When you are planning to visit Honda Bay, Pambato Reef is worth the visit. The easiest way to go to the Pambato Reef is to go to Cowrie Island. Pambato Reef could be reached from Cowrie Island via a twenty-minute boat ride. Ideal for snorkeling and shallow diving, this part of the bay offers visitors an underwater paradise. This reef offers a save haven for exquisite fish varieties, staghorn corals, brain corals and giant clams. The government made a floating platform for swimmers, divers and snorkelers in the middle of the ocean in the low section where the reef is – about ten feet from the coral formations down the seabed. The floating dais (known as “Dalubkaragatan”) is remarkably designed to look like a giant sea turtle or “pawikan”, an endangered sea turtle. Pictures of fishes like groupers and other sea creatures like anemones living in the area are displayed in the platform for better knowledge of what to see on the seafloor. This eco-marine attraction is luckily spared from rampant illegal cyanide and dynamite fishing – a practice that most local inhabitants had many years back for livelihood. The government tourism agencies and private environment associations in Palawan helped together maintaining this piece of underwater forest.
“Pambato” means the “best bet” and anticipate the best reef here as a marine sanctuary in Palawan. The eye-catching view of the skimming and glistening schools of fish will swim with you but fish feeding is strictly prohibited. Always remember to go with your swim guide to keep yourself in the reef’s perimeters for safety. The buoys and ropes secure the definite area for the protected part of Pambato Reef. Tourists are allowed to touch corals when they dive down but only in specific areas so ask your tour guide or your boatman about this. Seize the time to take pictures on the coral reef because of the abundance of colorful marine life there. Lifeguards are on duty and serve as telecasters to call out companions and give advisories.