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Calauit sea meadows might be one of the best spots in the world to snorkel with dugongs. This activity is tightly regulated and paying for it does not mean you will necessarily spot them, but it is worth the cost if swimming with those legendary marine mammals is a dream to you, and that you’re staying in Coron.
Dugong watching is tightly regulated in Calauit: only 40 persons are allowed to swim with them each day off the island’s coasts. If you want to be one of them, you must book a boat tour in advance. Trying to get close to dugongs in any other way is strictly forbidden. Numerous licensed operators offer authorized tours in Coron. The price (from 4000 pesos per person) includes delivery of the special permit required for dugong observation. Excursions may include transfer to Calauit and/or lunch meal, ask for details when booking.
You will enter the water from your boat, as soon as your guide spots the dugongs from the water surface.
About 30 to 40 dugongs dwell off Calauit island’s coasts all year long. The small bay located off the north-east shores of Calauit, close to the Simlayan Waterfalls (see map above) is the main observation spot. However, dugongs often move and the boats can take snorkelers to other surrounding spots depending on their localization.
In order not to disturb the animals, the observation time in the water is limited to 15 minutes and strict rules have to be followed: keeping a distance of at least 5 meters from them, never facing them (snorkelers observe them from one side) and not following them if they swim away. A ranger remaining on the boat will carefully see to it. In any case, you’d better remain silent and avoid sudden movements if you want dugongs to accept your presence for enough time to enjoy your experience and take pictures.
Dugongs like the sandy meadow areas surrounding the island, where they come to feed. This marine environment does not attract many other notable species, except green sea turtles that sometimes come graze on the seabed.
Good to know: Calauit is one of the best places in the World to observe dugongs since they are present off the coasts all year long. Nevertheless, you are not 100% sure to meet them if you book a tour. It is estimated that about 6 to 7 excursions out of ten lead to actual dugong observation. These animals are sometimes simply too hard to find or flee as soon as snorkelers enter the water.
Some tours include meals and beverages. Make sure of what is included in yours 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.