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  • Tubbataha Liveaboard Diving

Tubbataha National Park is a protected marine area and bird sanctuary in the Sulu Sea. It’s by far the best place for scuba diving in the Philippines , thanks to its large amount of healthy and rich coral reef, and the overall abundance of marine life. In Tubbataha alone you can find 360 species of corals, which is about half of the species in the world. Also, no less than 600 species of fish, 13 species of whales and dolphins, 11 species of sharks, and green and hawksbill sea turtles are all to be found there.

Due to the distance from the mainland and the 10 hours travel time, diving in Tubbataha Reef is only possible as a liveaboard safari trip. The trips last between 6-7 days , and boats are allowed from the last two weeks of March to the first two weeks of June. If you’re planning on diving in the Philippines during these three months, you should seriously consider this tour. Book in advance and secure yourself a spot in this once in a life time liveaboard experience.

Please have a look at this link to get in touch with any of the dive operators. http://tubbatahareefs.org/ dive-operators/

www.atlantishotel.com

tubbatahareefs.org

Tubbataha is composed of two atolls (the only real atolls in the Philippines) and one reef. It lies in the center of the Coral Triangle, which has at least 70% of the world’s corals and 40% of the world’s fish, even though it’s only 2% of the world’s oceans, and it plays a massive role in marine biodiversity conservation in the whole world. The diving conditions are also extremely good, with a visibility of 30-45 meters.

Tubbataha Diving Quick Facts

  • Perfect for : Extreme sports, divers enthusiasts.
  • Diving season : Diving in Tubbataha is only allowed from March to June.
  • Liveaboard package includes : Puerto Princesa transfers, taxes and reservation fees, all meals, coffee and tea, dives.
  • Liveaboard package excludes : Domestic airfare, scuba gear, Nintrox.
  • Starting point : Puerto Princesa City.
  • Duration : 6-7 days.

What to do?

For many years, the isolation of Tubbataha served as its protection, however due to the popularization of motorized boats among local fishermen during the 80's, the reefs and marine life suffer due to the destructive fishing techniques. Shortly after the reef was declared a national marine park, in response to strong campaigns. Studies show that it's now more resilient to climate change than other reefs in the world, due to being remote, protected and unfrequented.

Tubbataha completely recovered from this short violent period and is now one of the best diving sites in the world, and because of its importance it was declare a UNESCO World heritage site in 1993. During the scuba safari you'll dive in the south and north atolls and the Jessie Beazley Reef. Meaning, you'll end the diving trip after a comprehensive exploration of all its dive sites.

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Luxury Liveaboard Safaris

Our high-end trips usually last 6 nights and 7 days , but a transitional trip (the first and last trip of the season where the boat sails to and from Apo Reef) is one night longer. All rooms are air conditioned and hypoallergenic, and the trip is full board including all meals, coffee tea and water. Alcoholic drink and soft drinks can be bought on board. You'll do 4 dives a day including a night dive.

The travel to and from Puerto Princesa, the starting point, is done overnight so on your first day you can already start your trip with a morning dive. The boat also returns early in the morning which allows you to catch a flight on the same day. However, if you did a night dive on your last night, it's better to stay another night in Puerto Princesa. It allows you to wait 24 hours between your last dive and next flight, as it can cause a medical risk. We will include it in you package, and can even book you a tour to the underground river on the day of arrival back in Puerto Princesa.

Luxury Tubbataha Liveaboard Safari Rates:

Economy twin sharing : 2,350 USD

Premium economy triple sharing : 2,350 USD

Premium economy twin sharing : 2,700 USD

Standard twin sharing : 2,650 USD

Deluxe twin sharing : 2,750 USD

Super deluxe twin sharing : 2,850 USD

*The transition trip costs 100 USD more for any room category.

**Rate do not include gear rentals if you don't have your own and are subj. to change.

Inquire now regarding the dates suitable for you in the link provided. Keep in mind that spots are limited and tend to run out quickly. Schedules run out easily, inquire with us to know more.

The boat's name is M/Y Stella Maris Explorer, a 36 meter pleasure yacht. It has a 20 sq. meter sundeck with a bar and Jacuzzi, air conditioned interior, and an entertainment center with books DVD player and stereo. It will supply you with everything you need in order to have the best diving liveaboard trip imaginable.

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Tubbahata Budget Liveaboard Scuba Diving Tour

As we said before, scuba diving in Tubbataha reef isn't only for the rich. You can enjoy a great liveaboard trip to the reef in a more modest vessel and save a lot of money for that. Our budget Tubbahata safaris are 5 nights and 6 days. Being a day short also make it less expensive and is a perfect amount of time to explore all the dive sites.

The itinerary of the budget tour is very similar to the high end one. It has 4-5 dives a day, arrives in Tubbataha early in the morning for a full diving day, and also arrives to Puerto Princesa early in the morning, which allows to take a flight to your next destination, as well as going to the underground river on the same day. However because the boat is slower, it leaves Puerto Princesa in the afternoon, and leaves Tubbataha on 15:30 so it will make it on time back.

The budget safari trips are also a lot more intimate for the boat is smaller. It means that there are less people on board (up to 11 not including the crew), but also the communal areas are smaller. The accommodation is of 4 berth dorms, so you get a lot less privacy. M/Y Sakura is a trimaran, meaning it's very stable, which is really good for people who suffer from sea sickness.

Unlike the M/Y Stella Maris, this boat has only one accommodation category, and therefore only one rate. The Budget Tubbataha Liveaboard trip cost 1365 USD including the environmental fees. You won't find any Tubbataha Safari for this rate anywhere else.</br ></br >

*Gear is excluded and can be rented for an additional price. </br >

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How does a liveaboard diving trip in Tubbataha fit into my schedule?

A diving safari is for people who're really into diving. However you don't have to be an extremely experienced diver or a professional. You must have a basic scuba diving certification, and this alone allows you to join the trip. Having an advanced certification prior to the safari will allow you to go deeper and explore more of the reef's dive sites. If you consider getting an advanced certification earlier on your vacation we can find the best dive centers for you do to so and arrange it in your package.

Tubbataha Reef Liveaboard can be a standalone item and the main focus of your vacation. Inquire now and we'll create a package that includes the international and domestic flights, as well as accommodation in Manila/Cebu and Puerto Princesa. You can also include Tubbataha as a part of your trip, and we'll build your itinerary accordingly.

Tubbataha Reef: A Guide to Diving and Snorkeling

Tubbataha Reef: A Guide to Diving and Snorkeling

Tubbataha Reef is a protected marine area located in the Sulu Sea in the Philippines. It is considered one of the most biodiverse areas in the world, with an abundance of marine life and coral reefs that are home to hundreds of species of fish, sharks, and other marine creatures.

Traveling to Tubbataha Reef Palawan for the first time?  This detailed and curated travel guide will make it easy for you to navigate your way inside, save money, and maximize your time.

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How to get to palawan, ✓ entry point manila (naia).

By Airplane (Cebu Pacific, Airasia, or Philippine Airlines)

  • Direct flights are available.
  • Travel time is around 1 hr and 15 mins.

By Ferry (2-GO)

  • It has 2 trips in a week . (Tuesday and Friday at 1:30 pm)
  • Travel Time is about 30 hours.
  • The Minimum Price is around PHP 1200  (SGD 30, $ 24, € 20)  – PHP 1800  (SGD 45, $ 36, € 30).

✓ ENTRY POINT CEBU (Mactan Cebu International Airport)

✓ entry point cagayan de oro (laguindingan airport).

  • Flights are available with a stop-over in the Cebu area.
  • Flight Duration is 2 Hours 30 Minutes.

Exact location:  Palawan, Philippines

MAP ON HOW TO GET TO PALAWAN

How to Get Around Palawan

By tricycle.

  • Offers the cheapest way to travel around Palawan.
  • Maximum of 4 passengers . 
  • On average, you can expect to pay PHP 10.00   (SGD 0.25,$ 0.2, € 0.17)  per person.

By Motor Bike Rental

  • Recommending you to use a mode of transport with a driver.
  • Small car rental price starts at PHP 700  (SGD 17.5,$ 14, € 12) per day.

By Car Rental

  • Small car rental price starts at PHP 2500   (SGD 62.5,$ 50, € 42) per day.

By Bus and Mini-Van

  • Most fares cost around PHP 400   (SGD 62.5,$ 50, € 42) . Standard trip from Puerto Princesa to El Nido.
  • Travel time takes around 6 to 9 hours.

By Private Van

  • Puerto Princesa to El-Nido costs around  PHP 600   (SGD 15,$ 12, € 10)
  • It can accommodate up to 8-10 passengers .

By Ferries and Boats

  • El Nido to Coron. Most fares cost around PHP 2000   (SGD 50,$ 40, € 34) . 

🏷️ 10% OFF  Private Mactan-Cebu Airport Transfers (CEB) for Cebu or Mactan

🏷️  5% OFF  4G WiFi (MNL Airport Pick Up/Delivery) for the Philippines

🏷️ 10% OFF  [SALE] Oslob Whale Shark Watching from Cebu City or Mactan Island

🏷️ 18% OFF  Private Cebu & Mactan Twin City Tour

Philippines 3G/4G internet data sim card & pocket WiFi rental

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)

What’s in plaza cuartel and immaculate conception cathedral .

tubbataha reef palawan philippines

The Tubbataha Reef was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993, and it covers over 97,000 hectares of protected marine area. The reef is composed of two atolls, known as the North and South Atoll, which are separated by a deep channel. The reef’s shallow waters are home to over 600 species of fish, including large schools of colorful reef fish, rays, and sharks.

Tubbataha Reef is also home to over 360 species of coral, making it one of the most diverse coral reef ecosystems in the world. The coral reefs provide habitat and shelter for a wide variety of marine life, including sea turtles, dolphins, and humpback whales.

tubbataha reef snorkeling tour

Aside from its ecological significance, Tubbataha Reef also has cultural importance. The reef has been an important fishing ground for the indigenous communities in the area for centuries. The Tagbanua people, who live on the nearby islands, have been instrumental in the conservation of the reef, serving as stewards of the natural resources and protecting the area from destructive fishing practices.

Despite its protected status, Tubbataha Reef faces a number of threats, including overfishing, climate change, and pollution. In recent years, there have been reports of coral bleaching and damage caused by illegal fishing practices.

tubbataha reef snorkeling tour

Efforts to protect and conserve Tubbataha Reef are ongoing, with the Philippine government and conservation organizations working together to enforce regulations, educate the public, and promote sustainable fishing practices. The reef is also a popular destination for tourists and scuba divers, who come to explore its stunning underwater scenery and experience its rich biodiversity.

In conclusion, Tubbataha Reef is a natural wonder that plays an important role in the ecological and cultural heritage of the Philippines. Its unique and diverse marine ecosystem is a testament to the importance of preserving and protecting our natural resources. Through continued efforts to promote conservation and sustainable practices, we can ensure that Tubbataha Reef remains a thriving ecosystem for generations to come.

Exact Location

in the middle of the Sulu Sea, approximately 50km southeast of Puerto Princesa City in Palawan, the most western province of the Philippines.

Permit to Operate in Tubbataha Reefs

Any person or entity who shall conduct commercial tour operations in TRNP should secure a Permit to Operate (PO) from the TMO at least two (2) months prior to the first scheduled entry.  For the complete guide on a permit application, please refer to the  Permitting Procedure.

Read More Here: https://tubbatahareefs.org/permit-fees/

Estimated time to spend in the place?

You will spend around 30 minutes – 5 hours in this place.

Are food and drinks available in the area?

There are many food places available near the area.

Read More: 101 Things to Do in Cebu

How much are the Entrance Fee and Other Noted Fees?

Payment of Conservation Fees.   Applications for an entry permit must be accurately completed and Conservation Fees paid prior to the issuance of a permit to enter the Park. Fees must be paid in Philippine currency. The rates of Conservation Fees shall be as indicated below:

Rule 14.1.  Vessel Entry.

  •  100 gross tons and below    P3,000.00
  •  101-200 gross tons                P4,500.00
  •  201 gross tons and above    P6,000.00

Rule 14.2.Visitor Entry.

  •  Visitors                  P5,000.00/person
  •  Divemaster           P250.00/person

Opening and Closing Time?

This historical landmark is perfect for students, history lovers, families, solo travelers, couples, or groups of friends who appreciate Philippine history’s richness.

  • 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Parking Space?

Available and is FREE. You just need to park your car beside the road.

When is the best time to visit the place?

The best time to visit is in afternoon to night time.

For more information, contact them at:

Tel/Fax: (048) 716-1631 E-mail:  [email protected]

You may also want to see 13 Best Things to Do in Ormoc, Leyte .

