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The Tubbataha Reef

The Tubbataha Reef is a vast atoll coral reef situated in the Tubbataha Reef National Park in the Philippines. It was awarded UNESCO World Heritage Status in 1993, and is also extensively protected by various organisations within and without the Philippine government. It is widely regarded as offering some of the best scuba diving to be had anywhere in the world.

It is an area of great biodiversity, remarkable even within a country whose biodiversity has seen it included in the list of 17 megadiverse countries in the world, who between them are home to the majority of the earth’s species. Over a thousand species inhabit the reef, many of which are endangered. Manta rays, lionfish, hawksbill sea turtles, and various species of shark are some of the bigger inhabitants. There are over 300 species of coral alone, which cover approximately two-thirds of the area, making the Tubbataha Reef a serious rival to the better known Great Barrier Reef.

The main attraction for divers are the coral walls, where the coral suddenly stops and gives way to great drops in the seabed, where a vast array of marine species live. Even the remote location, 181km from Puerta Princesa, does not put off divers, who have to travel by live-on boats for the 12-hour journey and the remains of their expedition. Although there are no permanent residents on the various islets that litter the national park, native fishermen do make temporary homes here in order to carry out seasonal fishing. The area is also home to huge communities of birds, including tens of thousands of masked red-foot boobies.

In fact the only way to get to the reef is via a licensed dive boat, which is a consequence of the protective measures placed upon the area. For visitors from abroad, the best way to enter the Philippines is by flying direct into the capital, Manila. Several airlines fly from the North America, Europe, Australasia and Asia. The best way to buy airline tickets is often through a travel search engine, who have the ability to quickly compile lists of available flights. Once in Manila, there are daily flights down to Puerta Princesa, from where a boat can be taken out to the national park.

Prices and products are correct at the time of writing (18.11.08) and may be changed at the discretion of the provider.

Other Associated Articles:
A Diver's Paradise
A fiesta of diversity
Dreaming of a Megadiverse Christmas
Tubbataha Reef
UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the Philippines
Holiday Travel with your Pets

  

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A fiesta of diversity

The Phillippines is in so many ways a country of incredible diversity. Whether it be geographically, culturally, or zoologically. The country is made up of an archipelago of 7,107 islands that stand in the waters of four different seas. The clear blue waters of the Sulu Sea, South China Sea, Philippine Sea, and the Celebes Sea all wash over the golden sands of the Philippines’ many beaches. Many of the islands are volcanic, and have mountains girded by belts of jungle and forest, such as Puerto Galera. A fiesta of diversity

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