Tubbataha National Marine Park (6 nights)
DURATION: 6 nights
PORTS: Puerto Princesa to Puerto Princes
QUALIFICATION NEEDED: PADI Open water or equivalent - no minimum number of logged dives required.
This 6 night liveaboard adventure allows up to 19 dives, including 3 night dives and takes you to the National marine park of Tubbataha for spectacular reef walls and the chance to spot of large pelagics.
Accessible only by liveaboard, the Tubbatha Reefs were proclaimed as a National Marine Park in 1988 and inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1993, in recognition of their outstanding universal value in terms of marine life species diversity and richness. These reefs consist of vertical walls or near drop off's rising out of great depths where hammerheads, thresher sharks and whale sharks can be seen. The shallow reef tops are teeming with local reef fish; in many places stingrays, spiny lobsters, immature manta rays and turtles are found. The Tubbataha Reef in the Sulu Sea offers some truly amazing diving.
150km South East of Puerto Princessa, on Palawan Island, the Tubbataha reef system covers 970km², with 100km² of pristine coral reefs for divers to explore. Formed Millennia ago along the Cagayan ridge, Tubbataha consists chiefly of two atolls (North and South) and the Jessie Beazley reefs. This delicate reef system supports over 600 different fish species and over 300 coral species, whilst providing a haven for nesting hawksbill and green turtles and numerous birds. A field station on the North atoll is manned by rangers year-round and during your trip you can visit the rangers to learn more about conservation and reef protection.
**PLEASE NOTE** All dives sites are subject to weather conditions and the those visited are at the absolute discretion of the captain and dive guides.
Delsan Wreck - South Atoll: This wreck attracts schools of snappers and sweetlips, as well as eagle rays and plenty of sharks - white tips, black tips and grey reef sharks can all be seen feeding here. Turtles are common visitors and there are plenty of molluscs and crustaceans to entertain macro lovers around the wreck and along the wall. It is likely that you will dive here twice as the marine life is simply fantastic.
Washing Machine - North Atoll: The reef slopes to 12m then drops into the abyss. Not for the feint hearted, washing machine is known for its strong and sometimes unpredictable currents, however with them come the sharks and manta rays. Grey reef and white tips are amongst the common sightings and the occasional hammerhead is known to cruise by along with the mantas making swimming in currents look easy and graceful! Expect also to see large Napoleon wrasse, pickhandle barracuda, jacks and dogtooth tuna.
Lighthouse - South Atoll: This shallow sloping reef with sea grass beds is the place to observe numerous turtles as they feed on the grasses and soft corals. Also common here are spotted and ribbon tail stingrays, the reef is swarmed with butterfly, angel and banner fish - all happily feeding away. A gentle dive after the previous exhilarations!
Seafan Alley - North Atoll: As the site name suggests this reef wall is dotted with large gorgonian sea fans - take a closer look for pygmy seahorses and long nose hawkfish - though you won't find them in the same fan as the hungry hawkfish eat the seahorses! This site is also popular with red-toothed triggerfish and sweetlips, barracuda and tunas can be seen in the blue water where you should also keep a look out for silver tip sharks.
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