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Dive Review of Exotic Dive Resort in
Philippines/Malapascua Island

Exotic Dive Resort, Mar, 2012,

by Stanley Zuk, NY, US (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 11 reports with 2 Helpful votes). Report 6525.

No photos available at this time

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 5 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments 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 long.
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.
Websites Exotic Dive Resort   

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

Weather sunny, rainy Seas calm, choppy
Water Temp 26-28°C / 79-82°F Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility 20-30 M / 66-98 Ft

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions safety stop
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals 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 N/A Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities 4 stars
UW Photo Comments [None]
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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