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Pasir Panjang reef, extending in front of the two northernmost beaches of Kapas, is known as one of the best snorkeling locations on the island. It features a spectacular seabed, which includes coral gardens, giant clams and fields of colorful sea anemones. Parrotfish, moray eels, snappers, clownfish and butterflyfish, among dozens of other fish species, call Pasir Panjang reef home.

Giant clam in Kapas
Pasir Panjang is home to a large population of giant clams.

How to get to Pasir Panjang snorkeling spot?

Pasir Panjang is the northernmost beach area of Kapas Island. It is easily reached from the west coast’s resorts by walking along the shore. Walking distance to the spot is approximately 1500 m from Kapas Turtle Valley, 700 m from Kapas Coral Beach Resort, and 250 m from Turtle Cove Resort. Short paths through the jungle allow walking from one beach to the next one.

Pasir Panjang is divided into two beaches: Pantai Pasir Cina (or Safari Beach), the first beach you will reach when arriving from Turtle Cove Resort, and Pantai Derdap (or Long Beach), further north. The two beaches are separated by a small rocky point covered with jungle.

Pasir Panjang snorkeling map, Pulau Kapas

Water entrance for snorkeling Pasir Panjang

The recommended water entrance is at the northern end of the first beach, where the coral reef begins.

Pasir Panjang snorkeling exploration tips

Once in the water, swim along the coast, heading north. The main coral areas are located along the second (northernmost) beach.

Bluespotted ribbontail ray in Kapas
Lucky snorkelers may spot a bluespotted ribbontail ray at this location.

The reef is 60 to 80m wide and begins very close to the shore. The depth is moderate all over the reef, not exceeding 6 to 9 ft/2 to 3 m. Pasir Panjang has a diversity of underwater landscapes including “fields” of sea anemones, expanses of lettuce coral, as well as mixed coral areas (brain coral, tabular coral…) where giant clams abound.

Sea anemones come in all colors: white, purple, green, yellow, and orange, whether or not they are inhabited by clownfish. Several species of which can be spotted at this location, including the pink-skunk clownfish, the tomato clownfish and the ocellaris clownfish.

Double-spined sea urchin in Kapas
A double-spined sea urchin.

The giant clams are also very impressive, no doubt very old, some being completely covered in corals and only allowing their colorful mantle to protrude from the reef. You will also easily observe sea urchins, sabella and nudibranchs.

Pasir Panjang reef is called home by many species of fish. Parrotfish, wrasse, damselfish and butterflyfish, among many others, are very common there in the area. The giant moray, generally sheltering inside crevices, or the bluespotted ribbontail ray, which likes to rest in the shade of overhangs, are also often seen here.

Tomato clownfish in Kapas
The tomato clownfish is one of the anemonefish species living in Kapas Island shore waters.

On this spot, the underwater visibility is variable. The water can especially be cloudy if it has rained in the previous hours or days.

Restaurants and accommodation nearby

The Turtle Cove Resort is the closest accommodation to the spot (about 250m). Take some water with you.


  • Level required Intermediate
  • Maximum depth10ft/3m
  • Water entranceFrom a sandy beach
  • LifeguardNo
  • Visitor numbersMedium
  • Access costsFree
  • Restaurants nearbyNo

MAP Spot

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.