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Tubbataha and Palawan

Reef walls of Tubbataha and Palawan adventures

Tubbataha Reef National Park, situated 150km from the nearest land, rises 750m from the depths of the Sulu Sea and is a sanctuary to a stunning array of wildlife. Established over 25 years ago, and declared a World Heritage Site in 1993, the park is guarded year round by a team of rangers permanently stationed there and is home to an astonishing array of marine life and seabirds. The diving is rich, diverse and exciting; there are vertical walls adorned with huge barrel sponges and sea fans, sloping reefs and colourful wrecks, and a huge variety of marine life, ranging from pygmy seahorses and harlequin shrimp, to hammerheads and manta rays!

A vast 7km wide channel separates the two coral  atolls of Tubbataha Reef. The North Atoll is roughly 16km long by 5km wide and the South Atoll about 5km by 3km. With over 300 species of coral, 614 species of fish, 12 species of whale and dolphin and 11 species of shark, the Tubbataha Reef system is a must for the enthusiastic diver! Eagle rays, jacks and dogtooth tuna cruise up and down the reefs and above water the skies teem with seabirds, including masked red-footed boobies, terns and frigate birds. The atolls are also a vital reserve to the thousands of green and hawksbill turtles that come here each year to nest.

Tubbataha is a nature lover’s dream and a photographers paradise.The Tubbataha Reef National Park is accessible for divers for just four months of the year, between March and June. Conditions at that time are usually fantastic and the diving is superb.

Due to it’s location, Tubbataha can only be reached by liveaboard, with the sea journey from Puerto Princessa, Palawan, taking approximately 10 hours each way.

How to get there

For all trips to dive Tubbataha Reefs you will need to fly into Puerto Princessa, in Palawan, where the liveaboards are berthed. There are regular flights into Puerto Princessa from both Manila and Cebu airports, with a flight time of just one and a half hours. Flight schedules vary throughout the year – depending on your liveaboard departure dates we can advise which international airport will serve you best at the time you are looking to travel.

Stay a bit a longer

Palawan is a beautiful part of the Philippines and it is well worth staying on a little bit longer. Palawan feels like it is a different country to the Philippines, such is the different way of life there and there is lots to see and do. A highlight is to explore the Puerto Princessa Subterranean River National Park, voted the ‘New Seven Wonders of Nature’ in 2012.

There is also the option to head back into Manila to experience the hustle and bustle of this thriving capital.

Whatever you fancy doing, we will be happy to guide you and assist with all your travel needs.

Quick Guide: Tubbataha Reef

  • Location: 110 miles east of Puerto Princessa
  • When to go: Mar – Jun
  • Average air temp: Tropical 29°C
  • Average water temp: 28°C 
  • Recommended diver level: PADI Advanced (or equivalent) with minimum 25 dives 



Contact us for details


Contact us for details


Contact us for details


Contact us for details

Ready for your next adventure?

Great Escapes Diving Holidays Ltd

Westerfield Business Centre
Main Road
United Kingdom

Office hours: Mondays to Fridays 09.30am - 5.00pm
Tel: +44 (0)1473 921888

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