Protected for over 30 years, Tubod Marine Sanctuary is undoubtedly the most beautiful and best preserved coral reef in Siquijor Island. A few fin’s strokes away from the beach, we discover a myriad of corals in turquoise and crystal waters. If ocellaris clownfish (aka Nemo) is Tubod’s star, we can also spot hundreds of other species of colorful fish, as well as giant clams, sea krait and sometimes sea turtles. A snorkeling session not to be missed if you visit the island, all the more so since the entrance fee in the sanctuary is very small.

Halfmoon triggerfish in Tubod Marine Sanctuary
The halfmoon triggerfish (sufflamen chrysopterum) is one of the several triggerfish species you may spot when snorkeling Tubod Marine Sanctuary.

How to get to Tubod Marine Sanctuary snorkeling spot?

Tubod Marine Sanctuary is located in San Juan, on the south-western coast of Siquijor Island. The Sanctuary protects the reef which stretches in front of Tubod Beach and Coco Grove Beach Resort. There is unhindered access to the beach using a small path which starts from the main road. This path is indicated by a signpost with the words “This way to Tubod Marine Sanctuary” (location here). The beach is a few minutes away by foot from the signpost. The access to the beach is free of charge, but a snorkeling fee of PHP50 must be paid in order to access the sanctuary (PHP 20 simply for swimming).

The guests of Coco Grove Beach Resort, located along the beach, have direct access to the spot.

Tubod Marine Sanctuary - Coco Grove snorkeling map

Water entrance for snorkeling Tubod Marine Sanctuary

We recommend entering the water directly from the beach in front of Coco Grove Beach Resort. You will find yourself at the heart of the marine sanctuary. A floating platform equipped with a ladder allows those who wish to rest directly on the reef (see the map).

Tubod Marine Sanctuary snorkeling exploration tips

The heart of marine sanctuary, marked by rows of buoys, stretches along approx. 300m in front of Coco Grove Beach Resort. In this area, fishing and motor boat traffic are prohibited. Actually it is the best area for snorkeling at Tubod Beach, but obviously you can go north or south in order to explore other parts of the reef if you want to (in this case, it is advisable to notify your presence using a diving flag).

In this part of the coast, the coral reef which borders the island is pretty narrow (less than a hundred meters wide), which allows you to quickly reach the most beautiful areas. Moving away from the beach, the seabeds are formed of sand and grass beds for about 30m (↕1-2m), then they start to be covered by corals. The coral cover becomes denser as we approach the reef edge, which alternates slopes and steep walls (↕2-6m).

Snorkeling over a coral reef at Tubod Marine Sanctuary
Tubod Marine Sanctuary’s coral reefs are pretty healthy, with an interesting variety of hard and soft coral.

Tubod Marine Sanctuary seabeds have been protected for over 30 years (the sanctuary was created in 1989) and, therefore, are very preserved by comparison to many other spots in the Philippines. There is a wide variety of stony and soft corals, as well as sea fans, giant clams and many sea anemones. Among the later, especially heteractis magnifica and stichodactyla gigantea species, we discover the “star” of the sanctuary, the ocellaris clownfish. This fish is very common to the area and easy to spot. But Tubod, where hundred of species of fish live, hosts many other wonders. Parrotfish in flamboyant colours, colonies of hundreds of anthias, beautiful oriental sweetlips…. Tubod boasts never-ending viewing possibilities. Sometimes, you might come across a sea krait (a snake which hunts on the reef during the day) on the reef wall or a hawksbill turtle, which is nevertheless pretty rare in this area.

Rivulated parrotfish at Tubod Marine Sanctuary
The rivulated parrotfish (scarus rivulatus) is easily recognizable by its orange cheeks.

Tubod reef is known to be pretty sheltered from the waves and currents, but do not enter the water if the sea is rough.

Restaurants and accommodation near Tubod Marine Sanctuary

Coco Grove Beach Resort is the only hotel with direct access to the spot. For lunch, you can choose between 3 restaurants of the hotel, located by the beach, and many restaurants and fast food locations on the main road, a few minutes by foot from the beach.




 

  • Level required Beginner
  • Protected areaTubod Marine Sanctuary
  • Maximum depth10ft/3m on the reef flat, 25ft/8m on the drop off
  • Water entranceFrom a sandy beach
  • LifeguardNo
  • Visitor numbersMedium
  • Access costs50php pp.
  • Restaurants nearbyYes

MAP Spot

These snorkeling spots are accessible to beginners and kids. You will enter the water gradually from a beach, or in a less than 3ft. deep area. The sea is generally calm, shallow, with almost no waves or currents. These spots are usually located in marked and/or monitored swimming areas. It is not necessary to swim long distances to discover the sea life.

This level only apply when the spot experiences optimal sea and/or weather conditions. It is not applicable if the sea and/or weather conditions deteriorate, in particular in the presence of rough sea, rain, strong wind, unusual current, large tides, waves and/or swell. You can find more details about the definition of our snorkeling levels on our snorkeling safety page.