Snorkeler above coral reefs in the Philippines

Snorkeling in the Philippines

With surreal freshwater lagoons, spectacular reefs, diversity of marine life, and unspoiled beaches, the Philippines is a paradise for snorkelers.

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Visayan Snorkeling Expedition route-map

Trip Details at-a-Glance

Cost From: $5595  
Length: 13 days
Arrive: Manila, Philippines
Depart: Manila, Philippines
Lodging: 2 nights hotels, 10 nights beachfront lodges and resorts
Meals: All meals included
Activity: Snorkeling, Wildlife & Natural History, Whale or Dolphin Swimming, Whale Watching
Trip Level: Snorkeling, swimming, day hikes


  • Snorkel the dazzling underwater world of the Philippines’ remote Visayan Islands
  • Explore off-the-beaten-path Cabilao Island, with reefs that are among the healthiest and most productive in the world
  • Enjoy dolphin- and whale-watching in Bohol Strait
  • Relax in comfortable beachside lodges and resorts, with the best access to our snorkeling sites

This trip was an excellent adventure! Lee Goldman's expertise and intimate knowledge of the region made for an experience of a lifetime.Bob Q.—Woodinville, WA

Choosing the Right Trip

We work hard to help you choose the right trip for you, paying attention to your individual interests, abilities, and needs. If you have questions about the level of comfort or any of the activities described in this itinerary, please contact us.


We are proud to have an exceptionally high rate of repeat travelers. For more information, we would be happy to put you in touch with a client who has traveled with us.

Departure Notes

Once you have signed up on the trip, we send a complete packing list, relevant health information, and required travel documents.

If the wonders of life under the sea capture your imagination, join us for a “no-holds-barred, snorkel-till-you-drop” adventure in the Visayas, the stunning Philippine archipelago at the northern edge of the Coral Triangle, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. With your Trip Leader, an expert in marine conservation, you’ll snorkel amid an underwater ballet of extraordinary marine life—damselfish, butterflyfish, wrasses, blacktip reef sharks, and more—and enjoy dolphin- and whale-watching in the Bohol Strait, where sightings of spinner dolphins are the norm. Our overnights are in comfy beach lodges, most of them just a few kicks from their “house reefs” teeming with iridescent fish.

Itinerary at a Glance

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

Days 1-6
Manila / Sogod Bay

From Manila, we fly to Leyte Island where snorkeling over lush coral gardens brings you close to vibrant sea stars and flashy damselfish. If they’re in residence, you may have the chance to swim with whale sharks in Sogod Bay.

Days 7-9
Cabilao Island

The entire reef around Cabilao is a Marine Protected Area and our adventures include 3-Coco, where schools of purple anthias number in the thousands, Lighthouse Reef, with its brilliant corals, shoals of barracuda, and the amazing Gorgonian Wall, a steep drop-off with giant fan corals patrolled by vividly-colored reef fish. Night snorkels are magical, and you’ll see a whole new range of marine creatures like the fast-moving octopus.

Days 10-13
Panglao Island

After seeing Philippine tarsiers, among the world’s smallest primates at just 3-6 inches in height, you’ll head to Panglao Island for dolphin- and whale-watching in Bohol Strait. Depart on Day 13, or extend your trip to Dimakya Island.

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

Optional Extensions

If you would like to continue your adventure, we offer the following extension:

What the Trip is Like

This trip is rated Level 3, Moderate. Because the primary focus of the trip is snorkeling, we require that trip members know how to swim, and we strongly recommend you bring your own good quality, well-fitted equipment with you, including mask, snorkel, and fins. Try out your gear in a swimming pool before you go to make sure that it works for you and is comfortable. There is ample time for both scheduled snorkels and free snorkeling, and for the most part the water time is “at your own pace.” We will have a “refresher” snorkel in calm waters at the beginning of the trip, and there will be several drift snorkels (with some current) during the trip. We usually have two to three snorkeling adventures each day, and we also have shore excursions on various islands with optional hikes. Our landings will be via Zodiac and right onto the beaches; snorkeling is also done via the Zodiacs, which have ladders to aid in getting on and off. Keep in mind that on any trip of this nature, it is impossible to predict what the weather will have in store and activities often vary with each day.

Explanation of Trip Levels


Departures & Leaders

Apr 7-19, 2015  Lee Goldman
Apr 21-May 3, 2015  Rima De Dios
May 6-18, 2015  Lee Goldman
May 21-Jun 2, 2015  Lee Goldman

Trip Cost

Prices are for 2015
$5595 (6-10 members)
$6195 (4-5 members)
Single supplement: $850
Forced single supplement: $650
Internal airfare: $425 (subject to change)
more on pricing

Extension Costs
Dimakya Island Extension
   from: $1095

Trip Payment Schedule

At time of reservation: $500
120 days prior to departure: 20% of trip cost
60 days prior to departure: Balance

Cancellation and Transfer Fee Schedule*

Minimum fee: $250 per person
90-46 days prior to departure: 25% of trip cost
45 days or less: 100% of trip cost

*Please note that this differs from our regular catalog departures.

