7 Breathtaking natural pools in the Philippines

I have a fascination with natural pools. For one, natural pools in the Philippines aren’t that very common to find. Second, I think it’s amazing that nature has its own way of creating pools isolated from the sea, which are not only picturesque but also perfect for dipping.

Hence, I asked fellow travel bloggers and other well-traveled Pinoys to share must-see natural pools in the Philippines. Are you excited as I am? Here we go.

#1 Tidal pools in Biri, Samar

Natural lagoon found in Biri rock formations. (Photo by Hali)

Here’s our share on the must-see natural pools in the Philippines. Last summer, we went on a road trip from Manila down south. In Biri, Samar, we witnessed not only spectacular, alien-looking, Star Wars-inspired rock formations but also natural tidal pools. We went there before afternoon and it was still low tide. As such, the tidal pools in Biri were a little inconspicuous, but from above the cliffs the pools were clearly visible and lovely.

Travel guide: From Lavezares town in Samar or Matnog in Sorsogon, ride a passenger boat going to Biri Island. Drop by the tourism office and ride a habal-habal to take you to the Biri rock formations.

You can see more photos of these beautiful tidal pools in Biri, Samar, here.

#2 Magpupungko Pool in Siargao

Magpupungko Pool in Siargao. (Photo from Adrenaline Romance)

From Gian and Sheila of Adrenaline Romance:

“These are Mother Nature’s very own swimming pools. The Magpupungko Tide Pools are natural cavities on the seashore. They are hardly discernible during high tide. It is during low tide that the Magpupungko Tide Pools show their magnificence; seawater becomes trapped in the pools as the tide recedes. The Magpupungko Tide Pools are filled with interesting geographical features and strange marine creatures, making them a unique, stunning destination in our lovely country.”

Travel Guide: From General Luna in Siargao, flag a motorcycle to Magpupungko Pool. Round-trip fare is P500.

You can read more about Gian and Sheila’s visit in Siargao’s Magpupungko Pool here.

#3 Pangabangan tidal pool in Dinagat

Pangabangan tidal pool, located in the country’s newest declared province – Dinagat. (Photo by Mustachio Ventures)

Here’s another charming addition to our list of natural pools in the Philippines. From Mustachio of Mustachio Ventures:

“A huge meteor zoomed and crashed into this part of Dinagat Islands, thus forming this huge chasm. Or so the unwritten legend says. But, really, it’s just a tidal pool. A beautiful, inviting, deep, aquamarine tidal pool. Pangabangan Tidal Pool can be found in Pangabangan Island, which is part of the municipality of Libjo in Dinagat Islands. It is one of the destinations covered in the island hopping tours offered by the tourism office of Dinagat Islands.”

Travel Guide: To reach Dinagat Islands, take a boat trip from the boulevard of Surigao City to San Jose (Dinagat Islands’ capital). The trip takes about an hour and costs Php 100 per person.

Read more about Mustachio’s adventures to this tidal pool and other places in Dinagat here. You can also see how our own island hopping in Dinagat Islands went.

#4-5 Kanpirugdot and Ge-puroe tidal pools in Divinubo Island, Samar

The next three items are contributed by Rye Guiterrez. I don’t know Kuye Rye personally but he’s got amazing adventures to some off-the-radar places and hence asked him if he’s been to any natural pools in the Philippines.

Tidal pool in Ge-Puroe, Eastern Samar. (Photo by Rye Guttierez)
Tidal pool in Kanpirugdot, Eastern Samar. (Photo by Rye Guttierez)

From Rye:

“My travel buddies and I traveled by dawn from Guiuan to Borongan City. It was April, the supposed-to-be summer month, but it was raining hard. By the time we arrived in Divinubo Island, fortunately, the rain already stopped.

It was still overcast when we got to the pools and rock formations of Kanpirugdot. My photos lacked warmth, but hey, it’s way better than rain. When we reached Ge-puroe, the clouds gave way for the sun. We only swam for thirty minutes or so. I didn’t wanna get toasted anyway. The tidal pool of Ge-puroe was overwhelming because it was really big compared to the little ones in Kanpirugdot. Although it only has boulders underwater compared to corals found in Kanpirugdot pools. By lunch time, we went back to the city proper to have lunch and rest before our sunset chasing by the city’s boulevard to cap off our 8-day backpacking in Samar.”