TIPS, NOTES, AND REMINDERS

  • Bring extra clothes so that in every corner, the outfit is different.
  • Visit on weekdays to avoid the crowd.
  • Bring water so that you can’t be dehydrated.
  • Bring your own flashlight.
  • Put in some mosquito repellant lotion

IMPORTANT NOTE:  The rates, contact details and other information indicated in this post are accurate from the time of writing but may change without Shellwander’s notice. Should you know the updated information, please message me on  Facebook . 

WHAT’S NEARBY?

✓ San Juanico Bridge

✓ 13 Best Things to Do in Ormoc, Leyte

✓ Ultimate Guide to Road Trip in Tacloban

✓ Sto. Nino Shrine and Heritage Museum

✓ Ormoc Pineapple Plantation

✓ Douglas McArthur “I Shall Return”

✓ 10 Things to Do in Tacloban

✓ Lake Danao Ormoc

MAP TO HELP YOU LOCATE NEARBY ACTIVITIES

Have you ever been to the place I’ve listed above? Go and try them yourself!

Always remember to “ Develop your One Days to Day Ones! “

shellwanders

Shelley Mae

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tubbataha reef snorkeling tour

See the Underwater World With Your Own Eyes

tubbataha reef snorkeling tour

All the Beauty With Your Own Sea

tubbataha reef snorkeling tour

Find the treasures of the water World

The Tubbataha Reef

The Tubbahata Reefs Natural Park is a protected area of the Philippines located in the middle of Sulu Sea. It’s made up of the Marine and the Bird sanctuary which consists of two huge atolls(named the North Atoll and South Atoll) and the smaller Jessie Beazley Reef covering a total area of 97,030 hectares (239,800 acres; 374.6 sq mi) It is located 150 km(93 mi) southeast of Puerto Princesa City, at the heart of the Coral Triangle, the global centre of Marine Biodiversity.

Tubbataha Reef

Originally, the name “Tubbataha” means “long reef exposed at low tide” and it comes from the Samal language, which is a native language of the seafaring people of the southern Philippines-who would visit the reefs at irregular intervals, in harmony with their nomadic lifestyle. However the people attached more to Tubbataha are the Cagayanons, inhabitants of the neighbouring islands of Cagayancillo. As a custom, during the summer months when the sea is usually calm, they would sail in their native pangko, to visit the abundant fishing grounds of ‘Gusong, their name for Tubbataha.

Recently ranked as the eight best dive site in the world by the CNN travel website (cnngo.com), Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park is an ideal holiday destination for anyone longing for nature´s very best...

Tubbataha’s diving season last three months in a year, running from mid-March until mid-June. This is the time of year when diving conditions are usually optimum- coupled with clear skies, calm seas and visibility between 30 and 45 metres.

Sharks

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Diving and Snorkeling Spots in Tubbataha Reefs

Explore Diving and Snorkeling Spots in Tubbataha Reefs

Welcome to Tubbataha Reefs, a natural wonder nestled in the heart of the Sulu Sea. This UNESCO World Heritage Site boasts a diverse array of marine life, making it a dream destination for divers and snorkelers alike. Our team has compiled a comprehensive guide to help you make the most of your underwater adventure in Tubbataha Reefs.

With over 600 species of fish and 360 species of coral, Tubbataha Reefs is a diver’s paradise. You’ll find endless opportunities to explore the underwater landscapes and marine biodiversity of this stunning location.

Key Takeaways:

  • Tubbataha Reefs is a UNESCO World Heritage Site renowned for its marine biodiversity.
  • Divers and snorkelers will find plenty of opportunities to explore the vibrant coral reefs and diverse marine life in Tubbataha Reefs.
  • Tubbataha Reefs boasts over 600 species of fish and 360 species of coral, making it a must-visit destination for underwater enthusiasts.

Discover the Best Diving Spots in Tubbataha Reefs

If you’re a diving enthusiast, then Tubbataha Reefs should definitely be on your bucket list. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to some of the most stunning diving spots in the world. Here are a few of our top picks:

Aside from these spots, Tubbataha Reefs also offers various intermediate and beginner diving sites suited for all levels of divers. Don’t miss the opportunity to witness the vibrant coral gardens, schools of colorful fish, and other unique marine life that can only be found in this part of the world.

While exploring these diving spots, it’s important to note the efforts being made to protect the marine life and ecosystem in Tubbataha Reefs. We encourage all visitors to practice responsible diving and follow all the guidelines and regulations set in place.

Uncover the Top Snorkeling Spots in Tubbataha Reefs

If you prefer to observe the underwater beauty of Tubbataha Reefs without scuba diving, snorkeling is a fantastic alternative. With crystal-clear waters and vibrant coral reefs, there are plenty of snorkeling spots to choose from. Here are our top recommendations:

No matter which snorkeling spot you choose, you’re sure to be amazed by the colorful coral gardens and bustling marine life. Remember to snorkel responsibly and avoid touching or disturbing any of the marine creatures you encounter.

Marvel at the Marine Biodiversity of Tubbataha Reefs

At Tubbataha Reefs, visitors have the opportunity to witness an abundance of marine biodiversity that is truly spectacular. The reefs are home to over 600 species of fish and 360 species of coral, making it one of the most diverse marine ecosystems on the planet.

Divers and snorkelers can expect to see a wide range of marine life, including sea turtles, manta rays, sharks, and colorful schools of fish. The coral reefs are also teeming with life, from tiny shrimp and crabs to larger creatures like sea snakes and octopuses.

It’s important to remember that Tubbataha Reefs is a protected area, and visitors must follow responsible diving and snorkeling practices to help preserve the delicate balance of this ecosystem. This includes avoiding contact with the coral, not feeding or touching the marine life, and properly disposing of any waste.

By taking care to minimize our impact on the environment, we can continue to marvel at the incredible marine biodiversity of Tubbataha Reefs for generations to come.

Dive into the Underwater Exploration of Tubbataha Reefs

Exploring the underwater wonders of Tubbataha Reefs is an experience like no other. With over 100 diving sites, divers and snorkelers have the opportunity to discover unique marine life and breathtaking underwater landscapes.

Diving in Tubbataha Reefs is an adventure for all levels of expertise. From the shallow coral gardens to the deep drop-offs, there is always something new to discover. The South Atoll is a popular spot for diving enthusiasts with its spectacular wall dives and strong currents. The Amos Rock, located in the North Atoll, is a great spot for observing schools of fish and large pelagic species.

For those who prefer snorkeling, the shallow reefs are perfect for exploring the colorful corals and vibrant fish species. The Bird Islet is a popular shallow reef with its shallow waters and abundance of marine life. The Malayan Wreck, located in the North Atoll, is an ideal spot for history buffs to explore the remains of a sunken ship.

Whether you’re diving or snorkeling, the underwater landscapes in Tubbataha Reefs are simply awe-inspiring. Swim-throughs, caves, and tunnels are found throughout the reefs, making for a thrilling exploration. The Shark Airport, located in the South Atoll, is a popular dive spot with its large tunnels and swim-throughs. The Delsan Wreck, another sunken ship, is also a favorite among divers for its unique features and marine life.

Documenting your underwater journey is a must! With Tubbataha Reefs’ diverse marine ecosystem, it’s a perfect opportunity to capture stunning underwater photographs and videos. You might spot turtles, sharks, and schools of colorful fish while exploring the reefs. Just remember to practice responsible diving and snorkeling habits, and respect the marine creatures and their habitats.

Conservation Efforts in Tubbataha Reefs

At Tubbataha Reefs, we are committed to preserving the natural beauty and rich marine biodiversity of this UNESCO World Heritage Site. We recognize the importance of sustainable diving and snorkeling practices to ensure the long-term viability of this precious ecosystem.

One of the ways we are working to protect Tubbataha Reefs is through a strict permitting system for all visitors. We limit the number of divers and snorkelers allowed in the area, as well as the duration of their visits, to minimize the impact on the environment. We also enforce regulations, such as no touching or feeding of marine creatures, to prevent any disturbance to their natural habitat.

Our conservation efforts extend beyond just tourism regulations. Tubbataha Reefs is also home to a marine research station, which facilitates important studies on the ecosystem and its inhabitants. We also prioritize public education and awareness campaigns to highlight the significance of the area and encourage responsible tourism practices.

As visitors to Tubbataha Reefs, we ask that you join us in our efforts to preserve this natural wonder. Please respect all regulations and guidelines in place, and avoid any behaviors that may harm the marine life or their habitat. Together, we can ensure that Tubbataha Reefs remains a vibrant and thriving ecosystem for generations to come.

As we conclude our journey through the underwater wonderland of Tubbataha Reefs, we hope that we have inspired you to explore this natural marvel for yourself. With its abundance of diving and snorkeling spots, rich marine biodiversity, and unique underwater landscapes, Tubbataha Reefs truly is a paradise for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike.

But with great beauty comes great responsibility. It is crucial that we all play a role in preserving the natural wonder of Tubbataha Reefs for generations to come. By practicing responsible diving and snorkeling, following guidelines and regulations, and supporting conservation efforts, we can all contribute to ensuring the sustainability of this UNESCO World Heritage Site.

So what are you waiting for? Grab your snorkel or scuba gear and dive into the crystal-clear waters of Tubbataha Reefs to experience a world unlike any other.

Q: What are the best diving spots in Tubbataha Reefs?

A: The top diving spots in Tubbataha Reefs include Amos Rock, Washing Machine, and Black Rock. Each spot offers unique underwater landscapes and a variety of marine life to discover.

Q: Where can I find the best snorkeling spots in Tubbataha Reefs?

A: Some of the top snorkeling spots in Tubbataha Reefs are Jessie Beazley Reef, Malayan Wreck, and South Islet. These locations boast vibrant coral reefs and an abundance of colorful fish and other marine creatures.

Q: What kind of marine biodiversity can I expect to see in Tubbataha Reefs?

A: Tubbataha Reefs is home to a rich and diverse marine ecosystem. Divers and snorkelers can expect to encounter various species of fish, colorful corals, sea turtles, sharks, and even dolphins and whales in the surrounding waters.

Q: What are some popular underwater exploration opportunities in Tubbataha Reefs?

A: Underwater explorers in Tubbataha Reefs can dive into stunning coral gardens, navigate through intriguing caves and swim-throughs, and marvel at the unique geological formations. These exploration experiences offer a chance to discover the hidden treasures of this underwater paradise.

Q: How can I contribute to the conservation efforts in Tubbataha Reefs?

A: Visitors can support the conservation efforts in Tubbataha Reefs by practicing responsible diving and snorkeling, following the guidelines and regulations set by the authorities, and spreading awareness about the importance of preserving this UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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  • Dugong watching / Apo Reef
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Tubbataha Dive Spots

Liveaboard Tubbataha Reef

The Liveaboard Tubbataha Reef Expedition starts at 05:00 PM in Puerto Princesa and we went during night to this famous Natural Park which is the home to a great diversity of marine life. The next morning one of five dive days starts. Every day up to four dives under lead of our Dive Guides will bring you nearly to every known dive spot around the Atoll.

Tubbataha Reef

The Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park is a protected in the Philippines. Located is the reef in the middle of the Sulu Sea. The marine and bird sanctuary consists of two huge atolls (named the North Atoll and South Atoll) and the smaller Jessie Beazley Reef covering a total area of 97,030 hectares (239,800 acres). It is located 150 kilometres southeast of Puerto Princesa City, the capital of Palawan province. The Reef is the home to some of the most beautiful corals in the world, Tubbataha Reef boasts magnificent diversity of marine life. You will possibly see manta rays, sharks, turtle and many species more. Biologist counted more than 300 coral species, 400 fish species, and numerous bird life.

  • Full board accommodation in a twin sharing cabin
  • Meals, snacks, tea, coffee, juice, Soft drinks and drinking water
  • Diving (3 – 4 dives per day), service of a dive master, tank, weights and belt
  • pick up service from airport or hotel in town on departure date
  • International or domestic air transportation, hotels and meals before and after the cruise.
  • Dive, travel and medical insurances
  • beer, wine or spirits
  • Diving equipment rental
  • Park fees of 100 USD additional for Tubbataha apply for regular trips.

Schedule and Prices

Other destinations you may like:.

To our complete tour offer Liveaboard Apo Reef Dugong watching Liveaboard Apo Reef Dugong Watch / Apo Reef / Coron Wrecks

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Diving in Tubbataha Reef

Exploring the wonders of tubbataha: a dive into the heart of the coral triangle.

Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park is a protected area in the Sulu Sea, Philippines that is renowned for its remarkable coral reefs and diverse marine life. Considered one of the top dive sites in the world, Tubbataha can only be visited on a liveaboard boat during its three-month dive season from mid-March to mid-June.

DESTINATIONS

Come to palawan.

Diving in Tubbataha Reef

Tubbataha is a coral reef system located in the Sulu Sea, Philippines and is recognized as one of the most remarkable coral reefs on our planet. Discovered by divers in the late 1970s, Tubbataha is among the top 10 dive sites in the world .