Trip Cost Includes:

  • Expert leadership of a Wilderness Travel Trip Leader and local crew
  • Accommodations in hotels and beach resorts
  • All meals included
  • All land transportation (in air-conditioned vehicles) and banca boat transportation
  • Airport transfers in Manila for arrival on Day 1 and departure on Day 13
  • Entrance fees and service charges
  • Baggage handling; gratuities to hotel and restaurant staff

Trip Cost Does Not Include:

International airfare; internal airfare; any meals not specified after each itinerary day; international airport departure taxes; hotels en route and any hotel nights that may be necessitated by airline schedule changes or other factors; optional tipping or gratuities to trip leader and local guide, boat captains, and drivers; snorkeling equipment; medical immunizations, travel insurance, passport and visa fees; items of a personal nature (alcoholic beverages at resorts and hotel, laundry, telephone, etc.).

Arrival & Departure Information

You are responsible for your own transportation arriving to and departing from Manila, Philippines. For more detailed information, including transfers, please download the Detailed Itinerary.

Please do not purchase your tickets until you are confirmed on the trip and have reviewed your proposed air schedule with our office. Once your tickets have been purchased, please send us a copy of your airline schedule.

Meeting Place:
Manila, Philippines

Suggested Arrival Airport:

Manila Airport, Philippines (airport code MNL)   
Suggested Flight Arrival Time: by 4:00 pm


Manila, Philippines

Suggested Airport for Departure:
Manila Airport, Philippines (airport code MNL) 
Suggested departure time: after 6:00 pm

Dusit Thani Manila

Dusit Thani Manila

Day 1 (1 night),
Day 12 (1 night), Manila, Philippines

This large high-rise hotel enjoys a central location, within walking distance to shopping areas and other attractions. The hotel features several ...
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Sogod Bay Scuba Resort

Sogod Bay Scuba Resort

Days 2 to 6 (5 nights), Leyte Island, Philippines

Set on a rocky white beach, this small resort with its laid-back atmosphere features simple, basic accommodations that are clean and comfortable. ...
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Polaris Beach and Dive Resort

Polaris Beach and Dive Resort

Days 7 to 9 (3 nights), Cabilao Island, Philippines

Set among lush tropical gardens, this comfortable lodge is located on an idyllic bay on Cabilao Island just a stone’s throw from the beach. It ...
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Amorita Resort

Amorita Resort

Days 10 to 11 (2 nights), Panglao Island, Philippines

Perched on a cliff overlooking white-sand Alona Beach, the Amorita Resort offers a wonderful laid-back atmosphere. Guest rooms are simply furnished, ...
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Extension Accommodations

If you would like to view the accommodations offered with our extensions option:

Note: Listed above are our signature accommodations for this trip. Although it is highly unlikely, we may make substitutions when necessary.

Our Trip Leaders

Here are the Trip Leaders scheduled for this journey (please note that leader assignments are subject to change).

Rima De Dios

Departure Dates: April 21-May 3, 2015

Rima De Dios, who grew up in Manila, took up biology at the University of the Philippines and entered one of the country's most prestigious medical schools, but after three years her real passion called-nature conservation and the great outdoors. Rima headed for El Nido, a marine sanctuary in the ...
Click here for a full bio and list of all upcoming trips

Lee Goldman

Departure Dates: April 7-19, 2015, May 6-18, 2015, May 21-June 2, 2015

Lee Goldman is a certified SCUBA instructor, an avid birdwatcher, and a passionate kayaker, rock climber, and hiker. Lee has been leading WT's popular and ever-expanding collection of snorkeling adventures since 2007. “We bring people to places seldom visited and get to explore the raw ...
Click here for a full bio and list of all upcoming trips

Optional Extensions

If you would like to continue your adventure, we offer the following extension:


Dimakya Island Extension

Snorkeling and Extraordinary Wildlife Encounters

4 days  -  Level 3

Client Comments

This trip was an excellent adventure! Lee Goldman's expertise and intimate knowledge of the region made for an experience of a lifetime. Bob Q., Woodinville, WA
I really enjoyed this trip. The amount of in water time was great and the guide, Lee Goldman, was very knowledgeable, easy to be with, always willing to help, and personable. Jo-Ann L., Kaneohe, HI