Tubbataha: At the heart of the Coral Triangle

The waters surrounding the archipelagos of the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Timor Leste, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon islands form what is referred to as the Coral Triangle. Within this region lies the global center of marine biodiversity and due to this, it has even been given the nickname Amazon of the Seas.

Tubbataha Reefs National Park is nestled in the middle of this triangle. It is bound by the long island province of Palawan to the west and the Visayas group of islands to the east. The reefs jut out from the vastness of Sulu Sea and is arguably, the most sought after diving destination in the Philippines.

Thanks to its status as a National Park and a UNESCO Heritage Site, Tubbataha has enjoyed protected status that has allowed its resident marine population to flourish. While sharks can be hard to spot in other dive spots due to overfishing, sharks normally found in tropical waters (from reef sharks to whale sharks and sometimes even hammerheads and tiger sharks) are abundant. Even at the surface, it is not unusual to see pods of dolphins swimming through the reef.

Tubbataha is comprised of two huge atolls (the North and South atolls) as well as a smaller Jessie Beazley atoll. The reefs are 150 kilometers away from the nearest major city – Puerto Princesa in Palawan – making liveaboard accommodations necessary if one were to efficiently explore the area for diving.

Oceana Maria Scuba makes trips to Tubbataha during the diving season (March to June). Here are the schedules.

We hope to see you aboard!


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