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Visit Tanote Bay for an Epic Cliff Jumping Beach on Koh Tao

Visit Tanote Bay for an Epic Cliff Jumping Beach on Koh Tao

Olly Gaspar

By Olly Gaspar, full-time traveler for 6 years. I visit every place I write about & share real tips, photos, & advice from my trips.

Tanote Bay on Koh Tao Island is famous for epic snorkeling and cliff jumping. If you’re looking for a spot a little out of the Sairee or Mae Head beat, don’t miss this epic beach.

Koh Tao is my second home, I’ve spent months of my life living on this beautiful island in the middle of the Gulf of Thailand. Out of all of Koh Tao’s amazing beaches, Tanote Bay Beach is up there with one of the best, especially if you like a secluded vibe with fun cliff jumps!

Below I’ll reveal what you need to know about visiting this bay, including how to get there and what to expect once you arrive, with photos and tips for what to do.

Tanote bay freediving
Snorkeling at Tanote Bay

Overview & Things to Know

Tanote Bay is famous for its unique rock formation in the middle of the bay, which is surrounded by deep, clear waters and healthy corals. This rock is the main spot for cliff jumping and the height is approximately 5 meters or so, accessible via a rope ladder.

  • Location: Located on the eastern coast of Koh Tao, approximately 5 km (3.1 mi) from Mae Haad Pier. You can get here by taxi or motorbike.
  • Entrance Fee: None
  • Practical Note: Due to its location, the road can be steep and challenging, so I recommend a motorbike with decent suspension if you ride yourself.
Cliff jumping at tanote bay

How to Get to Tanote Bay

Getting to Tanote Bay requires a moped or Taxi. For the independent traveler, here are directions:

  • From Sairee or Mae Head, ride south towards the quieter village of Cha Lok.
  • Keep your eyes peeled - just before you arrive, you will see a sign on the left that says "Tanote Bay".
  • This is the only road to the beach and is the main route for those heading to the Eastern sites of the island.
  • Follow signs and continue riding for approximately 10 minutes while you take in the breathtaking views of Koh Tao from the steep island hills.

If you reach a dead-end, don't worry. This is Tanote Bay Resort. You can park your bike here and walk straight down to the beach. Parking your bike here is free.

Traveler riding on koh tao with a motorbike and palm trees in the background

My Experience at Tanote Bay Beach & What to Expect

There's a reason why this bay is a favorite among locals and visitors alike. Crystal clear water, white sand, and a spectacular jungle backdrop! Let's find out what to do there.

Snorkeling at Tanote Bay

Make sure to bring your mask and snorkel. Tanote Bay is a great place to check out the famous Koh Tao reef and marine life. While there is decent snorkeling reefs in the entire bay, the best spot for snorkeling is around the main jump rock in the middle of the bay. Trust me, you won't miss it.

Simply swim out and explore the underwater world. You will find schooling fish, triggerfish, anemone fish and the occasional turtle chilling in the bay.

Tip: You can rent snorkeling equipment for about 200 THB for a set from the nearby resort on the beach.

Tanote bay koh tao snorkelling

Cliff Jumping from the Granite Boulder

Probably the main reason adventure travelers make the trip to Tanote Bay is for the easily accessed cliff jumping rock. The rock is right in the middle of the bay.

You will need to swim approximately 20 meters in relatively shallow water and climb up onto the rock base. From there, you will notice a rope leading up to the top of the rock. This is secured firmly with a chain so it is safe to climb.

This rock is not difficult to climb but it's still important to be careful. I've climbed this many times over the years and the ropes have recently been changed by the looks of it (based on my last visit).

The jump itself is roughly 5 meters. Not a massive jump, but perfect for practicing your flips. The crystal clear water is also 10 meters deep so you don't have to stress about hitting anything. Just make sure that you jump on the south side of the rock (left side looking from the beach).

Tanote bay cliff jumping rock

Freediving at Tanote Bay

Since the water is so clear during the high season, Tanote Bay also makes a great spot to practice freediving. Just past the jump rock, you will notice some boat buoys. These have lines leading to the bottom.

There is one line at 10m and one at 15m.

If you're using these lines to practice freediving, make sure to keep an eye out for longtail and dive boats that frequent the bay. It's also super important to always freedive with a buddy.

Tanote bay koh tao underwater photo
Coral at tanote bay koh tao

Where to Stay on Koh Tao

If you're wondering where to stay on Koh Tao Island and you want to be close to the main activities and beaches, pick a stay near Sairee Beach.

However, other great options include Mae Haad, or for a more secluded vibe, check out the southern beaches or even the east coast around Tanote Bay. Below are my top picks.

Jamahkiri resort & spa koh tao

1. Jamahkiri Resort & Spa Luxury

A great bang-for-buck luxury dive resort at the beachfront of Shark Bay in a quiet and secluded location away from the hustle and bustle.

Phandara luxury pool villas koh tao

2. Phandara Pool Villas Mid-Range

A luxury villa option for those who want their own kitchen & pool. Located on the hill up to Wooden Rock Viewpoint.

Summer guesthouse and hostel koh tao

3. Summer Guesthouse Budget

Located within walking distance of the dive shops and pub crawls on Sairee Beach, this is the top-budget hostel option with a great vibe.

FAQs & Things to Know About Tanote Bay

What activities can I do at Tanote Bay Beach?

You can snorkel, dive, cliff jump, relax on the beach, kayak, paddleboard, and hike to nearby viewpoints.

Is Tanote Bay Beach suitable for beginners in snorkeling and diving?

Yes, Tanote Bay is suitable for both beginners and experienced snorkelers and divers. The calm, clear waters and abundant marine life make it an excellent spot for underwater activities. It's also relatively sheltered (very much so when the westerlies are blowing), which makes it great for snorkeling when Sairee is busy.

Are there any facilities or restaurants here?

Yes, there are a few beachfront restaurants and bars where you can enjoy meals and drinks. Basic facilities such as restrooms are also available, usually they expect you to buy a drink or something to use them though.

Is the road to Tanote Bay Beach difficult to navigate?

The road can be steep and challenging. If you are not confident in riding a motorbike, it is recommended to take a taxi.

Is Tanote Bay Beach crowded?

Not really, it's relatively less crowded compared to other popular beaches on Koh Tao, offering a more tranquil and relaxed environment. Most of the times I've visited the beach there are only about 10-15 people maximum on the beach.

Is cliff jumping at Tanote Bay Beach safe?

Cliff jumping ais fun, but it's important to check the depth and safety conditions of the water before jumping. No matter what you see, do a depth check first, and only jump if you are confident. Oh, and take responsibility for your own actions!

Are there any hiking trails near the beach?

Yes, there are several hiking trails around Tanote Bay. One popular trail leads to the Tanote Peak viewpoint, offering panoramic views of the bay and the surrounding areas. Another trail takes you to the neighboring Aow Leuk Bay, which is a beautiful hike through lush vegetation and rocky paths. Both hikes offer a great way to explore but it can get very hot!

For more options for the best things to do on Koh Tao, check out the guides below!

Tanoe bay koh tao cliff jumping weseektravel
Thanks for Reading

I'm Olly Gaspar, adventure traveler from Australia. I’ve spent the last six years traveling the world full-time, sharing my first-hand experiences & photography in over 700 travel guides on We Seek Travel. I visit every destination I write about to bring you unique travel itineraries, epic hiking routes, fun tour ideas, travel & photography gear ideas, & interesting places to stay.

I only make genuine, worthwhile recommendations based on my experience, expertise, & research. If you buy through my links, I may get a commission, supporting this website at no extra cost to you. Read my Publishing Ethics Statement.