Why we love it
Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park is the most remote and pristine reef in the Philippines. Only accessible with a liveaboard, this UNESCO World Heritage Site hosts one of the richest biodiversity in the world. Expect no less than 360 species of corals, 13 species of dolphins and whales, 11 species of sharks, and countless fantastic critters! With only nine liveaboards holding a permit to go to Tubbataha, the spots sell out quickly so plan your trip early.
The dive operator donates to the NGOs Large Marine Vertebrates Research Institute Philippines (LAMAVE), Marine Research and Conservation Foundation (MARECO), and Manta Trust to support research and conservation of whale sharks, turtles, sharks, and rays. Scientists are invited on board too to conduct research. Single-use plastics are forbidden in Tubbataha as per local regulations.
Who is it for?
For advanced divers who like big and small. Divers are required to have an Advanced Open Water certification or equivalent, a minimum of 30 logged dives, and experience in strong currents. If you have the experience but not the certification, you can do the Advanced Open Water course on board - ask us.
Prices and Dates
- 6 or 13 nights (depending on the chosen date), in a twin-share accommodation
- All meals & snacks, including water, tea coffee, juices, soft drinks, and local beer
- Up to 19 dives
- Tanks & weights
- Kayaks usage
- Excursion to the rangers station in the North Atoll
- Transfer from local hotels to the liveaboard on embarkation day.
- Transfer from the boat to the airport and local hotels (on disembarkation day only)
- Transfer from the liveaboard to local hotels or Puerto Princesa Airport upon disembarkation. There are two-morning dives on the second-last day.
Marine park Fee:
Nitrox if certified: for 6-nights trips
Fuel surcharge of per person per night (subject to change)
Gear rental - to be booked in advance
Massages per hour
Gratuities for the crew
Airport arrival and departure taxes
Flight tickets and overnight-stays at hotels
- Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park comprises North Atoll, South Atoll, and Jessie Beazley Reef and is often rated as one of the world’s best diving destinations.
- Large trevally, tuna and barracuda, grey reef and white tip reef sharks, stingrays, and marble rays can be spotted on the majority of the dive sites.
- Green and hawksbill turtles are commonly sighted too, whilst mantas, whale sharks, and eagle rays are occasional visitors.
- Expect to dive along with big schools of surgeonfish, rainbow runners, and sweetlips too, and of course, you’ll get to see many angelfish, butterflyfish, rainbow runners, Moorish idols, fusiliers, jacks, and snappers.
- The macro life is rich too, with nudibranchs, ornate ghost pipefish, seahorses, and frogfish to name a few.
- In addition to breath-taking dives, you will have the opportunity to visit the ranger station on the North Atoll to learn more about the marine protection of the area.
- Season: from the end of February to June
- Currents: medium to strong on some sites
- Visibility: 10 to 35 m (30 to 115 ft)
- Water temperature: 27° to 30°C (81° to 86°F) with some thermoclines
- Depth: mostly deep dives
- Crossing time from Puerto Princesa to Tubbataha is between 12 to 16 hours. There is no diving on embarkation day.
- Dive sites consist mainly of vertical walls or near drop-offs rising out of great depths, with shallow reef tops teeming with local reef fish.
- Some of the sites you’ll visit are Delsan Wreck, Washing Machine, North East wall, Shark Airport, Amos Rock, Staghorn Point, Jessie Beazley Reef, and Malayan Wreck.
- Dives are limited to 60 minutes.
- Operation created in 2013
- PADI courses available onboard: Advanced Open Water, Nitrox, and Specialties - ask us
- Languages spoken on board: English
- 6 people maximum per dive guide
- Equipment Recommended: a 3mm wetsuit is usually enough. Note that gloves are forbidden in Tubbataha unless you have a medical condition for which you’ll be asked to present a doctor’s certificate. The use of reef hooks, tank bangers, and nudi pointers is also forbidden in Tubbataha.
- Insurance: Both dive insurance and travel insurance are mandatory. We recommend DAN Europe which has plans to cover both - ask us for a quote
- Nearest Hyperbaric Chamber: nearest chamber is in Coron or Cebu.
Visas, flights, and more!
- You must have a valid passport to enter the Philippines, and a return ticket
- Ensure your passport is valid for at least 6 months beyond the period you intend to stay
- Most citizens do not require a visa to stay in the Philippines for up to 30 days
- Please check current visa policies that apply for your country on Philippines' Department of Foreign Affairs website
How to get there
- There are direct flights from Manila (MNL) to Puerto Princesa (PPS) with Cebu Pacific, Air Asia, or Philippines Airlines
- Meeting point for embarkation is the Hotel Centro, Puerto Princesa at 12:30. Embarkation is at Baywalk Pier, Puerto Princesa at 13:00.
- Transfer from Puerto Princesa Airport and local hotels to Hotel Centro, and from Hotel Centro to Baywalk Pier are provided free of charge on embarkation day.
- Disembarkation is at Baywalk Pier, Puerto Princesa at 10:00
- There are two-morning dives on the second-last day, plan your flight accordingly.
- Transfer from Baywalk Pier to local hotels or Puerto Princesa Airport is provided free of charge upon disembarkation at 10:00.
- Transfers from and to hotels and resorts outside of the Puerto Princesa area can be arranged for an additional charge.
- Important: We advise that all guests carry ALL dive-related equipment (including a regulator) in their check-in rather than their carry-on luggage. The Philippines Office for Transportation Security includes ‘scuba equipment’ on a list of blunt instruments that are NOT to be carried in hand luggage on flights originating in the Philippines
- The Philippines is subject to malaria, dengue, and chikungunya. Take necessary precautions to avoid it
- Bring reef-safe sunscreen, a hat, mosquito repellent, a rash-guard