The Philippines' first inscription on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1993 was the Tubbataha Reef National Marine Park in Palawan. It is one of the most oustanding coral reefs in Southeast Asia consisting of two coral atolls covering an area of 33, 200 hectares. It contains a very high density of marine species surpassing any reef of the same size anywhere in the world.
Located in the middle of the Sulu Sea, getting to Tubbataha involves a 12-hour boat ride from Puerto Princesa. The optimal season for visiting Tubbataha is from March and June in an intensive, immersive week-long live-aboard journey.
The reef offers one of the best diving in the Philippines, and the hardy traveler finds an entire range of aquatic animals, from huge pelagics down to the tiniest species.
Getting there: From Manila, take a plane or ferry to Puerto Princesa and ride a boat to Tubbataha Reef (9-12 hours).
Dive sites: Bird Island, Amos Rock, North Islet - East Face, South Islet - North Face, South Islet - East Face, South Islet - South Face, Jessie Beazley Reef, Basterra Reef