Tubbataha in a Nutshell

This isolated and protected marine park can only be reached by liveaboard. It has a short diving season of only 3 months per year. Known for its biodiversity and its dynamic underwater terrain, Tubbataha Reef also hosts large marine animals such as sea turtles, manta rays, and a variety of sharks.  


Dive Conditions

 Tubbataha is a UNESCO World Heritage site, playing an important role for fish spawning and breeding. It hold signifiicant importance in terms of marine life species diversity and richness.  It consists of wall dives - dropping down to the deep blue where numerious shark species can be seen.  As you move more shallow, you'll find the never-ending reef fish species, lobsters, stingrays, mantas and turtles.  Some divesites hold strong currents, while others are more relaxed.


Marine Life

To sum up - its just fantastic.  Each divesite boasts it's own things to see.  Whether your looking to see mantas and sharks - check out "The Washing Machine" - North Atoll to ride the currents and see all the big-stuff.  Or if you are a fan of macro, get some great shots at "Malayan" - Tubbataha Reef, for some nudibranchs, crabs and shrimps.  More of a coral person?  Don't forget to dive "Seafan Alley" - North Atoll which is just filled with gorgonian sea fans (keep a lookout for pygmy seahorses!)

Topside Activities

It is only possible to get there via liveaboard.  Due to this, topside activites are limited to whatever entertainment your dive organization has to offer. Better bring a book and some sunscreen!

Reviews (2)

  • Top Reviewer
Pacific Palisades, CA
United States

Spent 6 nights on the Philippine Siren at Tubbataha. Boat is comfortable but not 5 star. Has a huge dive deck though. Great food and friendly staff. No night dives at Tubbtaha due to all wall dives & current so generally made 4 dives a day with both a early AM dive as well as a sunset dive. Up at 0530 to 0600 most every day. If you don't like wall dives, you will be disappointed.
Not very much macro stuff. Lots of small sharks - whitetip, blacktip & grey reef sharks. They were generally sleeping and approachable and sometimes even saw them schooling up to a dozen at a time. A few folks saw a hammerhead in early morning, though tough to catch them here-generally shy & mostly deep and early morning.
Marbled rays were my favorite and new for me here. I missed the macro here, though a little was available.
Saw lots of large dog toothed Tunas, some jacks, anthias and moorish idols. Many huge spiny lobsters that would let you get as close as you wanted to photograph them. Moray eels and several spots with garden eels. Occasional bumphead parrotfish.

Visibility was generally good, though some days was only average. Currents variable and some dive sites (Washing Machine) were a big challenge even for an experienced diver. There are 2 small Islands that you dive here so after getting here not much travelling isneeded, so there is not a lot of cruising after the first night.

While this is a good spot for diving especially for bigger stuff, I have to say that Indonesia - especially Raja Ampat & Komodo were much better, especially when you favor in how remote a spot this is and long the connecting flights are. This is known as a site for big stuff, so for macro you wouldn't come here anyways.

Visited on 04/2014 - Submitted on 04/17/2014