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Tubbataha Diving Vacation

Tubbataha in the Sulu Sea is located in the Southeast Asian region known as the Coral Triangle. Tubbataha diving offers one of the world's 49 largest marine ecosystems. It actually covers the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia.

Tubbataha diving studies and research shows that it contains more than 30% of the world’s coral reefs. Sulu Sea covers about 260,000 square kilometers with the deepest portion measured at approximately 5,580 meters.

Together with the Sulawesi (Celebes) Sea, it comprises one of the world’s 49 largest marine ecosystems.

Data that was gathered from different research shows that the Sulu-Sulawesi Seas have over 450 species of corals. According to the marine biologists who visited and studied the area, it is the center for genetic richness and the diversity of sea grass with 16 known species. Also, found are the some 400 species of marine algae, 6 species of marine turtles and 222 species of marine mammals, most of which are already endangered.

Sulu Sea is a large expanse of water with extensive reef system. It primarily consists of a number of secluded reefs and islets which are considered as good as anywhere in the world. However, some of these are situated in far off locations and so visits are dependent upon weather and sea conditions. The area can have bad weather and the seas can get rough, so it is wise to board the best vessel.


Dive Sites in Tubbataha Reefs


Jesse Beazely

Jesse Beazely looks as if a truck dumped a load of sand on the reef. At high tide, the exposed coral rubble top practically disappears.

A spectacular wall dive with lots of cracks, overhangs and crevices. The wall is lined with large fan corals, sponges and a colorful array of various soft corals in every hue imaginable.

Snappers and surgeonfish abound. You will also find a lot of groupers, soldier fish, unicorn fish and Moorish idols in this wonderful reef.

White tip reef sharks may be found at rest under the large table corals, which festoon the reef top.

Manta rays occasionally glide past the wall scalloped hammerheads patrol deeper water. Pelagics are also frequent visitors to Jesse Beazely so be sure to look carefully!

Tubbataha North and South

It is the largest coral reef atoll in the Philippines. Its name, derived from two Samal words, means a long reef exposed at low tide.

In 1987, the provincial board of Palawan passed resolution 244 requesting the declaration of Tubbataha Reef as a marine sanctuary. In response, then President Corazon C. Aquino proclaimed it a national marine park on August 11, 1988.

The national park covers some 33,200 hectares and lies in the middle of the Sulu Sea, about 150 kilometers by boat from Puerto Princessa. The reefs themselves cover an area of around 10,000 hectares. Declared a World Heritage Site by the World Conservation Union in 1994.

The Tubbataha National Marine Park is actually composed of two (2) coral atolls, separated by a channel eight kilometers wide.

The larger north reef, about 16km long and 4.5 km wide, is popularly known as Bird Island due to the numerous "Boobies" that nest on the Islet.

The South reef, about 5km long and 3km wide, is known as the Lighthouse.

Tubbataha may actually be the largest and one of the top best dive destinations in the Philippine Islands. Everything about this park is large, from leopard sharks, shovel-nosed sharks, manta, eagle rays, tuna groupers and large school of fish.

The terrain has much to offer, from gentle slopes to steep walls. Coral cover is vast and large, giant sea fans, sponges and an impressively wide variety and number of hard and soft corals carpet this large reef.

Getting There

Inbound guests who will be going to Tubbataha has to take domestic flight out of Manila to Puerto Princesa and back.

Philippine Airlines and Air Philippines are flying to this route.

Top of Tubbataha Diving


Philippine Dept. of Tourism
Tubbataha Foundation
Wikipedia and Wikitravel

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scuba diving vacations

The best scuba diving vacation destinations in the Philippines are located in:

Anilao diving

Apo Island diving

Bohol diving

Boracay diving

Busuanga diving

Coron diving

Donsol diving

Dumaguete diving

Mactan diving

Malapascua diving

Moalboal diving

Puerto Galera diving

Tubbataha diving

Verde Island diving

Subic bay diving

The dive industry here is well run and there is no shortage of great and diverse dive destinations to choose from.

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