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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.
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.
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).
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).
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.
Tubod reef is known to be pretty sheltered from the waves and currents, but do not enter the water if the sea is rough.
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.
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.
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Snorkeling spots are part of a wild environment and their aspect can be significantly altered by weather, seasons, sea conditions, human impact and climate events (storms, hurricanes, seawater-warming episodes…). The consequences can be an alteration of the seabed (coral bleaching, coral destruction, and invasive seagrass), a poor underwater visibility, or a decrease of the sea life present in the area. Snorkeling Report makes every effort to ensure that all the information displayed on this website is accurate and up-to-date, but no guarantee is given that the underwater visibility and seabed aspect will be exactly as described on this page the day you will snorkel the spot. If you recently snorkeled this area and noticed some changes compared to the information contained on this page, please contact us.
The data contained in this website is for general information purposes only, and is not legal advice. It is intended to provide snorkelers with the information that will enable them to engage in safe and enjoyable snorkeling, and it is not meant as a substitute for swim level, physical condition, experience, or local knowledge. Remember that all marine activities, including snorkeling, are potentially dangerous, and that you enter the water at your own risk. You must take an individual weather, sea conditions and hazards assessment before entering the water. If snorkeling conditions are degraded, postpone your snorkeling or select an alternate site. Know and obey local laws and regulations, including regulated areas, protected species, wildlife interaction and dive flag laws.
Reef drop off with sea turtles and colorful fish
Reef drop off with huge schools of sardines
Reef drop off with coral, colorful fish and sea snakes
Reef drop off with sea turtles and huge schools of sardines
Reef drop off with sea turtles, reef fish and barracudas
Sheltered bay with seagrass beds and dugongs
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