Due to its isolated location, Tubbataha can only be accessed through liveaboard boats. Divers can experience the awe-inspiring biodiversity and dramatic underwater terrain of the reefs, and encounter large marine animals such as sharks, turtles, and manta rays. The reefs are also a popular breeding ground for seabirds, such as terns and boobies.

Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park boasts some of the most diverse and impressive coral reefs in the world, with over 600 species of coral . The coral formations are incredibly varied, ranging from branching and table corals to massive boulder and mushroom corals. The underwater landscape is a stunning array of canyons, crevices, and walls, all adorned with vibrant and colourful corals. Tubbataha’s coral reefs provide a vital habitat for countless marine species and play an essential role in sustaining the ocean’s health and biodiversity.

Tubbataha is composed of two huge coral atolls, the north atoll and the south atoll, and a smaller coral structure called Jessie Beazley Reef, located about 20 kilometers north of the atolls. The reefs of Tubbataha and Jessie Beazley are part of Cagayancillo, a remote island municipality about 130 kilometers to the northeast, inhabited mainly by fishermen.

Located in the heart of the Coral Triangle , the global center of marine biodiversity, the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park is 150 kilometers southeast of Puerto Princesa. Its dive season lasts only three months, from mid-March until mid-June , during which diving conditions are usually optimum with clear skies, calm seas, and visibility ranging from 30 to 45 meters.

Liveaboard boats are the only way to visit the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park, as it is located in an isolated area. These boats typically offer comfortable cabins, delicious meals, and well-equipped dive facilities. They provide a unique opportunity to explore the reefs and marine life of Tubbataha, with multiple dives per day and the chance to experience the park’s stunning underwater topography and biodiversity. 

Tubbataha Reef Dive Sites

  • Delsan Wreck: As the name suggests, this site is home to a wreck that's worth exploring. It's also known for sightings of big fish, including grey reef sharks and tiger sharks.
  • Malayan Wall: This site is perfect for adventurous divers who want to search the deep blue water for pelagic species, such as hammerhead sharks.
  • Shark Airport: This site has a wide plateau at 15 meters that drops off to a shelf at 25 meters. Here, you might spot endangered hawksbill and green sea turtles.
  • Wall Street: One of the most popular coral reef wall dives within the Tubbataha park, this site is home to a variety of marine life, including Napoleon Wrasse and blacksaddle coral grouper
  • Washing Machine: This site is named for the unpredictable currents that can change direction quickly. It's also home to grey reef sharks and a diverse array of tropical coral reef fish.
  • Black Rock: This site features a gently sloping plateau that ranges from 15 to 25 meters deep. Whitetip sharks are a common sight here, often sleeping on the seabed.

The biodiversity of Tubbataha Reefs

  • 359 species of corals (50% of all coral species in the world)
  • Over 600 species of tropical fish
  • A nesting population of endangered hawksbill and green sea turtles
  • 12 species of dolphins & whales
  • Over 100 species of birds, including rare migratory birds
  • 14 species of sharks including tiger sharks, whitetip sharks, and blacktip sharks

Popular Tubbataha liveaboards Explore all liveaboards

Philippines Aggressor

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  • 8.8   Fabulous
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Atlantis Azores

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Resolute

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  • 8.3   Very good
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Navis 1

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Discovery Palawan

  • Discovery Palawan
  • from ₽ 27,577 / day
  • 9.0   Superb
  • 19   Reviews

Liveaboard Diving in Tubbataha

Divers on a liveaboard to Tubbataha are in for some spectacular diving. Tubbataha National Park covers almost 100,000 hectares of the pristine reef; it is, therefore, no surprise that it has been named one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, and has earned designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Tubbataha sits in the middle of the Sulu Sea, east of Palawan, which is the last frontier of the Philippines in its own right. The atolls of this park lie 10 to 12 hours away from the nearest landmass by boat, which has saved them from the overexploitation plaguing most of the Philippines archipelago. North Atoll, South Atoll, and the smaller Jessie Beazley Reef to the northwest of the main atolls constitute the different areas of the park. Between them, they offer almost 20 different dive sites to explore. A Tubbataha liveaboard is the only way to visit the area. And with the low volume of boats and the high volume of marine life, a liveaboard in Tubbataha promises to be the trip of a lifetime.

The northern tip of North Atoll holds a couple of great shark-watching locations. First off, is Washing Machine, aptly named for its intense currents. At this dive site, a high diversity of shark species can be seen, such as whitetips, blacktips, and grey reef sharks. Next comes Shark Airport, a high-volume cleaning station whose size dwarfs all the other cleaning stations in the atolls. As you drift along the plateau at this dive site, be prepared for anything and everything to swim by you. Schools of grey reef sharks and whitetip sharks may even be joined by silky sharks, guitar sharks or whale sharks. In general, the northern tip of North Atoll attracts a lot of life, both on the seafloor and in the blue. Remember to look out for rays and turtles too!

The southern-southeastern tip of North Atoll offers a shipwreck dive site, Malayan Wreck, alongside an incredible wall with additional dive sites called Wall Street and Amos Rock. In this area, hammerhead sharks can often be seen, and grey reef sharks and whitetip sharks are consistently present. Adding even more pelagics to the mix, expect giant trevally, dogtooth tuna, a couple of different barracuda species swimming in large schools, turtles, and manta rays if you're lucky. Amos Rock sports a pleasant abundance of corals hard and soft, and in this general area of North Atoll, eye-popping benthic lifelike colorful crinoids and insanely patterned nudibranchs or flatworms bring the seafloor to life to match the show in the open water.

In the south-southeast of North Atoll, new reef life favorites include pygmy seahorses on huge gorgonian sea fans, African pompanos, and leaf scorpionfish. When the current picks up, larger reef species such as red snapper, giant grouper, and napoleon wrasse come out to play. Some of the other blue-water favorites include rainbow runners, which sometimes flash by in seemingly endless schools, and Spanish mackerel, whose o-shaped gaping mouths make a bizarre sight as they hunt for prey. Near the surface is the best spot to see mantas and eagle rays, along with green turtles and hawksbill turtles.

The northern tip of South Atoll is another area where divers can be wowed by schools of hammerheads, particularly at the dive site Ko-ok. While you're waiting for these incredible sharks to emerge from the blue, you'll have an equally amazing time traversing the pristine coral plateau under schools of circling jacks. The north of South Atoll is known for reef fish, turtles, and large pelagics, including sharks and manta rays- in other words, the iconic Tubbataha experience. In the south of South Atoll , Delsan Wreck holds a cleaning station whose clientele includes large reef fish, sharks, and even an occasional tiger shark.

To the northwest of Tubbataha, Jessie Beazley reef is included on your Tubbataha liveaboard itinerary. Here again, hammerhead sharks are present. Grey reef sharks, silky sharks, and even whale sharks can also be seen. Pristine coral, with a particularly impressive area of branching Acropora corals, puts the icing on the cake at this dive site. Note that the current on Jessie Beazley can be strong, so heed your dive guide while you're enjoying the marine life that the fast-moving water brings in.

Itinerary details

The length of liveaboard itineraries in Tubbataha can be 6, 7, or 11+ nights, with a budget ranging from 280 to 500 euros per night. Most itineraries spend the entire time among Tubbatahaís outstanding dive sites, but there are two liveaboard.com trips that combine Tubbataha with diving in other excellent locations. The first is a Seadoors trip that uses Cebu as the departure port and includes diving in Balicasag (Bohol), Apo island (Negros), and Calusa (Palawan) on its way to Tubbataha. The trip ends in Puerto Princesa. The second itinerary is a transit trip either from Batangas to Puerto Princesa or vice versa, run by the M/V Discovery Palawan. This itinerary goes to Apo Reef (Mindoro) and the Cuyo islands (Palawan). Liveaboards in Tubbataha range from the super luxurious S/Y Siren with its billowing sails to refurbished merchant vessels and dedicated M/V diving yachts- all enjoy different degrees of luxury, but consistently offer great diving amenities.

The experience level required by Tubbataha liveaboards is usually Open Water , with a range of zero to 40 logged dives. The exception is Solitude One, which requires certification of Advanced Open Water and fifty logged dives. Note that while the Philippines is not as infamous for fast-moving water as the Maldives or Indonesia, Tubbataha is as exposed as one can get. Its location in the middle of the sea will certainly subject it to some open water conditions in terms of waves and currents. However, inexperienced divers are well taken care of on all the boats. You will depend on your dive guide to advise you of any particular challenges or experience requirements at a given site.

Liveaboard departures

Puerto Princesa , Palawan's capital city, is the departure location for most Tubbataha liveaboards. Flights to Puerto Princesa run regularly from both Manila and Cebu City on Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific. To get to Manila or Cebu City, direct flights are available from many Southeast Asian countries. International flights will usually transfer in the region before flying into the Philippines. For the one liveaboard itinerary starting in Cebu City, travelers will have an easy time flying from Manila to Cebu City or arriving in Cebu City on an international flight plan. For the liveaboard itinerary connecting to Batangas, travelers will fly into Manila and transfer to the Batangas port on a bus.

Visitors with some extra time in Puerto Princesa can take their pick from premier land and sea activities near the city, including island-hopping, jungle explorations, and Palawanís other World Heritage Site - the Puerto Princesa Underground River. Puerto Princesa is only a van-ride away from many dive sites with 100% coral cover in areas like Port Barton and famous El Nido. Entry-level divers in Palawan can enjoy these sites, many of which are shallow reef slopes in protected bays.

Best time to travel

The Tubbataha diving season is only from March through June. This is when the seas and skies are at their calmest. Therefore, expect all Tubbataha liveaboards to run their trips during these months.

Tubbataha Diving Reviews

  • 8.9 Fabulous
  • 71 Verified Reviews
  • 10.0 Exceptional

Awesome! One of the healthiest reefs I've seen! Great spot to see pelagics & sharks. Very strong current though and every dive was very deep. Only fun for experienced divers!

Diving Tubbataha in March on the Seadoors

  • 9.6 Exceptional

Great, the corals i super nice and loads of fish. How ever we missed the big sharks like whale and tiger. Not lucky enough =(

Diving Tubbataha in May on the Philippine Siren

Great! Lots of big things!

Diving Tubbataha in April on the Discovery Palawan

  • 8.8 Fabulous

Brilliant. Coral is pristine, and abundance of marine life. Amazing to see so many sharks: white tips, gray reef, black tips, whale sharks. I loved that we were so remote that the sea was clear of waste and garbage which unfortunately plagued so much of the other more accessible dive sites.

Diving in Tubbataha was very good, reefs are healthy and well cared for. The fish population, both large and small, are booming. There are sharks (white tip, reef black tip and grey reefs) on every dive with whale sharks on 1 in 3. Others on the boat (with video!!!) also saw hammerheads, tiger sharks and just the week before a marlin.

  • Ngung Chia S

Excellent. Some sites get repeated too often but given a small dive areas, that can be understood.

Diving Tubbataha in May on the Discovery Palawan

Awesome, fantastic, wonderful, extraordinary, amazing, marvelous, beautiful...... We saw all a diver heart is looking for: Whalesharks, Hammerhead sharks, Whitetip Reef shark, Nurse shark, Grey Reef shark, even a Tiger Shark. Manta Rays, lot of turtle, schools of Jackfish, Barrakuda, Batfish...... But most important a beautiful, intact coral reef with huge fan coral, barrel sponge and the whole bunch you expect

Diving Tubbataha in May on the Solitude One

Amazing diversity of life and very well protected.

Diving Tubbataha in March on the Infiniti

  • 8.0 Very good

Very good. Visibility was generally amazing. Water was smoother than most lakes.

Diving Tubbataha in April on the Seadoors

Tubbataha diving was amazing. Turtles, whale sharks, hammerhead sharks, barracudas, schools of fish and beautiful corals.

  • Mirosław K

Really good. Great organization on the board, great assistance under the level of the sea. Many interesting places to dive, different and many of fish, corals, etc.

  • Aleksandra L

very clear water, lots of sharks, other fish, very colorful and lively corals

Diving Tubbataha in May on the Seadoors

Great. We just missed the hammerheads, but we saw plenty of whale sharks and the diving spots are amazing.

Diving Tubbataha in May on the Infiniti

Mostly wall dives with some current. (Bigger current, bigger fish) This trip also visits Cagayancillo with amazing sea fans.

Diving Tubbataha in June on the Infiniti

  • 6.8 Review score

Good, but I wouldn't want to spend more than 5 days there. Also so much plastic and litter floating past us

Beautiful! Most days incredible visibility. We did get rain (early April) and a few dives were low vis.

