Scuba diving in Apo Reef, Philippines

Green turtle in Apo Reef
Green turtle in Apo Reef. Pic by dachalan

Apo Reef, southwest of the island of Mindoro, Philippines, is a National Park formed by a series of coral reefs covering around 300 km2 along with surrounding areas, being the second largest system of coral reef in the world after the Australian coral reef barrier. The richness of this park is overwhelming where, besides coral reefs or seagrass are mangroves providing a huge biodiversity to the reef… that are actually two reefs separated by a channel that sends food to the system. 

Diving in Apo Reef is only accessible by boat and is highlighted by vertical walls up to 80 meters deep full of corals fighting for space, sights of pelagic fish such as sharks, large schools of jackfish, barracudas, mantas, tuna and sea turtles and countless colored reef fish: sweetlip fish, anthias, clown fish, frog fish, Moorish idols or surgeons. This reef will give the the chance to dive in wonderful examples of healthy coral: table corals, elkhorn corals or brain corals aroud all sorts of soft corals… No, Apo Reef is not an easy diving area because of its strong currents and dizzying walls, but is a highly recommended place for divers looking for a lost reef, almost environment away from the crowds.

Coron – Apo Reef – Puerto Galera Dive Safari 2017 from Grace

Diving spots in Apo Reef

Apo Island

More than a diving point Apo Island is itself a diving area by the large number and variety of dive sites it has. Is necessary to note that this island receives strong defense against fishing and you´ll notice it as soon as you get in the water. The whole island has large walls which attract reef fish like giant parrotfish, Picasso triggerfish, lion fish or scorpion fish and where you can also dive with reef sharks and even find some hammerhead sharks. 

Shark Ridge

Shark Ridge is known for its reef sharks, occupying the crests on this wall that can reach over 50 meters deep. There is a point that does not surprise for its coral but if you are passionate about these sharks it worth a dive. 

Hunters Rock

Hunters Rock is not an easy place to dive or easy to find so that you will ensure a dive in solitude with your diving buddies. The highlight of this area, especially in summer, is the large amount of poisonous sea snakes you’ll find… although there is no lack of color in this reef, full of tropical fish, corals and sponges. 

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