Tubbataha Reef is an eclectic formation of coral reefs into atolls. Lying in the middle of Sulu Sea the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park is at an approximate distance of 150 km south east of Puerto Princesca City in Palawan Province of Philippines. The waters of these atolls and seas are divers' delight particularly from April to June when the sea is calm and the sky is clear. Excellent visibility of over 40 meters under water gives an excellent opportunity to explore around 400 fish species and dazzling corals to all divers either experienced or inexperienced.
Tubbataha coral atoll together with Jessie Beazley started formation millennia ago as reefs of volcanic islands along Cagayan Ridge. After the volcanoes became extinct their islands sank while the corals continued growing upwards giving rise to atolls. Till the late 1970s, Tubbataha in Philippines was a fishermen's paradise for its somewhat obscurity and limited accessibility due to its severe weather conditions. With the advent of motorized boats, reaching Philippine Tubbataha reefs became easier and marine life endangered. Consequently, in 1988 Tubbataha was declared as a National Marine Park by President Corazon Aquino.
Tubbataha National Marine Park was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994. Comprising two atolls of 4 to 5 km width and 1 to 2 km width, the reef surrounded shallow lagoons offer excellent under sea exploration excitement. Nearly 575 fish species, 380 species of coral, 12 species of whales and dolphins, and 11 shark species exists in the waters of Tubbataha National Marine Park. In addition Hawksbill and Green sea turtles, and more than 100 bird species are there to be discovered, not to mention the 10,000 hectares of coral reef.
Things to do
Dive in the safe waters of the lagoons or in the deeper waters of Sulu Sea to spend a memorable vacation exploring the amazing and varied underwater plant and animal life. Contact the dive companies for proper guidance and transit. Fishing is allowed in the deeper waters subject to adherence of certain regulations.