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Philippines Snorkeling


Snorkeling Philippines Spectacular Adventure

Snorkeling in the Philippines can be the most exhilarating experience you can have while floating on the surface of the ocean. Depending on where you choose to snorkel you can see almost as much as a scuba diver without the need to encumber yourself with tanks and buoyancy compensators . . . you certainly get to see more marvels of Mother Nature than someone sailing above.

The Philippines is peppered with snorkeling sites – some basic, most good and a few that are simply outstanding. Outstanding means: crystal clear water, abundant & colorful corals and multitudes of marine life.

Almost every beach resort location in the Philippines offers snorkeling as a sport activity. Some locations are better than others. Here below is a list (by no means comprehensive) of the some of the best snorkeling locations in the Philippines that are easy to visit.

Best Snorkeling Locations In The Philippines

Snorkeling around the Philippines is possible almost everywhere there is a mountain or forest, no matter the time of year or location, but for real Snorkeling enthusiasts there are some places that are superior to others and some that are simply sublime.

Puerto Galera, Mindoro

Snorkeling in Puerto Galera is good, so good at times that it may encourage you to sign-up for a scuba diving course. The corals in the new “coral garden”, on the North side of Puerto Galera Bay, are abundant and vibrant and the chances of being pursued by a shoal of damsel fish is great.

Not so many years ago the corals in the original “coral garden”, off Long Beach, were outstanding, but a powerful typhoon that passed directly overhead severely damaged most of the coral and the area is now a restricted area until such time as the corals grow back. What made them “outstanding” previously was the interaction that was evident between the coral reef fish and pelagic predators . . . the pelagics do not come into Puerto Galera Bay in such numbers as they did before in the original coral garden.

Busuanga, Palawan

Snorkeling over the reefs around the islets to the southwest of Busuanga offers outstanding coral, fish and marine life. The water clarity is excellent and the interaction between all types of fish and marine animals is easy to observe and enjoy.

An experienced snorkeling guide is definitely an asset in Busuanga because there is so much to see that you will no doubt miss the extraordinary unless there is someone to point it out to you.

Camiguin Island

Snorkeling around Camiguin Island can be rewarding but the outstanding Camiguin snorkeling location is off Mantigue Island, just a short boat ride to the northeast of Camiguin Island. Mantigue Island is surrounded on two sides by a marine reserve and the reef walls drops to 20 metres and more. The combination of outstanding coral formations, abundant reef fish and shoals of pelagic fish make Mantigue Island one of the best snorkeling locations in the South of the Philippines. A snorkeling guide is highly recommended off Mantigue Island to assist you in identifying the wide variety of marine life that will come into view.

Sibale Island, Romblon

The tiny island of Sibale (also know as Maestre de Campo and Concepcion) off the East coast of Mindoro Island has some of the clearest water and one of most interesting combinations of coral and volcanic rocks above and below the surface.

Sibale is actually not so easy to get to but when you do it offers dramatic seascapes, corals, fish and (during the breeding season) sea turtles in abundance. A snorkeling guide is highly recommended here in Sibale in order to discover the most interesting marine life beneath the waves.

Mantalip Reef, Negros Oriental

The Mantalip Reef is a marine reserve off the town of Bindoy, North of Dumaguete City. On Mantalip Reef you can snorkel over acres of shallow coral reefs and venture out to the edge of the reef and see sharks patrolling, waiting for dinner time. Dinner time usually comes as the tide falls and the reef fish are forced to depart the shelter of the shallower reef areas for the deep water of the Tañon Strait, which separates Negros Island from Cebu Island.

The marine reserve at Mantalip Reef is a university study area for the dependencies between river, mangrove, reef and ocean habitats. You will be required to engage a snorkeling guide when you snorkel within the marine protected area of Mantalip Reef, but the engagement is well worth the few dollars you will pay for the knowledge and enlightenment the guides will provide.

In addition to the snorkeling areas offered above, you will hear names such as: Anilao (Batangas), Apo Island (Negros Oriental), Banton Island (Romblon), Apo Reef (Mindoro) and the Blu Hole off Tablas Island (Romblon). You should not forget that snorkeling with whale sharks is possible at Donsol (Sorsogon), Moalboal (Cebu) and smaller islands off Panglao & Bohol islands. The list could go on . . .

Truly, snorkeling in the Philippines can provide the exhilarating marine life observation experience with interaction. As the experts always tell you: don't forget to breath . . .

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Renting Snorkeling Equipment & Guides In The Philippines

It is easy to rent snorkeling equipment in the Philippines - almost every beach resort will have snorkeling gear for rent at very reasonable rental rates, typically from US$10 per day.

Hiring a snorkeling guide can be a major plus. There are literally thousands of marine species to observe here int he Philippines and some are endemic. With a snorkeling guide you will come to understand the full biodiversity of the Philippines beneath the waves.

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