Natural pools in the Philippines feature
Guides and Itineraries,  Philippines

9 Breathtaking Tidal Pools in the Philippines

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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

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

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

Magpupungko Pool in Siargao
Magpupungko Pool in Siargao. (Photo from 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

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

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

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

Natural pool in Nupa, Catanduanes
Natural pool in Nupa, Catanduanes. (Photo 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

Tuwad-tuwadan pool in Catanduanes
Tuwad-tuwadan pool. (Photo by Hali)

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

Natural pool in Bisaya-Bisaya Island, Once Islas
Natural pool in Bisaya-Bisaya Island.

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

Jacuzzi pools in Paranat, Samar
Natural jacuzzi pools in Paranat, Samar. (Photo 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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  • ASKSonnie

    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.

  • Tamz

    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.

  • Kat

    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.

  • Yan

    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

  • Milton Coyne

    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

  • Who is Ferna?

    That Biri pool. so stunning! I didnt know that samar has that amazing pool. I havent’ visited Samar that’s why. This is a great info for me.

  • Andi Comia

    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 🙂

  • Rashmi&Chalukya

    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.

  • Stella the Travelerette

    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!

  • erwin who

    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

    • Kat

      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.

  • Kate & Mark - Vagrants Of The World Travel

    Never knew Philippines has that many gorgeous looking natural pools. Sad to say, I’m only familiar with Boracay and other similar places. These places would be a wonderful to include in any itinerary of people visiting your country.

  • RC

    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.

    • Kat

      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. 🙂

  • Sheri

    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!

  • @Lavender and Lovage (@KarenBurnsBooth)

    Stunning photos Kat and I’m ashamed to say that I’ve never been to the Philippines, even though I lived in Hong Kong and Singapore for over 12 yrs! But, if I even get the opportunity to visit, I’m making sure I visit seem of these stunning pools! Karen

  • Lance Kerwin

    Hay naku. Ganda ng mga pictures. Medyo inggit ako sa inyo. Di ko pa kase napuntahan itong mga pools. Hopefully one day I’ll be able to see these places.

  • Subhadrika Sen

    All of the pools look very beautiful but my favourite one is the pool in Nupa. It looks so beautiful.

  • Blair Villanueva

    Biri is my favorite here! Next is Dinagat – Ohh I want to visit these pools and I don’t care how much sunny it is, I would be happy pampering myself in here 😀

  • chantae

    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!

  • Klaudia

    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 !

  • Christina

    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.

  • Nilyn_ECM

    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.

  • keevinfernandez

    Amazing Magpupungko Pool in Siargao!! I’ll be there this September. I’m adding one more place to check. 🙂

  • yogoandcream

    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

  • Amazing Life Daily

    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.

  • Jessica Ayun

    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.

  • Sriparna

    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!

  • Christian Z.

    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!

  • Carola Knubben

    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 :).

  • marlakwatsera

    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!

  • Aldrick 'chiki' Zabala Agpaoa

    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

    • Adrenaline Romance

      Hello, Mustachio! We will revisit your Dinagat post when we have a schedule set for this enchanting destination soon. 🙂

  • Adrenaline Romance

    Those are lovely natural pools! We’ve only been to Magpupungko. These other pools ought to be in our bucket list. Thank you so much for including us in this feature.

    • Kat

      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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