Apo Island Dive Trip: Best Underwater Photos

Apo Island Dive Safari: Beneath the Surface of a Visayan Jewel



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Apo Island was managed as a Marine Sanctuary before it was known as a dive site. What does this mean for you as a scuba diver?

First and foremost it means you’re guaranteed to see more fish than you’ll see in most other parts of the Philippines (if not the world). But in the 25+ years since the sanctuary was established, other species like turtles and a huge variety of corals have also moved in to make Apo their home.

Maybe you don’t need to do that liveaboard dive trip after all?

  • Diving Apo Island: Underwater Photography Gallery

    Diving Apo Island: Underwater Photography Gallery
    I surfaced in the shallows of the Apo Island Marine Sanctuary to see the afternoon sunlight slanting through the clear water and this islander floating in his little 'bangka' outrigger canoe.

  • Diving Apo Island: Underwater Photography Gallery

    Diving Apo Island: Underwater Photography Gallery
    The deeper sections of the Coconut Point dive at Apo Island are just loaded with fish. This coral outcrop had shoals of damselfish clinging close to its shelter as protection from the powerful currents pulling towards the endless deep blue of the underwater canyon.

  • Diving Apo Island: Underwater Photography Gallery

    Diving Apo Island: Underwater Photography Gallery
    The Apo Island Marine Sanctuary is loaded with an amazing variety of hard and soft coral species. Plenty of fish too!

  • Diving Apo Island: Underwater Photography Gallery

    Diving Apo Island: Underwater Photography Gallery
    The return of the jacks (big-eyed trevally) to Apo Island is one of the great success stories of the Marine Sanctuary. This huge school can usually be found in the deeper sections of Cogon Point.

  • Diving Apo Island: Underwater Photography Gallery

    Diving Apo Island: Underwater Photography Gallery
    The steep slopes of the island's north side are home to some huge coral heads like this one. You don't see how colorful they are until you use your flash to light up the deep blue below ten meters.

  • Diving Apo Island: Underwater Photography Gallery

    Diving Apo Island: Underwater Photography Gallery
    A school of brilliantly yellow damselfish at Apo Island.

  • Diving Apo Island: Underwater Photography Gallery

    Diving Apo Island: Underwater Photography Gallery
    These saffron-colored coral polyps were living on the slopes of Coconut Point in about 60 feet of water.

  • Diving Apo Island: Underwater Photography Gallery

    Diving Apo Island: Underwater Photography Gallery
    Sidney (one of Apo's best divemasters) has pretty amazing bouyancy control.

  • Diving Apo Island: Underwater Photography Gallery

    Diving Apo Island: Underwater Photography Gallery
    I love to dive Apo in the afternoon when the sunlight shines through and fills the reef with amazing light.

  • Diving Apo Island: Underwater Photography Gallery

    Diving Apo Island: Underwater Photography Gallery
    Triggerfish look kind of goofy but if you mess with them they sometimes attack with their sharp teeth to deliver a painful nip. I've seen them take a chunk out of a heavy swim fin when a friend swam to close to a nest with eggs.

  • Diving Apo Island: Underwater Photography Gallery

    Diving Apo Island: Underwater Photography Gallery
    It's sometimes amazing to see how colorful the corals are when you put some light on them at depth. At 60 feet below the surface this looked grey and relatively ordinary, but with a bit of light it became magical.

  • Diving Apo Island: Underwater Photography Gallery

    Diving Apo Island: Underwater Photography Gallery
    Sidney with the school of jacks off of Apo's Cogon Point.

  • Diving Apo Island: Underwater Photography Gallery

    Diving Apo Island: Underwater Photography Gallery
    Another angle on the jacks, they seem to prefer to hunt around the strong currents that often occur at the deeper areas of the reef around Apo.

  • Diving Apo Island: Underwater Photography Gallery

    Diving Apo Island: Underwater Photography Gallery
    This giant trevally swam casually by, not seeming too concerned by this unusual creature with a tank of air and a camera.

