Whale Shark encountered by Banwa Private Island's guests on a dive trip to Tubbataha Reef

Tubbataha Reef

The Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park is a protected area of the Philippines located in the Sulu Sea. The marine and bird sanctuary consists of two huge atolls and a smaller reef covering a total area of 375 square miles. It is located 93 miles southeast of Puerto Princesa City, the capital of Palawan province.

In December 1993, the UNESCO declared the Tubbataha Reefs National Park as a World Heritage Site as 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 metre perpendicular wall, extensive lagoons and two coral islands.

Tubbataha forms part of the Coral Triangle, recognised as a center of marine biodiversity containing 75% of the described coral species and 40% of the world’s reef fish. Scientific research has revealed that the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park contains no less than 600 fish species, 360 coral species, 11 shark species, 13 dolphin and whale species, and 100 bird species. The reefs also serve as a nesting ground for Hawksbill and Green Sea Turtles.

Tubbataha is accessible from Banwa Private Island  for one-day dive trips.

We can also arrange stop-over trips incorporating night dives for serious scuba enthusiasts.

Palawan provides great diving for all levels

El Nido

El Nido is famed for its spectacular limestone cliffs, crystal-clear waters and pristine white sand coves.

Discover its unmatched beauty from the air via Banwa Private Island’s helicopter or alternatively, explore by sea aboard one of the island’s luxury yachts.

Whichever mode of transport you choose, we guarantee you’ll be in awe of what you see. From Banwa Private Island, it’s only an hour in the heli to some of the most incredible prehistoric seascapes you’ll ever witness. So, it’s a perfect day-trip location with idyllic lunch-stops along the way.

UNESCO Subterranean River

Accessible in under 30 minutes via Banwa Private Island’s helicopter, the Subterranean River National Park is a protected area of the Philippines located about 50 miles north of the city of Puerto Princesa.

It’s located in the Saint Paul mountain range on the western coast of the island. It is bordered by St. Paul Bay to the north and the Babuyan River to the east.

In 2010, a group of environmentalists and geologists discovered a cave dome measuring 980 feet above the underground river, along with never-before seen rock formations, large bats and undiscovered marine creatures. The deeper recesses of the underground river are almost impossible to explore and it’s thought they could hold even more secrets of nature.

In 2012, the Subterranean River was chosen as one of UNESCO’s New 7 Wonders of Nature.

Rare minerals and palaeontological remains have been exposed over thousands of years

Kayak amongst the mangrove inlets

Barbacan River

A short hop on Banwa Private Island’s day boat, the Barbacan River offers a truly Amazon-esque experience, within 20 minutes of the island.

The Barbacan’s mangrove-lined banks support a rich and diverse ecosystem providing habitat for a wealth of flora and fauna.

Meandering tributaries are a must for those keen to explore deeper by kayak, and the fireflies and flying foxes on the return trip via Pagbo Island are straight out of National Geographic.

The Barbacan River, only 20 minutes boat ride away

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