Diving Tubbataha in March on the Philippine Siren

no lack with weather therefore not a lot of big fish

Diving Tubbataha in March on the Discovery Palawan

It’s not a UNESCO World Heritage site for nothing

Super but would liked to have seen more whale sharks

Diving Tubbataha in April on the Philippines Aggressor

Diving was amazing. Lots of beautiful wall dives with abundant macro sea-life. Saw a whale shark and a lovely manta, many sharks on each dive, lots of turtles and had pretty reasonable visibility. The sunset excursion onto the ranger station sand bar was a real treat.

Diving Tubbataha in May on the Stella Maris Explorer

Very good, but fell short of my admittedly high expections on volume and proximity of bigger stuff (the latter important to me as a dive photographer). Perhaps in part due to absence of divers during Covid lockdown period.

  • 8.4 Very good

Great reefs and fish life. No big animals were seen. Prepare for lots of wall dives some drift.

beautiful healthy corals, large schools of fish, unfortunately we didn't see many big sharks or whale sharks, but schools of reef baby sharks were super cute

We had fantastic weather, flat seas and good visibility so the diving was easy overall. The condition of the reef is fantastic and well managed. There was only one other live aboard in the region so the sites were not over crowded. The closest parallel experience was diving in Sipadan in the 90's.

Diving Tubbataha in June on the Stella Maris Explorer

  • Alexander B

Pretty good, lots of mantas

Diving Tubbataha in June on the Discovery Palawan

  • Christian K

Great action diving and big fish despite challenging weather conditions

Diving Tubbataha in February on the Infiniti

Diving was good lots of fish and nice walls

It was ok. Disappointed by the lack of pelagics, but otherwise great.

Diving Tubbataha in March on the Philippines Aggressor

  • 6.0 Review score

very good - healthy reefs with lots of fish

Diving Tubbataha in March on the Atlantis Azores

We had nearly 100% sunny skies making the visibility nearly perfect! Natural light is the best lighting there is! Healthy coral, reefs, sea life etc etc etc.

The ocean is pristine and beautiful.

Diving Tubbataha in April on the Palau Sport

Good visibility. Many big animals. Many walls that go from 10m to 80m. Some smaller stuff, but mostly focused on bigger animals. Here and there some current. Dive guides are very good at rerouting their paths.

Diving Tubbataha in April on the Infiniti

The corals are huge and so diverse. AMAZING coral. We had bad luck tho and didn't see any whale sharks or hammerheads. We had 2 groups on our boat, and the other group did see ONE whale shark on one of our dives, but no luck for us. That said, you can't control nature, and it's not the staff's fault. Just gotta come back I guess.

Diving Tubbataha in April on the Narayana

Very peaceful as a few lone atolls 100 miles from land. Whale shark, hammerheads and marbled rays.

Wonderful. Many sharks and super healthy reef.

great viz, comfy dives, mild currents

Beautiful dive spots. Unfortunately, we were not lucky with sightings of either whale shark or hammer head sharks.

Too many divers too close together

Diving Tubbataha in May on the Philippines Aggressor

Incredible, every dive brought something exciting

  • KyooHwang H

Although we didn't see whale sharks, we were able to see Manta sharks, etc., and it was a great pleasure to see the well-preserved coral and small fish in the sea

Beautiful hard and soft Corals and abundant smaller species of fish. Decent schools of Jacks and Baracuda, and many smaller sharks. Seemed to lack larger sharks and large pelagics.

Diving Tubbataha in June on the Philippines Aggressor

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Tubbataha Reef

Schooling fish at Tubbataha Reef

Scuba Diving in Tubbataha, Philippines

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Tubbataha Reef Diving HIghlights

Diving Tubbataha Reef is famous for its incredible marine biodiversity, dynamic underwater terrain, and a wide variety of large marine animals, including sea turtles, manta rays, and various  shark  species.  Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park is an isolated and protected marine park that can only be reached by Tubbataha liveaboard. It is arguably  most biodiverse scuba diving destination in the Philippines.

Tubbataha Park ranks number one on our list of Best Diving in the Philippines .

Marine Life  - Best Dive Sites  -  Best Time to Dive  -  Diving Conditions

How to Get There  -  Practical Information - Book a Trip  

Looking for a liveaboard? View availability of all  Tubbataha Liveaboards .

Tubbataha can only be dived via liveaboard during a short diving season  from March to June each year.  Tubbataha liveaboards  fill up early, so plan your trip well in advance! 

Find available liveaboards in Tubbataha  or check out other liveaboards in the Philippines .

  

INtro To Tubbataha Reefs

Tubbataha Reefs is a  UNESCO World Heritage site  located in the Sulu Sea to the east of Palawan. The region's remote location combined with challenging access and limited diving season make it one of the healthiest and least exploited areas of reef in the world. Throughout the 100,000 hectares of the spectacular reef system, divers lucky enough to visit will  discover a wide array of pristine coral gardens mixed with steep walls dropping down into the deep blue. Tubbataha park area is  an important fish spawning and breeding site and is significant in terms of global marine life species diversity and richness.

Tubbataha Reefs is divided into three main areas: North Atoll, South Atoll, and Jessy Beazley Reef. Tubbataha liveaboards visit each of the atolls to enable divers to experience a wide variety of Tubbataha dive sites.

Watch this great video to learn more about scuba diving in Tubbataha:

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Marine Life in Tubbataha Reef

On a liveaboard to Tubbataha, divers are blown away by the never-ending display of multi-colored reef fish, lobsters, stingrays, and turtles on every reef.  At deeper spots on the northern side of North Atoll, numerous shark species can be seen, including frequent encounters with white tips, black tips, and grey reef sharks, as well as possible sightings silky and guitar sharks. The southern side of North Atoll is a hotspot for large pelagics such as giant trevally, tuna, and barracuda, alongside  manta rays and turtles. South Atoll is a great hammerhead site, while wrecks  on both atolls are fantastic for macro species such as pygmy seahorses, nudibranchs, and tiny crustaceans. The northwestern Jessie Beazley Reef is another area to see hammerhead sharks and other shark species. The fast currents also support huge branching hard corals and all the associated marine life.

Read all about how the reefs in Tubbataha have stayed in pristine condition for such a long time.

For a similar liveaboard destination in marine protected waters, read our guide to diving Wakatobi National Park  or diving in Raja Ampat .

Tubbataha Reefs' best dive spots

Learn more about the  best dive sites in Tubbataha Reef .  Each dive site in Tubbataha Reefs National Park boasts a unique range of species to discover. 

Pick a dive spot or keep scrolling to read the entire list:

  • 1. Amos Rock
  • 2. Washing Machine
  • 3. Malayan Wreck
  • 4. Seafan Alley
  • 5. Shark Airport  

1. Amos Rock - Also known as Southwest Rock, this is a popular dive site at the North Atoll of Tubbataha, featuring various types of beautiful corals, massive gorgonian fans, and large fish such as snappers, mackerels, groupers, and the fascinating Napoleon wrasses. Various reef sharks are also commonly seen at Amos Rock and the night dives offer great macro diversity. 

2. Washing Machine - Looking for manta rays and sharks? Head to Washing Machine, a dive site in the North Atoll, to ride the currents and encounter all the big stuff.

If you're interested in diving with sharks, you may also want to check out our list of the best places for shark cage diving  or read about diving with tiger sharks in the Maldives ' Southern Atolls.

3. Malayan Wreck - If you are a  macro photography  enthusiast, you can get some great shots at Malayan Wrech, including nudibranchs, crabs, and shrimps. Wreck divers will also get their dose of adventure and exploration at this Tubbataha dive site. 

Check out our list of the best shipwrecks to scuba dive here .

4. Seafan Alley - For exceptionally colorful  coral reefs , look no further than Seafan Alley in the North Atoll. Featuring plentiful gorgonian sea fans, make sure to keep a lookout for pygmy seahorses!

5. Shark Airport - Another dive site featuring great shark diving is the aptly named Shark Airport, where you'll find these elegant animals either swimming around or resting along the reef. Due to its strong currents, this dive site is better suited for advanced divers. 

        

BEST TIME TO DIVE Tubbataha Reefs

The best time to dive Tubbataha Reefs is limited to its short diving season from March through June, so make sure you plan your trip well in advance. The sea conditions are quite calm during the diving season for Tubbataha liveaboards, which is important for the roughly 10-hour crossing to reach the area from the departure point.  

Tubbataha also ranks first on our article on the  Best Diving in Southeast Asia .

Diving Conditions 

  • Visibility:  32 to 114 feet (10-35 meters), depending on the tides.
  • Good for snorkeling: Yes.
  • Required Skill Level:   Intermediate to Advanced recommended. Some Tubbataha dive sites experience strong currents.

Tubbataha Travel Information

How to get to tubbataha.

Fly into Manila (MNL) and take a one-hour flight to Puerto Princessa (PPR), the departure point for Tubbataha liveaboards. It takes around 10 hours to get to Tubbataha Reef from Puerto Princessa, giving you time to rest before you begin diving.  

How to Dive Tubbataha Reefs

It is only possible to dive Tubbataha Reefs via liveaboard from March to June. There are numerous good liveaboard options in Tubbataha from mid-range boats to luxury yachts. 

View all liveaboards in Tubbataha .

Outside the Tubbataha season, many liveaboards will visit Malapascua Island  or the reefs around Dumaguete , Dauin, Coron and Apo .

Tubbataha is one of the best liveaboard destinations in the world. Check out our full list here ...

Other Things to do

Topside activities in Tubbataha Reefs are limited to whatever entertainment your liveaboard has to offer. Relax and read a book, sunbathe, and enjoy the scenery during your surface intervals. Tubbataha is also a good destination for snorkeling. Experience more of the Philippines by adding a trip to one of the country's other incredible diving destinations before or after your liveaboard. Discuss the options with your travel advisor to make the most of your trip to the Philippines! 

Liveaboards in Tubbataha

See the availability of liveaboards in Tubbataha and book online. Best price guaranteed. No credit card fees.

Bluewater Travel can book you a liveaboard to Tubbataha , and almost every scuba diving destination you can think of at the same price or even less than booking any other way ! Our team of travel advisors knows the boats, diving, and logistics better than anyone else in the industry.

The rates shown below are per person in USD. Some operators may quote in a different currency and the final pricing may vary depending on the latest exchange rates.

Please  contact us  for the latest availability of the following boats: Infiniti , Nirvana , M/Y Resolute , M/V Discovery Adventure , and M/V Discovery Palawan . 

Other Useful Information 

Practical information.

  • Currency: Philippine Peso (PHP).
  • Electricity: The standard voltage is 220 V and the frequency is 60 Hz.
  • Vaccines: Please check the CDC website for updated information on vaccines, health concerns, etc. It is recommended that you are up to date with Typhoid, Tetanus/Diphtheria, Hepatitis, and Polio for any trip to the tropics.
  • Visa: US citizens may enter the Philippines for purposes of tourism without a visa if they present a valid U.S. passport and a return ticket to the United States, or an onward ticket to another country. Upon your arrival, immigration authorities will stamp an entry visa valid for 30 days on your passport.
  • Language: Filipino and English are the official languages in the Philippines.

GOT QUESTIONS? READY TO BOOK?

Call us today at +1-310-915-6677 or email us   [email protected]

And let us book your dream vacation!

Reviews (1)

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Spent 6 nights on the Philippine Siren at Tubbataha Reef. Boat is comfortable but not 5 star. The liveaboard has a huge dive deck though. Great food and friendly staff. No night dives at Tubbtaha Reef due to all wall dives & current so generally made 4 dives a day with both a early AM dive as well as a sunset dive. Up at 0530 to 0600 most every day. If you don't like wall dives, you will be disappointed.

Not very much macro stuff. Lots of small sharks - whitetip, blacktip & grey reef sharks. They were generally sleeping and approachable and sometimes even saw them schooling up to a dozen at a time. A few folks saw a hammerhead shark in early morning, though tough to catch them here-generally shy & mostly deep and early morning. Marbled rays were my favorite and new for me here. I missed the macro here, though a little was available. Saw lots of large dog toothed Tunas, some jacks, anthias and moorish idols. Many huge spiny lobsters that would let you get as close as you wanted to photograph them. Moray eels and several spots with garden eels. Occasional bumphead parrotfish.

The diving conditions: Visibility was generally good, though some days was only average. Currents variable and some dive sites (Washing Machine) were a big challenge even for an experienced diver. There are 2 small Islands that you dive here so after getting here not much travelling is needed, so there is not a lot of cruising after the first night.

While this is a good spot for scuba diving especially for bigger stuff, I have to say that Indonesia - especially Raja Ampat & Komodo were much better than the Tubbataha Reefs national park, especially when you favor in how remote a spot this is and how long the connecting flights are. This is known as a site for big stuff, so for macro you wouldn't come here anyways.

A typical day's schedule.

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Tubbataha Reef

tubbataha reef snorkeling tour

Top ways to experience nearby attractions

tubbataha reef snorkeling tour

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Julia

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tubbataha reef snorkeling tour

TUBBATAHA REEF: All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

Take advantage of the search to browse through the World Heritage Centre information.

