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Tubbataha Reef

A world-class and unforgettable experience located in the Sulu Sea in the Philippines.

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Guide to Tubbataha Reef

Tubbataha Reef Natural Park, also referred to as Tubbataha Reef, is an enchanting UNESCO World Heritage site nestled in the remote heart of the Sulu Sea. Diving Tubbataha Reef is the epitome of a diver’s paradise due to its unparalleled beauty. Often considered a bucket list diving destination for underwater enthusiasts, the area boasts an unmatched pristine, magnificent, and extraordinary abundance of diverse marine species. Divers can expect:

Pristine Coral Reefs

Tubbataha Reef is renowned for its vibrant and exceptionally healthy coral reefs. Divers can marvel at the mesmerizing tapestry of hundreds of fascinating colorful coral species that thrive in the massive walls of the reef. The magnificent Tubbataha Reef is regarded as one of the most lush and best-preserved in the world. Divers can expect to find giant sea fans, huge sponges, gigantic tabletop corals, and a multitude of hard and soft coral species. The reef is an astounding location for underwater photography due to the vivid multicolored coral formations that provide a beautiful palette for any photographer to capture an infinite number of incredible shots.

Marine Biodiversity

The reef is home to an astonishing variety of biodiverse marine species. The dynamic activities occurring in this underwater paradise provide divers with a thrilling opportunity to witness schools of barracuda, tuna, or jacks swimming in many different directions. Divers will witness an abundance of marine life, such as different kinds of rays, multiple species of sharks, sea turtles – including endangered hawksbill and green sea turtles, and a multitude of fish species.

Unique Dive Sites

Tubbataha Reef, with distinctive dive sites provides incredible encounters with marine life and is renowned for wall diving. Popular dive sites are found in the North Atoll, South Atoll, and Jessie Beazley Reef.

Visibility and Conditions

Tubbataha Reef’s visibility often exceeds 30 meters (100 feet), which allows for crystal-clear views of unmatched spectacular underwater scenery. Water temperatures are warm and generally range from 26°C to 30°C (78°F to 86°F).

Conservation and Protection

Tubbataha Reef is well-managed and vigilantly protected by park rangers and other marine authorities. Divers follow strict regulations and high eco-friendly standards necessary to preserve the pristine reef.

Seasonal Diving

The reef is generally accessible from March to June and is limited to liveaboard vessels.

Remote Location

Tubbataha Reef is located in a remote area in the heart of the Sulu Sea and far from land. This unspoiled destination with untouched natural beauty provides an unforgettable diving adventure.

North Atoll dive sites include:
Shark Airport
An interesting site where divers can gradually descend into the vertical wall. While looking around, divers can see hammerheads, reef sharks, tiger sharks, white tips, black tips, and other shark varieties swimming and resting on the deep sandy bottoms.
The Washing Machine

An advanced dive site that requires expertise in navigating strong currents. Daring divers encounter down currents and currents that pull them in different directions making it a thrilling dive experience. At this site, divers can encounter gray reef sharks and various species of vibrant coral reef fish.

Sea Fan Alley

This site’s exceptionally clear visibility allows divers to look down into the deep to witness the beauty of hundreds of gigantic sea fans that were left undisturbed and allowed to grow deep down into the wall.

South Atoll dive sites include:
Ko-ok Point

At this site nurse sharks and hammerhead sharks can be seen passing through the opening and ledges of the coral-covered vertical walls.

Delsan Wreck

Where divers can witness large fish such as schools of jacks, barracudas, trevallies, grey reef sharks, hammerheads, tiger sharks, and other shark species.

Black Rock

A particularly interesting and unique dive site. Divers can be fascinated by observing the cleaner fish come into action grooming and cleaning groupers, manta rays, turtles, sweet lips, and other marine species passing through the cleaning station. Black Rock is also known as the Turtles Highway and Triggerfish Fish city.

Jessie Beazley Reef

Is a beautiful dive site where divers can find giant tabletop corals growing on the edges of the wall overhang attracting a multitude of fish species. Divers can observe magnificent coral gardens filled with a multitude of vibrant hard and soft corals.

Diving in Tubbataha Reef is a magical experience for underwater enthusiasts and conservationists seeking adventure. The reef’s extraordinary biodiversity, protected status, and remote location make it one of the world’s premier diving destinations, allowing divers to witness some of the most intact and vibrant coral reefs on the planet.

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