This spot has been added by


30 spots added - 1190 photos shared

Other contributors You can help us keep this page up-to-date by uploading your pictures to the photo gallery, or by sending us your comments via the contact form

Last updated on

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 reef fishes, the reef is also visited by small blacktip sharks, which you might be lucky enough to encounter in the shallows.

This spot has a stretch of golden sand with palm trees that tends to be a quieter spot to visit.

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

How to get to the Petani Beach snorkeling spot

This spot is located on the south coast of Perhentian Kecil Island, near Petani Beach Chalets (now closed), Villamas Perhentian Resort and Alunan Resort.

If you are not staying at one of these accommodations, you can reach the spot on foot via the trails that run along the south side of the island. It’s about a 3/4 of a mile walk from the main pier and a mile and a half from Coral Bay.

Petani Beach snorkeling map, Perhentian Kecil.
Petani Beach snorkeling map, Perhentian Kecil.

Water entrance for snorkeling Petani Beach

You can enter the water in front of the former Petani Beach Chalets, on the left side of the buoys that mark the boat channel.

You can also enter from Alunan Resort Beach, depending on the area you want to snorkel (see map above).

Petani Beach snorkeling exploration tips

We advise you to focus on the reef that extends to the east of Petani Beach Chalets, and on the dive school house reef to the east of Alunan Resort. It is in these areas 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, becomes covered with coral the farther you swim offshore.

In front of the former Petani Beach Chalets are only isolated small patches of coral (area 1 on the map). Healthier sea beds are found off Alunan Resort (area 2 on the map).

Between the surface and a 10-12ft depth, the reef is mostly made of hard coral. There is 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, which are 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. Small blacktip reef sharks are frequently seen swimming over the corals.

The house reef of the Alunan Resort (zone 2) is the best area to spot them, along with titan and yellowmargin triggerfish.

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

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.