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  • Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park
  • Description

The Tubbataha Reef Marine Park covers 96,828 ha, including the North and South Atolls and the Jessie Beazley Reef. It is a unique example of an atoll reef with a very high density of marine species; the North Islet serving as a nesting site for birds and marine turtles. The site is an excellent example of a pristine coral reef with a spectacular 100-m perpendicular wall, extensive lagoons and two coral islands.

Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

Parc naturel du récif de Tubbataha

Couvrant 96 828 ha, ce parc marin comprend deux atolls, North Reef et South Reef. On y trouve une très forte densité d’espèces marines. L’îlot du nord est un lieu de nidification pour les oiseaux et les tortues marines. Le site est un excellent exemple d’atoll corallien parfaitement préservé, avec un mur vertical spectaculaire de 100 m de haut, de vastes lagunes et deux îlots de corail.

منتزه الشُعب الطبيعي في توباتاها

منتزه الشُعب الطبيعي في توباتاها في الفلبين امتدادا لمنتزه الشُعب البحري في توباتاها الذي أدرج على قائمة التراث العالمي عام 1993، يضاعف هذا الامتداد مساحة الموقع الأصلي الذي يقع بمقاطعة بالاوان بثلاث مرات.

source: UNESCO/CPE Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

Parque Natural de los Arrecifes de Tubbataha

El Parque Natural de los Arrecifes de Tubbataha tiene una superficie protegida de casi 100.000 hectáreas de hábitats marinos de alta calidad que contienen tres atolones y una amplia zona de alta mar. La biodiversidad marina del sitio es muy elevada y contiene especies claves, como ballenas, delfines, tiburones, tortugas y peces Napoleón (Cheilinus undulatus). Los ecosistemas del arrecife contienen más de 350 especies de corales y casi 500 de peces. La reserva protege también uno de las últimas colonias de anidamiento de aves marinas de la región.

トゥバタハ岩礁自然公園

source: NFUAJ

Natuurpark Tubbataha riffen

Het Tubbataha riffen zeepark beslaat 96.828 hectare, waaronder de Noord en Zuid riffen. Het gebied is een uniek voorbeeld van een atolrif met een zeer hoge dichtheid van zeediersoorten waarbij het noordelijke eilandje dient als broedplaats voor vogels en zeeschildpadden. Het park bestaat uit een ongerept koraalrif met een spectaculaire loodrechte wand van 100 meter diepte, uitgebreide lagunes en twee koraaleilanden. De rifecosystemen bevatten meer dan 350 soorten koraal en bijna 500 soorten vissen. Het gebied is de thuisbasis van een grote verscheidenheid aan zeedieren waarvan walvissen, dolfijnen, haaien en schildpadden de belangrijkste soorten zijn.

Source: unesco.nl

tubbataha reef snorkeling tour

Outstanding Universal Value

Brief Synthesis

Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park lies in a unique position in the centre of the Sulu Sea, and includes the Tubbataha and Jessie Beazley Reefs. It protects an area of almost 100,000 hectares of high quality marine habitats containing three atolls and a large area of deep sea. The property is home to a great diversity of marine life. Whales, dolphins, sharks, turtles and Napoleon wrasse are amongst the key species found here. The reef ecosystems support over 360 species of coral and almost 700 species of fish. The reserve also protects one of the few remaining colonies of breeding seabirds in the region.

Criterion (vii): Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park contains excellent examples of pristine reefs with a high diversity of marine life. The property includes extensive reef flats and perpendicular walls reaching over 100m depth, as well as large areas of deep sea. The remote and undisturbed character of the property and the continued presence of large marine fauna such as tiger sharks, cetaceans and turtles, and big schools of pelagic fishes such as barracuda and trevallies add to the aesthetic qualities of the property.

Criterion (ix): Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park lies in a unique position in the middle of the Sulu Sea and is one of the Philippines’ oldest ecosystems. It plays a key role in the process of reproduction, dispersal and colonization by marine organisms in the whole Sulu Sea system, and helps support fisheries outside its boundaries. The property is a natural laboratory for the study of ecological and biological processes, displaying the ongoing process of coral reef formation, and supporting a large number of marine species dependant on reef ecosystems. The presence of top predator species, such as tiger and hammerhead sharks, are indicators of the ecological balance of the property. The property also offers a demonstration site to study the responses of a natural reef system in relation to the impacts of climate change.

Criterion (x): Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park provides an important habitat for internationally threatened and endangered marine species. The property is located within the Coral Triangle, a global focus for coral biological diversity. The reefs of the property support 360 species of corals, almost 90% of all coral species in the Philippines. The reefs and seas of the property also support eleven species of cetaceans, eleven species of sharks, and an estimated 700 species of fishes, including the iconic and threatened Napoleon wrasse. The property supports the highest population densities known in the world for white tip reef sharks. Pelagic species such as jacks, tuna, barracuda, manta rays, whale sharks and different species of sharks also are common here and the property is a very important nesting, resting and juvenile development area for two species of endangered marine turtles: green turtles and hawksbill turtles. There are seven breeding species of seabirds and Bird Islet and South Islet are breeding grounds to seven resident and endangered breeding species of seabirds. The critically endangered Christmas Island Frigatebird is a regular visitor to the property.

The property comprises two atolls (North and South Atoll) and an emergent coral cay, Jessie Beazley Reef. It includes open sea with an average depth of 750 m and still displays a well preserved marine ecosystem with top predators, and a large number and diversity of coral reef and pelagic species. The property also hosts an important population of resident, nesting and feeding seabirds. The area is free of human habitation and activities and is of a sufficient size to maintain associated biological and ecological processes. The property is of an adequate size to ensure the complete representation of the key features and processes of the reef systems within it, although the maintenance of these values also requires measures to be taken outside the boundaries of the property in relation to some migratory species and the buffering of the property from threats to the marine environment that could occur in the wider area. A key aspect of the integrity of the property is the low level of fishing pressure, due to the no-take policies which are in place throughout its area.

Management and protection requirements

Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park is legally protected through national protected areas legislation and a range of other environmental legislation which enable action to be taken against a wide range of threats. The implementation of the legislation is assisted by clear delegation to the management authority for the property. This is a remote property and its management is therefore a significant logistical challenge, requiring a well-equipped team with operational boats, well trained and well equipped staff and a sufficient operating budget for fuel, maintenance and accommodation to ensure a strong and responsive presence on the water. Tourism visitation requires careful planning and management to ensure the values of the property are maintained, and to respect the capacity of the property, as well as visitor safety and to ensure income is returned to both site management and local communities. There are threats to the property from shipping, marine litter, fishing, marine pollution and oil exploration. Thus effective buffer zone arrangements are needed, and internationally supported legislation to protect the property from shipping threats, and greater enforcement of marine litter regulation on the High Seas by the appropriate international organisations would be a significant benefit to the property.

  • Instagram page
  • Facebook page
  • Official website page (in English only)
  • Protectedplanet.net

tubbataha reef snorkeling tour

State of Conservation (SOC)

Protections by other conservation instruments.

2 protections / 2 elements

Read more about synergies

Tubbataha Reef

tubbataha reef snorkeling tour

Top ways to experience nearby attractions

tubbataha reef snorkeling tour

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Julia

Also popular with travellers

tubbataha reef snorkeling tour

Tubbataha Reef - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024) - Tripadvisor

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Exciting Adventures at Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park

The Tubbataha Reef Marine Park is comprised of two enormous coral atolls – the north and south atolls – as well as the Jessie Beazley Reef, a smaller coral structure 20 kilometers north of the atolls. It’s a one-of-a-kind atoll reef with an abundance of aquatic life. Tubbataha Reef National Marine Park is home to some of the world’s most beautiful and distinctive coral reefs.

A mesmerizing view of the Tubbataha Reefs, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Philippines.

The North Islet serves as a breeding site for birds and sea turtles. It is home to around 1,200 marine species, including seagrasses and algae, corals, sharks and rays, fish, sea turtles, seabirds, and marine mammals. It is home to a wide range of massive animals, including white-tip and gray reef sharks. There are also mackerels, snappers, huge groupers, and Napoleons can be found.

Things to Do in Tubbataha Reefs

Location of tubbataha reefs natural park.

Tubbataha Reef is located in the middle of the Sulu Sea, approximately 50 kilometers southeast of Puerto Princesa City in Palawan .

the best time to visit Tubataha Reefs

Tubbataha Reefs are best visited during the Philippine summer season, which runs from March to June. The days are hot and dry, and the seas are at their calmest.

Photo of TUBBATAHA REEFS NATURAL PARK | The Most Exciting Adventures in the Philippines

How to Get to Tubbataha Reefs

Take a hour flight from Manila to Puerto Princessa, where Tubbataha liveaboards depart. Tubbataha Reef is approximately a 10-hour travel from Puerto Princessa.

the best hotels near Tubbataha Reefs

Agoda has a great selection of hotels near Tubbataha Reef. Booking.com is a market leader in the hotel booking sector, with over two decades of experience. Customers can anticipate inexpensive costs as well as a variety of booking options.

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tubbataha reef snorkeling tour

The 8 Best Philippines Tubbataha Liveaboards | Philippines Dive Guide

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Table of Contents

PHILIPPINES – TUBBATAHA REEF – DIVE GUIDE

In this guide to scuba diving in the Philippines we’ll cover:

  • Why dive in the Philippines: what you can expect to see, and when to visit
  • The best Philippines liveaboards: at a glance
  • The best Philippines liveaboards: in depth

Why scuba dive in the Philippines?

There are more stunning dive sites around the Philippines than you could explore on a single journey. The variety of sea life (both mega and macro), corals, white-sand islands, and tropical weather make it truly a paradise that’s worth visiting.

One of the only ways to dive the Tubbataha Reefs National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site , in the Sulu Sea is via liveaboard. The park covers a whopping ~100k hectares of protected area.

When to dive: While you can shore-dive or stay at dive resorts in the Philippines all year round, the Tubbataha Reefs National Park is only accessible by liveaboard from March to June.  Average water temperature : 26°C – 29°C (80°F – 85°F). Visibility : 5 to 40+ meters (15 to 130+ feet). Dive ability : Beginner to advanced. Must have previous wreck diving experience to dive at wrecks. Strong currents at some sites. What you can expect to see in the Philippines: This region is home to over 300 species of coral and 500 species of fish. Many shark lovers come to see sharks of all types like hammerheads, threshers, black tips, white tips, and grey reef sharks. If you’re lucky you might also spot a whale shark or manta ray. The region is also filled with turtles, Napoleon wrasse, box fish, dolphins, leaf fish, spiny lobsters, sea birds, and macro life. As this region is also in the coral triangle, you’ll witness more marine biodiversity here than anywhere else on earth.

The 8 Best Philippines Liveaboards: At a Glance

The 8 best philippines liveaboards: reviewed, 1. sy philippine siren.

tubbataha reef snorkeling tour

The SY Philippine Siren is a stunning 40-meter sailing vessel built in 2013 and renovated in 2015. It offers liveaboard trips around the Visayas and Apo Islands as well as the world-renowned Tubbataha Reef. Nitrox is free and the SY Philippine Siren is equipped with a Nautilus Lifeline.

Its eight cabins can host up to 16 guests and come with air-conditioning, ensuite bathrooms with hot water showers, can come in twin or double bed configurations, a fan, towels, port hole, a safe, mirror, and power outlets.

During surface intervals, enjoy watching movies in the main saloon or buy souvenirs from the on-board shop. You can also lounge on the sun deck and get a massage.

Refuel on buffet-style meals served on the main deck. The chefs cook delicious Asian and Western style dishes with snacks available between meals. Beer is included, and other alcoholic beverages cost extra. The chefs are happy to accommodate dietary requests with advanced notice.

Check prices and trip dates for SY Philippine Siren: PADI Travel | Liveaboard | DiveBooker

2. PY ATLANTIS AZORES

tubbataha reef snorkeling tour

If you want a highly personalized and private liveaboard trip, venture to Apo Reef, Tubbataha Reef, Bohol, and the Wreck of Caron aboard the 33-meter long PY Atlantis Azores. It’s one of the best liveaboards for wreck divers as many of its trips venture to 12 shallow wreck sites.

There are multiple types of rooms to accommodate up to 16 guests. You can choose between twin and double beds, or opt for the deluxe room with one double bed and one single bed. All rooms come with air conditioning, hot water showers, ensuite bathrooms, and more. The deluxe room has extra storage space, windows, and a desk.

PY Atlantis Azores has a spacious sun deck with lounge chairs, a small bar area, and air-conditioned saloon with entertainment system and library. There are also plenty of land excursions available.

The chefs serve both Western and local meals buffet-style with a snack and drink bar open all day long. Beer, wine, and rum are included in your trip. Divers are welcome to bring their own alcohol onboard.

