Apo reef natural park is located in Mindoro strait, between the islands of Mindoro and Coron. It is the world’s second largest single coral reef and the largest atoll in the Philippines. It has 2 isolated coral reefs separated by a deep channel.
There are 3 uninhabited islands: Apo Island, Apo Menor and Cayos del Bajo. Apo Island is the location of the Ranger’s station and this is where the lighthouse is also located.
Apo reef is one of the few dive spots we have been with the clearest visibility. Being so isolated, it is still very rich in marine life and pelagics.
Seeing sharks in the dive is an indirect way of knowing that the reef is healthy and we saw sharks almost every dive! However, the most famous site to dive with them is the Shark airport.
In the shallow areas, small schooling fishes thrive. Steep walls are mostly covered by hard and soft corals, which was a beautiful site.
To dive Apo reef, you need to coordinate with the Ranger station and there is a limit on the number of days/nights you have to be there. We opted for a 3-day dive. If you need to extend for another day, you will have to pay for another 3 days worth. You can also do a day trip. There are no hotels or accommodations in the island, so staying in the boat (liveaboard or private) would be the only choice for consecutive dives.
You can get dive guides from Sablayan Mindoro or Coron. We had our dive guide from Coron who was quite familiar with the Apo reef sites.
It was indeed a great visit in a remote island like Apo reef natural park. We look forward to visit and explore more of these untouched remote treasures our country has to offer.