Travel Guide: From Tacloban City proper, ride a van bound to Borongan City. Hire a tricycle to take you to Barangay Lalawigan. Ride a public or passenger boat to Divinubo Island.

#6 Nupa tidal pool in Gigmoto, Catanduanes

Natural pool in Nupa, Catanduanes. (Photo by Rye Gutierrez)

Again from Rye:

“I went snorkeling (good thing I brought my snorkeling gears), and my guide and I seemingly never got tired of achieving our underwater shots. Just make sure that you’re extra careful of sea urchins. The ones here were way too big with spines almost a foot long (just exaggerating but still!).”

Travel Guide: From Virac port (or alternatively San Andres port), ride a van bound to Gigmoto. Hire a motorcycle to take you to the jump-off point to the Nupa tidal pool. Trek for 15-30 minutes.

7. Jacuzzi pools in Paranas, Samar

Natural jacuzzi pools in Paranat, Samar. (Photo by Pinoy Adventurista)

From Mervin of Pinoy Adventurista:

“Ulot river in Paranas Samar is every adventure junkie’s ultimate playground. We got to experience an exciting torpedo boat ride in what is considered as Samar’s longest river. At the end of the boat ride, a  awesome activities await. At what they call Deni’s Point, you can jump from a mini waterfall, swim in the raging river or just dip in one of the several natural jacuzzis.

These shallow natural jacuzzis are perfect for an awesome dip while enjoying the breathtaking view of the forest and the river. Visit Paranas Samar and experience an exhilarating ride along Ulot River!”

Travel Guide: In Paranas, Samar, proceed to the jump-off point for the torpedo boat ride activity near the headquarters of the Samar Island Natural Park (SINP).

Curious about these natural jacuzzi pools? Read more about Pinoy Adventurista’s experience in Paranas, Samar, here.

 

That’s it! How many of these natural pools in the Philippines have you visited? Have anything more to add? Put them in the comments box below!

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54 Comments

  1. Those are really breathtaking pools! And the fact that there are all natural really adds to its beauty! I do hope I can visit even one of those pools. My kids love water so much and they haven’t experience any natural pools yet.

  2. The next time we embarked on a road trip to Samar, we’ll make sure to visit Biri. We went as far as Pambujan and Catarman. Biri is not in our radar, so after Samar, we explored Bicol on our way back to Manila.

  3. OMG. Does Philippines look even more beautiful the more I read posts like these? Beaches, Mountains, Islands and now these pretty awesome natural pools. Lovely post.

    1. Same sentiments! We’ll probably start going out of the country next year. This year though we’ll focus on local sites first. There’s so much to see here in the Philippines I think it will take us a few years to explore its provinces.

  4. Wow they’re really beautiful but for some reason I got scared looking at those natural pools. They look deep (except for he jacuzzi) and dangerous! XO

  5. wow.. i would love to visit at least one of these places someday! Too bad none of them is from Luzon… but it seems like Samar alone has a lot of great pools to offer! #bucketlisted

  6. Thanks for sharing this information! I didn’t know there were a lot of natural pools here in our country! I’ll be going to Siargao first I’m so excited 🙂

  7. So clear and pure are these for real and natural? Completely in awe of these breathtaking pools. Natural lagoon with those rock formations are simply stunning. And those Jacuzzi pools in Paranas are surreal.

  8. I went to Philippines few years ago and it was an amazing trip. I basically enjoyed every moment of it, because weather is fantastic and there is so much to see and visit. It was nice to read the article and get back to it.

  9. Those photos of the natural pools are stunning! The Philippines really do seem like a tropical paradise in some respects. But I am sorry the story about the meteor is just a legend. However the pools were created, I’m sure they would be amazing to swim in!

  10. I kinda have fear of natural pools since I slipped in one and hit my back so hard. But still I have to face that fear and this places are a start of that. So beautiful that it can conquer fears haha

    1. I’ve only been to two natural tidal pools and the ground underneath on both is uneven. In Biri there’s even another small pool but the sides are too slippery and the bottom has pointed stones. So yes I understand that. I guess we just have to be careful next time.

