The world’s finest wilderness lies beneath the waves. One of the best ways to appreciate them is to go snorkelling. Go where the underwater wilderness thrives. And they will lead you to several breathtakingly beautiful spots for snorkelling in the Philippines. Sunscreen on. Snorkel mask ready. Fins fitted. Then, you’re ready to dive into an ocean of discovery.

1. Camiguin: Volcanic Island Beach Snorkelling

Blue seas and white beach of Camiguin with blue skies
Image credit: Jose Nicado | Flickr

One of Philippines best kept secrets, the island born of fire is today a tranquil spot for relaxing retreats and discovery dives. Top on most travellers list is snorkelling in Camiguin to explore the beautiful underwater volcanic landscapes. Better yet, a sunken cemetery that lies beneath the waves makes snorkelling even more adventurous. What used to be the old capital of Camiguin now lies destroyed underwater after countless volcanic eruptions. Today, the volcanoes are serenely peaceful, making it safe for travellers.

Beach stalls on clear waters in Camiguin
Image credit: Jose Nicado | Flickr

What else to expect? A pristine coral garden. A variety of colourful reef fish. Amazing underwater scenery. While snorkelling, divers will also discover a world of micro critters that roam the black sand muck sites at Camiguin.

How To Get There

The fastest way is by flight. There are regular domestic flights from Manila and travel time takes an hour. There are also ferry services from Jagna Port on the southern coast of Bohol. Travel time takes up to 4 hours as ferry crossings depend on the weather.

2. Coron Island: Rugged Island Snorkelling

Coron Island with huge rock formations over green-blue waters
Image credit: Ray In Manila | Flickr

Home to one of the most photographed sites in the Philippines, Coron Island is located in northern Palawan. Known as one of the world’s most beautiful islands, Palawan is definitely a top tourist destination. Further, Coron Island is known for its WWII shipwrecks that lie beneath the ocean’s surface.

In fact, the most famous shipwreck is the Lusong Gunboat located in shallow waters. So, snorkelers can have a whale of a time swimming around the abundant corals and varieties of fish found at the shipwreck.

Kayangan Lake with clear waters and green trees at back
Image credit: Matt Kieffer | Flickr

The beautiful island has equally beautiful attractions too. Not to be missed is Kayangan Lake, one of the clearest lakes in Asia. Travellers should go for the bamboo raft rides on its pristine waters. Next to it is Barracuda Lake, a less crowded destination and perfect for families. Another ideal place for lake snorkelling, this lake features interesting finds such as underwater mountains and hot springs.

Boats by the clear blue waters of Coron Island
Image credit: Matt Kieffer | Flickr

How To Get There

The easiest way is by flight on domestic airlines which has regular daily flights to Coron Island. On arrival at the airport, taxi services are available to whisk you to Coron Town. There are also ferry services from Manila to Coron Island but travel time takes over 15 hours. Best to fly and spend more time exploring the lovely island.

3. Hundred Islands National Park: Snorkelling Next To Nature

Aerial view of Hundred Islands National Park
Image credit: Ron Miguel | Flickr

Just like its name implies, be prepared to be dazzled by over 100 islands at this National Park located at Alaminos City. Actually, there are 123 islands altogether and the main ones are Governor Island, Quezon Island, Marcos Island and Children Island. What makes this destination so popular is its close proximity to Manila, just 4 to 5 hours drive-time away.

1 diver snorkeling next to coral reefs in bue waters
Image credit: fezbot2000 | Unsplash

One of the best places to snorkel is Quezon Island thanks to its azure waters and underwater discoveries. Coral gardens in calm waters greet every ocean explorer. Just as superb is Marcos Island with its abundant marine life. Better yet, cliff jumping is another activity that the daring can try on Marcos Island. Then, continue snorkelling for treasure finds.

Not to be outdone is Governor Island, one of the main islands known for its stairway to the island’s hilltop for breathtaking views. Another top site for snorkelling is Children Island where serene waters and secret coves make it a gem find.

How To Get There

By car or bus from Manila to Alaminos City and travel time is roughly 5 hours depending on traffic. Then, travellers hop onto a tricycle for a ride to the tourist information centre located about 6 km away. From there, island explorers can select day tours of the Hundred Islands National Park or plan overnight stays. Registration fees, entrance and insurance fees are chargeable. Island activities such as snorkelling, kayaking, jet-ski and water sports are also chargeable.

4. Siquijor: Snorkelling Next To Whale Sharks

Clear waters of Siquijor by the jetty with mountains at back
Image credit: RM Bulesco | Flickr

Think ‘Destiny’ in ‘Finding Dory’ and you’re likely to meet the rest of her family in Siquijor. The most popular place to go snorkelling is at Tubod Marine Sanctuary located at Tubod Beach. This 7.5 hectares protected area managed by the locals and the provincial government has dedicated habitats of coral reefs and seagrass.

