Taklong Marine Reserve: A Biodiverse Paradise in Guimaras

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Taklong Marine Reserve

The Philippines, an archipelago consisting of more than 7,000 islands, is home to some of the world’s most diverse marine ecosystems. One of its treasured marine sanctuaries is Taklong Marine Reserve in the island province of Guimaras, found in the Western Visayas region.

An Overview of Taklong Marine Reserve

Taklong Marine Reserve, also known as Taklong Island National Marine Reserve (TINMR), sprawls across an area of approximately 1,143 hectares. Established in 1990, this marine reserve includes various habitats such as mangroves, seagrass beds, and coral reefs. The reserve’s objective is to conserve and protect the area’s rich marine biodiversity while ensuring sustainable use of its resources.

A Dive into its Biodiversity


Taklong Marine Reserve’s biodiversity is nothing short of impressive. It hosts a vibrant collection of marine species, ranging from colorful coral reefs to a myriad of fish species, mollusks, crustaceans, and sea turtles. Among these diverse species, some are considered rare and even threatened, which underscores the importance of the reserve’s conservation efforts.

Mangroves within the reserve serve as a crucial nursery and feeding ground for many marine species, contributing significantly to the overall health and diversity of the marine ecosystem. Meanwhile, the seagrass beds not only provide habitat and nutrition for various marine life forms but also play a critical role in maintaining water quality and combating climate change by absorbing carbon dioxide.

Eco-tourism and Research Initiatives

Taklong Marine Reserve is also a haven for eco-tourists and marine researchers. Its vibrant marine life and pristine natural beauty make it an attractive destination for snorkeling, diving, bird-watching, and island hopping.

The reserve is also a living laboratory for researchers studying marine ecology, biodiversity, and conservation. Its continuous monitoring and protection efforts have provided a wealth of data and insight into marine ecosystems, their dynamics, and the impacts of human activities.


The TINMR Management Office, along with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and other partners, carry out initiatives aimed at community development and sustainable tourism. These initiatives include local livelihood programs, environmental education, and capacity-building efforts, all working toward the common goal of preserving the marine reserve while enhancing the lives of the surrounding communities.

Environmental Challenges and Conservation Efforts

Like many marine reserves worldwide, Taklong faces challenges, including illegal fishing, pollution, and the impacts of climate change, which threatens coral reefs and other vulnerable marine ecosystems.

Nevertheless, conservation efforts within Taklong Marine Reserve are robust and multifaceted. Regular patrols aim to curb illegal fishing, while clean-up drives and education campaigns target pollution. The management also prioritizes climate change adaptation strategies, focusing on improving the resilience of the marine ecosystems and the local communities dependent on them.



Taklong Marine Reserve in Guimaras is more than just a testament to the Philippines’ rich marine biodiversity. It’s a crucial part of the local and national efforts to conserve and protect marine life. Its existence stands as a beacon for sustainable tourism, scientific research, community development, and marine conservation efforts. Despite the challenges it faces, Taklong’s vibrant underwater world continues to thrive, offering a remarkable glimpse into the underwater wonders of the Philippines.

Experiencing Taklong Marine Reserve is a sensory adventure that begins with the boat tours that bring visitors to this remarkable sanctuary. While specific tour schedules and offerings might vary depending on the season and the tour operators, here’s a general idea of what the boat tours to Taklong Marine Reserve can look like.

Boat Tour Experience


Departing from either the mainland of Guimaras or Iloilo City, visitors can book a boat tour to Taklong Marine Reserve. Often these boat tours will be part of a larger package including other sites around Guimaras, but we generally offer private custom tours (details below). Depending on the size and type of the boat, tours can accommodate a variety of group sizes, from intimate gatherings to larger groups.

The boat ride to the reserve is in itself a mesmerizing experience. As the boat cuts through the aquamarine waters, you might be treated to sights of local fishermen casting nets, flocks of seabirds flying overhead, and the occasional sighting of dolphins playfully chasing the boat.

Island-Hopping and Marine Activities

Upon arrival at the reserve, island hopping is a popular activity where you can visit and explore different islets, each with its unique charm. Among the popular stops are Taklong Island, with its lush vegetation and sandy beaches, and the neighboring Gamay and Dako islands.

Boat tours also often include snorkeling opportunities. With the boat anchored at strategic points, you can don a mask and snorkel to observe the underwater spectacle of the reserve. Vibrant coral reefs teeming with a myriad of fish species will reveal themselves beneath the clear waters.

End of the Tour


After a day filled with exploration, the boat tour concludes with a leisurely cruise back, typically timed so that visitors can enjoy a beautiful sunset over the Guimaras Strait. It’s the perfect end to a day of nature immersion, leaving visitors with memories of a lifetime and a deepened appreciation for the marine world.

Remember that while the boat tours offer a unique opportunity to experience the beauty of Taklong Marine Reserve, it is essential to follow the guidelines provided by the tour operators and the reserve management, ensuring a minimal impact on the environment. After all, the ultimate goal is to enjoy this marine treasure while helping to preserve it for future generations.

Our own private island hopping boat tour

How to get there and contact

Taklong island national marine reserve

The Marine Reserve is on the southwest tip of the island, basically the opposite side of the island from the port.

You can follow the logic of the map to take you near to the reserve and find an official boat, or you can do what we did and start farther north:

Taklong port 1

Point A would be the entrance point from the main highway, which would take you to the Dungcaan Jetty Port. From there you can easily find a private boat, or you could try:

Contact number: Edgar @ +63 912 780 5225

He is like the foremen of the other boats, not sure how good his English is though.

I believe I paid around 3,000p total for all three of us, private tour. You can visit up to 10 islands and beaches, depending on how long you dilly dally in each location. Some beaches are free, such as the two sandbars shown in the video above, but others charge around 50p (about $1) entrance fee per person plus about the same for parking the boat. You would need to pay for this in cash on arrival, so it depends on which places you prefer to visit.

Lunch is not included so make sure to come prepared. There are small shops here and there, but they are rather skimpy and mostly only sell simple junk food. Do not forget, this is a nationally protected marine reserve, so it is not very developed.

The advantage of this is you can go through a lot of amazing mangrove forests, as can be seen from this video synopsis of our tour:

YouTube video

Otherwise Point B could be one of the entrances to port points closer to the reserve, where the entrance roads closer to the reserve can be rather steep.

If you would be interested in a private custom boat tour in the Palawan area, contact us and we’ll be glad to organize something for you.


Experience the thrill of island hopping in the Philippines.

Useful Links

Guimaras Island
Things to do in Guimaras

Home » Visayas » Guimaras » Taklong Marine Reserve: A Biodiverse Paradise in Guimaras
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).
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.

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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Taklong Island Marine Reserve Boat Tour
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 1 reviews
 by Karel
remote and wonderful

If you want to experience beautiful, untouched nature away from the crowds, this is a great escape.

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