Apo Reef has over 20 declared dive sites, mostly located around Apo Island. Coral lovers will shiver with excitement at the sight of healthy brain corals, huge table corals, fire corals, staghorn corals and endless varieties of soft corals.
APO ISLAND EAST
Dive in a cloud of butterflyfish while whitetip sharks circle around. The white sand slope is an easy dive with mild current, and an excellent place to spot turtles. Watch out for the school of teira batfish in the blue!
APO ISLAND NORTH
This site is a dramatic, deep wall with massive tube corals. Spot the shy lobsters hiding amidst the rocks, swim alongside curious hawksbill turtles, and observe schools of yellow sweetlips cruising around. Between December and March, hammerhead sharks have been sighted by the deep wall. The edge of the wall is also a great spot to meet grey reef sharks.
An outer reef dive spot on the northeast side of Apo Reef, Shark Ridge is a plateau flattened by the strong open ocean currents, with small caves and rocky hideaways lining the ridge. Groupers, moray eels and sharks can be spotted here. The plateau drops into a dramatic wall carpeted with massive gorgonian fans, where sweetlips and schools of tuna can be sighted.
Look out for schools of snappers and tuna, and a couple of spotted eagle rays gliding in the blue while they smile under their beak-like nose.
On the shallow, sandy bottom of Corde Point, hard corals abound. An afternoon dive is recommended, for the midday sun penetrates the clear water and paints everything in an orange glow. Hundreds of orange anthias and yellow pyramid butterflyfish swarm this coral garden.
Wreck lovers should definitely pay a visit to Apo Wreck, an unidentified ship that is crusted with hard corals. Swarms of reef fish such as trumpetfish and snappers reside here.
For experienced divers who love currents, this exciting blue water dive features an underwater mound that sits at about 25 metres below the surface. Do note that the currents can be unpredictable and at times relatively strong.
HOW TO GET THERE?
Be comfortable, safe and wellpampered while diving Apo Reef on board Atlantis Azores, a blue water private yacht that is built to handle rough seas safely. With a spacious dive deck and dedicated camera setup area, a freshwater jacuzzi and a full-time accredited chef, Azores was set up for divers by divers, with the smallest details in mind.
TOP: A yellowtail blue damselfish, Ben PhilippsIMAGE:ABOVE: A blacktip shark, Greg PiperIMAGE: