We were in Camotes Islands when we planned to visit Sagay City in Negros Occidental. One of the places which we wanted to visit was the Carbin Reef. I admit though I am a Negrense, I have never been to this place which has good review from people who had been there.

Carbin Reef is part of the protected marine reserve of the city. The Carbin Reef is actually a sand bar with white sand complementing the clear white water. Giant clams, sea urchins, colorful fishes and other marine life can be found at the place. This marine life makes snorkeling even more exciting.

From the Old Sagay Wharf, you need to travel via motorized boat to reach Carbin Reef for around 30 minutes. Seeing the white sandbar from afar dotted by several cottages made us all very excited.

The weather was great during our visit. The sea was calm and it was very sunny. Actually, the heat was a bit strong, but am happy about it because I failed to bring the battery of my DSLR and I was only using a phone for the photos and my action cam for the videos.

After taking pictures and videos of the area, we decided to proceed snorkeling few meters from the sand bar.


We boarded the motorized boat to bring us to the snorkeling area. At first, I was wondering why a guide was required when snorkeling. However, when I plunge into the water, I realized that the current was relatively strong and there was a tendency that you can get far especially when you are enjoying the activity.

Gazing upon the underwater gems of the place created in me so much excitement. For a while, I had forgotten all of my concerns and worries. As if I was transported momentarily into a world of peace and beauty.

Admittedly, the underwater scene at Carbin Reef is far from what you see in El Nido and Coron, Palawan. However, long time ago, I already decided never to compare the places I would visit as these places have their own unique charm.

The sights of the giant clams, sea urchins with long spines and colorful fishes just delight my heart.

The scene underwater was very calm, while on the surface were some current that can cause some troubles to those who are not good swimmers.


After a while, I felt that I have already enough materials for my video and decided to come back to our boat. Unfortunately, I realized that my swimming prowess was never enough for me to swim against the current. I attempted several times, but it seemed that I was never getting any closer to the boat.

I panicked a bit as I am not really a good swimmer. The situation brought me to my past experience when I visited El Nido, Palawan a few years back.We were about to enter the Secret Lagoon through a small hole on the cliff. The water was rough at that time. Our boat was parked several meters from the entrance and we need to swim to reach the hole where we were supposed to enter. While we were wearing our life vest, we cannot compete with the strong waves that were poised to smash us to the sharp edges of the rocky cliff. It was good that tour guide was a tough swimming and he was able to bring us back into the boat. Oh, well just imagine how scared I was and how I scolded our guide for allowing us to swim in a very dangerous grounds.

Going back to Carbin Reef,  I was struggling to get back to our boat and was a bit worried.But I reminded myself to just be calm and assured myself that I was wearing a life vest anyway. I signaled on my peers to call on the guide to help me get back into the boat.

Our 2 guides were really good swimmers. They should be, they are swimming almost every day without using any life vest. To my mind, they might have acquired some gills already after many years of doing their job (Lol).


After enjoying our snorkeling activity, we felt that we were already hungry, so we decided to proceed to our next destination where we will be having our lunch, the Suyac Island. The island is known for their century old mangroves which are now attracting many tourists.


Snorkeling in Carbin Reef would cost you PHP 250/head. However, they require as much as possible for 2 people to go together with 1 guide. The fee I suppose is inclusive of 1 boat that will bring you to the area. Very reasonable or cheap I should say. Of course, it is always nice to give some tip for the guide and boatman after the activity.

Payment must be made at the wharf in Old Sagay, prior to your trip to Carbin Reef.

Boat rental from Old Sagay Wharf to Carbin Reef is PHP 1,200 for 10 pax and 1,500 for 11-15 pax.

Don’t forget to bring your food and sunscreen when visiting the place.

Must Read:

Sagay City Travel Guide| How to Get There, Tourist Spots, Budget

Suyac Island

Balay Kauswagan, A Place to Stay in Sagay City

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jojo vito

I am an entrepreneur, management consultant and artist who loves to travel and share my experiences with others. If you want your place to be featured, for partnerships and sponsorships, etc. - email me at My Blogs: ; ; 

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  1. What a beautiful area! Although I live by the ocean, I have never been snorkeling. This has inspired me to give it a try! Shared on Google+

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