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Last updated on November 15, 2023
The Tulapos Marine Sanctuary is a small marine reserve located in the north of the island of Siquijor. Established in 1986, it is the oldest marine protected area on the island. It includes mangroves and coral reefs that are home to schools of barracuda, giant clams, starfish, turtles, and several species of clownfish. A guide is mandatory to snorkel in the reserve (available on-site).
The Tulapos Marine Sanctuary, located in Enrique Villanueva, in northern Siquijor, is easy to reach by tricycle or taxi. To get there, take the island’s circumferential road, then turn at this crossing (in front of a basketball court) to reach the shore.
A hut is found at the entrance to the reserve, open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day. Here you can pay for your entry fee (100 PHP pp for snorkeling) and your guide (250 PHP for two people). It is not permitted to visit the reserve without a guide.
One hundred Philippine pesos (PHP) are equal to less than $2 USD and 250 PHP is about $4.50 USD.
Water entrance is from the sandy beach. Follow your guide’s instructions.
Near the shore, you will first snorkel at the edge of the mangroves, in which small fish, such as juvenile snappers, shelter. The submerged roots provide them with shelter until they reach adult size and move to the reef.
Facing the mangroves are large, shallow seagrass beds (↕2-6 ft). In these seagrass beds, you will spot several species of invertebrates such as horned starfish, blue starfish, and mollusks. There are also dozens of gigas clams which seem to have been deliberately grouped together on the seabed.
In places, among the grasses, you will notice carpet anemones in which ocellaris anemonefish live.
About 220 yards from the shore, the seagrass beds give way to the coral reef, which slopes gently towards the depths (↕6-20 ft). The seabed is covered with digitate corals, tabular corals and massive porous corals, overall in healthy condition.
Hundreds of species of reef fish have been recorded in the Tulapos Marine Sanctuary. Among the most often observed are anemonefish (several species, see list at the bottom of the page), parrotfish, razorfish, triggerfish and butterflyfish.
Your guide will also show you the compact school of several hundred barracudas patrolling at the foot of the drop-off (↕20 ft).
Even if they are not spotted every day at this location, green sea turtles also are common visitors to the reef.
The Barakoda restaurant is located next to the entrance to the reserve.
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.
Thanks for the great pictures and trip report. I’m assuming the poster stayed on the west side of the Island. Any thoughts on how Tulapos compares to Tubod? The pictures from Tubod haven’t been updated recently. Trying to decide how much time to spend on Siquijor.
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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.
Vibrant coral reef with colorful fish
Reef drop off with sea turtles and colorful fish
Nearshore location visited by dozens of whale-sharks
Reef drop off with massive schools of sardines
Reef drop off with coral, colorful fish and sea snakes
Vibrant coral drop off with fish and turtles
Free shore access