  • Diving Apo Island: Underwater Photography Gallery

    Diving Apo Island: Underwater Photography Gallery
    These trevally are related to tuna and a very important livelihood source for the people of Apo Island.

  • Diving Apo Island: Underwater Photography Gallery

    Diving Apo Island: Underwater Photography Gallery
    Another view of the amazing coral reef and damsel fish at Coconut Point.

  • Diving Apo Island: Underwater Photography Gallery

    Diving Apo Island: Underwater Photography Gallery
    A very symmetrical school of fish.

  • Diving Apo Island: Underwater Photography Gallery

    Diving Apo Island: Underwater Photography Gallery
    SIdney hanging out in the open blue at Cogon Point with the school of jacks.

  • Diving Apo Island: Underwater Photography Gallery

    Diving Apo Island: Underwater Photography Gallery
    Can you count how many fish are in this frame?

  • Diving Apo Island: Underwater Photography Gallery

    Diving Apo Island: Underwater Photography Gallery
    An afternoon sunbeam caught this coral head just right and gave it a very nice light.

  • Diving Apo Island: Underwater Photography Gallery

    Diving Apo Island: Underwater Photography Gallery
    The jacks don't seem too scared of divers, but they will only let you get to a certain distance away from them and then the wall spreads out to let you pass by.

  • Diving Apo Island: Underwater Photography Gallery

    Diving Apo Island: Underwater Photography Gallery
    Late afternoon light at the Apo Island Marine Sanctuary.

  • Diving Apo Island: Underwater Photography Gallery

    Diving Apo Island: Underwater Photography Gallery
    Used the underwater flash again here to bring out some of the metallic shine of these perfectly-streamlined pelagic bullets.

  • Diving Apo Island: Underwater Photography Gallery

    Diving Apo Island: Underwater Photography Gallery
    More colors from the depths of Coconut Point on Apo Island.

  • Diving Apo Island: Underwater Photography Gallery

    Diving Apo Island: Underwater Photography Gallery
    Close-up with the jacks at Coconut Point.

  • Diving Apo Island: Underwater Photography Gallery

    Diving Apo Island: Underwater Photography Gallery
    It looks like this triggerfish was about to munch the wrasse, but it's just a random coincidence with the camera.

  • Diving Apo Island: Underwater Photography Gallery

    Diving Apo Island: Underwater Photography Gallery
    Still not exactly sure which one of these guys (or girls) is calling the shots on where everyone is going to go for the day.

  • Diving Apo Island: Underwater Photography Gallery

    Diving Apo Island: Underwater Photography Gallery
    A beautiful yellow fan coral at Coconut Point.

  • Diving Apo Island: Underwater Photography Gallery

    Diving Apo Island: Underwater Photography Gallery
    Can you count how many fish are in this frame?

  • Diving Apo Island: Underwater Photography Gallery

    Diving Apo Island: Underwater Photography Gallery
    Sidney shows off the buoyancy skills again in front of the jacks.

  • Diving Apo Island: Underwater Photography Gallery

    Diving Apo Island: Underwater Photography Gallery
    I think each one of these jacks would weigh about ten pounds.

  • Diving Apo Island: Underwater Photography Gallery

    Diving Apo Island: Underwater Photography Gallery
    A self-portrait at around ten meters below the surface.

  • Diving Apo Island: Underwater Photography Gallery

    Diving Apo Island: Underwater Photography Gallery
    More corally goodness from Apo Island.

  • Diving Apo Island: Underwater Photography Gallery

    Diving Apo Island: Underwater Photography Gallery
    You sometimes see surgeonfish swimming amongst a huge school of jacks like this one.

  • Diving Apo Island: Underwater Photography Gallery

    Diving Apo Island: Underwater Photography Gallery
    Is the pufferfish wondering why this guy is floating by him in an invisible chair? We'll never know...


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