We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Good, but not great” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Tubbataha Reef

Tubbataha Reef
92 nautical miles southeast of Puerto Princesa City, Puerto Princesa, Palawan Island, Philippines
Improve this listing
Type: Reefs, Nature & Parks
Attraction details
Seattle, WA
Top Contributor
130 reviews 130 reviews
81 attraction reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
103 helpful votes 103 helpful votes
“Good, but not great”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2013

It's a UNESCO World Heritage Site and deservedly so. However, my experience over the 5 days was that they ran out of sites to dive. We were dropped off on a part of the reef that was just destroyed. Sadly. Unfortunately, we even heard explosions on two of our dives. But, overall, it was really wonderful liveaboard experience.

Visited November 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

51 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Mount Sinai, New York
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“First Time Diving in the Philippines but not my last”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 10, 2013

I was totally blown away by the Tubbataha Reef.

Our group booked on the advice of a friend with Palau Sport.

The Palau Sport spends part of the time in Palau and part of the time on the Tubbataha Reef due to the high seas. Since I just got back, and it is April then the spring should be OK.

The sea life is AMAZING. Although we did not see the Whale Shark, we did see so much more that we did not care. Spotted Eagle Rays, Giant Turtles in position (sleeping, eating, pissed off) sharks, sharks, SHARKS

I want to talk a bit about the Palau Sport.

David Choy runs a great boat. I am an American our group was comprised of Americans, French, German. There where 10 of us and then there were 10 other guests who were Japanese. Most of the guests did not speak English. It did not matter because we ALL SPOKE THE LANGUAGE OF SCUBA DIVING.

David Choy and the crew of the Palau Sport made sure that the food was made so each culture was happy. In fact, The Japanese enjoyed the American Cuisine and quite frankly I miss having Miso soup. lol

I feel the crew went above and beyond to make us happy and satisfied. David was always asking if there is anything he could do for us etc..

In fact, on this trip My husband and I completed our 500th dive. They commemorated that accomplishment as well as the 200th dive of one of the Japanese guest with a cake and Tshirt. It is those special things that go a long way.

The dive staff was divided into two groups, our group was split into the photographers and non-photographers. Kenneth and Anton were our dive guides and have and extensive knowledge of the reef and of diving as well. I had a equipment malfunction on the second day of a 2 week holiday and they were able to fix my low pressure inflator hose. Thank you
so much. I am forever in your debt.

Now for the practical things.

I live in NY here is what we did.

We flew Cathay Pacific. Why. They go from NY, Hong Kong, Manilla.

Flying east to west is easier on your system.

We stayed in Manilla at the Marriott for one day prior to taking a flight to Puerto Princessa. Again Why? to start to get used to the time change. Also You will be leaving from terminal 3 which is right across the street from the Marriott.

You will have to book and flight from Manilla to Puerto Princessa you have a choice. Cebu airlines or Air Phil. We too Air Phil PACK LIGHT BECAUSE YOU WILL GET SLAMMED WITH OVERWEIGHT FEES You are allowed 10 kg but you can purchase 15 more. Note you will pay 150 pesos over the allotted amount. There is an allowance for sport equipment BUT it must be shipped separately in a separate container SO UNLESS YOU LIVE THERE FORGET IT

Visited April 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alameda, California
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 6, 2013

I have always been hasitant to write a review of the tubbahata Reef. My motives are pure selfish.
I have dived the reef twice on livaboards and after 20 years of diving all over the world, this reef easaly holds the number spot in diving experences. No kidding it's that good. Better than the Great Barrier Reef, Galapogos,and Sidapan which are all top notch. You can only get out there for 3 to 4 months a year due to the high seas in the area. Due a livaboard for a week whitch means fives days of diving. These trips can fill up fast sometimes years so book early. The Philippino Coast Guard will only allow so many liveaboards to go per year. This is a protected site. Do all the reading on line about this spot and try not to spread the word. This is truly one of the Virgin div sites left on the planet.
Jeff Stapleton

Visited March 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
166 reviews 166 reviews
61 attraction reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
118 helpful votes 118 helpful votes
“Corals are a sight to behold!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 28, 2013

This is included when you go island-hopping. Entrance fee is 50php for those who will swim only. There is a cordoned spot where corals are so abundant and but you can peek around. Though we went almost 2pm, it sometimes go cloudy so its hard to see under. Corals are the best but fish are not so abundant i prefer boracay.

Visited April 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“rarest and most wonderful reef ever seen”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2013

this reefs was absolutely beautiful! the awesome richness is unbelieveable, with all the underwater creaures one can only see on movies/films..worth whole-day spending, expect more or less the whole day for this activity...

Visited December 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Tubbataha Reef also viewed

Puerto Princesa, Palawan Island
Puerto Princesa, Palawan Island
Puerto Princesa, Palawan Island

Been to Tubbataha Reef? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Tubbataha Reef, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.