map

Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park

icon-location-red

0.00/5 - (0 Votes)

Attractions Details

📌 Address

Tubbataha Reef, Cagayancillo, Philippines

Opening Hours

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

PHP 6,750

Find it on google maps

0.00/5 - (0 Votes)
expert
Mugilan
Local tour guide
"Make sure to plan your visit between mid-March and mid-June, as this is the diving season when the seas are calm and the underwater visibility is at its best. To truly appreciate the park's marine life without the crowds, opt for liveaboard dive boats that offer night dives, which are typically less frequented but provide a magical and serene underwater experience."

What is Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park?

Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in the Sulu Sea, off the coast of Palawan in the Philippines. This marine park encompasses 97,030 hectares of the sea, including the North and South Atolls and the Jessie Beazley Reef. It's a vivid tapestry of marine life, revered for its pristine coral reefs, extensive lagoons, and two coral islands. It's not just a scuba diver's paradise but also a critical habitat for a diverse range of marine species. Did you know that Tubbataha supports over 600 species of fish and houses important breeding populations of birds and marine turtles?

Our Most Popular Tour:

All-Inclusive
Bali Family Adventure: Breakfast With Orangutans And Rice Farming Experience

If you have kids to entertain or you're simply an animal lover on a vacation of a lifetime, the Bali Family Adventure is an unmissable experience! Kick off your...

US$149/pp Learn more

History of Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park

The history of Tubbataha Reefs spans millions of years, but the area's conservation history began more recently. In 1988, through Presidential Proclamation 306, it was declared a national marine park, primarily because of its rich biodiversity and as a measure to protect its fragile ecosystem. This was an important step given the increasing threats from fishing and marine resource exploitation. In 1993, UNESCO inscribed it as a World Heritage Site, further recognizing its global significance. Also, the park's governance was strengthened through the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park Act of 2009, ensuring that its management and preservation are priority. As a local, I have seen firsthand how these protective measures have positively impacted the park and its wildlife.

Why is Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park Important?

Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park is immensely important both ecologically and scientifically. Ecologically, it serves as a sanctuary for marine life, home to vibrant coral reefs that are among the most well-preserved in the world. The reefs are crucial for the lifecycle of many marine species, providing spawning and nursery grounds. Scientifically, the park offers valuable research opportunities, helping us understand natural processes, including coral reef formation and the effects of climate change on marine ecosystems. As you might expect, it's also an integral part of the local communities' livelihoods, contributing significantly to sustainable tourism in Palawan.

Furthermore, its isolation from the mainland has helped in preserving its biodiversity; it's like an underwater museum where nature has remained relatively untouched! Indeed, when diving here, it's like entering a different world where every swim reveals something new and extraordinary. For conservationists and biologists, Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park is a crucial natural laboratory. It also plays a significant role in the cultural identity of the people of Palawan, symbolizing the balance between human needs and nature's resilience.

Things to Do & See at Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park

At Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park, the primary activity is scuba diving. The park offers some of the most spectacular diving in the world. Divers can explore sheer walls, thriving coral gardens, and expansive lagoons. You might encounter sharks, manta rays, and schools of tuna and barracuda, to name a few. One thing you'll notice is that each dive site has its own character; you could return many times and still feel like you're visiting somewhere new.

Bird-watching is another activity; the Tubbataha Reefs are nesting sites for seabirds such as the red-footed boobies and frigatebirds. For an even more intimate experience with nature, you can partake in research and conservation activities. Occasionally, volunteers are welcome to participate in scientific surveys or cleanup drives. It’s important to remember that Tubbataha is accessible only via liveaboard boat trips, which usually run during the diving season from March to June. And as someone who knows these waters well, let me tell you, the trip is as exciting as the destination itself with the sea changing colors and moods as you approach the reefs.

Photography, both above and under the water, is unmatched here. Every snapshot captures the essence of this untouched natural beauty. Lastly, it's worth mentioning the night skies. Far from any light pollution, stargazing at Tubbataha is an awe-inspiring experience, with the Milky Way often clearly visible. It’s these moments, amidst the serene expanse of the ocean, that I often find most magical.

Our Top Trending Vietnam Tours:

  • All-Inclusive

    Tan Lap Floating Village Eco-Tourism Adventure

    US$149/pp Learn more
  • All-Inclusive

    Da Nang Instagram Tour: Most Famous Spots

    US$149/pp Learn more
  • All-Inclusive

    Ho Chi Minh City by Motorbike: Top Historical Spots

    US$79/pp Learn more

Frequently asked questions

What is the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park?

The Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a marine sanctuary located in the Sulu Sea, off the coast of Palawan, Philippines. It is renowned for its pristine coral reefs and is a haven for marine biodiversity.

How do I get to Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park?

Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park is accessible only by sea and is most commonly reached by liveaboard boats that operate during the dive season from mid-March to mid-June. The liveaboard trips usually depart from Puerto Princesa, Palawan.

What can I see and do at Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park?

Visitors to Tubbataha Reefs can enjoy diving and snorkeling to observe a wide array of marine life, including sharks, manta rays, turtles, and over 600 species of fish. Bird watching is also popular as Tubbataha is home to various sea birds.

Are there any accommodation facilities in Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park?

There are no permanent accommodation facilities within Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park as it is a protected area. Divers stay on liveaboard vessels which provide accommodation, meals, and diving facilities for the duration of the trip.

What is the best time of year to visit Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park?

The best time to visit Tubbataha Reefs is during the diving season which is between mid-March and mid-June. This period offers calm seas and the best underwater visibility. Outside this season, the park is usually closed to tourists due to rough sea conditions.

Attractions Details

📌 Address

Tubbataha Reef, Cagayancillo, Philippines

Opening Hours

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

PHP 6,750

Find it on google maps