  11. All these natural pools look so ethereal and inviting, as if they have been created by nature for mankind.All of them look as if they have been dropped from heaven.

  12. I had to google natural pools because I didn’t know there was such. Apparently, this type cleans itself without the need for strong chemicals. Nature does the filtration and all. Mother nature is truly amazing.

    1. Hi RC, yes there are natural pools though I’m not aware of its technical description. Most of the ones in this list are tidal pools and are found next to a beach. 🙂

  13. I didn’t know such places existed. It’s very beautiful, Philippines is very beautiful. I think it’s time to update my travel list and include your list. Thank you for enlightening me about these places.

  14. Who would not want to spend time in any of these places? It is all so beautiful. I especially love the picture of the Pangabangan tidal pool. Breathtaking!

  15. Wow! These are just georgous and so fascinanting! I love natural pools, and I didn’t came accross those kind a lot. One of those was at the Dead Sea, and I was completely head over heels by the amazingness of such a phenomenon! I’d love to take a dip in the Tidal one!

  16. Amount I’ve seen: 0
    Amount I need to see after reading this post: all of them.
    It looks so surreal, like photoshopped! I can imagine myself with a good book and some snacks and would be soooo happy for the day!

  17. Oh wow, nature at it’s very prettiest! Stunning places, but if I had to pick one, then I think I would want to go to Pangabangan tidal pool first. Great images, amazing places !

  18. Amazing! I didn’t know there were natural pools in the Philippines. I will have to see if any of these will fit into our itinerary. I need to look it up in a map. So many beautiful islands to choose from.

  19. i would love to see and try that jacuzzi pool! didn’t know these exists around here in the Philippines! must visit them all! haha. this is a great alternative if you’re tired of seeing beaches. thanks for sharing this, another addition to my never ending list of to go places. haha!

  20. I laugh at the thought that I never visited any of these places before! wow!!! But hey, 3 are from Samar and my husband is from Leyte, so I’ll tell him about it and hopefully, we can visit at least 1 of them (to visit them all would be best, lol) when we visit his hometown.

  21. The places you’ve been to are truly breath-taking. The Philippines really offer a lot of natural sights. I still haven’t been to the places you’ve mentioned. More destinations we want to see and experience in person for us 🙂 I preferably love to see first the pools in Samar. -Me-An of http://yogoandcream.com

  22. That is so nice!!! The closest I came to actually visiting one of the destinations you listed was Biri. I had been to Samar a few times, however, I was there on business trips so there really was not much time to do anything else. Hope to have the opportunity to go see the beautiful places all around the country again.

  23. Looks like Samar has lots of options to offer. I’ve been only in Biri and it was stunning. Siargao is also one of the best I visited. Wonderful list and enough to prove how rich the philippines is in natural pools.

  24. Your title is apt; breath-taking…it’s wonderful how nature designs it’s beauty around this small world. For instance, your pic of the jacuzzi pools in Paranat, looks so pretty and cute 🙂
    I love all these pics.. Hope I get to visit these places one day soon!

  25. My first recollection of natural pools was when I was a child, when my parents used to bring us to Laguna every summer to bask on its “natural springs.” I remembered jumping from once ice cold pool to a hot one and back again. Your post brought me back to those happy days! Thanks for posting!

  26. Oh, this a great article! Thanks for writing this. If I ever visit the Philippines, I need this!! I just love natural pools and these look wonderful. The water of the Pangabangan tidal pool looks so beautiful. And I love the last one as well. I would love to sit in the jacuzzi pools :).

  27. Geeezz! I wanna pack my bag and go to those places! Mangpupungko! One of my dream destination! Huhu Going to Siargao is so expensive, I mean the airfare. huhu Thanks for sharing!

  28. What? They have these in the Philippines? Waaah! I can’t believe it! Now I’m adding this to my bucket list! Yey! Thanks or sharing this, ate! Natural pools are what I am longing to go to and see for myself (there are no natural pools in the Cordillera kasi. Hihihi!) <3

    1. Thank you din! 🙂 We’ve only been to the ones in Biri and Magpupungko. I’d also like to visit the other ones in this list. Perhaps next year.

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