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Apo Reef

Apo Reef is a coral reef system of 34 sq kilometer (13 sq mi) in the Mindoro Strait, Occidental Mindoro's western waters, Mimaropa Region, Philippines, managed as Apo Reef Natural Park (ARNP). Apo Reef is one of the most popular dive sites in the Philippines and is listed on the tentative list for UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Apo Reef is a tidal coral formation of 26 kilometers (16 miles) from north to south end and 20 kilometers (12 miles) wide east to west separated by two lagoon systems is the South Lagoon and the North Lagoon. Channels flow from east to west with smooth white sand floor, lots of bumps and coral patches branched under blue water.

Xvlor Apo Reef is snorkel among the lagoons in tidal coral reef system

Xvlor.com Apo Reef is snorkel among the lagoons in tidal coral reef system

The northern lagoon is a triangular coral reef platform partially covered during low tide and depth of 2 meters (6 ft 7 in) to 10 meters (32 ft 10 in). The South Laguna is an inverted triangular coral platform that is enclosed on two sides and a depth of about 30 meters (98 feet). The east and southeast sides are dominated by karst and coral sand.

Most of the Apo Reef is submerged during high tide, but it has three islands. Apo Island, Apo Menor or Binangaan, and Cayos del Bajo or Tinangkapan. The islands are uninhabited and only personnel live in protected areas on weekly shifts.

Apo Island has an area of 22 hectares (54 acres) with mangroves and beach vegetation surrounded by white sand. The reefs that surround the island extend to 0.80 kilometers (1/2 mile) in all directions. Mangago lagoonal on the east and south sides have sandy clay base. Apo Island and Apo Reef are separated by narrow and deep channels.

Apo Menor is located near the western end of Apo Reef or 2.4 kilometers (1.5 miles) east of Apo Island. It is a rocky limestone island with some vegetation. Cayos del Bajo is a lagoon formation with flat coral rocks, has no vegetation and at low tide has dry little rocks.

Location: Apo Reef Natural Park, Strait of Mindoro, Occidental Mindoro western waters, Mimaropa Region, Philippines.

www.xvlor.com Apo Reef is snorkel among the lagoons in tidal coral reef system

Xvlor Apo Reef is snorkel among the lagoons in tidal coral reef system

Routes and public transport: Flights to San Jose Airport in San Jose City (Occidental Mindoro), then ride the tricycle to the Dimple Star bus station to go to Sablayan in 3 hours. In Sablayan rent a boat to the Apo Reef for 15 nautical miles (17 miles) in 2.5 hours.

Advice: Coral reefs are within the jurisdiction of Sablayan City, Occidental Mindoro Province. Tourism activities are managed by the local government of Sablayan and local offices of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

You should coordinate with Sablayan tourism office or travel agency to prepare a detailed plan including transportation, camping tents, food, and even if a third party arranges the itinerary. Make sure you ask questions and involve yourself in details.

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