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Boat Tours

Best snorkeling sites in Palawan: between El Nido and Coron


Best snorkeling sites in Palawan

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Palawan, known as the Philippines‘ “Last Frontier”, is a paradise for snorkeling enthusiasts. The province is endowed with stunning seascapes, abundant marine life, and pristine water bodies that offer some of the best snorkeling spots in the country. Here are a few of the most popular:

  • Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park: Located in the middle of the Sulu Sea, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the best dive sites globally. Its coral reefs house a rich diversity of marine life. Due to its location, it’s only accessible by liveaboard from mid-March to mid-June.

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  • El Nido: El Nido is well known for its limestone cliffs, white sand beaches, and clear turquoise waters filled with marine life. Snorkeling spots around El Nido are aplenty, including Small Lagoon, Big Lagoon, Secret Lagoon, Shimizu Island, and Seven Commandos Beach. These spots are typically visited as part of island hopping tours (Tours A, B, C, and D).
  • Coron: Coron boasts several excellent snorkeling sites. The most famous ones include the Twin Lagoons, Siete Pecados, and Barracuda Lake. There are also several Japanese shipwrecks from World War II around Coron that offer fascinating snorkeling and diving experiences.
  • Port Barton: This quiet fishing village is another beautiful snorkeling spot with clear waters and vibrant marine life. You can take a boat tour to visit islands and reefs like Exotic Island, German Island, and Aquarium Reef.

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  • Balabac: Balabac is a group of islands in the southernmost part of Palawan. It is less developed than El Nido and Coron but offers similarly breathtaking snorkeling sites.

True, the above are famous and popular, but popularity means a lot of tourists, which can take away the magic and moment of bobbing in God’s artistic splendour. Furthermore, perhaps because of the high traffic, the water around El Nido and Coron can seem rather foggy. While Balabac, Port Barton and Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park are not the easiest to get to and spread rather far apart.

This is why we suggest a boat tour between El Nido and Coron, where there are more than 80 islands in a beautiful, remote area with some of the recognized clearest waters in the world. Furthermore, if you choose for a private tour, you can enjoy the corals, reefs and desolate islands with their empty white sand beaches to yourselves, at your own pace (the group tours generally have a tight schedule, not to mention that the boats have a capacity easily exceeding 20 persons).

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You can check out a standard sample itinerary we offer to get an idea of the beautiful, secluded beaches you will find along the way, or if you have enough time, you can even squeeze in Balabac, as this sample itinerary shows from one of our customers.

The multiday expedition tour includes much of the sites around Coron, but we also organize private tours in El Nido (not included in our multiday tours) and Coron, if you wanted to cover all the sites of Coron not included in the multiday tours. The advantage of private tours in these two locations is that our operators make sure to leave earlier and visit the sites in an order and such a way as to avoid the mass crowds of the group tours.

For our multiday tours you can even rent a speargun and get tips from the crew, who are skilled at catching fish using just a line in their hand with a piece of bread to catch a small fish to use as bait to catch the big fish.

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Cliff diving around Linapacan for a bit of fun.

And if you like to color up your multiday excursion with some more fun, you can also rent kayaks and even a wakeboard and wakesurfboard, to get a little workout while making your way from one beautiful island to another. And don’t forget to check out the cliff jumping spot!

If you’d like to experience this beautiful, remote and magical region in a custom, private tour catered to your specific needs (we also organize group tours if you are on a budget), just contact us so we can prepare the perfect plan for you.

snorkeling boat tours

Experience the thrill of island hopping in the Philippines

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Lou PrataliLou Pratali
11:04 25 Jul 23
This is a must to do!!Super ultimate tour is the best with Kayangan and barracuda lake, twin lagoons (my favorite), coral garden (blue fabulous coral) were the best. It’s really worth it to pay for private tour (3500 to 4000 PHP). You will also have to pay for entrance fees (150 to 200PHP by location) and eventually shopping at the market - must do (count 300 for 2 for fish, pork, fruits and vegetables, water).
Gérard BENOITGérard BENOIT
16:11 07 Feb 23
I was looking for a personalized excursion to the beautiful Gulf of Bacuit.Seeing the comments, I contacted Mel.Very responsive, very efficient and perfect organization.The flight attendants were very friendly and very helpful.And I'm not even talking about the meal on board...a marvel.In all fairness, this excursion will remain an excellent memory and I cannot recommend Mel and his team highly enough.A big thank-you.
Alyse TarbottonAlyse Tarbotton
23:48 30 Aug 22
This tour went well above all our expectations! I couldn't recommend this enough! The boat crew, captain and tour guide were nothing but amazing, everyone was so kind, helpful and friendly. The crew knew the best spots to visit that weren't overcrowded with tourists, 3 times we were lucky enough to have whole islands to ourselves! It was my partner's birthday while away and everything went above and beyond, bonfire, cake, birthday card, singing and celebrating with us.If you love camping this is definitely a tout you should do, it has been the highlight of our trip!!
Danish KayaniDanish Kayani
10:24 31 Oct 19
Coron is the best place i have ever seen.. picturesque. Beautiful. Peaceful
We booked a 4 days/3 nights private boat trip from Coron to Sibaltan. The organization went very well from the beginning, the owner answered to all my questions, and we were able to choose which islands to visit and where to sleep. The first night we slept in a bungalow in Banana Island, the second we camped in Araw beach and the last we slept in a seafront bungalow builded on a tree in Pical on Iloc Island.The islands in that area are the most beautiful islands I have ever seen, with clear water, lots of coral reef and fishes to see, white sand and almost deserted. The crew was very friendly and polite and they organize every single meal and for camping they give you a tent which was just perfect! This was our highlight in our 2 weeks in the Philippines and I wish I had booked a longer trip. A private trip gives you the freedom to decide where and when to go.
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We are a family operation managing private custom boat tours in the beautiful Palawan area, and are happy to help travelers with their plans through the country, having traveled a lot of it ourselves and planning to visit it all.

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