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Last updated on March 4, 2023
Tiny Islas Pelonas are located just a few minutes by boat from the famous seaside resorts of Playas del Coco and Playa Hermosa. Their rocky coasts bathed by the Pacific Ocean shelter shallow reefs on which a fine diversity of fish species, some of which very colorful, can be easily seen. Lucky ones (or those with sharp eyes) will even meet a hawksbill sea turtle or a Pacific seahorse.
Pelonas Islands are located about 1km from Punta Cacique, the small peninsula separating Playas del Coco and Playa Hermosa. Numerous operators offer snorkeling tours from both seaside resorts to the islands.
Those boat tours generally include other snorkeling stops, for example at Calzon de Pobre or La Penca. These two small beaches are located along Punta Cacique’s coasts, where snorkeling is also great – it is also possible to reach these spots by car/hiking).
Enter the water from your boat.
There are several snorkel areas around Pelonas Islands, but excursion boats most often stop at the rocky reef extending off the smallest island’s southern point. There are several shallow, sheltered areas here, making it a perfect location for snorkeling exploration.
The seabed is uneven and rocky, with flat areas covered with small hard corals (↕1-5m). Numerous sea urchins, mollusks and a few chocolate starfish are set on the rocks.
A nice diversity of fish species can also be seen on this spot, including Cortez rainbow wrasse, sometimes going by in large groups, giant hawkfish, generally set on rocks looking for their next prey, sergeant majors, or giant damselfish.
Razor surgeonfish, porcupinefish and pufferfish also appreciate those shallow reefs. If lucky, you will even meet a hawksbill sea turtle (which is quite common off the Islands’ coasts) or a Pacific seahorse safely hidden amongst corals.
Pelonas Islands are a good option for snorkelers when underwater visibility is bad off the mainland coastline. Water generally is much clearer here.
The islands are a wild place where boats generally do not moor. Some tours include a lunch meal and/or snacks and beverages: ask for information when booking.
These spots are accessible to anyone with basic snorkeling skills, and feeling comfortable in the water and with his snorkeling gear. You will enter the water from the shore (beach, pontoon, ladder, rocks) or from a boat. The water height in the sea entrance area is reasonable, but you will not necessarily be within your depth. Moderate currents can occur in the area, even when the sea conditions are good. The distance to swim to reach the most interesting snorkeling areas of the spot does not exceed 200 meters.
This level only apply when the spot experiences optimal sea and/or weather conditions. It is not applicable if the sea and/or weather conditions deteriorate, in particular in the presence of rough sea, rain, strong wind, unusual current, large tides, waves and/or swell. You can find more details about the definition of our snorkeling levels on our snorkeling safety page.
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Snorkeling spots are part of a wild environment and their aspect can be significantly altered by weather, seasons, sea conditions, human impact and climate events (storms, hurricanes, seawater-warming episodes…). The consequences can be an alteration of the seabed (coral bleaching, coral destruction, and invasive seagrass), a poor underwater visibility, or a decrease of the sea life present in the area. Snorkeling Report makes every effort to ensure that all the information displayed on this website is accurate and up-to-date, but no guarantee is given that the underwater visibility and seabed aspect will be exactly as described on this page the day you will snorkel the spot. If you recently snorkeled this area and noticed some changes compared to the information contained on this page, please contact us.
The data contained in this website is for general information purposes only, and is not legal advice. It is intended to provide snorkelers with the information that will enable them to engage in safe and enjoyable snorkeling, and it is not meant as a substitute for swim level, physical condition, experience, or local knowledge. Remember that all marine activities, including snorkeling, are potentially dangerous, and that you enter the water at your own risk. You must take an individual weather, sea conditions and hazards assessment before entering the water. If snorkeling conditions are degraded, postpone your snorkeling or select an alternate site. Know and obey local laws and regulations, including regulated areas, protected species, wildlife interaction and dive flag laws.
Small rocky and sandy bay with colorful fish
Free shore access
Rocky areas with fish, stingrays and sea turtles
Rocky shore with colorful fish
Rocky seabed with colorful fish
Free shore access
Rock and coral reef with colorful fish, rays and turtles
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