Did you know that there are several tidal pools that you can visit in the Philippines?
Tidal pools are basically pools of seawater found in rocky shorelines. They are incredibly rare, which is one of the main reason they are fascinating. Personally, I love discovering tidal pools during my travels.
Not only are tidal pools (or natural pools) snap-worthy, they are also perfect for dipping!
Here’s a list of must-see natural pools in the Philippines, as suggested by fellow bloggers and travelers.
- 1. Bel-At Tidal Pool in Biri, Samar
- 2. Magpupungko Rock Pools in Siargao
- 3. Pangabangan Tidal Pool in Dinagat
- 4-5. Kanpirugdot and Ge-Puroe tidal pools in Divinubo Island, Samar
- 6. Nupa Tidal Pool in Gigmoto, Catanduanes
- 7. Tuwad-Tuwadan Pool in Pandan, Catanduanes
- 8. Natural pool in Bisaya-Bisaya Island in Once Islas, Zamboanga
- 9. Jacuzzi pools in Paranas, Samar
1. Bel-At Tidal Pool in Biri, Samar
There is more to see in Biri Island than its rock formations. Bel-At Tidal Pool is a large pool nestled between Caranas and Bel-At. It’s one of the most picturesque areas in this province.
We went there when the tide was still low so we didn’t notice the pool right away. But above the cliff, it was clearly visible. I went down to the cliff while my boyfriend Hali snapped a photo from above. It was lovely!
How to get here: From Lavezares in Samar or Matnog in Sorsogon, ride a passenger boat going to Biri Island. Drop by the tourism office to register and then ride a habal-habal to take you to the Biri rock formations.
2. Magpupungko Rock Pools in Siargao
By Gian and Sheila of Adrenaline Romance
These are Mother Nature’s very own swimming pools. The Magpupungko Rock Pools are natural cavities on the seashore in Siargao Island. 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.
How to get here: From General Luna in Siargao, flag a motorbike or tricycle to Magpupungko Pool. Travel time is around 45 minutes.
3. Pangabangan Tidal Pool in Dinagat
By 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.
How to get here: 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.
4-5. Kanpirugdot and Ge-Puroe tidal pools in Divinubo Island, Samar
By Rye Gutierrez
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.
How to get here: From Tacloban City proper, ride a van bound for 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
By Rye Gutierrez
The Nupa Tidal Pool can be found in Gigmoto, Catanduanes.
I went snorkeling (good thing I brought my snorkeling gears) in the Nupa Tidal Pool 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!).
How to get here From the port of Virac in Catanduanes (or alternatively San Andres port), ride a van bound for Gigmoto. Hire a motorcycle to take you to the jump-off point to the Nupa tidal pool. Trek for 15-30 minutes.
7. Tuwad-Tuwadan Pool in Pandan, Catanduanes
Just below Cagnipa Rolling Hills in Catanduanes, you can find Tuwad-Tuwadan Pool. It’s an elongated pool surrounded by rocky cliffs. The pool is very much alive, with corals and fishes underneath. You have to be careful when swimming though because the strong waves from the ocean tends to crash over the pool too.
How to get here: From Virac in Catanduanes, ride a van to Pandan. From the town proper, charter a motorbike to get to Tuwad-Tuwadan Pool.
8. Natural pool in Bisaya-Bisaya Island in Once Islas, Zamboanga
Once Islas is a new ecotourism destination in Zamboanga. It’s basically composed of 11 islands, of which 3-4 are open for visitation. Once in Bisaya-Bisaya Island, you can walk across to the connecting island to see this natural pool. It’s the perfect place for those IG photos for your summer vacation!
How to get here: From Zamboanga City, ride a bus or van to Panubigan crossing. Then ride a habal-habal to the barangay hall and register for island hopping. Travel time is 1 hour.
9. Jacuzzi pools in Paranas, Samar
By 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!
How to get here: 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).
That ends our compilation of the must-see tidal pools in the Philippines! Have anything more to add? Let us know in the comment section below!
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Katherine Cortes is a long-time backpacker and a freelance writer/editor. She likes beaches, snorkeling trips, and relaxing staycations (preferably with bath tubs!).