Tubbataha Reef

Tubbataha diving
Scuba dive Tubbataha

Scuba Diving in Tubbataha, Philippines

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Tubbataha Reef Diving HIghlights

Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park is an isolated and protected marine park that can only be reached by liveaboard. It is arguably most biodiverse scuba diving destination in the Philippines.

Diving Tubbataha Reef is sought after for its incredible marine biodiversity, dynamic underwater terrain,  and a wide variety of large marine animals including sea turtles, manta rays, various sharks, including the occasional whale sharks. 

Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park ranks number one on our list of Best Diving in the Philippines.


Tubbataha Liveaboards

Tubbataha can only be dived via liveaboard and the diving season is quite brief, lasting only from 3 to 4 months per year from March to June. Due to the short diving season liveaboard trips to Tubbataha fill up early, so plan your trip well in advance! 

Find available liveaboard trips to Tubbataha or check out other liveaboards in the Philippines.


INtro To Tubbataha

Watch this great video to learn more about diving in Tubbataha.

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Marine Life in Tubbataha

Tubbataha is a UNESCO World Heritage site, playing an important role in fish spawning and breeding. It holds significant importance in terms of marine life species diversity and richness.

While diving Tubbataha you'll discover its wide array of wall dives, dropping down to the deep blue where numerous shark species can be seen. As you move more shallow, you'll find the never-ending reef fish species, lobsters, stingrays, mantas and turtles. 

Read all about how the reefs in Tubbataha have stayed in pristine condition throughout the years.

For a similar liveaboard destination in protected waters, read our guide to diving Wakatobi. National Park.



Best dive sites in Tubbataha

Tubbataha scuba diving is a feast for divers' eyes. Each dive site in Tubbataha boasts its own things to see. 

Amos Rock, or Southwest Rock, is a popular dive site on the North Atoll of Tubbataha featuring various types of beautiful corals and massive gorgonian fans and large fish, such as snappers, mackerels and groupers, and the fascinating Napoleon wrasses. Various reef sharks are also commonly seen here and the night diving at this site offers great macro opportunities. 

Looking to see manta rays and sharks? Head to the Washing Machine in the North Atoll to ride the currents and see all the big stuff.

More into macro photography? Get some great shots at Malayan, for some nudibranchs, crabs, and shrimps.

Want to see colorful corals? Go to Seafan Alley in the North Atoll to see gorgonian sea fans (keep a lookout for pygmy seahorses!)  




The diving season of Tubbataha Reefs lasts from March until June, when the sea conditions are quite calm. Those are the only months that liveaboards are allowed in the marine park. 


Diving Conditions 

  • Visibility: 32 to 114 feet (10-35m depending on the tides)
  • Good for snorkeling: Yes.
  • Required Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced recommended. Strong currents might be present at some of the sites.

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Tubbataha Travel Information

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How to Get to Tubbataha

From Manila (MNL), it’s a one hour flight to Puerto Princessa (PPR), from which Tubbataha liveaboards depart. It takes around 10 hours to get to Tubbataha Reef from Puerto Princessa.  


How to Dive Tubbataha

It is only possible to get there via liveaboard. The liveaboard diving season in Tubbataha typically runs from March to June. There are numerous good liveaboard options in Tubbataha from mid-range boats to luxury yachts. 

View all liveaboards in Tubbataha.

Outside the Tubbataha season, many liveaboards will visit Malapascua Island or the reefs around Dumaguete, Dauin, Coron and Apo.


Other Things to do

Because you can only get there via liveaboard, topside activities are limited to whatever entertainment your liveaboard has to offer. Bring a book and some sunscreen to kill time between dives. Tubbataha is also a good destination for snorkeling. 

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Liveaboards in Tubbataha

See the availability of liveaboards in Tubbataha and book online. Best price guaranteed. No credit card fees.

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Bluewater Travel can book you a liveaboard in Tubbataha, and almost every scuba diving destination you can think of at the same price or even less than booking any other way! Our team of travel advisors knows the boats, diving, and logistics better than anyone else in the industry.

The rates shown below are per person in USD. Some operators may quote in a different currency and the final pricing may vary depending on the latest exchange rates.

Please contact us for the latest availability of the following boats: Infiniti, Nirvana, M/Y Resolute, M/V Discovery Adventure, and M/V Discovery Palawan


Other Useful Information 

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Practical Information

  • Currency: Philippine Peso (PHP)
  • Electricity: The standard voltage is 220 V and the frequency is 60 Hz.
  • Vaccines: Please check the CDC website for updated information on vaccines, health concerns, etc. It is recommended that you are up to date with Typhoid, Tetanus/Diphtheria, Hepatitis and Polio for any trip to the tropics.
  • Visa: US citizens may enter the Philippines for purposes of tourism without a visa if they present a valid U.S. passport and a return ticket to the United States or an onward ticket to another country. Upon your arrival, immigration authorities will stamp an entry visa valid for 30 days on your passport.
  • Language: Filipino and English are the official languages in the Philippines

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Call us today at +1-310-915-6677 or email us info@bluewaterdivetravel.com

And let us book your dream vacation!

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Reviews (1)

  • 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


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