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Petani Beach hosts the main coral reef on the south coast of Pulau Perhentian Kecil, one of the Perhentian archipelago’s two main islands. Loaded with corals and reef fishes, the reef is also visited by small black tip sharks, which you may be lucky enough to encounter in the shallows.

Juvenile yellow boxfish in Petani Beach
A tiny juvenile yellow boxfish hiding below a massive porous coral.

How to get to Petani Beach snorkeling spot?

This spot is located on the south coast of Perhentian Kecil Island, near Petani Beach Chalets, Villamas Perhentian Resort and Alunan Resort. If you are not staying in one of these accommodations, you can reach the spot freely on foot via the trails that run along the south side of the island. It’s about a 1 km walk from the main pier and 2.5 km from Coral Bay.

Petani Beach snorkeling map, Perhentian Kecil

Water entrance for snorkeling Petani Beach

We recommend entering the water in front of the Petani Beach Chalets, on the left side of the buoys that mark the boat channel.

Petani Beach snorkeling exploration tips

We advise you to focus on the reef that extends to the east of Petani Beach Chalets. It is in this area that the most beautiful corals have grown.

Coral reef at Petani Beach
Nice small corals are found on the flats.

The seabed, which is sandy near the beach, gets gradually covered with coral as long as you swim offshore. It is in most places in fairly good condition.

Between the surface and 10-12ft/3-4m depth, the reef is mostly made of hard coral: digitate coral, tabular coral, massive porous coral, and some branching coral. A little deeper, some nice specimens of Melithaea gorgonians are fixed to the walls.

Tripletail wrasse in Petani Beach
A tripletail wrasse (terminal phase) in Petani Beach

Petani Beach reef is a good location to spot the Perhentian Islands sea life. Hundreds of species of fish call this area home. Among them, the blue ring angelfish, the longfin batfish, and the ocellaris clownfish (usually seen in magnificent sea anemones) are among the most popular with snorkelers.

Several species of pufferfish, boxfish and porcupinefish are easily approached. A few bluespotted ribbontail rays hide under the overhangs, and small blacktip reef sharks are frequently seen swimming over the corals.

Longfin batfish in Petani Beach
A longfin batfish in the shallows.

You can also snorkel in front of the Alunan Resort: the seabed has almost no healthy coral but is visited by small rays, sharks, and titan and yellowmargin triggerfish.

Restaurants and accommodation nearby

Some small restaurants are located on the beach near the Alunan Resort.


  • Level required Beginner
  • Maximum depth15ft/5m
  • Water entranceFrom a sandy beach
  • LifeguardNo
  • Visitor numbersLow
  • Access costsFree
  • Restaurants nearbyYes

MAP Spot

These snorkeling spots are accessible to beginners and kids. You will enter the water gradually from a beach, or in a less than 3ft. deep area. The sea is generally calm, shallow, with almost no waves or currents. These spots are usually located in marked and/or monitored swimming areas. It is not necessary to swim long distances to discover the sea life.

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.