CNNGo Picked Tubbataha Reef the 8th Best Dive Vacation

Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park

Located in a sprawling 130,028 hectares of marine park, the Tubbataha Reef is distinctively positioned within the Coral Triangle in the center of Sulu Sea, making it the central attraction for biological diversity. The Tubbataha Reef is home to an assortment of marine life including 374 species of corals, 11 species of cetaceans, 11 species of sharks, and approximately 479 species of fish including the iconic and threatened Napoleon wrasse. Besides, the reef and the seas serve as a sanctuary for the highest population densities of white tip sharks, pelagic species like jacks, tuna, barracuda, manta rays, whale sharks, and other different species of sharks.  It is also the nesting and resting ground for the endangered green and hawksbill turtles.  While, the two islets (the Bird Islet and the South Islet) in the area are favorite breeding grounds of the seven resident and endangered species of seabirds, and host to the critically endangered Christmas Island Frigatebird, which frequently visits there.

Moreover, the diving terrain at this marine park is characterized by extensive and continuous reef platforms, sandy lagoons, spectacularly perpendicular walls that drop to over 100 meters, and an enormous areas of deep sea, the average depth of which is 750 meters. Currents along the North Rock are unpredictable; while at the South Islet, it is considerably predictable and suitable for drift-diving.

The Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park is essentially protected by the Philippine national protected areas legislation and other environmental bills.  Tourism activities in the area requires careful management to ensure the preservation of the entire natural system as well as the safety of visitors. So far, there is only one means to reach Tubbataha, and that is, by liveaboard.

The complete list of “Top 50 Best Dive Sites in the World” cited by CNN Travel site, CNNGo, include:

  1. Barracuda Point, Sipadan Island, Malaysia
  2. Yongala, Queensland, Australia
  3. SS Thistlegorm, Red Sea, Egypt
  4. Blue Corner Wall, Palau, Micronesia
  5. Richelieu Rock, near the Surin Islands, Thailand
  6. Gordon Rocks, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
  7. Great Blue Hole, Belize
  8. Tubbataha, Palawan, Philippines
  9. Big Brother, Red Sea, Egypt
  10. Maaya Thila, Maldives
  11. Sistema Dos Ojos, Playa del Carmen, Mexico
  12. Tiputa Pass, Rangiroa, Polynesia
  13. Point Murat Navy Pier, Australia
  14. Shark and Yolanda Reef, Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt
  15. Silfra, Þingvellir, Iceland
  16. Antons, Sodwana Bay, South Africa
  17. Kailua Kona, Hawaii, United States
  18. Middle Arch, Poor Knights Islands, New Zealand
  19. North Horn, Osprey Reef, Australia
  20. Elphinstone Reef, Red Sea, Egypt
  21. Liberty, Bali, Indonesia
  22. Bloody Bay Wall, Little Cayman, Cayman Islands
  23. Cod Hole, Great Barrier Reef, Australia
  24. Manta Reef, Tofo, Mozambique
  25. Bajo Alcyone, Cocos Island, Costa Rica
  26. Sha’ab Rumi South, Sudan
  27. Batu Bolong, Komodo Island, Indonesia
  28. SS President Coolidge, Vanuatu
  29. Elephant Head Rock, Similans, Thailand
  30. Ulong Channel, Palau, Micronesia
  31. Layang Layang, near Borneo, Malaysia
  32. The Cathedral, Flic-en-Flac, Mauritius
  33. Great White Wall, Taveuni, Fiji
  34. Banua Wuhu, Mahengetang, Indonesia
  35. Manchones Reef, Cancun, Mexico
  36. Cocklebiddy Cave, Australia
  37. La Dania’s Leap to Karpata, Bonaire, Netherlands
  38. Scotts Head Pinnacle, Dominica
  39. Yonaguni Jima, Yaeyama Islands, Japan
  40. Raja Ampat, Irian Jaya, Indonesia
  41. Jackson Reef, Straits of Tiran, Red Sea, Egypt
  42. Perpendicular wall, Christmas Island, Australia
  43. Aliwal Shoal, Umkomaas, South Africa
  44. The Canyons, Puerto Galera, Philippines
  45. Japanese Gardens, Koh Tao, Thailand
  46. Grand Central Station, Gizo, Solomon Islands
  47. Aquarium, Mnemba Island, Tanzania
  48. Blue Hole, Gozo, Malta
  49. Burroo Ned, Isle of Man, United Kingdom
  50. Darwin’s Arch, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

Aside from the Tubbataha Reef, there is one more Philippine dive site included in the list, and that is, The Canyons in Puerto Galera.

For your exciting diving adventure, please do check with the Philippine Department of Tourism for arrangements.

Truly, it’s more fun in the Philippines!


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