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Tropical Experience Travel Services - Tours of the Philippines

Tubbataha

Tubbataha is part of the region of Palawan, located distantly from the main tourist destinations, 180 kilometers away the capital Puerto Princessa. It is a UNESCO site and is considered one of the best destinations in the world for scuba diving. See http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/653


It is an atoll in the middle of the sea, born from the deaths of underwater volcanoes, known for its extraordinary ocean fauna and its beautiful coral reefs. In 1988 this beautiful area became the first Philippine National Marine Park. The Philippines is very proud of this amazing natural example that it is guarded 24 hours per day in order to maintain the quality of the park.


Manta rays, lionfish, sea turtles, clownfish, and sharks are well spread among this reef and a great number of species have been counted, many of them are already considered endangered. Among the most popular species we can list giant trevally (jacks), hammerhead sharks, barracudas, manta rays, palm-sized Moorish idols, napoleon wrasse, parrotfish, and moray eels.


Tubbataha is specially considered a popular site for divers, thanks to the coral walls (100 meters perpendicular) that make easy the exploration of many colonies of fish. The coral reef itself is an attraction having 350 different coral species.


Diving excursions are held between April and June, when waters are calm, and the entrance to the park costs around 75 USD. There are no settlements on the island and the only way to access it is a boat trip of around 10 hours from Puerto Princessa. The sand of the atoll, nest of turtles and bird species, are not accessible for humans, with exception for the Ranger station. For these reasons, this destination is advised only to expert scuba divers, whom anyway should take into account that the reservation requires many months, or even years for some case, in advance (see www.tubbatahareef.org).