Flatfish swimming at the sea bed
Image credit: q phia | Flickr

Snorkelling within the marine sanctuary will reveal resident marine life such as turtles, potato-head grouper, flatfish, giant clams and more. Best way to end the day is to enjoy the spectacular sunset by the beach after a full day of snorkelling.

Spotted whale shark in blue waters
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When you can hear the whale sharks calling, then, it’s time to book a whale shark experience with any of the reputable dive operators at Siquijor. A popular tour is available at Coco Grove Beach Resort in Tubod Beach. Here, explorers are cruised to the scenic coast of Oslob, Cebu for a Whale Shark Watching Experience. The tour usually consists of watching the local fishermen feed the whale sharks. Next, brave heroes can take a dip to swim, snorkel and get up close with these amazing creatures.

How To Get There

Take a flight from Manila to Dumaguete City on domestic airlines. Travel time take 1.5 hours. Next, hop on a tricycle to Dumaguete Sea Port that is about 30 minutes away. Finally, board a ferry to Siquijor. The journey takes about an hour.

5. Puerto Princesa: Reef Snorkelling

Clear waters on Palawan with boat and diver coming in to beach
Image credit: Aleksandr Zykov | Flickr

Known as the least populated city in the Philippines, you can be assured of snorkelling without the crowds. Located at the western province of Palawan, Puerto Princesa is famed for its beautiful landscapes, beaches and snorkelling sites. What to expect? A fantastic underwater habitat with verdant coral reefs, manta rays, dolphins, turtles and marine life aplenty.

Divers with life jackets on at Puerto Princesa beace
Image credit: Jam A | Flickr

Among the most popular spots for snorkelling is Honda Bay, a secluded yet splendid bay for water adventures. Next is Snake Island, named after the elongated snake shape of the island. Here, the iridescent blue waters attract shoals of fish like yellowtail snappers and fusiliers that swim amidst the seagrass. Not to be missed is Starfish Island where snorkelling off the coast will reveal colourful coral reef and starfishes that will get you star-struck with joy.

How To Get There

The most convenient way is by flight from Manila on domestic airlines. Travel time takes about 1 hour 15 minutes. Next, get a tricycle ride from the airport to Puerto Princesa City.

6. Apo Island: Snorkelling With Sea Turtles

Aerial view of Apo Island from above
Image credit: Traveloka

Cowabunga dudes! Apo Island is a world-famous island located between Mindoro and Palawan. Sited 30 km from Dumaguete City, Apo Island is famed for snorkelling and scuba diving with sea turtles. Along the coast at the southwest part of the island, the shallow waters make it easy to spot marine creatures and colourful corals.

Sea turtle swimming upwards with corals at back
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Snorkelling in the island’s marine sanctuary is an experience not to be missed. Discover lots of clownfish, sea turtles, giant clams, manta rays, snappers, flounder and angelfish. Once out of the water, it’s time to explore the rock formations around the island.

How To Get There

Get a flight from Manila to Dumaguete City on domestic airlines. Next, hop on a tricycle ride to Malatapay Port. Finally, arrange for a boat ride to Apo Island.

Tips To Safe Snorkelling

Aerial view of 3 divers swimming on surface of sea
Image credit: Taylor Simpson | Unsplash

No matter how breathtakingly beautiful these places may be, it’s better to snorkel safely whenever you go under the waves. Simply follow these easy tips. Always start with an equipment check. Mask, snorkel and fins should fit properly. Next, get used to swimming with a snorkel. So, start snorkelling in shallow waters first beforehand plunging to the deep.

Then, practice floating and avoid flailing along. After all, you don’t want to scare the sea creatures away. Just as important, is choosing a nice location, preferably with calm waters.

Snorkelling Apparel And Accessories

Diver with snorkels surrounded by fish
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The best way to observe a fish is to become a fish. The best way to be like a fish is to wear the proper swim apparel. Check out the coolest UV protective swimwear and apparel from Nike. Take advantage of Nike coupons and enjoy better discounts with every purchase. Remember to go through ShopBack and score up to 2% cashback.

Snorkelling online for savings on your holiday getaway? Find them on Expedia. Keep a lookout for Expedia promo code and score great savings on your next booking. Tell us more about your best-snorkelling destinations in the Philippines.

*Featured image credit: Maja Novak | Unsplash

*Note: The information presented in the article is correct at the time of publishing and may be subject to change without prior notice.