Resort is the first one to develop thresher shark encounters on
Malapascua Island in Northern Visayas. The resort is very well run, clean,
with good food, and great employees. The same goes for the dive operation
in Exotic resort, which is very professional, eager to please, and
definitely the best on the island. These days the head of the operation is
a very pleasant Swedish dive master Mimmi Matsen, who does an excellent job
in accommodating every diver. The local guides they hire are very helpful,
and very knowledgeable about all Malapascua Island has to offer.
Nowadays you have many dive operators and dive hotels offering thresher
shark encounters on the island, but Exotic is definitely the best, and
should be considered as number one to choose in regards to food, diving,
and accommodation. The food is also excellent, basically the best on the
island, and after trying almost every place there, I always had to come
back to Exotic, because their restaurant was the best.
Diving in Malapascua mainly caters to thresher shark encounters around 
Monad Shoal underwater atoll, and each trip to see sharks begins at 5am,
since threshers appear early in the morning. I dove that spot like nine
times, and sharks were there every dive except of one. Their quantity
varied from 1 or 2, to 12, and it was a very memorable experience.
Occasionally we could see there a couple of devil rays, barracudas, and few
fields with garden eels. The spot is very popular with growing numbers of
divers, and you'll always see a few boats, and another group of divers
under water, however, sharks always delivered no matter how many boats were
on that reef.
The rest of dive spots were more, or less interesting as well, but the fish
life around Malapascua is quite depleted due to over fishing by the locals,
and dynamite fishing. One of the best was Gato Island with few caves with
white tip sharks, cattle fish, banded sea snakes, and many macros.
Kalangaman Island was also a very nice experience with beautiful atoll,
sheer walls, and gorgeous corals, however, except of some dogtooth tuna and
fusiliers, there was no good fish life, or large pelagic fish at all there.

You must remember that going to Malapascua Island, you will encounter rare
and timid thresher sharks, and that is the main purpose of your trip there,
because the rest of the diving will not be as exciting, and it will lack
rich fish life. I went there knowing it, and just enjoying the sight of
thresher sharks underwater, however, if you love macros, you'll be quite
happy there.
The hotel driver picked me up at Cebu Makatan airport, and then we drove
through the island for about 4 hours, until their boat picked me up on the
wharf situated on the northern tip of Cebu Island. If you decide to go to
Malapascua, you should take advantage of that type of prearranged
transportation, because the trip from Cebu City to Malapascua is pretty
There is also another thing regarding the dive operation. In order to dive
Monad Shoal they'll require from you either to have PADI Advance Diver ID,
or to take a quick supervised deep dive in order to check your abilities,
for which they'll charge you 75$. It may seem strange to a diver who's been
diving for example all over the world, but you should also understand that
earlier, they had quite a few accidents with inexperienced divers, who
claimed that they've done it all and couldn't handle a deep dive. 
Overall, if you love shark diving you should make an effort to see
threshers around Malapascua Island, particularly if you are diving in the
Philippines. It's definitely worth it, and Exotic Dive Resort is the best
place on Malapascua Island to do it. 
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