Apo Reef

Pandan Island is the closest dive operator to the world-known Apo Reef, and is established as the leading diveshop organizing dive-safaris to the reef. Apo Reef is an atoll of 40 square kilometers and offers uncountable dive sites and a good chance to see sharks and other pelagics. Turtles are also very common.

The reef is famous for its marine life and drop-offs, which are mostly vertical walls down to 30 - 80 meters. From Pandan Island Apo Reef can be reached by the outrigger boats"M/B Karla" or "M/B Rainbow's End" in only ninety minutes.

Because conditions on Apo Reef can be difficult a check-up dive around Pandan Island is mandatory for all divers with less than 100 logged dives before they can join a divesafari to Apo Reef to ensure the safety of all parties. There are strictly no exception to this rules. If you like to learn more about our guidelines please visit our Guidelines-page.

APO REEF has been declared a marine park a couple of years ago, an entrance fee has to be paid by each visitor.

A normal day trip to Apo Reef would be like this:
7:00 am Departure from Pandan Island after breakfast
9:30 am Arrival on Shark Ridge, getting ready for the first dive
11:00 am Surfacing from first dive, continue to Apo Island
12:00 am Arrival on Apo Island getting ready for second dive
13:00 am Surfacing from second dive, lunch break, surface interval, possibility to visit Apo Island.
14:30 am Third dive, around Apo Island
15:30 am Surfacing from third dive, return to Pandan Island
18:30 am Arrival on Pandan Island

This schedule is approximate and can change due to weather conditions and other events.



Depth between 10 - 50 m. The whole North-east side of Apo reef consists of a sheer drop with many overhangs. Whitetip and gray reef sharks are common sight here as well as turtles, barracudas and schools of snappers.

There are several dive sites around Apo island ranging between 10 and 50 m. These site are the best as far as corals are concerned. Huge table corals, stag horns, brain corals, fire corals and a huge variety of soft corals can be found all around the island. The northern, eastern an southern side consist of sheer drops with many pelagics and turtles, in recent years Hammerhead sharks and Manta rays are encountered more and more frequently. Currents can be unpredictable and make the northern dive site difficult for beginners. The western side is rather a slope than a drop-off which makes it more easy for less experienced divers. Apo reef has been declared a marine park and there is a turtle sanctuary and a ranger station on Apo island .

APO 29
Apo 29 is a an underwater mound reaching to about 25 meters below the surface of the South China Sea, a true blue water dive, only for experienced divers, as currents can be strong and unpredictable and the sharks more curious than in other spots around Apo reef.

The authors personal favorite, this dive spot located about 10 nautical miles west of Apo Island consists of a rock pinnacle that almost reaches the surface, sharks and big trevallys are very common as are strong current which makes this dive spot tricky for inexperienced divers without professional guide.

Also Merope, like Hunters Rock, is about 10 nautical miles west of Apo Island which makes it only accessible during overnight Apo trips or on the way to Busuanga. An underwater mound reaching to about 15 below the surface, the eastern side consists of a wall that offers good chances to see sharks, tunas and other pelagics. 



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