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Dive Review of Exotic Island Divers in

May, 2009, an Instant Reader Report by Jason Pellegatto, MA, USA
Sr. Reviewer   (8 reports)
Report Number 4844
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Bunaken, Lembeh, Galapagos, Cocos, Turks and Caicos, Bonaire, Cozumel
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, dry  
Water Temp
83   to 83    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
30   to 60    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Requested 1 hour dives but were not upset if you went longer.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
1 or 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  3 stars
Tropical Fish
2 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
1 stars  
Large Pelagics
  3 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
3 stars  
Boat Facilities
1 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
3 stars  
Shore Facilities  
There isn't a dedicated table or bucket on the boat for cameras.  You just
lump it in with everyone elses bags and stuff.  The crew will hand you your
camera once you've jumped in.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
4 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
4 stars
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars    
2 stars   
4 stars    
From Cebu City, getting to Malapascua takes a 3 hour car ride and an
additional 45 minute boat ride.  If you land at night after flying in from
the US, I suggest that you spend your first night in Cebu City.  I stayed
at and recommend the Marriot which was about 20 minutes from the airport
and had very nice and comfortable rooms.  I went to Malapascua to see the
thresher sharks.  In my 4 days of diving, I went to Monad Shoals 3 times (
at 6am ) and saw the shark once, for about 5 seconds.  While looking for
the thresher shark, I was also treated to 3 manta ray sightings.  Not bad,
but not exactly what I had hoped to see.  I talked to a couple of other
divers.  One guy saw the thresher 2 out of 3 tries.  Another fellow didn't
see the thresher and was on the island for 16 days.  Rather unpredictable. 
I do recommend diving on nitrox to get the max bottom time to increase your
chances.  There isn't really anything else to look at at Monad.  Just look
out into the blue and hope for the best.   My other morning and afternoon
dives were closer to the shore at sights around Malapascua.  Not much fish
life due to local fishing, but very good Macro.  I saw both red and yellow,
pygmy seahorses, dozens of frogfish, and lots of nudibrancs, shrimp, etc. 
The resort has it's own house reef and protects it from fishing.  Here I
saw schools of bat fish, baracuda, cuttle fish, squid, and lots of other
tropicals around a man made reef area.  There are also day trips to Gato
Island.  We did see 4 or 5 white tip reef sharks, but I think the macro
subjects at the local Malapascua sites were beter.  Overall, I think that
if you make the trip, it's good diving for about 4 days.  It will become
repetitive after that.  The dive shop at Exotic was good.  On many dives I
was the only one using nitrox so I was given a private dive guide and
allowed to dive my own profile.  The other groups were also small, 3 or 4
divers. Your equipment will be carried to and from the boat, but it is the
divers responsibility to set up their own equipment and to wash it after
diving.  The guides work hard to find all the small things that you'll
never see yourself.  The resort, Malapascua Exotic, is a good place to
stay.  Unlike the rest of the island which gets electricity only in the
evenings, Exotic has 24 hour electricity.  I even had air conditioning and
a television.  However, the water is cold and a little salty.  The rooms
are basic, but clean and comfortable.  They do a good job based on the
limited resources available on Malapascua.  From what I observed walking
around the island, this is the nicest place to stay on Malapascua.  The
restaurant / bar area is also good.  Fast, friendly service and decent food
that is very inexpensive compared to US prices.  
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