Tubbataha Reef is an exciting and renowned diving destination located in the middle of the Sulu Sea of the Philippines. It's extremely remote location, along with protection status as a National Park, and World Heritage UNESCO Site help to keep the reefs and marine life in nearly pristine condition. Tubbataha Reefs National Park consists mainly of two large atolls, the larger North Atoll and smaller South Atoll, both separated by a deep 8 km wide channel, and have nearly sheer vertical coral walls that drop to depths of over 100 meters.
As this area is located within the greater Coral Triangle, which extends from the Great Barrier Reef to Northern Philippines, and east to Borneo, the marine biodiversity in the Park is very high. Tubbataha Reef supports over 1,000 different species of marine animals, including 350 coral species and over 600 fish species, along with many cetacean and turtle species. And because of it's remoteness in the middle of the Sulu Sea, more than 100 different species of birds use the atolls as a sanctuary for nesting and migration.
You can only reach Tubbataha by boat during the short season of March to June, when the park is officially open. Therefore, liveaboard trips are the only option for divers to reach this amazing destination. Most trips depart and return to Puerto Princesa on Palawan Island, with the season's beginning and ending transition trips including either Cebu or Coron. The park is located 150 km south east of Puerto Princesa City, and takes an overnight sail to reach and return from.
As the region is only open and accessible for a few of months of the year, weather is almost always clear and calm during this season, with April and May providing completely flat seas and unimpeded visibility. Water temperatures are tropical and stay above 27 C, with visibility ranging from 15 ñ 20 meters in the beginning of the season, and then improving to 30+ meters towards the end of the diving season.