Free shore access
This spot have a free shore access: you can go snorkeling there freely and without having to book a tour or pay an entrance fee.
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Last updated on November 11, 2023
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
Some small restaurants are located on the beach near the Alunan Resort.
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.
I visited Petani beach earlier in July 2023. The Petani Beach chalets no longer exist, having been torn down. The beach is a building site at the most with a modern apartment block being built. I snorkeled in front of this beach, but there were only isolated small patches of coral – most dead. The bedt snorkeling is now in the dive school house reef to the east of Alunan Resort. Here I saw small squid, banded snake eel, juvenile blue ringed butterfly fish and many of the commoner reef species. In front of Alunan, there is little coral but I saw Jenkins ray and several black tip reef sharks.
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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.
Rocky islet edged by a coral reef with colorful fish
Free shore access
Fringing reef with colorful fish
Free shore access
Coral reef with sharks and colorful fish
Vibrant fringing reef with colorful fish and rays
Fringing reef with clams, anemones and colorful fish
Fringing reef with colorful fish and sea turtles