Check prices and trip dates for PY Atlantis Azores: Liveaboard | DiveBooker

3. MV SOLITUDE ONE

tubbataha reef snorkeling tour

At 52 meters long, MV Solitude One is a spacious luxury yacht that offers trips around Palau and the Tubbataha Reef in the Philippines. It was built in 1979 and renovated in 2013.

Each of the 10 cabins has air conditioning, daily housekeeping, a flat-screen TV with access to movies and universal power outlets with USB charging ports. The comfortable mattresses are extra-long to accommodate taller guests – a rarity on liveaboards.

You won’t be bored on deck. MV Solitude One has a jacuzzi, bean bag chairs, a camera room with rinse tanks, sun deck, shaded areas, saloon, and more. Being so spacious, you’ll be able to have a quiet moment alone to recharge in between dives.

Meals are typically served buffet style on the outdoor dining area with snacks in between dives. The chefs offer a mix of delicious seafood, local fare, and Western dishes. Beer and wine is available for extra. Dietary restrictions can be met if requested in advance.

Check prices and trip dates for MV Solitude One: PADI Travel | Liveaboard | DiveBooker

4. MV STELLA MARIS EXPLORER

tubbataha reef snorkeling tour

The MV Stella Maris Explorer dive cruiser was built in 1986 and renovated recently in 2016. At 36 meters long and 7 meters wide, the liveaboard is spacious, sturdy and perfect for divers wanting a truly adventurous experience around the Tubbataha and Apo Reefs.

Every one of the 10 cabins has air conditioning, an ensuite bathroom with hot water, and memory foam mattresses. There are twin, double, and queen bed configurations.

Onboard, you’ll be able to lounge in the air-conditioned saloon with entertainment system, browse the library, or play board games with fellow divers. The top deck has a shaded area, jacuzzi, bar, and lounge chairs.

Check prices and trip dates for MV Stella Maris Explorer: PADI Travel | Liveaboard | DiveBooker

5. SEADOORS

tubbataha reef snorkeling tour

MV Seadoors is a 25-meter long liveaboard built in 1999 and renovated in 2017. This liveaboard is a simple liveaboard for divers who want to fully immerse themselves underwater during their stay. It tends to attract more advanced divers, thanks to its nitrox and rebreather facilities. MV Seadoors frequents the Tubbataha Reef, the Visayas, Malapascua, and other sites in the Sulu Sea.

Each of the eight rooms is air-conditioned, has a window, and ensuite bathroom with hot water shower. You can choose between twin, double, and queen bed options.

You can spend time enjoying the sea breeze on the outdoor deck or read a book in the shaded dining area. The main saloon also has a charging station and flatscreen TV.

Meals are served buffet style and often feature French dishes alongside Western and Asian meals. All snacks and non-alcoholic beverages are included, and alcoholic drinks are available for extra.

Check prices and trip dates for Seadoors: PADI Travel | Liveaboard | DiveBooker

6. MV DISCOVERY ADVENTURE

tubbataha reef snorkeling tour

MV Discovery Adventure is a 47-meter liveaboard that brings divers to the stunning areas of Tubbataha and Palau. It was built in 1987 and recently renovated in 2017.

MV Discovery Adventure can accommodate up to 26 to 30 guests in its 13 cabins. Each cabin has air conditioning and an ensuite bathroom. There are many variations of rooms with that can accommodate two to four guests, making it a great option for families or groups of friends looking to cut down on costs and stay together.

Between dives, there are plenty of opportunities for land excursions and snorkeling. The main deck has an air-conditioned saloon with camera area and charging station. You can relax on the upper deck that has a mix of sunny and shaded areas.

Food aboard the MV Discovery Adventure is plentiful and delicious. A mix of international and local fare is served three dimes a day buffet-style and you can eat either inside or outside – whatever you feel! On one of the nights, MV Discovery Adventure will host a beach island BBQ. Alcohol is available for extra purchase.

Check prices and trip dates for MV Discovery Adventure: Liveaboard | DiveBooker

7. INFINITI

tubbataha reef snorkeling tour

Infiniti is a mid-sized liveaboard with 11 spacious cabins and can accommodate up to 22 divers. Aside from venturing into the premier dive spots of Tubbataha, the Infiniti also set sails to other top Philippine dive destinations like Cebu and Bohol.

Onboard, relax on cushioned loungers or hammock in the sky deck which is perfect for stargazing. For die hard photographers, they have camera stations equipped with rinse tanks, compute, screen monitor and charging ports. When hungry, feasts on delicious meals freshly cooked onboard. Tea, coffee, water and soft drinks are served all day long. There’s even a ref filled with beer, however, self service.

Check prices and trip dates for Infiniti: PADI Travel | Liveaboard | DiveBooker

8. MV DISCOVERY PALAWAN

tubbataha reef snorkeling tour

The MV Discovery Palawan is a 49-meter yacht liveaboard that was built in 1972 and renovated in 2013. It services the famous Tabbataha Reef, wreck sites, and more. It’s also a great option for non-divers as there are plenty of snorkeling excursions available.

The 20 rooms can accommodate up to 32 guests with twin and double bed options. Each room has an ensuite bathroom with hot water shower. The top deck rooms come with air conditioning, while the lower deck rooms do not.

The air-conditioned main saloon has a large TV and DVD library. You can also relax at the bar or on the deck under the shaded lounge areas.

Meals are served three times a day buffet-style and typically consist of Southeast Asian and Western fare. All trips also have a beach island barbecue on one of the evenings. Snacks in between meals are also included on your trip. Alcohol is available for extra.

Check prices and trip dates for MV Discovery Palawan: PADI Travel | Liveaboard | DiveBooker

The Salt Sirens is a participant in the PADI Travel, DiveBooker and Liveaboard.com affiliate programs, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to our affiliate partners.

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Palawan Alternative

The Ultimate Packing List for Tubbataha Reef Diving Trip

Congratulations on choosing the Tubbataha reefs for your next liveaboard diving holiday! Now wondering what to pack for this ultimate adventure? Check out our comprehensive packing list!

The Tubbataha reef diving trip requires you to pack well in advance. The floating palace may have almost everything you need from dive gear to gourmet meals. It seems that all you have to do is to roll out of your bed, into your wetsuit and get ready for mind-blowing encounters underwater. However, it still pays to come prepared with the right diving equipment, travel essentials, and a highly tuned game plan.

Tubbataha reef diving trip

The Tubbataha Reefs National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located right in the middle of the Sulu Sea. The only way to access the world-class dive site is to go on a liveaboard dive trip. Whether you’re a seasoned liveaboard diver or a first-timer, make sure to go through our ultimate liveaboard packing list for a hassle-free Tubbataha reef diving trip.

Plan Your Tubbataha Reef Diving Trip

Planning the perfect liveaboard dive trip does not have to be a stressful experience, especially for those who are under pressure to make the most out of their vacation. This checklist will help you prepare and make sure you’ve thought of everything else you might need. Make sure to connect with our local expert if you need help in planning your Tubbataha reef diving trip.

  • Before anything else, check the passport or visa requirements for your travel to the Philippines. For most nationalities, a free 30-day visa is issued on arrival. Passport must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the planned period of stay.
  • Make sure you are qualified to dive Tubbataha. Research and prepare for the dive conditions. Tubbataha liveaboard diving requires at least 50 logged dives.
  • Consider getting a refresher course if it has been a while since your last dive trip.
  • Choose the right dive company for your Tubbatha dive trip. Our local experts are experienced divers and can offer the best recommendations that fit your specific requirements.
  • Decide whether you want to charter a ship or join a group. If you prefer to join a smaller group, our Palawan itinerary specialist can book you with a reputable Tubbataha dive company that only takes small groups.
  • Make sure to read our terms and conditions before booking your Tubbataha reef dive trip . Take note of the inclusions and exclusions to ensure that you are getting the best value for money.
  • Once you’ve made your reservations, decide whether you plan to do post-cruise or pre-cruise tours. We arrange dive or boat trips in other parts of Palawan. We may include one or two as an additional perk for your Palawan vacation.
  • If you plan on staying for a couple of days before or after your Tubbataha liveaboard dive trip, make sure to book your accommodations in advance. Please connect with our local expert to get the best hotel deals in Palawan

Collect Important Travel Documents

Make sure that your passport, IDs and credit cards, are not expired. Inform your banks that you’re traveling abroad to avoid your cards getting blocked.

  • Passport/visa(s) (check here if you need a visa to travel to the Philippines)
  • Scuba diving license/dive certification cards
  • Dive-fitness medical certificate (if needed)
  • Travel, dive, health, and medical Insurance
  • Dive logbook
  • Doctor prescriptions
  • Personal ID/student ID card
  • Driver’s license or international driver’s license
  • Cash, Debit, and Credit Cards
  • Reservations, itineraries, and booking confirmation
  • Tour and hotel contact information (For pre-cruise and post-cruise tours)
  • Transportation tickets (flights, van, bus, etc.)
  • Emergency contacts and address book
  • Photocopies of all the important travel documents (stored separately)

Prepare Your Dive Gear

The Tubbataha liveaboard is fully-equipped with everything you need for your dive trip from full dive gear to Nitrox fills. Plan ahead which gear you prefer to bring with you and inform our itinerary specialist to deduct it from the cost of the package. Inspect your dive equipment to ensure that it has been serviced recently.

  • Mesh bag and/or gear bag
  • Regulator, octopus and dive console
  • Mask, fins, and snorkel
  • Dive boots or socks
  • Weight pockets or weight belt
  • Dive computer
  • Backup dive computer
  • Underwater slate and pencil
  • Safety sausage
  • Knife or cutting tool
  • Torch/dive light and backup light (for night dive)
  • Pony bottle

Choose Your Luggage and Gear Bag

Space may be limited on board. We recommend you pack your clothes and gear in soft luggage like backpacks or duffel bags. If you are planning to explore Palawan before or after your Tubbataha reef dive trip, a carry-on or travel backpack will do if you don’t want the extra weight of wheels.

Organize the Travel Essentials

Palawan has a very warm and humid climate . If you are planning to take pre-cruise or post-cruise tours, make sure to bring all the travel essentials you may need for the whole trip. You should start with the basic items such as breathable and lightweight clothing that covers you up and keeps the mosquitoes away.

  • Cotton and Linen T-shirts, tank tops, sleeveless shirts (white or light colors that do not attract insects)
  • Summer dresses or skirts
  • Boardshorts, shorts or capris
  • Light jacket or fleece
  • Windbreaker
  • Loose pants
  • Raincoat, poncho, or rain jacket
  • Cover up/sundress
  • Swimsuit or swim trunks
  • Sleepwear/pajamas
  • Underwear/boxers
  • Breathable slip-on shoes or sneakers
  • Slip-on sandals (easy to dry when wet)
  • Comfortable walking shoes

Other Basic Items

  • Quick-dry towel and/or ‘Sarong‘
  • Water bottle
  • Sun hat, visor or cap
  • Sunglasses and glasses case
  • Glasses and prescription glasses
  • Waterproof watch

Information and Entertainment

  • Travel guides, maps, phrase book, and language guides
  • Deck of cards
  • Books and magazines
  • Travel journal or notebook and pen
  • Travel pillow, ear plugs, and eye mask
  • Action camera, video camera, waterproof camera
  • Underwater casing for camera
  • Floation accessory for camera
  • Action camera stick
  • Memory cards
  • Laptop or tablet
  • Compact MP3 Player
  • Chargers for electronics
  • Adapters and power converters (The standard voltage is 220V, plug types A, B, & C.)
  • Powerbank (check airline carry-on baggage rules)
  • A Bluetooth speaker or travel speaker
  • Mobile hotspot or pocket wifi
  • Travel apps (maps.me, google maps, money conversion, dictionary)
  • Flashlight or headlamp with extra batteries

Pack Your Toiletry Bag

Keep your toiletry bag light especially if you’re traveling with a carry-on luggage. Make sure that all liquids, creams, aerosols, gels, and pastes are in 100ml or less per container and must be placed in transparent resealable plastic bags measuring approximately 20cm x 20cm. Please check Philippine Airline’s restricted items for more information about how to pack safely.

Toiletry Basics

  • Sunscreen (preferably coral reef-safe brands)
  • Face cream or lotion with SPF
  • Lip balm with SPF, lip gloss
  • Antibacterial soap, bath soap, or moisturizing body wash
  • Tissue packets, facial tissues, or toilet paper
  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, and mouthwash
  • Hairbrush or comb
  • Hair ties, bobby pins and barrettes
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Hair products, hair gel, oil or leave-in conditioner
  • Skin moisturizer, lotion, and hand cream
  • Contacts, contact case, and solution
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Cologne or perfume
  • Small scissor, tweezer and nail clippers (must be in checked luggage)
  • Personal or pocket mirror
  • Shaving kit or razor

Health Items

The Tubbataha liveaboard vessel has basic first aid kit onboard including medical oxygen and AED. The nearest recompression chamber is in Puerto Princesa City.

