Apo Reef is considered as the number 1 dive site in the Philippines which is located in Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro. Apo Reef is a triangular coral formation, second-largest coral reef system in the world next to Great Barrier Reef in Australia. It is a 34-kilometer reef which is a bountiful habitat of marine life forms.
A narrow channel divides the reef system into two lagoon systems from north to south with beautiful sandy bottoms.
School of fish can be found in Apo Reef. Jellyfish, white-tip and black-tip reef sharks, Manta Rays, turtles, yellow margin triggerfish are a few samples of what you can see there.
Apo Reef is considered as a Natural Park which is a buffer zone. Fishing is completely banned around the location.
Three Islands comprises Apo Reef:
- Apo Island – The largest island with a shallow lagoon clothed with mangrove forest. This is the drop off point to the visiting divers.
- Apo Menor Islet – Composed of rocky limestone and few mangroves.
- Cayos de Bajo – A coralline rock formation with no vegetation.
Dives can be expensive. There are lots of tours and guides in Apo Reef so please check their sites first before jumping in and backpacking.
Apo Reef Images:
How to get to Apo Reef:
Take a plane flight from Manila to San Jose Airport in Occidental Mindoro. Then, take a land travel from the airport to Sablayan, biggest municipality in the Philippines, about 2-3 hour ride.
You can also travel by the sea. Get on board with a ferry going to Abra de Ilog. Then take a ride going to Sablayan.