Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park off Cagayancillo town in Palawan has been cited by travel guide book publisher Lonely Planet as one of the “6 national parks around the world with surprisingly spectacular diving” locations.
Tubbataha Reefs is joined in the list by the quaint coastal resort of Moalboal on the island of Cebu, where sea life also abounds.
Lonely Planet writer Angela Ballard described Tubbataha as a marine site with “incredible biodiversity” that has earned its Unesco World Heritage Site status.
“Board a liveaboard in Puerto Princesa City, then sail to dive sites like Amos Rock, Washing Machine, and Black Rock to experience 600 species of fish, 360 species of coral, 11 species of sharks and 13 species of dolphins and whales, along with manta rays, barracuda, nudibranchs, pipefish, and seahorses,” she wrote.
In a Department of Tourism (DOT) press statement posted Thursday by state-run Philippine News Agency (PNA), Sec. Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said they are celebrating Tubbataha’s inclusion on the Lonely Planet’s diving site gems around the world.
“This citation from the largest travel guide book publisher, Lonely Planet, is positive news, something to be proud of, especially for the tourism stakeholders of Tubbataha in Palawan and Cebu,” she said.
“This fortifies our status as one of the premier diving sites in the world, and very timely with the scheduled staging of the second edition of the Philippine Dive Expo (PHIDEX) 2020,” Puyat added.
Tubbataha covers 96,828 hectares, including the North and South Reefs.
According to UNESCO, “it is a unique example of an atoll reef with a very high density of marine species; the North Islet serving as a nesting site for birds and marine turtles. The site is an excellent example of a pristine coral reef with a spectacular 100-m perpendicular wall, extensive lagoons, and two coral islands.”