Make sure to check CDC for travel vaccines, medicines, and travel advisory. The CDC and WHO recommend these vaccines for the Philippines: Malaria, Typhoid, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Rabies and Cholera.

  • Insect repellent/bug spray
  • Sunburn relief
  • Hand sanitizer or antibacterial wipes
  • Motion sickness pills or bands
  • First aid kit (bandages, moleskin, adhesives, gauze, etc.)
  • Diarrhea medicines
  • Allergy medicines
  • Pain and fever relievers
  • Personal prescriptions
  • Hydrocortisone or antibacterial ointment
  • Cold medicines and throat lozenges
  • Thermometer

Prepare Your Home

Make sure that your home is in order before traveling to the Philippines. Thinking through home care before you leave ensures a worry-free Tubbataha liveaboard trip.

  • Leave an extra house key with a friend or family member
  • Lock all doors and windows
  • Have a house-sitter to take care of your pets and plants
  • Set up your auto email response
  • Unplug all electronics
  • Pre-pay your bills
  • Empty the fridge of perishables
  • Store all valuables in a safe place
  • Empty the trash

Note: This comprehensive packing list only serves as a guide. This does not mean that you overpack or pack a lot of gear. Ask our Palawan itinerary specialist if you want to learn more about what to pack for Tubbataha reef diving trip.

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tubbataha reef snorkeling tour

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tubbataha reef snorkeling tour

Note: Palawan Alternative focuses exclusively on whole-trip itineraries.

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Tubbataha . ph

Tubbataha.ph: MV Dolphin Liveonboard Dive Boat

Cabins Are Available for the 2024 Season

Mv dolphin liveaboard dive ship, tubbataha reef national park, sulu sea, philippines, life on the dolphin.

The MV Dolphin is a dedicated liveaboard dive boat with everything ready to fulfill your diving dreams. This 90 ft (27m) steel hulled vessel with 10 cabins has brought thousands of divers to Tubbataha Reef for more than twenty years. 2024 is YOUR time to enjoy the convenience and experience the beauty.

ship

DCIM\100MEDIA\DJI_0654.JPG

dcim media

The MV Dolphin is purpose built for your diving adventures!

dolphin purpose built diving adventures

Cabins are on the lower and middle decks. Each cabin has a large window for viewing and for evacuation safety.

cabins lower middle decks cabin window viewing evacuation safety

VIP ROOM # 1 King size Bed length 78 inches Width 73 inches with vault inside, 1 sofa bed, flat screen TV, Closet cabinet , Quite Split Aircon, 5 drawer, mini refrigerator, Large window, regular toilet and large size shower.

room king vault sofa flat screen closet cabinet split aircon

VIP ROOM # 2 King size Bed length 78 inches Width 73 inches with vault inside, 1 sofa bed, flat screen TV, Closet cabinet , Quite Split Aircon, 5 drawer, mini refrigerator, Large window, regular toilet and large size shower.

room king vault sofa flat screen closet cabinet split aircon

Room # 4 Loft bed (Upper bed size) L: 79 inches W: 40 inches (Lower bed size) L: 79 inches W: 59 inches with flat screen TV, Table drawer, Air conditioner, Closet cabinet, Large window, regular toilet and large size shower.

room loft upper lower flat screen table drawer conditioner closet

Room facilities looks like

room facilities looks like

VIP ROOM 1 King size Bed length 78 inches Width 73 inches with vault inside, 1 sofa bed, flat screen TV, Closet cabinet, Quite Split Aircon, 5 drawer, mini refrigerator, Large window, regular toilet and large size shower.

room king vault sofa flat screen closet cabinet split aircon

Every Cabin on the Dolphin has a full-size restroom with regular toilet and large shower.

cabin dolphin restroom regular toilet shower

Act now to secure your driving dream while space is still available! Book Now

MV Dolphin Liveonboard Dive Boat

MV Dolphin Layout

Make your reservation today while space is still available! Book Now

abundant space good times

Abundant space for fun and good times

fully conditioned cabins dining area

Fully air conditioned Cabins and Dining Area

conditioned dining room

Large air conditioned dining room

complete board dive center

Complete on-board dive center

convenient safe diving deck

Convenient and safe diving deck

board diving skiffs

Two on-board diving skiffs

bathroom facilities cabin

Bathroom Facilities in Every Cabin

drinks included

Full Bar with drinks included

gourmet meals included

Gourmet meals all-included

upper deck shade relaxing

Large Upper Deck for sun, shade, and relaxing

onboard laundry services

Onboard Laundry Services

small lounge middle deck

Small Lounge on the Middle Deck

deck rinse showers

Two on-deck rinse showers

twin sharing cabins private bath rooms

Six twin-sharing Cabins with private bath rooms

cabins mini

Two large VIP Cabins with mini-bar

Act now to reserve the best available cabin! Book Now

TUBBATAHA REEF NATIONAL PARK

The Tubbataha Reefs Marine Park consists of three atolls and covers approximately 25,000 acres of stunning coral reefs in the heart of the Coral Triangle. Designated in 1988 as the Philippines first marine park, the Tubbataha Reefs have come to be regarded as one of the world’s top diving destinations as well as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Philippines are ranked one of the top dive destinations in the world.

diver phillippines

The Diver’s Gem of the Phillippines

  • The Tubbataha Reefs are part of an underwater chain of ancient volcanoes whose tops reach close enough to the surface for coral growth and the abundant marine life coral attracts. The waters around Tubbataha are deep with currents rich in micro marine life. This combination creates a perfect habitat for big fish and the "cleaning stations" they need.
  • Diving at the Tubbataha Reefs is your opportunity to experience a special combination of deep water fish and abundant reef creatures.

unesco heritage site

UNESCO Heritage Site

fish enjoy summer

Where the “Big Fish” Enjoy Summer!

abundant biodiversity

Abundant Biodiversity

  • 700 species of fish
  • 360 species of corals (about half of all coral species in the world)
  • 11 species of sharks and rays
  • 13 species of dolphins & whales
  • 100 species of birds
  • Hawksbill & Green sea turtles

unspoiled beauty

Unspoiled Beauty

Tubbataha Reef Dive Map

Adventure Awaits

Tubbataha reef the scuba experience you live for.

Dive into the crystal-clear waters of the Tubbataha Reef and experience the ultimate underwater adventure in one of the world's most pristine and biodiverse marine sanctuaries.

Stunning Beauty

Coral gardens, sea turtle breeding grounds, sharks, whales, dolphins, schooling jacks, shoaling tuna, clouds of reef fish, and crystal-clear water. What more could you ask for?

Uncharted Adventure

This UNESCO-protected diving jewel is located a hundred miles from the nearest port and can be accessed only by large liveaboard dive boats.

Home-Style Comfort

The MV Dolphin is equipped with large, comfortable, climate-controlled cabins. All cabins are above the water-line with large windows and every one has a full-size bathroom with shower.

Amazing Amenities

Everything is available to make Tubbataha Reef the amazing experience you dream of. Your every need is anticipated and met.

Space is limited. Book Now

MEET YOUR CREW

The MV Dolphin crew are dedicated to making your Liveaboard diving experience enjoyable, safe, and fun!

buhay butch rellama

Buhay "Butch" Rellama

jeru pakingan cajapin

Jeru Pakingan Cajapin

bhen lopez

Joven Turner

Frequently asked questions.

The following questions and answers are intended to provide you with as much detailed information as possible. Please feel free to ask any additional questions you may have!

Where do we fly in to?

Puerto Princesa, Palawan is the embarkation port for Tubbataha Reefs diving. Puerto Princesa has a good airport with regular flights from Manila, Cebu, and other Philippine cities.

Do you recommend a hotel in Puerto Princesa?

No we don't recommend but it must be in Puerto Princessa city for pick up for free

What is the embarkation time for trips?

We send a van to pickup our guests at their hotel or the airport between 2:00 and 4:00 pm on the departure day. There is a Coast Guard and Safety briefing on the ship, and the MV Dolphin leaves port at 6:00 - 7:00 pm headed for the Tubbataha Reefs. We arrive on our first dive sit at 6:00 - 7:00 am the next morning.

What is the disembarkation time for trips?

The MV Dolphin arrives into Puerto Princesa between 6:00 - 7:00 am on the final day of the trip.

What is the Tubbataha Reefs diving season?

Diving is typically done at the Tubbataha Reefs from March - June each year. These months are not in the typhoon season with the most favorable weather and ocean currents.

Can you provide gluten-free meals?

Yes, please let our booking staff know about your dietary needs.

Are alcoholic drinks available on board?

Alcoholic drinks are available and affordable on the MV Dolphin. Beer, wine, and mixed drinks are available at the bar in the dining room. VIP rooms have a stocked mini bar. The bar is only open for drinks after the day's dives are completed.

Do you offer group discounts?

Yes. Please call our California office or Philippine office for details and opportunities. We work with agents and many dive clubs to offer great deals on the most amazing diving you can imagine.

Do you offer a payment plan?

Yes. We do not offer financing, but we can setup an advance installment payment plan. Your booking will be confirmed and secure while your installment plan is in place.

Are there discounts for non-divers?

Yes. Non-diving passengers enjoy all the amenities and services of the Dolphin and are discounted 20% from the full fare.

What is your cancellation policy?

Trips may be canceled or cut short for safety reasons by order of the Philippine Coast Guard or the MV Dolphin Captain. We STRONGLY encourage passengers to purchase travel insurance to cover in these circumstances.

What if my trip is canceled due to bad weather or other reasons?

If your trip is canceled due to malfunction or problems with the MV Dolphin, we will issue you a full refund.

Are there storms in March - June?

This is the Summer or "Dry" season in the Philippines. During these months occasional squalls and weather systems may move through an area--generally in the afternoons. We intentionally avoid diving Tubbataha Reefs during the Typhoon season which begins in July.

What is the daily weather like?

Expect calm cool mornings and a beautiful sunrise. It's hot in the direct sun and you will be glad to get under the water. In the afternoon breezes and thunderstorms may come up. Weather changes, and occasionally a squall will pass through.

How big are the waves?

When there is not a storm, the ocean is calm with 1-2 ft waves. Waves can increase when there is prevailing wind or storms.

What are your luggage limits?

Consider our luggage limits to be similar to international airline flights. We expect you to have gear to bring what's necessary for your convenience. If you have extra luggage and equipment please let our booking staff know so we can make accomodation.

What about safety?

The MV Dolphin crew is experienced and ensures marine safety measures are in place. Some of our staff also have medical training and qualifications. The MV Dolphin is equipped with oxygen and other diving specific emergency supplies.

Where is the nearest decompression chamber?

There is a hyperbaric chamber at hospital of Palawan in Puerto Princesa City.

Is medical evacuation possible from Tubbataha Reefs?

Helicopter evacuation may be available--there are a very limited number of operating helicopters in the area. Evacuation options also include speed boats and the MV Dolphin itself.

Is there safe drinking water on the MV Dolphin?

Drinking water on the MV Dolphin is safe. We have a water distillation system that uses our genertor power to distill pure fresh water from sea water.

Is there medical staff on the MV Dolphin?

Yes. Several of our staff have medical training, emergency training, and know what to do in diving related and other emergencies.

How many dive guides are on the MV Dolphin?

Typically there are three dive guides or divemasters on a trip.

How is my dive gear handled?

Our staff takes care of your BCD, Regulator, and other equipment.

Can we rent gear like wetsuits and BCD's in Puerto Princesa?

Rental equipment is available in Puerto Princessa. You may arrange directly with a dive shop; or let us know in advance and we can arrange it for you. Equipment rentals are not included in our package price.

Do you have underwater photography equipment for rent?

No. Please plan to bring your own photography equipment.

How is the daily diving organized?

Our trips usually have 18 divers who are divided into three groups with a divemaster.

Is this a good trip for new divers?

Tubbataha Reef is regarded as advanced diving. The National Park requires all divers to have at least 30 logged dives.

Is it required to have Advanced certification?

Advanced certification is highly recommended. Tubbataha Reef is very remote and for your safety and that of the group we encourage our divers to know their limits and not exceed them.

Is there a dive instructor on board to provide certifications?

Our divemasters are also dive instructors; however due to limited number of staff we usually cannot offer certification upgrades on the trip. Let us know before-hand if you need to do the Nitrox or Advanced Open Water certification.

Do I need to bring my own dive computer?

Yes, all divers are required to have a dive computer.

What is the typical weekly schedule?

Day 1 is departure from Puerto Princesa. We are usually on our first location at Tubbataha by **:** pm.

What is the typical daily schedule?

Our first dive is usually at 7:30 am. Second dive is 10:00, third dive is 1:30 pm and the fourth dive is 3:30 pm or a night dive.

Are there land excursions at Tubbataha Reef?

