Guide to Best Snorkeling in Philippines to Explore Underwater World

snorkeling in philippines

Away from the honking of traffic, from the restless phone calls, from smoky streets and from the choky malls, here you are underwater exploring an all new world, amidst these beautiful fish, turtles, urchins, seastars and all that colour. And here comes a giant clam, squishing hugging your hands. Relax & enjoy snorkeling in Philippines, they are not piranhas!

On a snorkeling trip across the Philippines, you’ll have many such enthralling experiences. With a rich diversity of species, Philippine islands are home to world’s most vivid coral reefs, especially from March to June, which is ideally the best season to snorkel in the Philippines. When you go deep-sea, you’ll encounter turquoise crystal waters bubbling in rich carpets of marine swarming with tassel fish, lazing turtle shells, bony pipefish, fringing corals and occasionally a white shark.

Snorkeling in Philippines

Explore the underwater world in some of the world’s best coral reefs. To help you experience the best of Philippine snorkeling, here is a crisp handbook.

Snorkeling Equipment

Good snorkeling equipment can enhance the overall experience of deep sea diving. On a similar note, if the equipment is defective or the quality is not good, it can interfere with your water play. Though in most places, the gear is provided by the local authorities and you can also shop online from these sites in Philippines, it’s always a good idea to have some prior knowledge. If you are into frequent snorkeling, you can purchase a bag of equipment at once so as to avoid paying for it again and again.

“The best way to observe a fish is to become one.” – Jacques Cousteau.

The following list describes the basic gear required for snorkeling.

1. Snorkels

A snorkel is a flexible tube that allows the snorkeler to breathe while underwater. It is generally made of rubber or plastic.

2. Snorkeling Mask

A mask is an important piece for deep-sea travels. It acts as a window between your eyes and the coral world; hence, should be selected after proper trial and checks.

3. Swimfins

These are flipper-like accessories used for underwater sports. Fins are highly recommended by experienced snorkelers as they make moving around much easier. Furthermore, they prove to be a great help in case of sudden heavy currents. You can choose from paddle fins or split fins according to your convenience.

4. Snorkeling Vest

The main function of snorkel vests is to promote buoyancy. A vest allows you to completely focus on snorkeling rather than worrying about how to remain afloat. A regular vest features inflatable chest, back zipper, crotch straps and easy-to-release plastic buckles.

5. Underwater Camera

For the purpose of snorkeling in Philippines, waterproof digital cameras are perhaps the best photographic gear to capture the corals. Flash cameras are generally prohibited as they tend to scare away the sea creatures. You can also buy one from these camera store in Philippines.

Best Snorkeling Places in Philippines

Though tropical emerald waters of the Philippines are spread across many islands and islets, below mentioned places offer a lasting experience of snorkeling in Philippines, for first timers and expert snorkelers alike.

1. Cebu

Snorkeling in Cebu comes with expert instructors, friendly service and of course, great reefs. And yes, there’s a good chance you’ll meet a white shark here!

Areas: Moalboal, Mactan, Siquijor

Related Article: Best Tourist Attractions in Cebu Philippines

2. Palawan

Palawan beaches are the cleanest of all in the Philippines. Besides cleanliness, the staff and facilities here are excellent. The growing popularity of Palawan makes it a must-visit when you are in the Philippines. Jelly sponges and crayon corals swimming in pristine waters will give you an unforgettable experience of Palawan islands.

Areas: El Nido, Coron, Puerto Princessa

Related Article: Best Beaches in the Philippines

3. Puerto Galera

Situated in the south of Manila, Puerto Galera attracts snorkelers in large numbers in the Philippines not just today, but since the Spanish era back in the 16th century. The highlight of corals here are giant clams.

Areas: Big Lalaguna Beach, Coral Gardens, Sabang Wrecks

4. Apo Island

Apo Island is the paradise for snorkel lovers in the Philippines. From teeny weeny bubble corals to giant brain corals, the island houses majority of the Filipino coral species, especially green turtles and hawksbill turtles.

Areas: Apo Island’s Beach Resort, Liberty’s Lodge

5. Boracay Island

Apart from photographic beaches, Boracay is known as the hot spot for big time snorkelers in the Philippines. Its clear blue oceans carry umpteen varieties of fishes and corals for you to explore and hang out with. Boracay is sure-shot a must visit for a true snorkeling experience. Know the best time to visit Boracay Island to make most of your snorkeling trip.

Areas: Crocodile Island, Puka Beach, Balinghai Beach

Snorkeling in Philippines, is not just a water sport or fun adventure, it’s a thrilling experience to embrace the oneness of nature by coming in contact with the delicate corals, especially if the corals are of the Philippines, so pure, so beautiful. So just dive in kaibigan (friends!)

Related Article: Best Diving Destinations in Philippines

Feature image credit: Mark Lehmkuhler

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