Best Snorkeling Sites in the Philippines

The Philippines with its 7,641 islands on the border of the big Pacific Ocean is heaven to marine enthusiasts. It’s becoming a top destination for tourists who love to dive, snorkel and experience the sun, sand and sea. Here are 5 of the best snorkeling sites in the Philippines.



A small island shaped like the shell of an upturned (bali) crab (kasag), thus the name Balicasag. It is one of the most famous spots in the whole of Bohol because of its marine sanctuary. Fishes of different sizes and colors are swimming in and out of the sanctuary and tourists just love it. Often times you see sea turtles floating by as if observing the people, but if you are lucky enough, you will also get a glimpse of the famous whale sharks here because Oslob is not that far.


Most Philippine locals thought Siquijor Island to be a mystical place for quack doctors, faith healers, fairies and evil spirits, but for the people who have visited the island they have sworn it to be far from its infamous and supernatural history. This place is a virgin island with full of natural resources that is minimally touched by modernization leaving the marine ecosystem healthy. You can just ride a motorbike and drive around this little island and choose your own snorkeling spot but the most recommended one is in front of the Coco Grove Beach Resort.


Apo Island is already a famous hotspot for scuba divers from all over the world, but even if you don’t know how to scuba dive, you can still experience the sea adventure. Just grab a snorkeling mask and discover the clear waters of Apo, which is home to many giant sea turtles. You can see them swimming and eating sea grasses, and not minding the human population, because here in the island they know they are protected. The island also boast a beautiful marine sanctuary but because of previous strong typhoons it is now rehabilitated and is close to public.


If you would rather want a secret place to snorkel, you would want to visit Tangnan, a small village in the beautiful island of Panglao. Although now, it’s not that hidden anymore because it is fast-becoming a favorite spot for free divers. This is due to the fact that you can see one of the many marine wonders, the sardine run. Swim with the thousands of sardine and see them move as one. Their movement is in unison that it so mesmerizing just to watch them swim around.


Home to the famous gentle giants of the sea, Donsol is a top destination for people who would love to see these grey bodied fishes with light yellow spots all over its body, in their most natural way possible. Compared to the infamous Oslob, where they feed these creatures and breaking their natural habitat, Donsol is a more humane way of promoting whale shark watching in the Philippines. Just seeing the mere magnanimity of these whale sharks will leave you breathless and awestruck.