Very limited. Sometimes our group stops in at the Ranger Station to buy souveniers. The seabird nesting grounds are protected and off limits most of the time.

How many dives are scheduled each day?

Four dives per day.

Do you offer TEC dives at Tubbataha Reefs?

No. Our diving is organized around the paramaters of Advanced Open Water recreational diving.

Is Nitrox available on the MV Dolphin?

Yes. We offer a Nitrox package for $100

Are there night dives on the trip?

Yes we usually plan at least one night dive per trip.

Is there a dedicated camera room?

No. Your cabin will be very close at hand where you can charge gear and process pictures. Each cabin has a flat-screen TV as well.

Reserve Your MV Dolphin Adventure

Tubbataha.ph: Diving Adventure

  • California:  951.755.0747
  • Philippines (Puerto Galera):  +63 945 390 8562
  • Email:   [email protected]

2024 Tubbataha Reef Season Rates

  • Prices are all-inclusive as described on this website and subject to the Terms and Conditions.
  • Transision trip per person:  $2,700
  • Single Occupancy:  $3,840
  • Double Occupancy per person:  $2,400
  • Triple Occupancy only 1 person have -20% $1,920
  • Customer agrees to be housed with a possible roommate, depending on bookings.
  • Guaranteed single occupancy:  $4,799
  • VIP Room:  + $400 2 pax

Booking Options

  • Nitrox Diver:  $150
  • Upgrade Certification to Advanced:  $200

Information We Will Need

  • Name, Address, Email, Phone
  • Dive Certification Agency and Level
  • Number of Logged Dives

MV Dolphin Provided Dive Gear

Divers need to bring.

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Tubbataha.ph: Tubbataha Reef

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A World Heritage Site that is effectively conserved to maintain ecological integrity contributing to the equitable distribution of benefits and sustained socio-economic development of present and future generations.

We, the stakeholders of tubbataha, commit to conserve its natural endowment through responsible stewardship and genuine partnerships., to preserve the globally significant biological diversity and ecological processes of tubbataha and to manage it and the surrounding areas in a sustainable basis., frequently asked questions.

Please contact us if you cannot find an answer to your question.

Most scuba divers go by booking on “liveaboards”. They need to fly to Puerto Princesa, the jump-off point to Tubbataha and take a 10-12-hour travel by sea to Tubbataha. Most of the operators arrange all the transfers needed for their guests. They may inquire from their preferred boat operators if all transfer requirements are included in the package

The dive operators, who have permits to conduct tourism operations in Tubbataha, arrange and sell trips to Tubbataha. The Tubbataha Management Office issues entry permits to all entrants to the park.

Please check our boat permitting requirements before applying to TMO.

All trips to Tubbataha are on liveaboard trips as there are no facilities. This means that tourists will stay on the yacht/boat throughout their stay in the park.

Most people visit Tubbataha by booking on “liveaboard” dive boats as early as a year in advance. Costs vary by dive boat and number of diving days but range from US$1000 to over US$4000. Please contact the liveaboards on our link for more details.

Commercial dive tours can stay for 5 to 7 days, or longer (inclusive of travel time) as long as it is clearly stated in the entry permit. Private boats and non-commercial trips, however, are limited to seven days only

Most of the dive operators’ itineraries are packed with diving activities as this is their main product. Non-divers can do snorkeling. Bird watching is a new product that is currently being developed.

There are some dive boat operators who offer diving courses. Please inquire from your preferred dive operator.

Please send us an email entailing the objectives and nature of the fundraising activity you wish to conduct. The TMO will closely communicate with you regarding your proposed activity.

Tubbataha is managed by the TPAMB, while day-to-day operations are handled by the TMO.

Tubataha is not owned by a single person or private organization. It belongs to every Filipino and is a common heritage for humanity. It is, therefore, our duty to conserve it for the benefit of the present and future generations.

Opportunities for volunteer work are mostly related to research and awareness campaigns and are not regular. It will depend on the activities and availability of funding for certain programs. Opportunities will be posted on the web and other social media but interested parties can submit their application online for future reference.

You will need to write a letter addressed to the TPAMB stating your purpose. Check the procedure for securing a research/study permit in the IRR.

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IMAGES

  1. Snorkeling Tubbataha: Exploring Palawan’s Coral Garden of Eden

    tubbataha reef snorkeling tour

  2. The Terrific Tubbataha Reef Marine Park

    tubbataha reef snorkeling tour

  3. Tubbataha Reefs: Dive Into The Surreal Waters Of This UNESCO World

    tubbataha reef snorkeling tour

  4. VIDEO: Tubbataha Reef, An Underwater Dreamworld

    tubbataha reef snorkeling tour

  5. Snorkeling Tubbataha: Exploring Palawan’s Coral Garden of Eden

    tubbataha reef snorkeling tour

  6. Snorkeling Tubbataha: Exploring Palawan’s Coral Garden of Eden

    tubbataha reef snorkeling tour

VIDEO

  1. Diving in Tubbataha Reef

  2. Tubbataha Reef NW Corner March 2023

  3. Tubbataha Reef 2022

  4. Tubbataha Reef Life

  5. Trip to Puerto Princesa

COMMENTS

  1. Guide to Diving in Tubbataha Reef: One of the Best Diving Destinations

    The Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park, one of the best diving spots in the Philippines and best spots for scuba diving tours for certified divers, is located at the center of the Sulu Sea, in between the Visayan region and the island of Palawan. It sits at the heart of the Coral Triangle and is the largest Marine Protected Area of the Philippines ...

  2. Tubbataha Reef Diving

    Tubbataha National Park is a protected marine area and bird sanctuary in the Sulu Sea. It's by far the best place for scuba diving in the Philippines, thanks to its large amount of healthy and rich coral reef, and the overall abundance of marine life.In Tubbataha alone you can find 360 species of corals, which is about half of the species in the world.

  3. Tubbataha Reef

    The better question is if the tour operators will allow you to use it when you get to the Philippines. In Tubbataha, any type of spear fishing is strictly prohibited. In fact, in any of the parks in the Philippines, spear fishing is illegal. From what I saw, the dive guides and the dive companies are very protective of the reefs and the fish.

  4. Tubbataha Reef: A Guide to Diving and Snorkeling

    The Tubbataha Reef was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993, and it covers over 97,000 hectares of protected marine area. The reef is composed of two atolls, known as the North and South Atoll, which are separated by a deep channel. The reef's shallow waters are home to over 600 species of fish, including large schools of colorful ...

  5. Tubbataha Reef Tour Packages

    The Tubbahata Reefs Natural Park is a protected area of the Philippines located in the middle of Sulu Sea. It's made up of the Marine and the Bird sanctuary which consists of two huge atolls (named the North Atoll and South Atoll) and the smaller Jessie Beazley Reef covering a total area of 97,030 hectares (239,800 acres; 374.6 sq mi) It is ...

  6. Snorkeling trips in Tubbataha Reef

    Find & book snorkeling trips in Tubbataha Reef: check out the dive center, location, duration, price, inclusions and cancellation policy. Book online.

  7. 9 Trips in Tubbataha Reef

    A UNESCO World Heritage site, Tubbataha Reef Natural Park in the Philippines is home to 600 fish species, 360 coral species, 11 shark species and 13 whale and dolphin species. Reef sharks, turtles and manta rays outnumber people, and the huge schools of fish can reduce the crystal clear visibility.

  8. Explore Diving and Snorkeling Spots in Tubbataha Reefs

    Exploring the underwater wonders of Tubbataha Reefs is an experience like no other. With over 100 diving sites, divers and snorkelers have the opportunity to discover unique marine life and breathtaking underwater landscapes. Diving in Tubbataha Reefs is an adventure for all levels of expertise. From the shallow coral gardens to the deep drop ...

  9. Great Snorkelling

    Great diving, excellent crew and divemasters, many sharks and 1 whaleshark. healthy corals, even between the dead corals of fishbombing in the past. Visibility was not great, 10 to 15 meters. Water temperature 26-29 Celcius. Date of experience: April 2016. Ask lannykho15 about Tubbataha Reef.

  10. Liveaboard Tubbataha Reef

    The Reef is the home to some of the most beautiful corals in the world, Tubbataha Reef boasts magnificent diversity of marine life. You will possibly see manta rays, sharks, turtle and many species more. Biologist counted more than 300 coral species, 400 fish species, and numerous bird life. International or domestic air transportation, hotels ...

  11. Tubbataha Reef: A Diving Adventure in Palawan

    14 species of sharks including tiger sharks, whitetip sharks, and blacktip sharks. Diving at Tubbataha Reef in Palawan is a breathtaking experience that takes you into a world of vibrant coral reefs, colorful fish, and majestic marine creatures. Exploring this UNESCO World Heritage Site offers a once-in-a-lifetime adventure for diving enthusiasts.

  12. 12 Liveaboards in Tubbataha, Philippines

    The length of liveaboard itineraries in Tubbataha can be 6, 7, or 11+ nights, with a budget ranging from 280 to 500 euros per night. Most itineraries spend the entire time among Tubbatahaís outstanding dive sites, but there are two liveaboard.com trips that combine Tubbataha with diving in other excellent locations.

  13. Tubbataha Reef Snorkeling

    While snorkeling Tubbataha Reef, you may encounter sea turtles, clownfish, manta rays and sharks. The Philippine archipelago consists of over 7,100 islands stretching 1,840km and presents a snorkelers paradise. The warm, crystal clear waters are a haven for diverse marine life. With visibility up to 60m, the waters of the surrounding Pacific ...

  14. Diving in Tubbataha Reef, Philippines

    Tubbataha Reefs' best dive spots. Learn more about the best dive sites in Tubbataha Reef. Each dive site in Tubbataha Reefs National Park boasts a unique range of species to discover. Pick a dive spot or keep scrolling to read the entire list: 1. Amos Rock; 2. Washing Machine; 3. Malayan Wreck; 4. Seafan Alley; 5. Shark Airport . 1.

  15. TUBBATAHA REEF: All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

    The better question is if the tour operators will allow you to use it when you get to the Philippines. In Tubbataha, any type of spear fishing is strictly prohibited. In fact, in any of the parks in the Philippines, spear fishing is illegal. From what I saw, the dive guides and the dive companies are very protective of the reefs and the fish.

  16. Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park

    Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park. The Tubbataha Reef Marine Park covers 96,828 ha, including the North and South Atolls and the Jessie Beazley Reef. It is a unique example of an atoll reef with a very high density of marine species; the North Islet serving as a nesting site for birds and marine turtles. The site is an excellent example of a ...

  17. Tubbataha Reef

    The better question is if the tour operators will allow you to use it when you get to the Philippines. In Tubbataha, any type of spear fishing is strictly prohibited. In fact, in any of the parks in the Philippines, spear fishing is illegal. From what I saw, the dive guides and the dive companies are very protective of the reefs and the fish.

  18. Your Guide to the Amazing Tubbataha Reefs Marine Park

    Tubbataha Reef National Marine Park is home to some of the world's most beautiful and distinctive coral reefs. The North Islet serves as a breeding site for birds and sea turtles. It is home to around 1,200 marine species, including seagrasses and algae, corals, sharks and rays, fish, sea turtles, seabirds, and marine mammals.

  19. PHILIPPINES

    4. MV STELLA MARIS EXPLORER. The MV Stella Maris Explorer dive cruiser was built in 1986 and renovated recently in 2016. At 36 meters long and 7 meters wide, the liveaboard is spacious, sturdy and perfect for divers wanting a truly adventurous experience around the Tubbataha and Apo Reefs.

  20. The Ultimate Packing List for Tubbataha Reef Diving Trip

    Make sure to connect with our local expert if you need help in planning your Tubbataha reef diving trip. Before anything else, check the passport or visa requirements for your travel to the Philippines. For most nationalities, a free 30-day visa is issued on arrival. Passport must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the planned period of stay ...

  21. The Ultimate Liveaboard SCUBA Diving Adventure in the Philippines!

    The MV Dolphin is a dedicated liveaboard dive boat with everything ready to fulfill your diving dreams. This 90 ft (27m) steel hulled vessel with 10 cabins has brought thousands of divers to Tubbataha Reef for more than twenty years. 2024 is YOUR time to enjoy the convenience and experience the beauty. Featured.

  22. FAQ

    Commercial dive tours can stay for 5 to 7 days, or longer (inclusive of travel time) as long as it is clearly stated in the entry permit. ... Non-divers can do snorkeling. Bird watching is a new product that is currently being developed. ... Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park is a 97,030-hectare Marine Protected Area (MPA) in Palawan, the westernmost ...

  23. Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park and World Heritage site

    About. A World Heritage Site that is effectively conserved to maintain ecological integrity contributing to the equitable distribution of benefits and sustained socio-economic development of present and future generations. Vision. We, the stakeholders of Tubbataha, commit to conserve its natural endowment through responsible stewardship and ...