Tarutao Park holiday guide (2020)

Tarutao Park

Thailand

Thailand Tarutao Park Guide

Tarutao National Park is one of the best-preserved, most splendid marine parks in Thailand. The park promises flourishing forests, wildlife sanctuaries, deserted beaches, and the best coral reefs in Thailand. Once you lay your feet on any of its picturesque locations, you are guaranteed the most authentic experience of a remote tropical island. Despite its natural beauty, some of the islands are also remembered for its dark history. Back in the 1930s, Koh Tarutao had been used to isolate political prisoners. During the Second World War, the support from the mainland to the island was cut off, causing food shortage and the death of many prisoners. The guards and prisoners joined together to raid ships sailing around the island to survive. Until the British forces came to the rescue towards the end of the war, around 130 ships were sunk by the prisoners killing everybody on board. Now you know why Tarutao National Park hides so many shipwreck gems, heaven for divers!

Tarutao National Marine Park covers 1490 km² at southernmost Thailand off the coast at Satun Province in the Andaman Sea. The name Tarutao derives from Malay Pulau Tertua (means “the island of old”), which was the original name of the main Koh Tarutao island. The park was established in 1974 with its headquarters on Koh Tarutao, the largest of the 51 islands, where the most famous island by far is Koh Lipe.

Tarutao National Park covers 51 islands around Koh Lipe with flourishing forests, wildlife sanctuaries, coral reefs, and deserted beaches. The most popular islands apart from Koh Lipe include Koh Adang, Koh Rawi, Koh Tarutao, Koh Hin Ngam, and Koh Yang.

Tarutao National Park experiences two main seasons – rainy and hot. The best period to visit the park is from November to late April. With January being the peak month when the majority of tourists arrive on Koh Lipe. In January-February, the rainfall levels are close to none. The rainy season, on the contrary, features slow days on the island and lasts from May until October, with the peak of monsoon around August-September. On a positive side, the temperature never falls below 25°C year-round, while sunny days are common even during the monsoon period.

  • Discover the Maldives of Thailand around pristine Koh Lipe
  • Meet Chao Lay “sea gypsies”
  • Hike 690m on Koh Adang for a spectacular panorama over Koh Lope
  • Trek jungle to discover waterfalls on Koh Rawi and Koh Adang
  • Learn the fascinating pirate history of Koh Tarutao
  • Encounter civets, mouse deer, boars, and crab-eating macaques
  • Endless powder-soft white beaches fringed by palms and casuarina trees
  • Build volcanic stones castles on Koh Hin Ngam
  • Snorkel sensational coral reefs around Koh Yung
  • Dive over 30 sites with hard and soft coral gardens, shipwrecks, submerged pinnacles, and an extraordinary abundance of marine life
  • Best places in Tarutao Park

    Koh Adang

    Thailand

    Koh Rawi

    Thailand

    Koh Tarutao

    Thailand

    Koh Hin Ngam

    Thailand

    Koh Yang

    Thailand