Southeast of Cebu City, the snorkeling at Mactan Island is popular with day trippers and weekend vacationers. While it is easily accessible resulting in crowding, it doesn't have that great of snorkeling. The recent typhoons have caused extensive damage to most of the shallow reefs that could be enjoyed by snorkelers. The best Mactan Island snorkeling can be found of...
Southeast of Cebu City, the snorkeling at Mactan Island is popular with day trippers and weekend vacationers. While it is easily accessible resulting in crowding, it doesn't have that great of snorkeling. The recent typhoons have caused extensive damage to most of the shallow reefs that could be enjoyed by snorkelers. The best Mactan Island snorkeling can be found off Kon Tiki dive shop on the northeast coast. The Kon Tiki house reef is located off a rocky coastline resulting in high water clarity. Their reef has been protected by the Kon Tiki for years and is quite healthy. While snorkeling Kon Tiki, you may encounter jacks, barracuda, parrotfish, angelfish, snapper and sharks.
Mactan Island is surprisingly acccessible via bridges from Cebu City, and it is also the site of the main Mactan-Cebu International Airport. It is best known as a major jumping off point for scuba diving trips to other islands, since there isn't many dive spots right offshore. There are over 100 dive shops that provide the popular scuba training.
The Philippine archipelago consists of over 7,100 islands stretching 1,840km and presents a snorkelers paradise. The warm, crystal clear waters are a haven for diverse marine life. With visibility up to 60m, the waters of the surrounding Pacific Ocean, Celebes Sea and South China Sea are habitat to 400 species of coral and over 2,000 species of fish including sharks, rays and turtles.
Overall, the Philippines are divided into the three main tourist regions, from south to north, of Mindanao, Visayas and Luzon. Each region has numerous tropical beaches and shallow reefs. The best time of year for snorkeling in the Philippines is the cool and dry months of December through March. The months of June to October are the rainiest months and are known to have typhoons.
To reach the Philippines from other countries, most people fly into Ninoy Aquino International Airport (MNL) located on the south side of Manila in the Luzon region. It is served by 30 international airlines. Alternately, there are five other smaller international airports including Mactan-Cebu International Airport (CEB) in Lapu-Lapu City (serving Australia, Singapore and Japan), Davao Airport (serving Indonesia and Singapore), Clark Airport, Subic Airport and Laoag Airport. Once in the Philippines, the main inter-island airlines are Cebu Pacific Air and Air Philippines. In addition to inter-island airlines, many of the 7,100 islands are interconnected by small ferry companies (usually very crowded). Recently, a newer high-speed SuperFerry has started to connect some of the islands and is known to be less crowded.
Overall, Mactan Island is the 30th most popular snorkel dive spot of all 30 snorkeling dives in Philippines.
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