Diving Malapascua – Gato Island

Harlekin Shrimp at Gato Island

My favourite dive site in Malapascua – Philippines, a treasure chest of critters, nudies, frogfish, pygmy seahorses and sharks. On top, comes an amazing tunnel of more than 30m, straight through the island. The ceiling is lined with bright yellow tubastrea corals, the bottom crawls with crabs, sea snakes and slugs. Outside a wealth of waving soft corals in all colours of the rainbow, intermingled with hideouts for frogfish. The rubbly bottom hides tiny cuttlefish, caurie snails and all sorts of self-camouflaging crabs. And above all, thrones a pinkish gorgonian sea fan, home to the piggish, pygmy seahorses. An unbelievability in tiny, pink, warty camouflage.

Dive site facts:

  • Transfer distance from Malapascua: ~45 minutes
  • Depth range: 10 – 30 meters
  • Training level: OWD and up (AOWD for tunnel and pygmies)
  • Highlights: White-tip Reef-sharks, Pygmy Seahorses, Frogfishes, Cuttlefish, and more macro macro macro… it’s simply unbelievable

Whenever it comes to this dive site, I never know where to start marveling first. Is it the critters, the sharks, the pygmies? I don’t know.
I reckon it is this amazing mix. Everything in the same dive. A good guide will blast your mind. No chance to escape of being entirely flashed. The biodiversity of Gato will overwhelm your wildest ideas of an underwater jungle. I cannot believe it will ever manage to disappoint a diver… well, unless you hate macro, of course.

Until then, keep dreaming, watch the video and start packing your equipment. See you in Malapascua!

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