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Apo Reef - thoughts?

Discussion in 'Philippine Paradise Divers' started by Pelicanne, Oct 12, 2019.

  1. LiveaboardCom

    LiveaboardCom Liveaboard

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    Hello,

    There are a variety of liveaboards that visit Apo Reef (including some budget-friendly options):

    Narayana
    Atlantis Azores
    Azalea
    Resolute
    Dolphin

    Just be aware that many of the liveaboards visit Tubbataha during March as it's the beginning of the dive season there. There's some information about the Apo Reef dive sites and how to get there at this link:

    Apo Reef

    If you're interested in Tubbataha as an alternative, the Narayana is the most budget-friendly option in the list above and has spaces during March.

    Enjoy planning your trip - I've had some great reviews of the diving at Apo Reef (and Tubbataha is of course amazing!)

    Thanks,

    Kathryn
     
  2. Pelicanne

    Pelicanne Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: UK
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    16
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    Thanks, Kathryn. Do you have any more info about the Resolute? Online reviews seem to.be few and far between. The owners’ resort in Palawan, though, gets some terrible reviews, including claims that the staff are seen fighting all the time - not encouraging, unfortunately.
     
  3. Pao

    Pao Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Manila, Philippines
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    I did APO reef just last March. Jump-off point was Batangas (~2-2.5 hrs drive south of Manila). Diving was nice and mostly pelagics but not the really big stuff. There were a few sharks, groupers, wrasses, sweet lips and turtles. Marine/coral life was much more vibrant compared to Anilao/PG. Macro was spectacular too, but we did not really care because we usually dive Anilao regularly. The downside is that accommodation on the island was primitive to say the least :( with no piped water, we slept in nipa huts with lots of biting insects and electricity was only until 9 PM. We get water from a hand pump which was brackish and left a sticky sensation after bathing. The operator brought food from the mainland and thankfully - our very own private band (who also doubles as cooks/staff) and booze. I think we would have been miserable with out the latter two :D. This was a last minute trip and I did not know much about what I was getting into. If I were still in college, this would have been a bangin' good time. But at my age a liveaboard would win hands down. The thing with the liveaboard is that it almost costs the same for Tubbataha and that would be much better. Here is our itinerary:

    Day 1 March 24 Sunday
    12nn Assembly Batangas Port
    Ride 1pm Scheduled RORO To Abra de Ilog
    Pickup by VAN in Abra de ilog, Go to Sablayan.
    Arrival at Transient Hotel in Sablayan
    Check-in Hotel, Dinner/Socials
    10pm Lights off

    Day 2 March 25 Monday
    6am Coffee, Breakfast
    7:00am boat Departure to Apo Reef
    9:00am Dive 1
    Arrive Apo Reef - Go to Cabins, Gears, Equipments.
    12:30nn Lunch
    2:00pm dive 2
    4:00pm dive 3
    6:30pm Dinner
    7:30pm socials and chill
    10:00pm Lights off

    Day 3 march 26
    Tues 5:30am Wake up, Sunrise, coffee
    6:30am Dive 4
    8:00am breakfast
    10:00am dive 5
    12:00nn Lunch
    1:00pm dive 6
    3:00pm dive 7
    5:00pm Sunset in the lighthouse
    6:30pm Dinner
    7:30pm socials, chill
    10:00pm lights off

    Day 4 March 27 Wed
    5:30am sunrise,wake up, coffee
    6:30am dive 8
    8:00am breakfast
    9:00am pack up, departure to Sablayan
    11:30am arrival in Sablayan, Lunch and bath
    2:00pm ETD Abra de Ilog
    5:30pm ETD RoRo to Batangas Port
    9:00pm ETA Batangas Port
     
    pubert likes this.
  4. Pelicanne

    Pelicanne Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: UK
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    Thanks so much for taking the trouble to post, Pao. Hmmm, I see what you mean about the lack of creature comforts - I don’t mind basic,but at my age I also think this might be a little too much for me! :) Possibly a day trip or overnight liveaboard’s the way to go. That’s really helpful, thank you!
     
    Pao likes this.
  5. xrcjdx

    xrcjdx Barracuda

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: coral triangle
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    Pelicanne likes this.
  6. LiveaboardCom

    LiveaboardCom Liveaboard

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    I've had a look through our latest unpublished review for September 2019 and can't find any for the Resolute. That said, I'll contact the reservations team today and ask if they have any reviews that are not yet online, or if any of our divers have been on the boat and can provide info. I appreciate it's really important to get the right fit and that's really disappointing to hear about the owner's resort in Palawan - not good. Leave it with me and I'll see what I can find out.
     
  7. Pelicanne

    Pelicanne Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: UK
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    16
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    That’s great, many thanks!
     
    LiveaboardCom likes this.
  8. dlofting

    dlofting DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
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    We did Apo last year as well as the wrecks at Coron on the Flying Dolphin out of Puerto Valera/Sabang. As others have said Apo has abundant marine life with turtles, whitetips, bumphead parrot fish and schools of barracuda the highlights for us. I'd recommend a liveaboard if you decide to go.
     
  9. LiveaboardCom

    LiveaboardCom Liveaboard

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    Hi again,

    We double checked our reviews that are yet to be published, plus the operator's website/facebook and asked our teams - but unfortunately we can't find any reviews or anyone who has dived with them!

    Depending on your plans and if you have date flexibility, the Dolphin gets good reviews and is budget-friendly. That one does Apo Reef June to Feb, then Tubbataha March to June. There's an interesting transition trip on 02 March which might appeal as it visits a variety of areas.
     

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